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THE INTERNAL SENSE.
THAT the lord, as to his Divine Human [principle], which is divine truth, existed from eternity, in undivided union with the divine good, which is jehovah, verses 1, 2.
That by divine truth from the lord was effected the all of creation, both natural and spiritual, thus the production of the all of outward nature, and likewise the regeneration of man, and the establishment of the church, vs 3.
That divine truth is always in union with divine love, and by virtue of that union is the source of all wisdom, intelligence, and rationality, amongst mankind, vs 4.
But that mankind had so immersed themselves in external and natural things, and thus in false principles, that they no longer acknowledged divine truth, vs 5.
That divine truth has its appointed representatives here on earth, amongst those who are principled in charity and faith, whose office it is to testify concerning the lord's Divine Humanity, and thus to lead mankind to acknowledge and receive it, as the only source of all wisdom, intelligence, and rationality, vs 6, 7, 8, 9.
That the lord, by his divine truth, or the Word, was present with the Jewish church, but that he was not in general known and acknowledged, yet that all, who did know and acknowledge him, were made regenerate, and thus delivered from the guilt of doing violence to charity, and of profaning truth, being cleansed from all the principles of evil and error, vs 10, 11, 12, 13.
That the lord, by assuming the human nature, and thus becoming a man, made himself divine truth in ultimates, as he had before been divine truth in first principles, and thus gained fuller access to man, by imparting a fuller measure of his divine love and wisdom, vs 14.
Therefore all, who are principled in charity and faith, acknowledge from the heart, that the lord in his Divine Humanity is the eternal god, and that all good and truth are from him, and that he came into the world to open those interior things of his Word, for the benefit of mankind, vs 15, 16, 17.
They acknowledge also, that no right apprehension can be had of the invisible jehovah, but by or through the visible humanity, which he assumed and glorified for that purpose, vs 18.
Thus they testify concerning themselves, to those of the perverted church who are inquisitive about them, that they possess no truth or good of themselves, but only from the Word, and that from the Word all in the vastated church are admonished to prepare themselves to receive the lord in his divine humanity, vs 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.
They testify further, that they can teach only external truth, but that the truth itself is the lord as to his Divine Humanity, who is yet unacknowledged, although he is the very central life of all truths, vs 24, 25, 26.
And has thus pre-eminence over all, since the lowest order of internal truth is above the highest of what is external, vs 27.
Such is the testimony of external truth, derived from the letter of the Word, which testimony presently conducts to a view of internal truth as it is in connection with the lord's Divine Humanity, by virtue of which internal truth confession is made that the lord in his Divine Humanity is the purest innocence, and that human disorder can never be removed, only so far as that innocence is implanted in human minds, vs 28, 29.
Confession is further made from internal truth, that the lord, in his Divine Humanity, is the eternal god, and that all good and truth are from him, and that he is to be made known to the church by the teaching of external truth from the Word, vs 30, 31.
Which truth testifies, that all the good and truth of faith, thus all purification and regeneration, are from the Divine Humanity of the lord, and that consequently all internal truth is from the same source, vs 32, 33, 34, 35.
That they who are principled in charity, and in the faith of charity, have their spiritual sight opened to behold and to confess the lord in his Divine Humanity, whom therefore they immediately acknowledge and obey as the only god, vs 35, 36, 37.
And being led by an internal dictate in their own minds to explore and examine the end of all truth, or knowledge, they are led further to inquire after the good of love and charity, to which all truth and knowledge point, and thus attain conjunction with the lord in that good, vs 38, 39.
That they who are principled in the good of charity instruct those who are principled in the good of faith, concerning the lord in his Divine Humanity, and thus conduct them to the incarnate god, by whom they are taught that they, who are principled in truth derived from good, ought to attach themselves to divine truth, or to truth proceeding from, and in conjunction with, the lord's Divine Humanity, vs 40, 41, 42.
That they of the church, who are principled in intelligence, are next instructed to acknowledge all intelligence to be derived from the lord's Divine Humanity, and that when they are so instructed, they again instruct those who are principled in charity and its faith, that the lord is manifested in his Divine Humanity, as was predicted, vs 43, 44, 45.
Which instruction is received with doubt, until conviction is worked of the divine wisdom of that humanity, by the distinction which it makes between spiritual good and natural good, and by setting the former above the latter, vs 46, 47, 48, 49.
That this distinction, however, does not produce a conviction equal to that which arises in the course of regeneration, when the internal man is opened to see the several orders of truth in their connection with their divine source, by virtue of which man's ascent to god is first effected, and afterwards the descent of god to man, vs 50, 51.
1. IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word.
2. The same was in the beginning with god,
3. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
6. There was a man sent from god, whose name was John.
7. He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.
8. He was not the light, but that he might bear witness of the light.
9. [That] was the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world.
10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11. He came to his own, and his own received him not.
12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of god, to them who believe in his name.
13. Who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of god.
14. And the Word was made flesh, and tabernacled amongst us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the father, full of grace and truth.
15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me, was before me, because he was prior to me.
16. And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.
17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by jesus christ.
18. No one has seen god at any time; the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the father, he has brought him forth to view.
19. And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to ask him, Who are you?
20. And he confessed, and denied not, and confessed, I am not the christ.
21. And they asked him, What then? Art you Elias? And he says, I am not. Art you the Prophet? And he answered, No.
22.Then they said to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them who went us: What say you of yourself?
23. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the lord, as said Esaias the prophet.
24. And they who were sent were of the Pharisees.
25. And they asked him, and said to him, Why baptizest you then, if you are not the christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet?
26. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water, but there stands one in the midst of you, whom you know not.
27. He it is who, coming after me, was before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28. These things were done in Bethabara, beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29. On the morrow John sees jesus coming to him, and says, Behold the Lamb of god who takes away the sin of the world!
30. He it is of whom I said, After me comes a man, who was before me; for he was prior to me.
31. And I knew him not, but that he should be made manifest to Israel, on which account I am come baptizing with water.
32. And John bare witness, saying, I saw the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it abode upon him.
33. And I knew him not, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, On whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, he it is who baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.
34. And I saw and bare witness, that he is the Son of god.
35. Again on the morrow, John stood and two of his disciples.
36. And looking upon jesus as he walked, he says, Behold the Lamb of god !
37. And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed jesus.
38. But jesus turning, and seeing them following, says to them, What seek you? They said to him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master) where abide you ?
39. He says to them, Come and see. They came and saw where he abode, and remained with him that day, and it was about the tenth hour.
40. Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard from John, and followed him.
41. He first finds his own brother Simon, and says to him, We have found the Messiah,—which is, being interpreted, the christ.
42. And he led him to jesus, and jesus looking on him, said, You are Simon the son of Jona: You shall be called Cephas, which is, bring interpreted, a stone, (or Peter.)
43. On the morrow, jesus willed to go forth into Galilee, and he finds Philip, and says to him, Follow me.
44. But Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.
45. Philip finds Nathaniel, and says to him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth.
46. And Nathaniel said to him, Can any good thing be from Nazareth? Philip says to him, Come and see.
47. jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and says of him, Behold, truly an Israelite, in whom is no guile.
48. Nathaniel says to him, Whence know you me? jesus answered, and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig-tree, I saw you.
49. Nathaniel answered, and says to him, Rabbi, You are the Son of god, you are the King of Israel!
50. jesus answered, and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig-tree, believe you? You shall see greater things than these.
51. And he says to him, Verily, verily, I say to you, now on you shall see heaven open, and the angels of god ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.
without a revelation from the Divine, man cannot know any thing concerning eternal life, nor even any thing concerning god, and still less any thing concerning love to, and faith in him: for man is born into mere ignorance, and must therefore learn every thing from worldly things, from which he must form his understanding: for he is hereditarily born into every evil which proceeds from the love of self and of the world; the delights from there prevail continually, and suggest such things as are diametrically contrary to the Divine: hence it is that man knows nothing concerning eternal life; wherefore there must necessarily be a revelation to communicate such knowledge.
That the evils of the love of self and of the world induce such ignorance concerning the things which relate to eternal life, appears manifestly from many within the church, who, although they know from revelation that there is a god, that there is a heaven and a hell, that there is eternal life, and that that life is to be acquired by means of the good of love and faith, still lapse into denial concerning those subjects, as well the learned as the unlearned. Hence it is further evident how great ignorance would prevail, if there were no revelation.
Since therefore man lives after death, and then lives to eternity, and a life awaits him according to his love and faith, it: follows that the Divine, out of love towards the human race, has revealed such things as may lead to that life, and conduce to man's salvation. What the Divine has revealed, is with us the Word.
The Word, for as much as it is a revelation from the Divine, is divine in all and every particular part; for what is from the Divine cannot be otherwise. What is from the Divine descends through the heavens even to man, wherefore in the heavens it is accommodated to the wisdom of the angels who are there, and on earth it is accommodated to the apprehension of the men who are there: wherefore in the Word there is an internal sense, which is spiritual, for the angels, and an external sense, which is natural, for men: hence it is that the conjunction of heaven with man, is effected by means of the Word.
No others understand the genuine sense of the Word but they who are enlightened; and they only are enlightened who are in love to, and faith in, the lord ; for their interiors are elevated by the lord into the light of heaven.
The Word in the letter cannot be understood, but by means of doctrine drawn from the Word by one who is enlightened; for the literal sense thereof is accommodated to the apprehension even of simple men, wherefore doctrine drawn from the Word must serve them for a lamp. NJHD 249—254.
Verse 1. In the beginning. The beginning is called the most ancient time; by the prophets throughout, the day of antiquity, and also the day of eternity. The beginning also involves the first time, when man is regenerating, for on this occasion he is born anew and receives life; regeneration itself is hence called the new creation of man. AC 16.
Every state before man is instructed, is a commencement [initium] and when he begins to be instructed, it is a beginning [principium.] AC 1560.
Verses 1—14. In the beginning was the Word, &c. Few know what is here meant by the Word; that the lord is meant, is manifest from singular the expressions here used: But the internal sense teaches, that the lord as to the Divine Human is meant by the Word; for it is said, "that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw his glory:" And inasmuch as the Divine Human is meant by the Word, every truth is also meant which is concerning him, and from him, in his kingdom in the heavens, and in his church on the earths; hence it is said, that "in him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in darkness:" and since truth is meant by the Word, by the Word is meant all revelation, thus likewise the Word itself, or Holy Scripture. AC 2894.
Divine truth is called the Word, and the Word is the lord, by reason that the lord was divine truth itself when he was in the world, and afterwards, when he was glorified, he was made divine good, in which case all divine truth proceeds from him; this divine truth is light to the angels, which light also it is that enlightens our internal sight, which is the understanding; this sight, inasmuch as it does not see natural things but spiritual, has for its objects truth, in the understanding spiritual truths, which are called the truths of faith, but in the natural principle it has for its objects truths of civil life, which relate to what is just, and likewise truths of moral life, which relate to what is honest, and lastly natural truths, which are conclusions from the objects of the external senses, especially of the sight. From these considerations it may be seen, in what order truths follow each other, and that all and singular of them derive their origin from divine truths, which are the internal principles [or beginnings] of all things, their forms also hence derived their origin, for they were created to receive and contain: Hence it may be manifest what is meant by all things being created by the Word, for divine truth is the veriest essential [principle] and is the only substantial [principle] by which are all things. AC 8861.
The Word is divine truth, which has been revealed to men, and because this could not have been revealed except by jehovah as a man, that is, except by jehovah in a human form, thus by the lord, therefore it is said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word;" in the church it is a known thing that by the Word is meant the lord, because this is expressly said, "The Word was made flesh," &c. AC 9315.
He who understands the above words, "In the beginning was the Word," &c. as to their interior sense, and at the same time compares them with what is written in the doctrine of the new jerusalem concerning the sacred scripture, and also with some things contained in the doctrine of the new jerusalem concerning the lord, may see that thereby is understood the very divine truth itself in the Word which had before been in this world, also which is in the Word which we have at this day, but not the Word viewed in the expressions and letters of languages, but viewed in its essence and life, which essence and life from the inmost principle are in the senses of its expressions and letters; in consequence of this essential life, the Word vivifies the affections of the will of man, who reads it under a holy influence, and from the light of that life enlightens the thoughts of his understanding, wherefore it is said, "in the Word was life, and the life was the light of men;" this the Word does, because the Word is from the lord, and treats concerning the lord, and thus is the lord : every thought, speech and writing, derives its essence and life from him who thinks, speaks, and writes, the whole man with his quality being in those things but in the Word is the lord alone. AR 200.
From these words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god," &c. it is evident, that the lord is from eternity god, and that he is that lord, who was born in the world, for it is said, the Word was with God, and God was the Word; also that without him was not any thing made which was made; and afterwards that the Word was made flesh, and they saw him. That the lord is called the Word is little understood in the church; but he is called the Word, because the Word signifies divine truth or divine wisdom, and the lord is divine truth itself or divine wisdom itself, wherefore also it is called light. Inasmuch as divine love and divine wisdom make one, and in the lord have been one from eternity, therefore also it is said, in him was life, and the life was the light of men; life is divine love, and light is divine wisdom. This one is what is meant by "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word;" with God denotes in god, for wisdom is in love, and love in wisdom; in like manner in another passage in John, "Glorify me, you father, with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was," John 17:5; where with yourself denotes in yourself; wherefore also it is said, and God was the Word; and in another place, that the lord is in the Father, and the Father in him; also that the Father and he are one. Now whereas the Word is the divine wisdom of the divine love, it follows that it is jehovah himself, thus the lord, by whom all things were made which are made, for from the divine love by the divine wisdom all things were created.
That it is the same Word, which was manifested by Moses and the prophets, and by the evangelists, which is here specifically understood, may manifestly appear from this consideration, that it is the divine truth itself, from which the angels have all wisdom, and men spiritual intelligence; for it is this same Word which is with men in the world, and also with the angels in the heavens; but in the world with men it is natural, whereas in the heavens it is spiritual. And inasmuch as it is the divine truth, it is also the divine proceeding, and this not only is from the lord, but also is the lord himself. Inasmuch as it is the lord himself, therefore all and singular the things of the Word are written concerning him alone; from Isaiah even to Malachi, there is not a single expression which does not treat of the lord, or in the opposite sense, of what is contrary to the lord. That this is the case, no one has heretofore seen, but still every one may see it, if he only knows it, and whilst he reads, thinks it, and moreover knows, that in the Word there is not only a natural sense, but also a spiritual sense, and that in this latter sense by the names of persons and of places is signified somewhat of the lord, and hence somewhat of heaven and the church from him, or something opposite. Inasmuch as all and singular the things of the Word are concerning the lord, and the Word is the lord, because it is divine truth, it is evident why it is said, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt in us, and we saw his glory:" Also why it is said, "Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the sons of the light: I am come a light into the world; he who believes in me, does not abide in darkness;" light is divine truth, thus the Word. On this account every one, even at this day who goes to the Lord alone, whilst he reads the Word, and prays to him, is enlightened in it. LORD 1, 2.
In the original tongue, words denote things; and the reason is, because words in the internal sense signify truths of doctrine, wherefore all divine truth in general is called the Word, and the lord himself is so called in the supreme sense, because all divine truth is from him; a further reason is, because nothing which exists in the universe is any thing, that is, is a thing, unless it be from the divine good by divine truth, as is evident from John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word; all things were made by him," &c. AC 5075.
Such power has divine truth, which proceeds from divine good, that by it were created all things in the universe; the Word signifies that truth in John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word; all things were made by him;" hence it is that miracles were done by Moses, for Moses represents divine truth. It is believed by the generality that the Word or divine truth is only speech from jehovah, and a command to do so and so, and nothing more; whereas it is the very essential principle from which and by which are all things. AC 7678.
The Word was made flesh, &c. That by fulfilling all things of the Word, the lord was made divine truth or the Word even in ultimates, is meant by these expressions in John, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;" to be made flesh is to be made the Word in ultimates. What his quality was as the Word in ultimates, he showed to his disciples when he was transfigured, Matt 17:2, and following verses; Mark 9:2, and following verses; Luke 9:28, and following verses; and it is there said, that Moses and Elias were seen in glory; by Moses and Elias is meant the Word. The lord is also described as the Word in ultimates by John in the Apocalypse, Rev 1:13-16; where all parts of that description of him signify the ultimates of divine truth or of the Word. The lord had heretofore indeed been the Word, but in first principles; for it is said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word: the same was in the beginning with god ;" but when the Word was made flesh, then the lord was made the Word also in ultimates: from this circumstance it is, that he is called the First and the Last, Rev 1:8, 11, 17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:12, 13. By this circumstance of the lord being made the Word in ultimates, the state of the church was altogether changed; for all the churches, which were before his coming, were representative churches, which could not see divine truth except in the shade; but after the coming of the lord into the world, a church was established by him, which saw divine truth in the light: the difference is such as between evening and morning; the state of the church before his coming is also called evening, and the state of the church after his coming is called morning. The lord, before his coming into the world, was indeed present with the men of the church, but mediately by [or through] heaven, but after his coming into the world he is present with the men of the church immediately: for in the world he put on also the Divine Natural [principle] in which he is present with men: the glorification of the lord is the glorification of his Human [principle] which he assumed in the world; and the glorified Human [principle] of the lord is the Divine Natural [principle.] How the lord is the Word, is understood by few, for they think that the lord can indeed enlighten and teach man by the Word, and yet that he cannot hence be called the Word: but let them know, that every man is his own love, and thence his own good and his own truth, man not being a man from any other source, and nothing else belonging to him being man. From this consideration that man is his own good and his own truth, angels and spirits are also men; for every good and truth proceeding from the Lord is in its form a man; but the lord is divine good itself and divine truth itself; thus he is the Man himself, from whom every man is a man. That every divine good and divine truth is in its form a man, may be seen in the work concerning heaven and hell, HH 460. Doct. concerning the Sacred Scripture, HH 98, 99, 100. See also True Christian Religion, TCR 261, 262, 263, 777. See also AE 850.
When man is conceived anew, he then first begins to know that his goods are not goods; and when he comes more to the light, he begins to know further, that the lord is good itself and truth itself. That the lord is good itself, or life, and truth itself, or light, and thus that there is no good and truth but from the lord, is also taught in John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word; in him was life, and the life was the light of men; he was the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world." AC 20.
That the lord is the Word, he teaches in John in these words, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with god, and god was the Word: and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us." Inasmuch as this passage has been understood in no other way than to mean, that god taught man by the Word; therefore it has been explained by an expression of elevation, which involves that the lord is not the Word itself: the reason is, because it was not known, that by the Word is meant the divine truth of the divine good, or, what is the same thing, the divine wisdom of the divine love; that these principles are the lord himself, was shown in the treatise concerning the divine love and the divine wisdom, and that they are the Word, in the doctrine of the new jerusalem concerning the sacred scripture, SS 1 to 86. In what manner the lord is the divine truth of the divine good, shall here also be briefly shown: every man is not a man from his face and body, but from the good of his love, and from the truths of his wisdom; and whereas man is a man from these principles, every man likewise is his own truth and his own good, or his own love and his own wisdom, and without these he is not a man: but the lord is good itself and truth itself, or, what is the same thing, love itself and wisdom itself; and these are the Word, which in the beginning was with god, and which was god, and which was made flesh. Divine Providence, DP 172.
When the lord was in the world, and glorified his Human [principle] he first made it divine truth, and by degrees divine good of the divine love; and afterwards from the divine good of the divine love, he is operative in heaven and in the world, and gives them life, which is effected by the divine truth proceeding from the divine good of the divine love of his Divine Human [principle] for from it the heavens have existed, and from it they perpetually exist, that is, subsist. Such things are involved also in these words in John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word. All things were made by him," &c.; the Word is divine truth; the first state is described by the expressions, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word;" the second state is described, by all things being made by him. AC 10076.
That god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, by the wisdom of his love, is also meant by these words in John, "In the beginning was the Word," &c. to verse 14; by the Word is there meant the divine truth, or what amounts to the same, the divine wisdom, wherefore also it is called life and light, and life and light are nothing else than wisdom. TCR 50.
Scarcely any one knows at this day that there is any power in truth, for it is supposed that it is only a word spoken by some one who is in power, which on that account must be done, consequently the truth is only as breathing from the mouth, and as sound in the ear; when yet truth and good are the principles of all things in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, by which principles the universe was created, and by which the universe is preserved; and likewise by which man was made; wherefore those two principles are all in all. That the universe was created by divine truth is plainly said in John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god ; all things were made by him; and in David, "By the Word of jehovah were the heavens made," Psalm 33:6; by the Word in both cases is meant the divine truth. Inasmuch as the universe was created by divine truth, therefore also the universe is preserved by it; for as subsistence is perpetual existence, so preservation is perpetual creation. The reason why man was made by the divine truth is, because all things of man have reference to understanding and will, and the understanding is the receptacle of divine truth, and the will of divine good; consequently the human mind, which consists of those two principles, is nothing else but a form of divine truth and divine good spiritually and naturally organized. From these considerations, it may now be manifest for what cause god as the Word came into the world, and was made Man, namely that this was for the sake of redemption; for on this occasion god by the Human [principle] which was divine truth, put on all power, and cast down, subdued, and reduced under his obedience the hells, which had grown up even to the heavens where angels were, and this not by an oral word, but by the Divine Word, which is divine truth; and afterwards he fixed a great gulf between the hells and the heavens, which none from hell can pass over. From these considerations, it may be manifest that the power of divine truth is ineffable; and since the Word, which is in the Christian church, is the continent of divine truth in its three degrees, it is evident that this is what is understood in John 1:3, 10. TCR 224. See also the "Treatise on Heaven and Hell," HH 137.
That creation in the Word signifies the reformation and establishment of the church, which is effected by the divine truth proceeding from the lord, is evident from the words in John 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 14. By the Word is there understood the lord as to divine truth; that all things were created by it, is understood by all things being made by him, and without him was not any thing made which was made, and by the world being made by him; inasmuch as by the Word is meant the lord as to divine truth, therefore it is said, in him was life, and the life was the light of men, that was the true light; light signifies divine truth, and life all intelligence and wisdom from the divine truth, for this constitutes the essential life of man, and also according to it is life eternal; the presence of the lord with every one with his divine truth, from which is life and light, is understood "by the light shining in darkness, and enlightening every man that comes into the world; but that they, who are in the falses of evil, do not perceive, thus do not receive it, is meant by the darkness not comprehending, and by the world not knowing him, darkness signifying the falses of evil. That it is the lord as to the Divine Human [principle], who is here understood by the Word, is very evident; for it is said, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw his glory;" glory also signifies divine truth. Hence also it is evident that to make or to create, in the above passage, signifies to make man new or to reform; for in the above passage, in like manner as in the book of creation, mention is immediately made of light, by which is signified the divine truth proceeding, whereby all are reformed. AE 294.
"In him was life," &c, The divine sphere which proceeds from the lord, and which is called divine truth, is universal, and, as was said, fills the universal heaven, and constitutes the all of life therein; it appears there before the eyes as light, which not only illuminates the sight, but also the mind; it is the same sphere likewise which constitutes the understanding belonging to man: this is meant by these words in John, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men; this was the true light, which illuminates every man that comes into the world, and the world was made by him;" the subject treated of in this passage is concerning divine truth, which is called the Word, and that divine truth or the Word is the lord himself. This light, which is divine truth proceeding from the lord, was described amongst the ancients by radiant circles of a golden colour around the head and body of god represented as a man; for the ancients perceived god no otherwise than under a human form. When man is in good, and from good in truths, then he is elevated into that divine light, and more interiorly according to the quality and quantity of good. AC 9407.
By life in the above passage is meant the divine love of the lord, and by light his divine wisdom. See the "Divine Love and Wisdom," DLW 38. See also AE 151.
Verse 5. And the light shined in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. The light in this passage is divine truth; and whereas men, from being internal men, were become so external or natural, that they no longer acknowledged divine truth, thus neither the lord, therefore it is said, that the darkness did not comprehend the light, and that the world did not acknowledge him. AE 151.
Darkness in the above passage denotes falsities within the church: falsities out of the church are also called darkness, but such as may be illuminated, concerning which it is thus written in Matthew, "The people sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and to them who have sat in the region and shadow of death, light has arisen," Matt 4:16, where darkness denotes the falses of ignorance, such as is the darkness of the Gentiles; and in John, "This is the judgement, that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil," John 3:19, where light denotes truths, and darkness falses; and where light denotes the lord, because from him is all truth, and darkness denotes the hells, because thence comes all that is false. AC 1839.
Verse 6. There was a man sent from god, whose name was John. In the Word there are several who represent the lord as to truth divine, or as to the Word; but the principal amongst them are Moses, Elias, Elisha, and John the Baptist; that John the Baptist has this representation, is manifest from this consideration, that he is "the Elias who was to come." He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things involve and signify, which are said concerning him in the New Testament. We will here quote and explain some passages which are written concerning John the Baptist, as in Matthew, "After that the messengers of John departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, what went you out into the wilderness to see, a reed shaken by the wind? but what went you out to see, a man clothed in soft clothing? behold they who wear soft things are in kings' houses: but what went you out to see, a prophet? yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet; this is he of whom it is written, behold I send my messenger before your face who shall prepare your way before you; verily I say to you, there has not arisen, among them that are born of women, a greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to receive [it] this is Elias which was for to come: he that has ears to hear let him hear," Matt 11:7-15, and Luke 7:24-28: how these things are to be understood, no one can know, unless he knows that John represented the lord as to the Word, and unless he knows on this occasion from the internal sense, what is signified by the wilderness in which he was; also what by a reed shaken with the wind, and likewise by soft clothing in the houses of kings; and next what is signified by his being more than a prophet, and by none amongst those that are born of women being greater than he, and yet the least in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he; and lastly by his being Elias: for all these things without a deeper sense, are mere sounds grounded in some kind of comparison, and not grounded in any thing of any weight: but it is altogether otherwise when by John is meant the lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively; in this case by the wilderness of Judea, in which John was, is signified the state in which the Word was at that time, when the lord came into the world, namely that it was in the wilderness, that is, in such obscurity, that the lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was any thing known concerning his heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied concerning him, and concerning his kingdom, that it was to endure for ever: that a wilderness denotes such obscurity, see AC 2708; the Word therefore is compared to a reed shaken by the wind, when it is explained at pleasure, for a reed in the internal sense is truth in the ultimate, such as the Word is in the letter: that the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, before the view of men is as somewhat rude and obscure, but in the internal sense is soft and shining, is signified by their not seeing a man clothed in soft clothing, behold they who wear soft things are in kings' houses; that such things are signified by these words, is evident from the signification of of clothing or garments, as denoting truths, see AC 2132, 2576; and that on this account the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths derived from good belonging to them, AC 5248; also from the signification of the houses of kings, as denoting the abodes where the angels are, and in the universal sense the heavens, for they are called houses from good, AC 2233, 2234, and kings from truth, AC 1672; therefore the angels are called the sons of the kingdom, the sons of a king, and also kings, from the reception of truth from the lord. That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by what went you out to see, a prophet, yea I say to you and more than a prophet, and that there has not arisen amongst those that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist, for a prophet in the internal sense is doctrine, AC 2534, 7269, and they that are born, or the sons of women, are truths, AC 489, 491, 533.
That the Word in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by the least in the kingdom of the heavens being greater than he; for the Word perceived in heaven is of such wisdom, that it transcends all human apprehension: that the prophesies concerning the lord and concerning his kingdom, and the representatives of the lord and of his kingdom ceased, when the lord came into the world, is signified by all the prophets and the law, prophesying until John: that the Word was represented by John as by Elias, is signified by his being Elias who was to come; also by these words in Matthew, "The disciples asked Jesus, why do the scribes say, that Elias must first come? He answering said, Elias indeed shall first come, and restore all things; I say to you, that Elias has already come, and they did not acknowledge him, but did to him whatever they willed: so likewise shall the Son of Man suffer of them: and they understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist," Matt 17:10, 13; that Elias came, and they did not acknowledge him, but did to him whatever they willed, signifies that the Word indeed taught them that the lord was to come, but that still they were not willing to comprehend, interpreting it in favour of self dominion, and thereby extinguishing the Divine principle which was in it: that they were about to do the like with Truth Divine itself, is signified by likewise so shall the Son of Man suffer of them; that the Son of Man is the lord as to truth Divine, see AC 2803, 2813, 3704. From these considerations it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy concerning John in Malachi, "Behold, I send to you Elias the prophet, before the great and terrible day of jehovah comes," Mal 4:5.
The Word is also described in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form which appears before man in the world, by the clothing and by the food of John the Baptist, as in Matthew, "John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea had clothing of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins, and his food was locusts and wild honey," Matt 3:1, 3, 4: in like manner as Elias in the second book of Kings, where it is written, "that he was a hairy man, and girded about the loins with a girdle of leather," 1, 8; by clothing or a garment, when concerning the Word, is signified Truth Divine therein in the ultimate form; by the hairs of a camel are signified scientific truths such as are there before man in the world; by a leathern girdle is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all interior things; by food is signified spiritual nourishment derived from the knowledges of truth and good from the Word; by locusts are signified ultimate or most common truths; and by wild honey their pleasantness: the reason why such things are signified by clothing and food, is grounded in representatives in the other life; where all appear clothed according to truths derived from good, and where food also is represented according to the desire of knowing and growing wise; from this ground it is that clothing or a garment denotes truth, see the quotations above; and that food or meat denotes spiritual nourishment, AC 3114, 4459; that a girdle denotes a bond, gathering together and containing interior things, see AC 9341; that leather denotes what is external, see AC 3540, thus a leathern girdle denotes an external bond; that hairs denote ultimate or most common truths, AC 3301, 5569 to 5573; that a camel denotes the scientific principle in general, AC 3048, 3071; that a locust denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, AC 3301; and that honey denotes its pleasantness, AC 5620; it is called wild honey [mel agreste, or honey of the field] because by a field is signified the church, AC 2971, 3317. He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot in any wise know why Elias and John were so clothed; that those things signified something peculiar to those prophets, every one may think, who thinks well of the Word. Inasmuch as John the Baptist represented the lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke concerning the lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was not Elias, nor a prophet, and that he was not worthy to loose the latchet of the lord's shoe; from which words it is evident that John, when he spoke concerning the lord himself, who was Truth Divine itself or the Word, said that he was not any thing, inasmuch as the shade disappears when the light itself appears, or the representative disappears when the effigy itself appears; that representatives had respect to holy things and to the lord himself, and not at all to the person who represented, see AC 665, 1097, 1361. He who does not know that representatives vanish away like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and a prophet. AC 9372.
Verses 7, 8. He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, &c. Light signifies the divine truth; wherefore the lord is called the true light which illuminates every man, and to bear witness concerning the light signifies the acknowledgement of his Divine Human [principle] from which divine truth proceeds. This witness is in divine truth universally as may be manifest from this consideration, that the angels of the interior heaven cannot think otherwise of the Divine [Being] than under a human form, thus of the Divine Human [principle], by reason that the Divine Human [principle] of the lord fills the universal heaven, and forms it, and the thoughts of the angels are directed and now according to the form of heaven. Hence it is that the testimony [or witness] of jesus christ signifies the acknowledgement of the divinity of the lord in his Humanity. AE 27.
Verse 9. That was the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world. The divine truth, which is from the lord, continually flows in with man, and makes his intellectual principle; and if you are disposed to believe it, man, without the continual influx of truth divine proceeding from the lord, cannot perceive and understand any thing at all: for the divine truth proceeding from the lord is the light which illuminates the mind of man, and makes the internal sight, which is the understanding; and whereas that light continually flows in, therefore it adapts every one to receive; but they who receive, are they who are in the good of life; and they who do not receive, are they who are in evil of life; nevertheless these latter, as well as the former, are in the faculty of perceiving and understanding, and likewise in the faculty of receiving, so far as they desist from evils. This is what is meant by these words in John, "That was the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world: he was in the world, and the world was made by him: but the world knew him not." The subject treated of in this passage is concerning the Word, which is the divine truth proceeding from the lord. That every man in the world, who is of sound reason, is in the faculty of understanding truth divine, and hence in the faculty of receiving, so far as he desists from evils, has been given me to know by much experience; for all both evil and good, as many as are in the other life, are capable of understanding what is true and what is false, also what is good and what is evil, but they who are evil, although they understand what is true and good, are still not willing to understand; for the will is repugnant, and in the will is evil; wherefore when they are left to themselves, they still relapse into the falses of their own evil, and hold in aversion what is true and good, which they understood: hence it was made evident, that the divine truth proceeding from the lord continually flows in into human minds, and adapts them to receive, and that it is so far received as man desists from the evils which are of self-love and the love of the world. AC 9399; see also AC 10196.
Verse 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, &c. None can form a just idea concerning the creation of the universe, unless the understanding be brought into a state of perception by certain universal knowledges first premised, such as the following:
The angelic idea concerning the universe created from the lord is as follows, that god is the centre, and that he is a man, and that unless god was a man, creation would not have been possible, and that the lord from eternity is that god. Concerning creation they said, that the lord from eternity, or god by his divine proceeding (principle), created the universe, and all things therein, and since the divine proceeding (principle) is also life itself, that all things were created from life and by life; and that the proximate divine proceeding (principle) is what appears before the angels as a sun; that this sun before their eyes appears fiery and flaming; and that the divine proceeding (principle) is divine love and divine wisdom, of which such is the appearance afar off; they added, that that divine proceeding (principle) is what the ancients effigied by golden or lucid pure circles around the head of god, and which modern painters still retain from the ancient idea. They said that from that sun as a great centre, proceed circles, one after another, and one from another, even to the last, where their end is, subsisting in rest; and that those circles, of which one is from another, and one after another, appearing as extended into what is broad and into what is long, are spiritual atmospheres, which the light and heat from their sun fill, and by which they propagate themselves to the ultimate circle; and that in the last, by means of those atmospheres, and afterwards by means of the natural atmospheres which are from the sun of the world, was effected the creation of the earth, and on it of all things which are for use, which creation is afterwards continued by generations from seeds, in wombs or in eggs. Those angels who knew that the universe so created was a continuous work from the Creator even to ultimates, and that, as being a continuous work, it depended upon, and was actuated and governed as one work linked together by, the lord, who is a common centre, said, that the first proceeding (principle) was continued even to ultimates by discrete degrees, altogether as an end by causes into effects; or as something producing and its products in a continued series, and that the continuation was not only in, but also around, from the first (principle), and thence from every prior (principle) into every posterior one even to the postreme, and that thus the first (principle), and from it the posterior (principles) co-exist in their order in the postreme or last. From this continuity, as a one, they have an idea concerning the lord, that he is all in all, that he is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, that he is infinite and eternal; and also an idea what the order is, according to which the lord, by his divine love and his divine wisdom, arranges, provides, and governs all things.
It was asked, whence then is hell? They said, from the freedom of man, without which man would not be man; that man, from that freedom broke continuity in himself, which being broken separation was effected, and the continuity, which from creation was in him, became as a chain, or a linked work, which falls to pieces through the breaking and plucking to pieces of the links above, and afterwards hangs from small threads. Separation or breach was effected, and is effected by denial of god. DLW 127.
Verse 11. He came to his own, &c. By his own are meant those who were at that time of the church, where the Word was. Doc. of the lord, 18.
By his own who did not receive, are meant those who were of the church where the Word was, by which the lord could be known to them, wherefore they who were of the Jewish church are here meant by his own. AE 745.
Verses 12 to 14. But as many as received him, to them gave he power, &c. That faith, whether it be called confidence, or trust, has no effect with the evil, the lord himself teaches in these words in John, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of god, believing in his name; who were born not of bloods, nor of "the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of god ;" where the born of bloods denote those who do violence to charity, also who profane truth; the born of the will of the flesh, denote those who are in evils derived from the love of self and of the world; the born of the will of man, denote those who are in the persuasions of what is false, for man [vir] signifies truth, and in the opposite sense what is false; the born of god, denote those who are regenerated by the lord, and are thence in good; these latter are they who receive the lord, and these latter are they who believe in his name, and these.are they to whom he gives power to become the sons of god, but not to the former; from which considerations it is evident how little faith alone contributes to salvation. AC 5826. See also AE 745, 802, and Doc. of Life, 17.
The will of the flesh denotes the voluntary proprium, the will of man denotes the intellectual proprium, the sons of God denote the regenerate, and they who are regenerated are all vivified from the lord's proprium, which is the flesh and body of the lord, and is divine good itself. AC 8409.
Inasmuch as the principle of what is false, which results from the intellectual proprium of man, in the internal sense is blood, and the principle of evil, which is from his voluntary proprium, is flesh, therefore the lord thus speaks of the man about to be regenerated, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of god, believing in his name, who were born not of bloods, nor of. the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of god ;" hence it is that by flesh in general is meant every man. AC 3813. See also AC 9454, 10283; see also Doc. of the lord, 18.
To them that believe on his name. That the lord gave to these the power to become the sons of God, signifies that he has given heaven to those who have received from him divine truths in soul and heart, or in faith and life: by believing in his name is signified to receive the lord in faith and life; for by the name of the lord is signified all by which he is worshiped. AE 745. See also AC 6674, where it is further shown what is meant by asking the father in the name of the lord, that it means to ask the lord himself, inasmuch as there is no admission to the divine good, which is the father, except by the Divine Human [principle] of the lord, as is likewise known in the churches; wherefore to ask the lord himself is according to the truths of faith, and whatever is asked according to those truths, is given; from which considerations it is evident that the lord, as to the Divine Human [principle] is the name of jehovah.
Born of God, are they who are principled in love, and thence in faith. AC 2531.
That divine truth proceeds from the Divine Human [principle] of the lord, but not from the Divine itself, is an arcanum hitherto not discovered; the case herein is this, before the lord came into the world, the Divine [principle] itself flowed-in into the universal heaven, and because heaven at that time consisted for the most part of the celestial, that is, of those who were in the good of love by that influx, by the Divine Omnipotence, was produced the light which is in the heavens, and thence wisdom and intelligence; but after the human race had removed themselves from the good of love and charity, then that light could no longer be produced by [or through] heaven, consequently no wisdom and intelligence could be produced, which might penetrate even to the human race; wherefore the necessity of salvation required that the lord should come into the world, and make the Human [principle] in himself divine, to the intent that he himself, as to the Divine Human [principle] might become divine light, and thereby might illuminate the universal heaven, and the universal world: he had been the light itself from eternity, for that light is from the Divine [principle] itself by [or through] heaven; and the Divine [principle] itself was what assumed the Human, and made this Divine, and when this was made Divine, then from it he could not only illuminate the celestial heaven itself, but also the spiritual heaven, and likewise the human race, which has received and receives divine truth in good, that is, in love to him, and in charity towards the neighbour, as is evident in John, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of god, believing in his name, who were born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of god." From what has been now said, it may be manifest what is signified by these words in John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and god was the Word; the same was in the beginning with god : all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made which was made: in him was life, and the light was the life of men: this was the true light, which illuminates every man that comes into the world." In this passage the Word signifies divine truth: but that the lord as to each essence is divine good, yet that divine truth proceeds from him, see AC 3704; for divine good cannot be received by man, not even by an angel, but divine truth can be received, yet of a quality according to that of a man who receives, in which truth divine good can dwell, with a difference according to reception. AC 4180. See also AC 1608, where it is shown that the will of the flesh and will of man are what disjoin, but that love and the faith thence derived are what conjoin; wherefore they, who are principled in love and the faith thence derived, are they who are born of God; and because they are born of God, they are called sons of God, and are his seed, to whom appertains the heavenly kingdom.
They are called sons of God, and said to be born of God, who are not in the proprium of their own will, and thence not in the proprium of their own understanding, that is, who are not in evil, and thence in the false, and that these are they who believe in the lord, he himself teaches in John 1:12, 13. The conclusion is, that with man there is not a grain of truth given more than good is given, thus not a grain of faith more than life is given: there is given indeed the thought that it is so in the understanding, but not the acknowledgement which is faith, unless there be given consent in the will. Thus faith and life keep pace together. Doc. of Life, 51, 52.
In heaven no other nativity or birth is understood than what is called regeneration, which is effected by the truth of faith and the good of charity; by this nativity from sons of men they become sons of the lord, or those who are said to be born of God, John 1:13. According to the varieties of good derived from truth, and of truth derived from good in that nativity, are fraternities or consanguinities and affinities in heaven; for in heaven there are perpetual varieties, but the varieties are arranged by the lord so as to have reference to families, in which are brothers, sisters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandsons, grand-daughters, and so forth; nevertheless in general all are arranged into such a form, that together they make one; like the varieties in the human body, where no member is absolutely like another, nor one part in any member; still however all those various parts are arranged into such a form, that they act as one, and each concurs nearly or remotely to the action of the other. AC 5598.
Verse 14. And the Word was made flesh. That the lord in the world fulfilled all things of the Word, and that by so doing he was made divine truth, or the Word even in ultimates, is understood by these words in John, And the Word was made flesh, &c. where, to be made flesh denotes to be made the Word in ultimates. What the quality of the lord was as to the Word in ultimates, he showed to his disciples when he was transfigured, Matt 17:2, and following verses; and it is there said, that Moses and Elias were seen in glory; for by Moses is meant the Word, which was written by him, and in general the historical Word, and by Elias the prophetical Word. The lord, as the Word in ultimates, was also represented before John in the Apocalypse, Rev 1:13-16, where all things of the description of him signify the ultimates of divine truth or of the Word. The lord indeed had before been the Word, or divine truth, but in first principles, for it is said, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and god was the word; but when the Word was made flesh, then the lord was made the Word also in ultimates; it is from this circumstance that he is called the First and the Last, Rev 1:8, 11, 17. TCR 261.
It is said that the Word was made flesh, that is, a man, to the intent that the Divine [principle] itself under a human form might actually teach truth divine. That the lord is the Divine [Being or principle] itself under a human form, see AC 9315. AC 9398.
That by flesh in a supreme sense is signified the Divine Human [principle] of the lord, is evident from this passage in John, The Word was made flesh, &c. from this flesh all flesh is vivified, that is, from the Divine Human [principle] of the lord every man is vivified, by the appropriation of his love, which appropriation is signified by eating the flesh of the Son of Man, John 6:51-58; and by eating bread in the holy supper, for bread is the body or flesh, Matt 26:26, 27. AC 3813.
The lord came into the world, and assumed the Human [principle] that he might put himself into the ability of subduing the hells, and of reducing all things to order both in the heavens and on the earths. This Human [principle] he super-induced over his former Human [principle.] The Human [principle] which he super-induced in the world, was as the Human [principle] of man in the world, yet each was divine, and hence infinitely transcending the finite human [principles] of angels and men. And whereas he fully glorified the natural human [principle] even to its ultimates, therefore he rose again with his whole body, otherwise than any man. By the assumption of this Human [principle] he put on the Divine Omnipotence, not only of subduing the hells, and reducing the heavens to order, but also of keeping the hells for ever subdued, and of saving men. His power is meant by his sitting at the "right hand of the power and virtue of god." For as much as the lord, by the assumption of the natural Human [principle] made himself divine truth in ultimates, therefore he is called the Word, and it is said that the Word was made flesh, and divine truth in ultimates is the Word as to the sense of the letter; this he made himself by fulfilling all things of the Word concerning himself in Moses and the prophets. For every man is his own good and his own truth, man being a man from no other source; but the lord, by the assumption of the natural Human [principle] is divine good itself and divine truth, or, what is the same thing, is divine love itself and divine wisdom, as well in first principles as in last: hence it is that in the angelic heavens he appears as a sun, since his coming into the world, in a stronger radiation and in greater splendour, than before his coming. Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love, &c. DLW 221.
Verse 14. And we beheld his glory, &c. That glory is predicated of the divine truth which is from the Divine Human [principle] of the lord, and that it is attributed to the lord as a king, is manifest from these words in John, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the father, full of grace and truth; in which passage the Word denotes divine truth, which, since it proceeds from the lord, is the lord himself; hence glory is predicated of divine truth. AC 5922.
That glory and glorification, when predicated of the lord, denotes the unification of his Human [principle] with the Divine itself which was in him, thus with jehovah his father, by which unification he made his Human [principle] also divine good, appears from the passages in the Word, where glory and glorification are named, in relation to jehovah or the lord ; as in Isaiah, "The glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together, because the mouth of the lord has spoken," Is 40:5; again, "jehovah I have called you in justice, to open the blind eyes, to bring out of prison him that is bound, I am jehovah, this is my name, and my glory I will not give to another" Is 42:6, 7, 8; and again, "Upon you shall jehovah arise, and his glory shall be seen upon you; the nations shall walk to your light," Is 60:2, 3; in these passages the lord is treated of, and by the glory of Jehovah is meant the lord as to divine truth, for divine truth proceeding from the lord is the glory of jehovah, see AC 9429. That the glory of Jehovah is the lord as to divine truth proceeding from his divine good, which is jehovah or the father, the lord himself teaches in John, "The Word was made flesh, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father." AC 10053. See also AR 897.
Verse 14. Full of grace and truth. Grace here denotes the delight of truth; the reason is, because there are two things which proceed from the lord, both in their origin united; but with those who receive, a distinction is made, for there are some who receive divine truth more than divine good, and there are some who receive divine good more than divine truth; they who receive divine truth more than divine good, are in the lord's spiritual kingdom, and are hence called spiritual, but they who receive divine good more than divine truth, are in the lord's celestial kingdom, and are hence called celestial. To those who are in the spiritual kingdom, it is given by the lord, to be in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, and this divine [principle] is what is called grace; hence it is, that so far as any one is in that affection, so far he is in the divine grace of the lord ; nor is there any other divine grace given with man, spirit and angel, than to be affected with truth because it is truth, inasmuch as in that affection they have heaven and blessedness. Whether we speak of the affection of truth, or the delight of truth, it is the same thing; for affection without delight is not given. This is what is specifically meant in the Word by grace, as in John, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the father, full of grace and truth: of his fullness have we all received, grace for grace, because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by jesus christ," John 1:14, 16, 17; inasmuch as grace denotes the affection and delight of truth, therefore it is said, grace and truth; and in Luke, "After that the lord explained the prophecy of Esaias in the synagogue concerning himself, thus the divine truth, all wondered at the words of grace that came forth from his mouth" Luke 4:22; the divine truths, which the lord spoke, are called words of grace going forth from his mouth, because accepted, grateful, and delightful. In general, divine grace is all that which is given by the lord, and whereas all that has reference to faith and love, and faith is the affection of truth from good, therefore it is specifically meant by divine grace, for to be gifted with faith and love, or with the affection of truth from good, is to be gifted with heaven, thus with eternal blessedness. AE 22.
Mercy and grace are distinguished in the Word, and indeed according to the difference of those who receive: mercy is applied to those who are celestial, but grace to those who are spiritual; for the celestial acknowledge nothing else hut mercy, and the spiritual scarcely any thing else than grace; the celestial do not know what grace is, the spiritual scarcely know what mercy is, which they make one and the same with grace; this is a consequence of the humiliation of each, which so differs; they who are in humiliation of heart implore the lord's mercy, but they who are in humiliation of thought ask for grace, and if they implore mercy, it is in a state of temptation, or with the mouth only, not with the heart. AC 598.
Inasmuch as there are two principles to which all things of the church have reference, namely love and faith; and whereas mercy is of love, and grace and also truth is of faith, therefore in the Word mention is made of mercy and grace when the lord is implored, and of mercy and truth when the lord is described, as in the following passages, "Your mercy is before mine eyes, and I walk in your truth" Psalm 26:3; again, "Your mercy, O jehovah, is in the heavens, and your truth even to aethers," Psalm 36:6; again, "god shall send from the heavens his mercy and his truth: your mercy is great even to the heavens, and your truth even to the aethers," Psalm 57:11; again, "Mercy and truth shall meet together, justice and peace shall kiss each other," Psalm 85:11; and again, "The mercy of Jehovah I will sing for ever, to generation and generation, your truth with my mouth; since I have said, mercy shall be built for ever, in the heavens themselves you shall confirm your truth: justice and judgement are the support of your throne, mercy and truth shall stand before your face," Psalm 89:2, 3, 5; in which passages mercy denotes love, and truth denotes faith. AC 10577.
Verse 15. John bare witness of him, and cried, &c. Inasmuch as crying or shouting is an act, which corresponds to living confession or acknowledgement from a principle of faith, therefore also amongst the ancients the ritual of crying or shouting was in use, when such a thing was signified; and on this account, in the Word throughout, mention is made of crying or shouting, when the subject treated of is concerning confession and acknowledgement from a principle of faith, as it is said of John the Baptist, "That he witnessed concerning jesus, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, who coming after me, was before me, because he was prior to me; I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the lord," John 1:15, 23. AC 5323.
That the lord was from eternity, is manifestly taught in these words, "This was he, who coming after me, was before me, because he was prior to me," John 1:15. AC 3704.
Verse 18. No one has seen God at any time; the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has brought him forth to view. It is impossible for any thing of doctrine to proceed from the Divine itself, except by the Divine Human, that is, by the Word, which in the supreme sense is divine truth from the Divine Human of the lord ; what proceeds immediately from the Divine itself cannot be apprehended even by the angels of the inmost heaven; the reason is, because it is infinite, and thus transcends all comprehension, even such as is angelic; but what proceeds from the Divine Human of the lord, this they are capable of comprehending, since it treats of god as of a Divine Man, concerning whom some idea may be formed from the human; and the idea which is formed respecting the Human is accepted, whatever it may be, provided that it flows from the good of innocence, and is in the good of charity; this is what is meant by the lord's words in John, "No one has seen god at any time; the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the father, he has brought him forth to view," John 1:18; again, "You have neither heard the voice of the father at any time, nor seen his shape," John 5:37; and in Matthew, "No one knows the father but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall be willing to reveal," Matt 11:27. AC 5321.
The Infinite itself, which is above all the heavens, and above the inmost principles belonging to man, cannot be manifested except by the Divine Human [principle] which appertains to the lord alone; the communication of the Infinite with finite beings cannot be given from any other source; which also is the reason why, when jehovah appeared to the men of the most ancient church, and afterwards to the ancient church, also to Abraham and the prophets, he was manifested to them as a Man, and that this Man was the lord, he himself openly teaches in John, "Your father Abraham exulted to see my day, and he saw and rejoiced: verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am," John 8:56, 58. Hence it may be evident, that the infinite Esse, which is jehovah, cannot in any wise be manifested to man, except by the Human essence, thus by the lord ; and thus that he has been manifested to no one but to the lord alone: to the intent also that he might be present with and conjoined to man, after that man had removed himself altogether from the Divine [Being] and had immersed himself in filthy lusts, and thereby in mere corporeal and terrestrial things, he actually assumed by nativity the human essence, that thus he might still adjoin the infinite divine [principle] to man so far removed from it, who must otherwise have perished in the death of the damned to eternity. AC 1990.
The divine good cannot be received by man, not even by an angel, but only by the Divine Human of the lord, which is meant by these words in John, "No one has seen god at any time; the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the father, he has brought him forth to view." But divine truth can be received, in which truth divine good can dwell, with a difference according to reception. AC 4180.
The conjunction of man with the lord is not with his supreme Divine [principle] itself, but with his Divine Human [principle] for man can have no idea at all concerning the supreme Divine [principle] of the lord, inasmuch as it so transcends his idea, that it altogether perishes and becomes no idea; but concerning his Divine Human [principle] he can have an idea; for every one is conjoined by thought and affection, in cases where he can have an idea, but not in cases where he can have no idea; when the Human [principle] of the lord is thought of, if there be sanctity in the idea, the holy principle is also at the same time thought of, which from the lord fills heaven, thus heaven is likewise thought of, for heaven in its complex resembles one man, and this from the lord ; hence it is that conjunction cannot be given with the supreme Divine [principle] of the lord, but with his Divine Human, and by the Divine Human with his supreme Divine; this is the reason why it is said in John, That no one has seen God at any time, except the Only-begotten Son, and that no approach is given to the father but by him; also that he is the Mediator. This may be manifestly known from this consideration, that all they within the church, who say that they believe in a Supreme Being, and yet despise the lord, are they who believe nothing at all, not even that there is a heaven, nor that there is a hell, and who worship nature. AC 4211; see also AC 6887, 10067, 10267.
The lord is said to be rejected, when he is not approached and worshiped, and likewise when he is approached and worshiped only as to his Human [principle] and not at the same time as to the Divine; wherefore he is rejected at this day within the church, by those who do not approach and worship him, but pray to the father to be merciful for the sake of the Son, when yet it is impossible for any man or angel to come to the father, and worship him immediately, for he is the invisible Divine [Being] with whom no one can be conjoined by faith and love; for what is invisible does not fall into the idea of thought, and therefore neither into the affection of the will, and what does not fall into the idea of thought is no object of faith, for the objects of faith must be thought of, and likewise what does not enter into the affection of the will, does not enter the love, for the objects of love must affect the will of man, since in this principle resides all the love which man has. But the Divine Human [principle] of the lord falls into the idea of thought, and thus into faith, and thence into the affection of the will or love; hence it is evident that there is no conjunction with the father, except from the lord and in the lord, as the lord himself clearly teaches in the evangelists; thus in John, "No one has seen god at any time; the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the father, he has brought him forth to view," John 1:18; again, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father but by me," John 14:6; again, "I am the vine, you are the branches, without me you cannot do any thing," John 15:5. AE 114.
God the father cannot in any wise be approached, neither can he come to any man, because he is infinite, and in his Esse, which is jehovah, from which if he was to come to man, he would consume him, as fire does wood, and reduce him to ashes; this is evident from the consideration of his saying to Moses, who was desirous to see him, that no one can see him and live, Exod 33:20; and the lord says, that no one has seen God at any time, except the Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, John 1:18, Matt 11:27; also that no one has heard the voice of the Father, nor seen his shape, John 5:37; it is written indeed that Moses saw jehovah face to face, and spoke with him mouth to mouth, but this was done by an angel, in like manner in the case of Abraham and Gideon. Now whereas god the father in himself is of such a quality, it pleased him to assume the Human [principle], and in this to admit men, and thereby to hear them, and speak with them; and this Human [principle] is what is called the Son of god, and this it is which mediates, intercedes, propitiates, and expiates. mediation signifies that it is the intermediate, by which man can come to god the father, and god the father to man, and thus teach and lead him that he may be saved, wherefore the Son of god, by whom is meant the Human [principle] of god the father, is called saviour, and in the world jesus, that is, salvation. intercession signifies perpetual mediation, for love itself, of which is mercy, clemency and grace, perpetually intercedes, that is, mediates, for those who do his precepts, whom he loves. Expiation, or atonement, signifies the removal of sins, into which man would rush, if he approached the naked jehovah. Propitiation signifies the operation of clemency and grace, lest man by sins should bring himself into damnation; in like manner protection, lest he should profane holiness; and this was signified by the propitiatory over the ark in the tabernacle. TCR 135.
The lord our saviour is jehovah the father himself in a human form, for jehovah descended, and was made man, that he might come to man, and man to him, and thus conjunction might be effected, and by conjunction man might have salvation and eternal life; for when god was made man, and thus also man was made god, then being accommodated to man, he could come to and be conjoined to him as God-Man and Man-God. There are three things which follow in order, accommodation, application, and conjunction : accommodation must take place before application is given, and accommodation and application together must take place before conjunction is given; accommodation was on the part of god, in that he was made a man; application on the part of god is perpetual, so far as man applies himself on his part; and as this is effected, conjunction is also effected. These three things follow and proceed in their order, in all and singular the things which become one and co-exist. TCR 370.
Verses 19 to 24. And this is the record of John, &c. Concerning John the Baptist, see verse 6, Exposition.
Verse 23. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, &c. Voice in this passage denotes what is announced from the Word concerning the lord's advent, thus also it denotes the divine truth which the Word announces; wilderness denotes the state of the church at that time, which was as in a wilderness, because the Word was no longer understood. AC 9926.
By the above words is signified that the church at that time was altogether vastated, so that there was no longer any good and any truth, which evidently appears from this consideration, that at that time no one knew that man has any internal principle, nor that there is any internal principle in the Word; thus it was also unknown that the messiah or christ was to come to save them to eternity. Hence also it is evident what is signified by John being in the wildernesses, even to the days of his appearing to Israel, Luke 1:80; and by his preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Matt 3:1, and following verses; and by his baptizing in the wilderness, Mark 1:4; for thereby he also represented the state of the church. AC 2708.
Verse 27. Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. In the Word, the sole of the foot and the heel signify the ultimate natural principle, and as the shoe is what clothes the sole of the foot and the heel, therefore the shoe signifies the natural principle still more remote, thus the corporeal principle itself; hence it became a customary form of speech, by which was signified the least and the vilest of all things, for the ultimate natural corporeal principle is the vilest of all principles belonging to man; and this was meant by John the Baptist, when he said, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. AC 1748.
Verse 28. Beyond Jordan. The ground and reason why Jordan denotes initiation into the knowledges of good and truth is, because it was a boundary of the land of Canaan; that all the boundaries of that land signified those things which are first and last of the lord's kingdom, also which are first and last of the church, thus which are first and last of things celestial and spiritual, which constitute the lord's kingdom and his church, see AC 1585, 1866; hence Jordan, as being a boundary, signified initiation into the knowledges of good and truth, for these are the first things, and at length, when man is made a church or the lord's kingdom, they become the last. That Jordan has this signification, may appear also from other passages in the Word, as in David, "My god, over me my soul bows itself; therefore will I remember you from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites from the mount of Littleness," Psalm 42:6; to remember from the land of Jordan denotes from what is last, thus from what is low; again, "Judah was made into his sanctuary, Israel his dominions; the sea saw and fled, Jordan turned itself away backward," Psalm 114:2, 3, 5, where Judah denotes the good of celestial love, and Israel the good of spiritual love, see AC 3654; sea denotes the knowledges of truth, see AC 28; Jordan denotes the knowledges of good, which are said to turn themselves away backward, when the good of love obtains the dominion; for in such case knowledges are looked at from that good, but not good from them, according to what has been frequently shown above. So in the book of Judges, "Gilead dwelling in the passage of Jordan: and Dan why shall he fear ships?" 5:17; where Gilead denotes sensual good or what is pleasant, by which man is first initiated when he is regenerated, see AC 4117, 4124; to dwell in the passage of Jordan, denotes in those things which are initiaments, thus which are the first and last of the lord's church and kingdom. These things were also represented by Jordan, when the sons of Israel entered into the land of Canaan, Joshua 3:14 to the end 4:1 to the end; for by the land of Canaan was represented the lord's kingdom, see AC 1413, 1437, 1607; and by Jordan being divided, and their passing over on dry [ground] was signified the removal of evils and falses, and the admission of those who were principled in goods and truths. The like was signified by the waters of Jordan being divided by Elias, when he was taken up into heaven, 2 Kings 2:8; and by Elisha, when he entered upon the prophetic office in the place of Elias, verse 14 of the same chapter. Naaman's being healed of his leprosy by washing himself seven times in Jordan, according to the command of Elisha, 2 Kings 5:1-14, represented baptism, for baptism signifies initiation into the church, and into those things which appertain to the church; thus it signifies regeneration and the things belonging to regeneration; not that by baptism any one is regenerated, but that it is a sign thereof, which should be remembered. And inasmuch as the things belonging to the church are signified by baptism, and the like by Jordan, as was said above, therefore the people were baptized in Jordan by John, Matt 3:6; Mark 1:5; and also the lord was willing to be there himself baptized by John, Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:5. Whereas Jordan signifies those things which are first and last of the lord's kingdom and church, such are the knowledges of good and truth, for by these man is introduced, therefore also Jordan is mentioned as a boundary of the new earth, or holy land, in Ezekiel 47:18; that the new earth or holy land is the lord's kingdom, and also the new church, which is the lord's kingdom in the earths, maybe seen, AC 1733, 1850. AC 4255.
Verse 29. Behold the Lamb of God. By a Lamb is signified innocence, and inasmuch as the lord is the essential innocence, which is in his kingdom, for from him is the all of innocence, hence he is called a Lamb, as in the above passage, and also in the Apocalypse, "They shall fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome them, because he is lord of lords and King of kings," Rev 17:14; and besides in other passages in the Apocalypse, as Rev 5:6; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 14, 17; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1, 4; 19:7, 9; 21:22, 23, 26; 22:1, 3. That the paschal Lamb denotes the lord in the supreme sense, is a known thing, for the passover signified the glorification of the lord, that is, the putting on of the divine [principle] as to the Human, and in the representative sense signifies the regeneration of man; and the paschal Lamb that which is the essential of regeneration, namely innocence; for no one can be regenerated but by charity in which is innocence. AC 3994.
Inasmuch as the lord when in the world, as to his Human [principle] was innocence itself; and since the all of innocence proceeds from him, therefore he is called a Lamb, and the Lamb of God; as in Isaiah, "Send the Lamb of the ruler of the earth from the rock towards the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion," Is 16:1; again, "He has was afflicted, and was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, he is led as a Lamb to the slaughter," Is 53:7; and in the Apocalypse, "The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them," Rev 7:17. AC 10132.
Verse 29. Which takes away the sin of the world. By taking away sins the like is meant as by redeeming man, and saving him; for the lord came into the world that man might be saved, since without his coming no human being could be reformed and regenerated, thus saved; but this can be effected after that the lord has taken away all power from the devil, that is, from hell, and glorified his human [principle], that is, united it to the Divine [principle] of his father. If these things had not been done, no man could have received any Divine truth abiding with him, and still less any Divine good, for the devil, who before had superior power, would have plucked those things out of his heart. From these considerations it is evident that the lord, by the passion of the cross, did not take away sins, but that he takes them away, that is, removes them with those who believe in him, by living according to his precepts; as the lord also teaches in Matthew, "Think not that I am come to dissolve the law and the prophets. Whosoever shall break the least of these precepts, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of the heavens; but he who does and teaches the same, shall be called great in the kingdom of the heavens," Matt 5:17, 19. Every one may see from reason alone, if he be only in any illustration, that sins cannot be taken away from man, unless by actual repentance, which requires that man should see his sins, and implore the lord's help, and desist from them: to see, to believe, and teach otherwise, has no foundation in the Word, nor in sound reason, but is grounded in lust and a depraved will, which are the proprium of man, producing infatuation in the understanding. Doc. of the Lord, 17.
Verse 32. I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, &c. By a dove are signified the truths and goods of faith with the person about to be regenerated, as appears from the signification of a dove in the Word, especially from the dove which came upon jesus when he was baptized, see Matt 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10, 11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:32; where a dove signified nothing else than the holy principle of faith, baptism itself signifying regeneration; hence with the new church, which was to arise, it signified the good and truth of faith, which was to be received by regeneration from the lord. Similar things were represented and involved by the young doves or turtles, which were offered in the Jewish church for sacrifice and for burnt-offering. AC 870.
It is written, that when Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened, and John saw the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. This came to pass, because baptism signifies regeneration and purification, in like manner a dove; who cannot perceive, that the dove was not the Holy Spirit, nor that the Holy Spirit was in the dove? In heaven there frequently appear doves, and as often as they appear, the angels know that they are correspondences of the affections and consequent thoughts respecting regeneration and purification, with some standing in the neighbourhood; wherefore as soon as they approach them, and discourse with them on some other subject than what occupied their thoughts during that appearance, the doves instantly vanish: in this respect the case is similar to many other things seen by the prophets, as where John saw a Lamb on Mount Zion, Rev 14:1; who does not know, that the lord was not that Lamb, neither in the Lamb, but that the Lamb was a representation of his innocence; hence is discoverable the error of those, who from the dove which was seen over the lord when he was baptized, and from the voice heard out of heaven on the occasion, This is my beloved Son, deduce the three persons of the Trinity. TCR 144. See also TCR 164 of the same work.
Verse 33. The same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. John said that he baptizeth with water, but that the Lord baptizeth with the Holy Spirit and with fire, Luke 3:16; John 1:33; by which is meant, that John only inaugurated them into knowledges from the Word concerning the lord, and thereby prepared them to receive him, but that the lord himself regenerates man by the divine truth and divine good proceeding from himself; for John represented the same thing as Elias, namely the Word; the waters with which John baptized signified introductory truths, which are knowledges concerning the lord derived from the Word; the Holy Spirit signifies divine truth proceeding from the lord, and fire signifies divine good proceeding from him, and baptism signifies regeneration by divine truths out of the Word from the lord. The reason why washings were instituted in the ancient churches, and afterwards baptism in their place, which yet were only representative and significative ceremonies, was, that heaven might be conjoined with the human race, and specifically with the man of the church; for heaven is then conjoined to man, when man is in ultimates, that is, in such things as are in the world as to his natural man, and in such things as are in heaven as to his spiritual man; otherwise conjunction cannot be given; it was for this reason that baptism was instituted, and likewise the holy supper; but he who believes that baptism contributes any thing to the salvation of man, unless he be at the same time in the truths of the church, and in a life according to them, is much deceived; for baptism is an external thing, which, without an internal principle, contributes nothing to salvation, but does contribute where what is external is conjoined to what is internal; the internal of baptism is, that by truths from the Word, and by a life according to them, falses and evils may be removed by the lord, and thus man may be regenerated. AE 475.
From what has been said above, it is evident what was designed by baptism in Jordan by John; and what by these words of John concerning the lord, that he baptizeth with the Holy Spirit and with fire, Luke 3:16; John 1:33; and concerning himself, that he baptizeth with water, John 1:26, namely that the lord washes or purifies man by divine truth and divine good, and that John by his baptism represented those principles; for the Holy Spirit is divine truth, fire is divine good, and water is the representative of them; for water signifies the truth of the Word, which becomes good by a life according to it. AR 378. See also AC 9229.
Verse 36. Behold the Lamb of God. It is believed in the world that the lord is called a lamb from this circumstance, that the continual burnt-offering, or what was offered every day, evening and morning, was from lambs, and especially on the days of the Passover, when a lamb was also eaten, and that the lord suffered himself to be crucified. But this reason of his being so called, is for those in the world, who do not think beyond the sense of the letter of the Word; nevertheless in heaven no such thing is perceived, when a lamb is predicated of the lord, but when the lamb is named or read in the Word, then the angels being all of them in the infernal or spiritual sense of the Word, perceive the good of innocence, and when the lord is thus called, they perceive his Divine Human [principle] and at the same time the good of innocence which is from him. I know that this will with difficulty be believed, but nevertheless it is the truth. That lamb in the Word signifies the good of innocence, and when predicated of the lord, signifies his Divine Human [principle] may appear from the following passages: as in Isaiah, "Behold the lord jehovih, comes in might, as a shepherd he shall feed his flock, he shall gather the lambs into his arm, he shall carry them in his bosom, he shall gently lead those that suck," Is 40:11; treating concerning the advent of the lord ; by the flock which he shall feed as a shepherd, are signified those who are in the good of charity; and by the lambs whom he shall gather into his arm, are signified those who are in love to him, which love viewed in itself is innocence, and therefore all who are principled in it are in the heaven of innocence, which is the third heaven; and inasmuch as that love is signified by lambs, it is therefore also said, he gently leads them that suck; by sucklings and infants in the Word are understood those who are in innocence, as may be seen in the work concerning heaven and hell, HH 277, 280. AE 314.
Verse 41. We have found the Messias, &c. It is said that the kingdoms of the world should become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, Rev 11:15; and by the Lord is there meant the same as by jehovah in the Old Testament, and by father in the New; namely, the lord as to the Divine itself, and likewise as to divine good; and by Christ is meant the same as by god in the Old Testament, and by the Son of god in the New, namely the lord as to the Divine Human, and likewise as to divine truth; for by Christ the like is signified as by Anointed, Messiah, and King; and by Anointed, Messiah, and King, is meant the lord as to divine truth, and likewise as to the Divine Human when he was in the world, for at that time the lord, as to his Human, was divine truth; the like therefore is signified by the Anointed of jehovah, for the Divine itself, which is called jehovah and the father, and in its essence was the divine good of the divine love, anointed the Divine Human, which is called the Son of god, and which in its essence, whilst it was in the world, was divine truth; for anointing signified that the Divine Human of the lord proceeded from his Divine itself, consequently divine truth from his divine good: hence it is evident that the lord alone, as to the Divine Human, was essentially the anointed of jehovah, and that kings and priests were called the anointed of jehovah representatively, for the oil, by which anointing was effected, signified the divine good of the divine love. Now whereas divine truth belonging to the lord was what was anointed by divine good, it hence follows that by Christ, and in like manner by Messiah and Anointed, and likewise by King, is signified the divine truth proceeding from the divine good of the divine love of the lord. That christ is the Messiah or Anointed, is manifest from John, "Andrew found his brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ," John 1:42; and again, "The woman of Samaria said, I know that Messiah comes, who is called Christ," John 4:25; from which passages it is evident, that the lord was called Christ from this circumstance, that he was the Messiah, whose coming was predicted in the Word of the Old Testament, for Anointed is called Christ in the Greek tongue, and Messiah in the Hebrew, and Anointed denotes King: hence it is that the lord was called the King of Israel and King of the Jews, which he also confessed before Pilate, whence it was inscribed on the cross, King of the Jews. AE 684. See also AC 3007, 3008, 3009, 3010, 9954.
Verse 42. You are Simon, the son of Jona; you shall be called Cephas, &c. Cephas signifies a rock in the Syriac language, wherefore also Peter in that text is every where called Cephas; and likewise Cephas denotes a rock in the Hebrew tongue, as is evident in Jeremiah 4:29; and in Job 30:6; where rocks are mentioned in the plural, but Peter [Petrus] is not named rock [petrd] in the Greek and Latin tongue, because the name of a person was given him. The reason why the lord said, Simon, son of Jona, and then that he should be called rock [petra] is, because Simon, son of Jona, signifies truth derived from good or faith derived from charity; and since truth derived from good, or faith from charity, is not given except with those who are in divine truth from the lord, therefore he is called a rock [petra] not himself as to person, but the divine truth belonging to him from the lord ; that a dove which is signified by Jona, signifies spiritual good, may be seen in the arcana coelestia, AC 970, 1826, 1827; hence by Simon, son of Jona, is signified the truth of good, or truth from good. AE 411.
Verse 47. Behold truly an Israelite in whom is no guile, By an Israelite is signified one who is in the good of charity, and who from that good is in truths, thus who is in truths from good; and by having no guile is signified one who holds in aversion the thinking and persuading what is false from purpose, and thus from intention of the will to deceive and seduce. See further what is written in the Arcana Coelestia concerning guile or deceit, namely that guile destroys the all of spiritual and interior life belonging to man, AC 9013. That guile, fraud, simulation, were accounted enormous by the ancients, AC 3573. That the deceitful when viewed by the angels appear as serpents and vipers, AC 1433. That they are also meant by serpents and vipers in the Word, AC 9013. That poison in the Word signifies deceit, AC 9013. Concerning the punishments of those who have ensnared others and deceived them by deceit, AC 831, 957, 958, 959, 960, 1273. Concerning their hells, AC 830, 831, 947, 4951. AE 866.
Verse 51. Hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. By the angels of God ascending and descending is signified infinite and eternal communication, and thence conjunction, and that from the lowest principles there is, as it were, ascent, and afterwards, when the order is inverted, descent, appears from the signification of angels, as denoting somewhat divine of the lord, which is understood by them when they are named in the Word, in this case as denoting divine truth, which appears from this consideration, that they are called angels of God, for the term God is applied when in the internal sense truth is treated of, but the term jehovah when good is treated of: that by ascending and descending is signified in the supreme sense infinite and eternal communication, and thence conjunction, may appear without further explication. But how the case is with ascent and descent, may appear from what was said and shown above, AC 3539, 3548, 3556. But whereas this order, which is that of the regeneration of man, and is here described in the internal sense, is altogether unknown in the church, therefore it is allowed further to illustrate it as to its quality. It is a known thing that man is born into the nature of his parents, and his grandfathers, and likewise great-grandfathers from remote ages, thus into the hereditary evil of them all successively accumulated, insomuch that of himself he is nothing but evil; the consequence is, that both as to understanding and as to will he is altogether destroyed, and of himself wills nothing of good, and hence understands nothing of truth, consequently that what he calls good, yea, believes to be good, is evil, and that what he calls truth, yea, believes to be truth, is false; as for example, to love himself above others, to will better for himself than for others, to desire another's property, and live to himself alone, and not to others except for the sake of himself; these things he calls good, and likewise true, because of himself he desires them; and further, if any one injures him, or attempts to injure him, as to those goods and truths, as he calls them, he hates him, and also seeks revenge, and desires his destruction, and likewise attempts it, and in so doing perceives delight, and this in proportion as he actually confirms himself in those things, that is, the more frequently he brings them into act. Such a person, when he comes into the other life, is instigated by similar desire, inasmuch as the nature, which by actual life he has contracted in the world, remains, and that principle of delight itself is manifestly perceived; wherefore he cannot dwell in any heavenly society, in which every one is inclined to favour others more than himself, but in some infernal society, which is principled in similar delight: this nature is what ought to be extirpated during man's life in the world, which can only be effected by regeneration from the lord, that is, by receiving altogether another will and another understanding thence derived, that is, by becoming new as to both those faculties. But for this purpose, he ought first of all to be re-born as an infant, and to learn what is evil and false, and also what is good and true; for without science or knowledge he cannot be imbued with any good, since of himself he acknowledges nothing else to be good but evil, and nothing to be true but what is false; with this view such knowledges are insinuated into him, as are not altogether contrary to those which he before had, as that all love begins from himself, that he must first consult his own good, and afterwards that of others, that he must do good to such as appear poor and miserable in an external form, whatever be their quality within, in like manner to widows and orphans, because they are so named, and lastly to enemies in general, whoever they are, and that thus he may merit heaven; these and similar knowledges are of the infancy of his new life, and are such as partake in some respects of the former life, or of the nature of the former life, deriving also something from the new life, into which he is thus introduced, and hence they are such as to admit into them the things which conduce to form the new will and the new understanding.
These are the lowest goods and truths, from which they who are regenerating commence, and as these goods and truths admit into them interior goods and truths, or those nearer to divine truths, by them also the falses may likewise be extirpated, which they had before believed to be true. But they who are regenerating do not learn such things merely as sciences, but as life, for they do those truths; but the principle from which they do them is that of the new will, which the lord insinuates whilst they are entirely ignorant of it, and in proportion as they receive from that new will, in the same proportion also they receive from those knowledges, and bring them into act, and believe; but in proportion as they do not receive from the new will, in the same proportion they can indeed learn such things, but not bring them into act, because they study only science, and not lite. This state is the state of infancy and childhood as to new life, which is about to succeed in the place of the former life; but the state of the adolescence and youth of that life is, that they have not respect to any person, such as he appears in the external form, but such as he is as to good, first in civil life, next in moral life, and at length in spiritual life, and good is what man, in such case, begins to set in the first place, and to love, and from good the person; and at length, when he is still more perfected, he studies to do good to those who are in good, and this according to the quality of good belonging to them, and at length he perceives delight in doing them good, because delight in good, and also pleasantness in those things which confirm, acknowledges the things which confirm to be truths, and they are likewise the truths of his new understanding, which flow from the goods which are of his new will. In a similar degree in which he perceives delight in that good and pleasantness in those truths, he also feels what is undelightful in the evils of his former life, and what is unpleasant in its falses; hence now the things which are of the former will, and the things which are of the former understanding, are separated from those which are of the new understanding, and this not according to the affection of knowing those things, but according to the affection of doing them: consequently he then sees that the truths of his infancy were respectively inverted, and that the same are by degrees reduced into another order, namely, rendered subordinate to each other, so that those which at first were in the prior place, are now in the posterior place; thus that by those truths, which were of his infancy and childhood, the angels of God ascended as by a ladder from earth to heaven, but afterwards, by the truths which are of his adult age, the angels of God descend as by a ladder from heaven to earth. AC 3701.
translator's notes and observations.
Verse 13. Who were born not of bloods, &c. What is here rendered bloods, in the plural number, is rendered blood, in the singular, in the common translation of the New Testament; hut it is to be noted, that in the original Greek it is expressed in the plural, and the reason why it is so expressed is thus given in the arcana coelestia, " They are called bloods in the plural number, because all unjust and abominable things flow from hatred, as all good and holy things flow from love." AC 374.
Verse 16. And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace. The term fullness, in this passage, appears to have more respect to the divine love, and the term grace to the divine wisdom, thus both terms united seem intended to express the divine and heavenly marriage, which is so frequently marked in the letter of the holy word. Commentators are not agreed about the true meaning of the peculiar expression grace for grace, which may either signify, 1st, that grace is given according to man's use of it; or 2dly, that the grace operated in man is in correspondence with its original in the divine being ; or 3dly, (which is the most probable) that the grace imparted under the gospel dispensation is the antitype of what was given under the Mosaic dispensation; and therefore it follows in the next verse, for the law was given by Moses, grace and truth was by jesus christ,
Verse 18. The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has brought him forth [to view.] What is here rendered has brought him forth is expressed, in the common version of the New Testament, by has declared him; but the original term is exegesato, from the verb exegeomai, which properly signifies to expound, or make manifest.JOHN 1 Other translations - next - meaning - John - BM Home - Full Page