The Doctrine of the Athanasian Creed agrees with the truth,
L 55. The recognition by Christians of three Divine Persons, and thus as it were of three Gods, has arisen from there being in the Lord a Trine, one of which is called the Father, the second the Son, and the third the Holy Spirit. This Trine is also referred to in the Word under distinct names just as we refer by distinct names to soul, to body, and to that which proceeds from them, which, however, taken together, form a one. In the sense of the letter the Word is of such a nature that things which form a one it distinguishes from each other as if they did not form a one. This is why Jehovah (who is the Lord from eternity) is sometimes called "Jehovah," sometimes "Jehovah of Armies," sometimes " God," sometimes "the Lord;" and at the same time He is called "Creator," "Saviour," "Redeemer," and "Former," and even " Shaddai;" and His Human which He assumed in this world, "Jesus," "Christ," "Messiah," "Son of God," "Son of man;" and, in the Word of the Old Testament, "God," "Holy One of Israel," "Jehovah’s Anointed," "King," "Prince," "Counselor," "Angel," "David."
 In consequence of this feature of the Word in the sense of the letter (that it speaks of as many those who really form a one) Christians, who at first were simple folk, and understood everything in accordance with the literal import of the words discriminated the Divinity into three Persons. On account of their simplicity this was permitted, but in such a manner that they should believe the Son to be Infinite, Uncreate, Almighty, God, and Lord, altogether equal to the Father; and that they should also believe that these are not two, or three; but one in essence, majesty, and glory, and therefore in Divinity.
 They who believe this in simplicity in accordance with doctrine, and do not confirm themselves in the idea of three Gods, but of the three make a one, after death are taught by the Lord by means of angels that He Himself is that one God, and that Trine. And this teaching is received by all who come into heaven for no one can be admitted into heaven who thinks of three Gods, however much he may say One; for the life of the whole heaven, and the wisdom of all the angels, are founded upon the acknowledgment and consequent confession of one God, and upon the faith that this one God is also Man, and that He is the Lord, who is at once both God and Man.
 From all this it is evident that it was of Divine permission that Christians at first received the doctrine of three Persons, provided that they at the same time received the idea that the Lord is God, Infinite, Almighty, and Jehovah. For unless they had received this too, it would have been all over with the church, because the church is the church from the Lord; and the eternal life of all is from the Lord, and from no other.
 That the church is the church from the Lord is evident from this alone, that the whole Word from beginning to end treats solely of the Lord, as was shown above; and that we must believe in Him, and that they who do not believe in Him have not eternal life, but that the anger of God abideth on them (John 3:36).
 Now as everyone sees in himself that if God is one, He is one in both Person and Essence (for no one thinks differently, or can think differently, while thinking that God is one), I will here cite the whole of the Creed which takes its name from Athanasius, and will afterwards show that all things said therein are true, provided that instead of a trinity of Persons there is understood a trinity of Person.
L 56. The Creed is as follows:--Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic (other authorities say, Christian) Faith; which faith, except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic (others say, Christian) Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance (others say, essence). For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit; but the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate. The Father incomprehensible (infinitus), the Son incomprehensible (infinitus), and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible (infinitus). The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal: and yet there are not three eternals, but One Eternal: as also there are not three incomprehensibles (infiniti), nor three uncreates but one uncreate, and one incomprehensible (infinitus). So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty and yet there are not three Almighties, but One Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God and yet there are not three gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three lords, but One Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say there be three gods or three lords (others say, still we cannot, according to the Christian faith, mention three gods or three lords). The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten (natus): the Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten (natus): the Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten (natus), but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another none is greater or less than another; but the whole three persons are coeternal together, and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped (others say, three persons in one Godhead, and one God in three persons, is to be worshiped). He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ (others say, that he firmly believes that our Lord is very Man). For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the substance (or essence; others, nature) of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance (others say, nature) of his mother, born in the world; perfect God, and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh (corpore) subsisting; equal to the Father as touching his Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood. Who although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh (corpus) but by taking of the manhood into God (others say, He is one, yet not that the Godhead was transmuted into manhood, but the Godhead took up the Manhood to itself); one altogether, not by confusion (others say, commingling) of substance, but by unity of person (others say, He is altogether One, not that the two natures are commixed, but he is one person). For as the reasonable soul and flesh (corpus) is one man, so God and man is one Christ, Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
L 57. That all things of the Creed are true in so far as its verbal expressions are concerned, provided that instead of a Trinity of Persons there is understood a Trinity of Person, will be seen if we transcribe it again, with this latter trinity substituted in it. A Trinity of Person is this: THAT THE LORD‘S DIVINE IS THE FATHER, THE DIVINE HUMAN THE SON, AND THE PROCEEDING DIVINE THE HOLY SPIRIT. When this trinity is understood, the man can both think of and say One God; but who fails to see that otherwise he cannot but think of three Gods? Athanasius himself saw this, and this is why there were inserted these words:--As we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion (or, by the Christian faith) to say (or name) three gods or three lords. This amounts to saying, Although it is allowable, by the Christian verity, to acknowledge, or think of, three Gods and Lords, yet it is not allowable, by the Christian faith, to say or name more than one God and one Lord. And yet it is acknowledgment and thought which conjoin man with the Lord and heaven, and not mere speech. Besides, no one can comprehend how the Divine, which is one, can be divided into three Persons, each of whom is God, for the Divine is not divisible. And to make the three one through the essence or substance does not take away the idea of three Gods, but merely conveys an idea of their unanimity.
L 58. That in so far as its verbal expressions are concerned, all things of this Creed are true, provided that instead of a Trinity of Persons there is understood a Trinity of Person, is evident from the same when rewritten in this form:--Whosoever will be saved, it is necessary that he hold this Christian Faith; and the Christian Faith is, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, not confounding the Trine of Person, nor dividing the Essence. The Trine of one Person is what is called the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one and the same, the glory and majesty equal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father is uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate. The Father is infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite. And yet there are not three infinites, nor three uncreates, but one Uncreate, and one Infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty; and yet there are not three almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; and yet there are not three gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord; and yet there are not three lords, but one Lord. For as by the Christian verity we acknowledge a trine in one Person, who is God and Lord, so by the Christian faith we can say one God and one Lord. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor born the Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but born the Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, not made, nor created, nor born, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is greatest or least, but they are altogether equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped.
L 59. So far in the Creed as to the Trinity and Unity of God. The Creed then treats of the Lord’s assumption of the Human in the world, called the Incarnation. Everything said in the Creed on this point also is true, provided we make a clear distinction between the human from the mother in which the Lord was when in a state of humiliation or emptying out (exinanitio) (Isa. 53:12), as when He suffered temptations and the cross; and the Human from the Father, in which He Has when in a state of glorification or unition. For in the world the Lord assumed a Human conceived of Jehovah (who is the Lord from eternity), and born of the virgin Mary; so that He had both a Divine and a human, a Divine from His Divine from eternity, and a human from the mother Mary in time; but this latter human He put off, and put on a Human that was Divine. This Human is what is called the Divine Human, and is meant in the Word by the "Son of God." When therefore the things first said in the Creed about the Incarnation are understood of the maternal human (in which the Lord was when in a state of humiliation), and the things that follow, of the Divine Human (in which He was when in a state of glorification), all things there are in agreement. With the maternal human (in which the Lord was when in a state of humiliation) agree the following statements, that come first in the Creed:--That Jesus Christ was God and Man, God of the Substance of the Father, and Man of the substance of the mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect Man, of a rational soul and human body consisting; equal to the Father as touching the Godhead, but inferior to the Father as touching the manhood. That this manhood was not converted into the Godhead, nor commixed therewith; it being put off, and the Divine Human assumed in its place. With the Divine Human (in which He was when in a state of glorification, and is now to eternity) agree the following words in the Creed:--Although our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ yea, he is altogether one, for he is one person for as the reasonable soul and body are one man, so God and Man are one Christ.
L 60. That in the Lord, God and Man (as is said in the Creed) are not two, but one Person, yea, altogether one, as soul and body are one, is clear from many things said by the Lord Himself, as that the Father and He are one; that all things of the Father are His, and all His the Father‘s; that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him; that all things are given into His hand; that He has all power; that He is the God of heaven and earth; that whosoever believes in Him has eternal life; and further from its being said of Him that He was taken up into heaven as to both the Divine and the Human, and that, with respect to both, He sits on the right hand of God, which means that He is Almighty: not to repeat many passages of the Word treating of His Divine Human which are copiously quoted above, and all of which bear witness that GOD IS ONE IN BOTH PERSON AND ESSENCE; THAT THE TRINITY IS IN HIM; AND THAT THIS GOD IS THE LORD.
L 61. The reason why these truths relative to the Lord are now for the first time made publicly known, is that it has been foretold in the Revelation (21 and 22) that a New Church, in which this doctrine will hold the chief place, is to be instituted by the Lord at the end of the former church. It is this Church which is meant by the "New Jerusalem," and no one can come into it who does not acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth. This I can declare--that the universal heaven acknowledges the Lord alone; and that no one who does not acknowledge Him is admitted into heaven; for heaven is heaven from the Lord. It is precisely this acknowledgment from love and faith which causes all there to be in the Lord and the Lord in them, as the Lord Himself teaches in John:--
In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (John 14:20).
Abide in Me, and I in you. I am the vine, ye are the branches he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing; if anyone abide not in Me, he is cast forth (John 15:4-6; 17:22, 23).
The reason why this has not been previously seen from the Word, is that if it had been previously seen it would not have been received, because the Last Judgment had not been effected. Before that event the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and as man is in the midst between the two, it is evident that the devil (which is hell) would have plucked it out of men’s hearts, and would also have profaned it. But this state of power on the part of hell was completely broken by the Last Judgment, which has now been executed. Since that Judgment--thus now--every man who craves to be enlightened and wise can be so. On this subject see the work on Heaven and Hell, (HH n. 589-596, 597-603) and also that on the Last Judgment, (LJ n. 65-72, 73, 74).