Spiritual Meaning of

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 Grace, Mercy

The signification of showing grace, is to endow with spiritual truth and good, and the signification of showing mercy, is to endow with celestial truth and good, or in Exod 33:19, to reveal it. That it signifies with those who receive, is because the internal things of the Word, of the church, and of worship are revealed to none but those who receive.

[2] That to show grace denotes to endow with spiritual truth and good, and to show mercy to endow with celestial truth and good, is because grace is predicated of faith, and mercy of love; and the good of faith is spiritual good, and the good of love is celestial good. (What spiritual good is and what celestial good is, and what the difference, may be seen in the places cited in (AC 9277); and that those who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom speak of grace; and those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom speak of mercy, (AC 598, 981, 5929). Unless there were such a difference between grace and mercy, it would not have been said, show grace and show mercy. From this it is that Jehovah is called gracious and merciful in (Exodus 34:6; Joel 2:13; Psalms 103:8; 145:8); and in Isaiah:--

Therefore will Jehovah wait to show grace unto you, and therefore will He exalt Himself to have mercy upon you (Isa. 30:18).

[3] As there are two things to which all things of the church bear relation, namely, love and faith; and as mercy belongs to love; and grace, and also truth, belong to faith, therefore in the Word it is said mercy and grace when the Lord is implored, and it is said mercy and truth when the Lord is described, as in the following passages:--

Thy mercy is before mine eyes, and I walk in Thy truth (Ps. 26:3).

Thy mercy, O Jehovah, is in the heavens; and Thy truth is unto the skies (Ps. 36:5).

God shall send from the heavens His mercy and His truth. Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the skies (Ps. 57:3, 10).

Mercy and truth shall meet together; righteousness and peace shall kiss (Ps. 85:10).

I will sing of the mercy of Jehovah forever; Thy truth with my mouth to generation and generation; because I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever; Thy truth shalt Thou confirm in the very heavens; righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne; mercy and truth shall stand before Thy faces (Ps. 89:1, 2, 14).

In these passages mercy denotes love; and truth denotes faith.

from AC 10577

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info