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Athanasian Creed

Emanuel Swedenborg


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That that revelation is the coming of the Lord, and that it is in consequence of this that the arcana concerning heaven and hell, concerning man's life after death, concerning the Word, concerning the Last Judgment, have been opened by the Lord - this is the doctrine of the church.

This book has 60 pages in the PDF version. This translation by Samuel H. Worcester was originally published in 1855.

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Excerpt from 'Athanasian Creed'


1.

Preface (Here introduce what the Lord spoke in Matthew, concerning the last time of a church; the words themselves, and their explanation as given in Heaven and Hell, n. 1.)

2.

That that [revelation] is the coming of the Lord, and that it is in consequence of this that the arcana concerning heaven and hell, concerning man's life after death, concerning the Word, concerning the Last Judgment, have been opened by the Lord - this is the doctrine of the church. All these things have been written out in the Latin language, and they have been sent to all the archbishops and bishops of this kingdom [Great Britain], and to some of the nobility; and still not a word has been heard - a sign that they do not interiorly care for the things of heaven and of the church, and that it is now the very end of the church, and indeed that the church is not; for the church is where the Lord is worshiped, and the Word is read with enlightenment, and there are yearly examinations from the assembly. (Summaries of the truth as presented in the little works just referred to, may be seen at the end of this work.)

3.

[ARGUMENTS WHICH ARE TO BE EXPANDED] Because there is one Divine, it is the same Divine (let this be confirmed from the Word); thus not equal to, but the same as the Father.

4.

Who cannot see that there are mere contradictions there, and that are under examination therefrom, and that these are many? Thus that things are to be believed which can never be seen by faith, and comprehended. But they are to some extent excusable, because they are from the sense of the letter of the Word, and the spiritual sense was not yet known, nor did they know that there is a spiritual sense. The spiritual sense has therefore been disclosed, through which it may now be known why the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are named; and that it is because "the Father" signifies the Divine Itself, "the Son" the Divine Human, and "the Holy Spirit" the proceeding Divine.

5.

One who believes in three can in no wise be saved, but they are saved who believe in one God. (Let this be taken from Athanasius.) Why there is not salvation.

6.

If one thinks of the Divine of the Lord in His Human, and not of another Divine which they call the Father, the idea of the thought, and thence the faith, does not fall to the left of the Lord, and thus outside of the Lord, but in the Lord; and with the idea is the perception that no one cometh to the Father except through Him, thus through His Divine Human. Examine yourselves, ye who think of three Persons; do they not think of another Divine than that of the Lord Himself, and thus outside of that when the Father is named?

7.

THE CREED OF ATHANASIUS (First let it be presented in full.)

8.

They saw there that God is one, although they assumed three Persons for their principle. (Show this by quotation, and how cautiously they worked.)

9.

They saw that soul and body are one. (Show this by quotation, etc.)

10.

They saw that His Divine, and not another Divine, assumed the Human.

11.

They made tHis Divine to be altogether the same with the two other Divines.

12.

That they so wrote was of the Lord's Divine Providence, lest they should altogether wander away as to the Lord, and thus no one would be saved.

13.

They made a distinction among the Persons; this was not from the Word; that they made a distinction among three, was from certain passages of the Word, from the sense of its letter not understood; they did not know that in the particular expressions of the Word there is a spiritual sense.

14.

There is therefore a Trinity, or trine, or triunity, in the Lord - the Divine Itself, which is called the Father, the Divine Human which is called the Son, and the proceeding Divine which is called the Holy Spirit.

15.

That they distinguished between the Divine nature and the Human nature was thus because they were in an obscure idea from the sense of the letter of the Word.

16.

The cause of the Lord's saying, "If there be faith, it shall be done," and this in several places, was, that there might first be implanted in their minds that the Lord is God and is omnipotent; because this is the fundamental of all things of the doctrine of the church. Knowledge precedes with everyone; but still this does not become faith before he lives the life of faith, which is charity; what is before this, belongs to knowledge; for the Lord makes faith from the knowledges with man.

17.

The hells were subjugated by the Lord (Luke 10:20).

18.

Father and Son is the Lord alone. He is so called for the reason that He was in the world in the state of union. In the Old Testament also He is called Jehovah and the Holy One of Israel; here are two names, but nevertheless one, namely, the Lord. He is called Jehovah God, he is called Lord, he is called Jehovah and God, also Jehovah and Lord, and also Jehovah Zebaoth. (Let the passages be quoted in which he is called "Jehovah" and "the Holy One of Israel," and in which he is called "Jehovah" and "God.")

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