The Divine Trinity
By way of introduction, let me mention Swedenborg's basic thesis on the Trinity which is, that it is psychologically impossible to think of "3 Divine Persons" making up one God or one Godhead. Instead, the mind is forced into a rational impossibility with the result that one either thinks of Three Gods or of no God. Either way, this would be a disaster. Swedenborg makes his case on a strictly rational basis and shows how the Scriptures actually reveal the meaning of the Divine Trinity as Three Aspects of One God, not Three Persons in one Godhead. If indeed this is what
Scripture teaches, we ought to take heed. Examine the rationale Swedenborg puts forth and decide for yourself. Swedenborg was against mystery because mystery leads to blind faith, not rational enlightened faith, what I call Theistic Science. Rational faith, or theistic science, is universal and non-denominational.
A note for those unfamiliar with Swedenborg: When we pass on, we enter the spiritual world where we're called "spirits." After that we pass further into either Heaven where we're called Angels, or else into Hell, where we're called various names (devils, satans, genii, sirens) depending on one's character or mentality, as brought with us from life in the body. Swedenborg was given by God to visit the spiritual world, heaven, and hell, and interview the people there. You can see why he was called by some people "psychotic" and by others mystical. However, in my opinion, after many years of study, Swedenborg did indeed have those experiences. And my conclusion is not based on belief, faith, blindness, prejudice, lack of scientific mentality, etc. I am a practicing scientist (see my publications here). So you're facing a puzzle, aren't you??
Well, I invite you to explore the Swedenborg Glossary and see for yourself. That's the best I can do. Imagine: if I'm right, in the sense that you yourself can corroborate it and come to see it, what a magnificent treasure you then came upon, possibly the biggest of your life, ever!!!!!!!
Quotations on this subject from Emanuel Swedenborg's True Christian Religion
0. THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION Containing
THE UNIVERSAL THEOLOGY Of THE NEW CHURCH
FORETOLD BY THE LORD IN DANIEL 7:13, 14; AND IN REVELATION 21:1, 2
Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ
Daniel 7:13, 14 I was seeing in the night vision; and behold there was coming with the clouds of the heavens, one like unto the Son of man. And unto Him was given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; and all people, nations, and tongues shall worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not perish.
Revelation 21:1, 2, 5, 9, 10 I John saw a new heaven and a new earth. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, descending from God out of Heaven made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And an angel spake with me, saying, Come, I will show thee the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit upon a mountain great and high, and showed me a great city, the holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
He who sitteth upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.TCR 1. THE FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND OF THE NEW CHURCH
This faith is first set forth in a universal and in a particular form, that it may serve as a preface set before the work that follows, also as a gate giving entrance to a temple, and as a summary, containing in their own mode the particulars that succeed. It is called the faith of the New Heaven and of the New Church because heaven which is the abode of angels, and the church which is made up of men, act as a one, like the internal and the external man; consequently the man of the church who is in the good of love from the truths of faith and in the truths of faith from the good of love, is, in respect to the interiors of his mind, an angel of heaven; and being such he after death enters heaven and there enjoys happiness in proportion to the state of conjunction of his love and faith. Let it be known that in the New Heaven, which the Lord is now establishing, this faith is its preface, gate, and summary.TCR 2. THE FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND OF THE NEW CHURCH IN ITS UNIVERSAL FORM is as follows:
The Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to subjugate the hells and to glorify His Human; and without this no mortal could have been saved; and those are saved who believe in Him.
 This is called the faith in its universal form, because this is the universal principle of faith; and the universal principle of faith must be in each thing and in all things of it. It is a universal principle of faith that God is one in essence and in person, in whom is a Divine trinity, and that He is the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ. It is a universal principle of faith that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world. It is a universal principle of faith that He came into the world to remove hell from man, and that He did remove it by means of contests with it and victories over it, and thereby He subdued it and reduced it to order and made it obedient to Himself. It is a universal principle of faith that He came into the world to glorify His Human which He took on in the world, that is, to unite it with the Divine from which [are all things], and thereby He eternally holds hell in order and under obedience to Himself. As this could be accomplished only by means of temptations admitted into His Human, even to the last of them, which was the passion of the cross, He endured even that. These are the universal principles of faith relating to the Lord.
 The universal principle of faith on man's part is that he should believe in the Lord; for by believing in Him there is conjunction with Him and thereby salvation. To believe in the Lord is to have confidence that He saves; and as only those who live rightly can have this confidence, this, too, is meant by believing in Him And this the Lord teaches in John:
This is the Father's will, that everyone that believeth in the Son may have eternal life (John 6:40);
He that believeth in the Son hath eternal life; but he that believeth not in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
3. THE FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND OF THE NEW CHURCH IN A PARTICULAR FORM is as follows:
Jehovah God is love itself and wisdom itself, or is good itself and truth itself; and in respect to Divine truth, which is the Word, and which was God with God, He came down and took on the Human for the purpose of reducing to order all things that were in heaven, and all things in hell, and all things in the church; because at that time the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and upon the earth the power of evil over the power of good, and in consequence a total damnation stood threatening at the door. This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by means of His Human, which was Divine truth, and thus He redeemed angels and men, and thereupon He united, in His Human, Divine truth with Divine good or Divine wisdom with Divine love; and so, with and in His glorified Human, He returned into His Divine in which He was from eternity. All this is meant by these words in John:
The Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh (1:1, 14);
and in the same:
I came out from the Father and am come into the world; again I leave the world and go unto the Father (16:28);
and also by these words:
We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us understanding that we may know the True; and we are in the True, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and life eternal (1 John 5:20).
From these words it is clear that without the Lord's coming into the world no one could have been saved. It is the same today; and therefore without the Lord's coming again into the world in Divine truth, which is the Word, no one can be saved.
 THE PARTICULARS OF FAITH ON MAN'S PART are:
(1) God is one, in whom is a Divine trinity, and the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ is that one.
(2) Saving faith is to believe in Him.
(3) Evils should not be done, because they are of the devil and from the devil.
(4) Goods should be done, because they are of God and from God.
(5) These should be done by man as if by himself; but it should be believed that they are done by the Lord in man and through man.
The first two are matters of faith, the next two of charity, and the fifth of the conjunction of charity and faith, thus of the conjunction of the Lord and man.TCR 4. CHAPTER 1. GOD THE CREATOR.
Since the Lord's time the Christian Church has passed through the several stages from infancy to extreme old age. Its infancy was in the lifetime of the apostles, when they preached throughout the world repentance and faith in the Lord God the Savior. That this is what they preached is evident from these words in the Acts of the Apostles:
Paul testified, both to the Jews and to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
It is a noteworthy fact that some months ago the Lord called together His twelve disciples, now angels, and sent them forth throughout the spiritual world, with the command to preach the gospel there anew, since the church that was established by the Lord through them has at this day become so far consummated that scarcely a remnant of it survives; and this has come to pass, because the Divine trinity has been divided into three persons, each one of whom is God and Lord.
 Because of this a sort of frenzy has invaded not only all theology, but also the church that from the Lord's name is called- Christian. It is called a frenzy because men's minds have been made so demented by it as not to know whether there is one God or three. On the lips there is one God; but in the thought of the mind there are three; consequently the mind and lips, that is, the thought and speech, are at variance; and the result of this variance is that there is no God at all. The naturalism that prevails at this day is from no other source. Consider, if you will, with the lips speaking of one and the mind thinking of three, whether one of these statements does not, when they meet within, cancel the other. Consequently when a man thinks about God, if he thinks at all it is nothing more than thought from the mere name God, unaccompanied by any sense of the meaning of the name that involves any knowledge of God.
 The idea of God, with all conception of Him, having been thus rent asunder, it is my purpose to treat, in their order, of God the Creator, of the Lord the Redeemer, and of the Holy Spirit the Operator, and lastly of the Divine trinity, to the end that what has been rent asunder may be again made whole; which is done when the reason of man is convinced by the Word and by light therefrom that there is a Divine trinity, and that the trinity is in the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ, like the soul, the body, and what goes forth from these, in man; and that thus this article in the Athanasian Creed is true:
In Christ God and man, or the Divine and the Human, are not two, but are in one person; and as the rational soul and the flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ.TCR 5. THE UNITY OF GOD.
As the acknowledgment of God from a knowledge of God is the very essence and soul of the entire contents of theology, it is necessary that the unity of God should be the first thing treated of. This shall be set forth in order in the following sections:
(1) The entire Holy Scripture, and the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that God is one.
(2) There is a universal influx [from God] into the souls of men of the truth that there is a God, and that He is one.
(3) For this reason there is in all the world no nation possessing religion and sound reason that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is one.
(4) Respecting what the one God is, nations and peoples have differed and still differ, from many causes.
(5) Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one.
(6) If God were not one, the universe could not have been created and preserved.
(7) Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church and condemned.
(8) With the man who acknowledges several Gods instead of one, there is no coherence in the things relating to the church.
These propositions shall be unfolded one by one.TCR 6. (1) The entire Holy Scripture, and all the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that there is a God and that He is one. The entire Holy Scripture teaches that there is a God, because in its inmosts it is nothing but God, that is, it is nothing but the Divine that goes forth from God; for it was dictated by God; and from God nothing can go forth except what is God and is called Divine. This the Holy Scripture is in its inmosts. But in its derivatives, which are below and from these inmosts, the Holy Scripture is adapted to the perception of angels and men. The Divine is likewise in these derivatives, but in another form, in which it is called the celestial, spiritual, and natural Divine. These are simply the draperies of God; for God Himself, such as He is in the inmosts of the Word, cannot be seen by any creature. For He said to Moses, when Moses prayed that he might see the glory of Jehovah, that no one can see God and live. This is equally true of the inmosts of the Word, where God is in His very Being and Essence.  Nevertheless, the Divine, which forms the inmost and is draped by things adapted to the perceptions of angels and men, beams forth like light through crystalline forms, although variously in accordance with the state of mind that man has formed for himself; either from God or from himself. Before everyone who has formed the state of his mind from God the Holy Scripture stands like a mirror wherein he sees God; but everyone in his own way. This mirror is made up of those truths that man learns from the Word, and that he appropriates by living in accordance with them. From all this it is evident, in the first place, that the Holy Scripture is the fullness of God.  That the Holy Scripture teaches not only that there is a God, but also that God is one, can be seen from the truths which, as before stated, compose that mirror, in that they form a coherent whole and make it impossible for man to think of God except as one. In consequence of this, every person whose reason is imbued with any sanctity from the Word knows, as if from himself, that God is one, and feels it to be a sort of insanity to say that there are more. The angels are unable to open their lips to utter the word "gods," for the heavenly aura in which they live resists it. That God is one the Holy Scripture teaches, not only thus universally, as has been said, but also in many particular passages, as in the following:
Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah (Deut. 6:4; also Mark 12:29).
Surely God is in thee, and beside Me there is no god (Isa. 45:14).
Am not I Jehovah? and there is no god besides me? (Isa. 45:21).
I am Jehovah thy God and thou shalt acknowledge no god beside Me (Hosea 13:4).
Thus saith Jehovah, the king of Israel, I am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no god (Isa. 44:6).
In that day Jehovah shall be king over all the earth; in that day Jehovah shall be one and His name one (Zech. 14:9).TCR 7. It is known that the doctrines of the churches in the Christian world teach that God is one. This they teach because all their doctrines are from the Word, and so far as one God is acknowledged both with the lips and the heart these doctrines are consistent. To those who confess one God with the lips only, but in heart accept three, as is true of many at this day in Christendom, God is nothing but a word on the lips; and all their theology is a mere idol of gold enclosed in a shrine, the key to which the priests alone hold; and when such read the Word they perceive no light in it or from it, not even that God is one. To such the Word appears blurred with blots, and in regard to the unity of God entirely covered with them. It is these who are described by the Lord in Matthew:
In hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not discern. Their eyes they have closed, lest haply they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and should turn themselves and I should heal them (Matt. 13:14, 15).
All these are like men shunning the light, and entering chambers without windows, and groping about the walls, searching for food or money, and at length acquiring a vision like that of birds of the night, seeing in darkness. They are like a woman having several husbands, who is not a wife but a lascivious courtesan; or they are like a virgin who accepts rings from several suitors, and after the nuptials bestows her favors not upon one only, but also upon the others.TCR 8. (2) There is a universal influx from God into the souls of men of the truth that there is a God, and that He is one. That there is an influx from God into man is evident from the universal confession that all good that is in itself good, and that exists in man and is done by him, is from God; in like manner every thing of charity and every thing of faith; for we read:
A man can take nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27);
and Jesus said:
Without Me ye are unable to do anything (John 15:5);
that is, anything that pertains to charity and faith. This influx is into the souls of men because the soul is the inmost and highest part of man, and the influx from God enters into that, and descends therefrom into the things that are below, and vivifies them in accordance with reception. The truths that are to constitute belief flow in, it is true, through the hearing, and are thus implanted in the mind, that is, below the soul. But by means of such truths man is simply made ready to receive the influx from God through the soul; and such as this preparation is, such is the reception, and such the transformation of natural faith into spiritual faith.
 There is such an influx from God into the souls of men of the truth that God is one, because everything Divine, regarded most generally as well as most particularly, is God. And as the entire Divine coheres as one, it cannot fail to inspire in man the idea of one God; and this idea is strengthened daily as man is elevated by God into the light of heaven. For the angels in their light cannot force themselves to utter the word "gods." Even their speech closes at the end of every sentence in a oneness of cadence; and there is no other cause of this than the influx into their souls of the truth that God is one.
 In spite of this influx into the souls of men of the truth that God is one, there are many who think that the Divinity of God is divided into several possessing the same essence; and the reason of this is that when the influx descends it falls into forms not correspondent, and influx is varied by the form that receives it, as takes place in all the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature. It is the same God who vivifies man and who vivifies every beast; but the recipient form is what causes the beast to be a beast and man to be a man. The same is true of man when he induces on his mind the form of a beast. There is the same influx from the sun into every kind of tree, but the influx differs in accordance with the form of each; that which flows into the vine is the same as that which flows into the thorn; but if a thorn were to be engrafted upon a vine the influx would be inverted and go forth in accordance with the form of the thorn.
 The same is true of the subjects of the mineral kingdom; the same light flows into limestone and into the diamond; but in the diamond it is transmitted, while in the limestone it is quenched. In human minds these differences are in accordance with the forms of the mind, which become inwardly spiritual in accordance with faith in God, together with life from God, such forms being made translucent and angelic by a faith in one God, and on the contrary, made dark and bestial by a faith in more than one God, which differs but little from a faith in no God.TCR 9. (3) For this reason, there is in all the world no nation possessing religion and sound reason that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is one. As a consequence of the Divine influx into the souls of men, treated of just above, there is in every man an internal dictate that there is a God and that He is one. And yet there are some who deny God, and some who acknowledge nature as god, and some who acknowledge more gods than one, and some who worship images as gods; which is possible because such have blocked up the interiors of their reason or understanding with worldly and corporeal things. thereby obliterating their first or childhood idea respecting God, and at the same time rejecting religion from their breasts and casting it behind their backs. Christians acknowledge one God; but in what manner is evident from their established creed, which is as follows:
The Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity. There are three Divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet there are not three Gods, but there is one God. There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit, and their divinity is one, their glory equal, and their majesty coeternal. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. But like as we are compelled by Christian verity to confess each person singly to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords.
Such is the Christian faith respecting the unity of God. But that the trinity of God and the unity of God in that creed are inconsistent with each other will be shown in the chapter on the Divine trinity.  The other nations in the world possessing a religion and sound reason agree in acknowledging that God is one; all the Mohammedans in their empires; the Africans in many kingdoms of that continent; the Asiatics in their many kingdoms; and finally the Jews to this day. Of the most ancient people in the golden age, such as had any religion worshiped one God, whom they called Jehovah. The same is true of the ancient people in the succeeding age, until monarchical governments were established, when worldly and afterwards corporeal loves began to close up the higher regions of the understanding, which previously had been open, and had been like temples and sacred recesses for the worship of one God. In order to reopen these and thus restore the worship of one God, the Lord God instituted a church among the posterity of Jacob, and made this the first of all the commandments of their religion:
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Exod. 20:3).
 Moreover, the name Jehovah, which He at this time restored, signifies the supreme and only Being, the Source of everything that is or exists in the universe. Jove, a name derived possibly from Jehovah, was worshiped as a supreme god by the ancient heathen; and many other gods who composed his court they also clothed with divinity; while in the following age wise men, like Plato and Aristotle, confessed that these were not gods, but were so many properties, qualities, and attributes of the one God, being called gods because there was something Divine in each of them.TCR 10. All sound reason, even when it is not religious, sees that every composite thing would of itself fall to pieces unless it depended upon some one thing; as in the case of man, composed of so many members, viscera, and organs of sensation and motion, unless they all depended on one soul; or the body itself, unless it depended on one heart. The same is true of a kingdom unless it depends on one king; a household, unless on one master; and every office, of which there are many kinds in every kingdom, unless on one officer. What would an army avail against the enemy unless it had a leader having supreme power, and officers subordinate to him, each of them having his proper command over the soldiers? So would it be with the church if it did not acknowledge one God, or with the angelic heaven, which is like a head to the church on earth, in both of which the Lord is the very soul. This is why heaven and the church are called His body; and when these do not acknowledge one God they are like a dead body, which being useless is carried away and buried. TCR 11. (4) Respecting what the one God is, nations and peoples have differed and still differ, from many causes. The first cause is that knowledge and consequent acknowledgment of God are not possible without revelation; nor are a knowledge of the Lord, and a consequent acknowledgment that "in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" possible except from the Word, which is the crown of revelations; for it is by the revelation given to man that he is able to approach God and to receive influx, and thereby from being natural to become spiritual. The primeval revelation extended throughout the world; but it was perverted by the natural man in many ways, which was the origin of religious disputes, dissensions, heresies, and schisms. The second cause is that the natural man is not capable of any perception of God, but only of the world and adapting this to himself. Consequently it is among the canons of the Christian Church that the natural man is opposed to the spiritual, and that they contend against each other. This explains why those who have learned from the Word or other revelation that there is a God have differed and still differ respecting the nature and the unity of God.
 For this reason those whose mental sight depended on the bodily senses, but who nevertheless had a desire to see God, formed for themselves images of gold, silver, stone, and wood, under which as visible objects they might worship God; while others who discarded idols from their religion found for themselves representations of God in the sun and moon, in the stars, and in various objects on the earth. But those who thought themselves wiser than the common people, and yet remained natural, from the immensity and omnipresence of God in creating the world acknowledged nature as God, some of them nature in its inmosts, some in its outmosts; while others, that they might separate God from nature, conceived an idea of something most universal, which they called the Being of the universe [Ens universi]; and because such have no further knowledge of God this Being becomes to them mere rational abstraction [ens rationis] which has no meaning.
 Everyone can see that a man's knowledge of God is his mirror of God, and that those who know nothing about God do not see God in a mirror with its face toward them, but in a mirror with its back toward them; and as this is covered with quicksilver, or some dark paste, it does not reflect the image but extinguishes it. Faith in God enters into man through a prior way, which is from the soul into the higher parts of the understanding; while knowledges about God enter through a posterior way, because they are drawn from the revealed Word by the understanding, through the bodily senses; and these inflowings meet midway in the understanding; and there natural faith, which is merely persuasion, becomes spiritual, which is real acknowledgment. Thus the human understanding is like a refining vessel, in which this transmutation is effected.TCR 12. (5) Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one. This truth may be confirmed by innumerable things in the visible world; for the universe is like a stage, upon which evidences that there is a God and that He is one are continually exhibited. To illustrate this I will cite this Memorable Relation from the spiritual world:
Once while I was talking with angels, certain spirits that had recently arrived from the natural world were present. Seeing them, I bade them welcome, and told them many things they had not known before about the spiritual world.
After this I asked them what knowledge about God and about nature they had brought with them from the world.
"This," they said, "that nature is the operative power in all things that are done in the created universe; and that God, after creation, endowed nature with and impressed upon it that capability and power; and that God merely sustains and preserves that power lest it perish; consequently, all things that spring forth or are produced and reproduced upon the earth are now ascribed to nature."
But I replied that in nothing is nature of itself the operative power, but God through nature. And when they asked for proof I said, "Those who believe the Divine operation to be in every least thing of nature find in very many things they see in the world much more evidence in favor of a God than in favor of nature.
 For those who find evidences in favor of the Divine operation in every least thing of nature observe attentively the wonderful things that are seen in the production of plants and of animals. In the Production of Plants, they observe that from a little seed sown in the ground there goes forth a root, and from the root a stem, and successively branches, buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits, even to new seeds, just as if the seed knew the order of succession or development by which to renew itself. What rational person can imagine that the sun, which is pure fire, knows this, or that it can impart to its heat and light the power to produce such effects and to have such uses in view? Any man whose reason looks upward, when he sees these things and properly considers them, must needs conclude that they are from one whose wisdom is infinite, that is, from God. In this conclusion those who recognize a Divine operation in all the particulars of nature confirm themselves when they observe these things. On the other hand, those who do not recognize such an operation in nature behold these things with the eyes of their reason in the back of the head, and not in the front. These are such as derive all the ideas of their thought from the bodily senses, and confirm the fallacies of the senses, saying, `Do you not see the sun accomplishing all these things by means of its heat and light? Is that which you do not see of any account?'
 Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine carefully observe the wonderful things they see in the Production of Animals; as in regard to eggs (speaking first of these), the chick in its seminal state lies concealed in them With every thing requisite for its formation, and also for its entire development after it is hatched until it becomes a bird in the form of the parent. Moreover, to any mind that thinks deeply, things which excite wonder are presented whenever winged creatures in general are observed; as that both the smallest and largest of them, both the invisible and the visible, that is, both minute insects and great birds and beasts, possess organs of sense, namely, sight, smell, taste, and touch; also organs of motion, which are muscles, for they fly and walk; also viscera connected with the heart and lungs which are moved by the brains. All these things are seen also by those who ascribe everything to nature; but such merely notice their existence, and claim that they are products of nature. This they claim because they have turned away their minds from all thoughts of the Divine; and those who have done this, when they behold the wonderful things in nature, are unable to think about them rationally, still less spiritually; but they think sensually and materially; thus they think in nature from nature, and not above nature; and such differ from beasts only in being endowed with rationality, that is, only in an ability to understand if they wish to.
 Those who have turned themselves away from all thought of a Divine, and have thereby become corporeal-sensual, never consider that the sight of the eye is so gross and material that it sees many small insects as a single obscure object; and yet each one of these is organized for sensation and motion, and is consequently endowed with fibers and vessels, with a minute heart and pulmonic tubes, with minute viscera and with brains; and these are composed of nature's purest elements, these textures corresponding to life in its lowest degree whereby their least parts are severally actuated. Considering the grossness of our bodily vision, to which many such insects, with the innumerable parts in each, appear as a single minute indistinct
object, while yet it is from this vision that sensual men think and draw conclusions, it is evident how gross their minds must be, and in what darkness they must be respecting spiritual things.
 "Any man is able, if he will, to find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature; and this he does whenever he thinks of God and of His omnipotence in the creation of the universe, and of His omnipresence in the preservation of it; as, for instance, when he sees that among the birds of heaven each species knows its own food and where to find it, recognizes its companions by sight and sound, and among other species knows which are friends and which enemies; that they know how to mate, to form marriages, construct their nests skillfully, place their eggs in them and hatch them, also the period of incubation; and when the young have been hatched they love them most tenderly, shelter them beneath their wings, feed and nourish them, and this until they are able to provide for themselves and to perform like offices. If anyone is willing to think about a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the natural he can see it in these creatures; and can also, if he will, say from his heart that the sun through its heat and light cannot be the source of such knowledge, for the sun from which nature has its rise and essence is pure fire, and consequently its effluent heat and light must be utterly dead; and thus he may reach the conclusion that these knowledges are from a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the outmosts of nature.
 "Anyone can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature when he observes those worms which are moved by the joy of a peculiar love to aspire after a change of their earthly state into one somewhat analogous to a heavenly state. For this purpose they crawl into suitable places, enclose themselves in a covering, and thus place themselves in a womb from which to be born again; and there they become chrysalids, aureliae, nymphs, and finally butterflies; and having undergone this transformation and been decked with beautiful wings according to their species, they fly forth into the air as into their heaven, and there disport themselves merrily, marrying, laying eggs, and providing for themselves a posterity, meanwhile nourishing themselves with sweet and pleasant food from flowers. Who that sees evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature can help seeing in these as worms an image of man's earthly state, and in these as butterflies an image of his heavenly state? Those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature behold the same things, but having rejected man's heavenly state from their thought they call them mere operations of nature.
 "Anyone can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things in nature when he gives thought to what is known of bees, their knowing how to collect wax from roses and blossoms, to suck out honey, to build cells like little houses, to arrange them like a city, with streets for going in and out; their smelling from a distance the flowers and herbs from which they collect wax for their houses and honey for food, being loaded with which they fly back straight to their hive. Thus they provide themselves with food for the coming winter as if they foresaw it. They also appoint a mistress over themselves as queen, and through her they propagate a posterity; and for her they build a sort of palace above themselves, and place guards around it. When the time for propagation arrives, accompanied by her guards, which are called drones, she goes from cell to cell, and lays her eggs, which her retinue seal up lest they be injured by the air. Thus a new generation is born; and when this generation has reached the proper age to be able to repeat the process it is expelled from the hive, and the new swarm, after gathering into a body to prevent separation, flies forth to find itself a home. About the time of autumn, as the drones have added nothing to the supply of wax or honey, they are led out and deprived of their wings to prevent their returning and consuming the food on which they had spent no labor. From this and other facts it can be seen that on account of the use they perform for the human race these insects receive by influx from the spiritual world a form of government similar to that which is formed among men on the earth, and even among the angels in the heavens.
 What man of sound reason does not see that the natural world cannot be the source of all this? What has the sun, from which nature springs, in common with a government which so vies with and closely resembles heavenly government? From these and like facts exhibited among animals, one who acknowledges and worships nature confirms himself in favor of nature; while he who acknowledges and worships God confirms himself from the same facts in favor of God; for the spiritual man sees in them spiritual things, and the natural man sees in them natural things, thus each in accord with his character. For my own part, such things have been to me evidences that from God there is an influx of the spiritual world into the natural. Consider, moreover, whether you are able to think analytically of any form of government, of any civil law, or any moral virtue, or any spiritual truth, except on the supposition that there is an inflow of the Divine from its own wisdom through the spiritual world. As to myself, I am not able to do so, and never have been. I have now for twenty-six years continually observed that influx perceptibly and sensibly; I therefore speak from what I know.
 "Can nature pursue use as an end, and arrange uses in order and in forms? Only a wise being is able to do this; and God alone, whose wisdom is infinite, is able so to order and form the universe. Who else can foresee and provide food and clothing for man-food from the products of the field, from the fruits of the earth, and from animals; and clothing from the same sources? It is among these marvelous facts that those petty worms called silkworms clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings even to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee supplies the wax for the tapers that make temples and palaces brilliant. All these and more are conclusive proofs that God from Himself through the spiritual world operates all things that take place in nature.
 "To all this let me add the fact that I have seen in the spiritual world those who from things visible in the natural world had confirmed themselves in favor of nature until they had become atheists; and that in spiritual light the understanding of such appeared to be open below, but closed above, for the reason that in their thought they had looked down toward the earth, and not up toward heaven. Above their sensual faculties, which form the lowest part of the understanding, a kind of covering flashing with infernal fire was seen, in some cases like soot, and in others livid like a corpse. Let everyone therefore beware of these confirmations in favor of nature; and let him confirm himself in favor of God; there is no lack of means. "TCR 13. (6) If God were not one, the universe could not have been created and preserved. The unity of God may be inferred from the creation of the universe, because the universe is a work coherent as a unit from things first to things last, and dependent upon one God as a body upon its soul. The universe was so created that God might be omnipresent, and hold each and all of its parts under His direction, and keep its parts together as one body perpetually, which is to preserve it. Moreover, because of this Jehovah God declares:
That He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:8, 17).
That He maketh all things, spreadeth forth the heavens above, and stretcheth forth the earth by Himself (Isa. 44:24).
This vast system which is called the universe is a work coherent as a unit from things first to things last, because in creating it God had a single end in view, which was an angelic heaven from the human race; and all things of which the world consists are means to that end; since he who seeks an end seeks also the means.  Consequently, whoever regards the world as a work containing means to that end is able to look upon the created universe as a work coherent as a unit, and to see that the world is a complex of uses, existing in a successive order, looking to the human race (from which is the angelic heaven) as its end. The Divine love can be intent upon no other end than the eternal blessedness of men, having its source in the Divine; and its Divine wisdom can bring forth nothing but uses that are means to that end. Surveying the world from this most general idea, every wise man can comprehend that the Creator of the universe is a One, and that His essence is love and wisdom; consequently there can not be in it the smallest particular in which there does not lie hidden some use, more or less remote, for man-food from the fruits of the earth and from animals, and clothing from the same sources.
 How wonderful it is that the insignificant silkworm should clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee should supply wax for the tapers which make temples and palaces brilliant. Those who study in minute detail a few things in the world, and not all things in their most general relations, including ends, mediate cases, and effects, and who, furthermore, do not deduce creation from Divine love through the Divine wisdom, are unable to see that the universe is the workmanship of one God, and that He dwells in every particular use because He dwells in the end. For in every case one who is in an end must be in the means also, since the end is inmostly in all the means, actuating and directing them.  Those who do not regard the universe as the workmanship of God and the dwelling-place of His love and wisdom, but as the workmanship of nature and the dwelling-place of the sun's heat and light, close the higher regions of their mind against God, and open its lower regions for the devil, and consequently put off their human nature and put on a bestial nature, and not only think themselves to be like the beasts but actually become so. For they become foxes in cunning, wolves in fierceness, panthers in treachery, tigers in cruelty, and crocodiles, serpents, owls, and other birds of night, in the several characteristics of these. Moreover, in the spiritual world those who are such do at a distance actually appear like these wild beasts. Thus does their love of evil portray itself.TCR 14. (7) Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church and condemned. Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church, because God is the all of the church; and Divine things which are called theological are what constitute the church; consequently a denial of God is a denial of all things pertaining to the church; and this denial is what excommunicates the man; thus he is excommunicated not by God, but by himself. And he stands condemned because he who is excommunicated from the church is also excommunicated from heaven; since the church on earth and the angelic heaven make one, like the internal and the external or the spiritual and the natural in man; and man was so created by God that in respect to his internal he might be in the spiritual world and in respect to his external in the natural world; consequently he was created a native of both worlds, in order that the spiritual which belongs to heaven might be implanted in the natural, which belongs to the world, just as seed is planted in the ground; and that man might thus become fixed and endure to eternity.
 The man who has excommunicated himself from the church and thus from heaven by a denial of God has closed up in himself his internal man in respect to his will and its genial love; for man's will is the receptacle of his love, and becomes its dwelling-place. But he cannot close up his internal man in respect to its understanding, for if he could and did he would be man no longer. Nevertheless, his will's love infatuates with falsities the higher faculties of the understanding; and in consequence the understanding becomes closed to the truths pertaining to faith and the goods pertaining to charity; thus more and more against God, and also against the spiritual things of the church. Thus man is shut out from communion with the angels of heaven, and when so shut out he enters into communion with the satans of hell, and thinks as they think; and all satans deny God, and think foolishly about God and the spiritual things of the church; and in the same way does the man think who is conjoined with them.
 When such a man is in his spirit, as he is when left privately to himself, he suffers his thoughts to be led by the delights of evil and falsity which he has conceived and brought forth in himself; and he then thinks that God has no existence, but is merely a word uttered from the pulpit to hold the common people in obedience to the laws of justice, which are, the laws of society. He also thinks the Word, from which ministers proclaim a God, to be a mass of missionary tales, which have been made holy by authority, and the Decalogue or catechism to be merely a little book to be thrown aside when it has been well worn by the hands of little boys, since it teaches that parents ought to be honored, forbids murder, adultery, theft, and false witness; and who does not learn the same things from civil law? He thinks of the church as an assembly of simple, credulous, and weak-minded people, who see what they see not. He thinks of man, and of himself as a man, as being like a beast, and of life after death as of the life of a beast after death.
 Thus does his internal man think, however differently his external man may speak. For, as just said, every man has an internal and an external; and it is the internal that makes the man, that is, the spirit, which is what lives after death; while the external, in which by a semblance of morality he plays the hypocrite, is laid in the grave; and on account of his denial of God the man then stands condemned. In respect to his spirit every man is associated in the spiritual world with his like, and becomes as one of them. It has frequently been granted me to see there in societies the spirits of men still living, some in angelic and some in infernal societies, and also to converse with them for days; and I have wondered how the man himself while still living in the body could be wholly ignorant of this. Thus was it made clear that he who denies God is even now among the damned, and that after death he is gathered to his own.TCR 15. (8) With men who acknowledge several Gods instead of one there is no coherence in the things relating to the church. He who in his belief acknowledges and in his heart worships one God is both in the communion of the saints on earth and in the communion of the angels in heaven. These are called "communions," and are communions, because such are in the one God and the one God is in them. Moreover, they are in conjunction with the entire angelic heaven, and, I might venture to say, with all and each of its inhabitants, for they are all like the children and descendants of one father, whose dispositions, manners, and features are similar, whereby they recognize each other. The angelic heaven is harmoniously arranged in societies in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good, and these varieties center in one universal love, which is love to God; from which love all are born who in belief acknowledge and in heart worship the one God, who is both the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer and Regenerator.
 But it is a wholly different matter with those who approach and worship several gods instead of one, and with those who talk of one and think of three, as do those in the church at this day who divide God into three persons, and declare that each person by himself is God, and attribute to each one special qualities or properties that do not belong to the others. From this arises a disintegration not only of the unity of God but of theology itself, and still further of human thought, to which theology belongs. And what can follow from this but perplexity and incoherency in things of the church? That such is the state of the church at this day will be shown in the Appendix to this work. The truth is that the division of God, or of the Divine essence, into three persons, each one of whom by Himself or singly is God, induces a denial of God. It is as if a man should enter a temple to worship, and see painted on a tablet over the altar one God as the Ancient of days, another as the great High Priest, and the third as a flying Aeolus, with the inscription: "These three are one God;" or like seeing there the unity and trinity depicted as a man with three heads on one body, of three bodies under one head, which would be monstrosities. If anyone should enter heaven with such an idea he would certainly be cast out headlong, even if he should declare that the head or heads mean the essence, and the body or bodies its different properties.TCR 16. To this I will add the following Memorable Relation: I saw some who had recently come from the natural world into the spiritual world talking together about three Divine persons from eternity. They were dignitaries of the church, and one of them was a bishop.
They came up to me; and after some talk about the spiritual world, respecting which they had before known nothing, I said, "I heard you speaking of three Divine persons from eternity; I beseech you to disclose to me this great mystery according to the conception you had formed of it in the natural world from which you have lately come."
Then the bishop, looking at me, said, "I see that you are a layman, therefore I will set forth my ideas on this great mystery, and will instruct you. My conception of the matter was, and still is, that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sit in the center of heaven upon magnificent and lofty seats or thrones-God the Father on a throne of pure gold, with a scepter in His hand; God the Son at His right hand on a throne of the purest silver, with a crown on His head; and God the Holy Spirit near them, on a throne of dazzling crystal, holding a dove in His hand; and that round about them in triple order are hanging lamps glittering with precious stones; while at a distance from this circle stand innumerable angels, all worshiping and singing praises; and furthermore, that God the Father is continually talking with His Son about those who are to be justified, and they together judge and determine who on earth are worthy to be received by them among the angels, and crowned with eternal life; while God the Holy Spirit, on hearing the names of such, hastens to them throughout the earth, carrying with Him gifts of righteousness as so many tokens of salvation for the justified; and the instant He approaches and breathes upon them He disperses their sins, as a ventilator drives the smoke from a furnace and makes it white. He also takes away the stony hardness of their hearts, and imparts the tenderness of flesh, and at the same time renews their spirits or minds, and regenerates them, giving them infantile faces; and finally He seals them in the forehead with the sign of the cross, and calls them `the elect' and `sons of God. '" Having finished this speech the bishop said, "Thus did I in the world elucidate this great mystery; and as most of our order there applauded my utterances, I am persuaded that you also, who are a layman, will assent to them. "
 When the bishop had ceased speaking I looked at him, and also at the dignitaries with him, and I noticed that they all gave full assent to what he had said. I therefore began to reply, and said, "I have given close attention to the statement of your belief, and from it I gather that you have conceived and cherish an idea of the triune God that is wholly natural, sensual, and even material, and that there inevitably follows from it the idea of three Gods. Is it not thinking sensually of God the Father to conceive of Him as seated on a throne with a scepter in His hand; and of the Son on His throne with a crown on His head; and of the Holy Spirit on His with a dove in His hand, and as hastening over the world in accordance with what He hears? And as such an idea results from your statements, I cannot assent to them; for from my childhood I have not been able to admit into my mind any other idea than that of one God; and since I have accepted and hold no other idea, all that you have said has no weight with me. I also saw that `the throne' on which Jehovah is said in Scripture to sit means His kingdom, the `scepter' and `crown,' government and dominion; the `sitting at the right hand,' God's omnipotence through His Humanity; also that by what is attributed to the Holy Spirit the operations of the Divine omnipresence are meant. Assume, sir, if you please, the idea of one God, and rightly dwell upon that in your reasonings, and you will at length clearly apprehend that this is so.
 Furthermore, you admit that God is one, in that you make the essence of these three persons one and indivisible; while yet you do not allow anyone to say that this one God is one person, but he must say that there are three persons and this you do lest the idea of three Gods, such as you entertain, should be lost; also you ascribe to each person a property different from those of the others. In all this do you not divide your Divine essence? And this being so, how can you say and also think that God is one? I could excuse you if you had said that the Divine is one. How can anyone on hearing that `The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and singly each person is God, ' possibly think of God as one? Is it not a contradiction, to which assent is utterly impossible? That they cannot be said to be one God, but only to have a like Divinity, may be thus illustrated. A number of men forming one senate, assembly, or council, cannot be called one man; although when each and all have the same opinion they may be said to be one in thought. Neither can three diamonds of the same substance be called one diamond; although they may be called one in substance. Moreover, each diamond would differ from the others in value according to its weight, which would not be true if they were one instead of three.
 But I perceive the reason why three persons, each one of whom is by Himself singly God, are called by you one God, and why you enjoin upon everyone in the church so to speak, namely, because all sound and enlightened reason in the world acknowledges God to be one, and in consequence you would be covered with shame if you too did not speak in like manner. And yet when you utter the words `one God' while in your thoughts there are three, that shame does not prevent your giving utterance to both of these ideas."
After this conversation the bishop with his clerical companions withdrew, and as he departed he turned and tried to say, "There is one God;" but he could not say it, because this thought restrained his tongue, and with open mouth he gasped out, "Three Gods!" At this strange sight the bystanders laughed derisively and departed.TCR 17. Afterwards I asked where I could find those of the learned with the keenest minds who stood for a Divine trinity divided into three persons. Three of these presented themselves; and I said to them, "How can you divide the Divine trinity into three persons, and assert that each person, by Himself or singly, is God and Lord? Is not a confession of the mouth that God is one thus made as remote from the thought as the south from the north?"
To this they replied, "It is not at all remote, since the three persons possess one essence, and the Divine essence is God. In the world we were guardians of a trinity of persons, and the ward under our charge was our faith; in that faith each Divine person had his office - God the Father to impute and bestow, God the Son to intercede and mediate, and God the Holy Spirit to carry out the work of imputation and mediation."
 But I asked, "What do you mean by the `Divine essence?'"
They said, "We mean omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immensity, eternity, and equality of majesty."
I replied, "If that essence makes one God of several you might add more yet, for example: a fourth, mentioned by Moses, Ezekiel, and Job, under the name of `God Schaddai.' Something of this kind was done in Greece and Italy by the ancients, who ascribed equal attributes and a like essence to their gods, for example, to Saturn, Jove, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, Juno, Diana, Minerva, and even Mercury and Venus; although they could not say that all these were one God. Moreover, yourselves, who are three persons, and as I apprehend alike in learning and therefore in that respect of a similar essence, are not able to combine yourselves into one learned man."
They laughed at this, and said, "You are joking. With the Divine essence it is different: it is not tripartite, but one; not divisible, but indivisible; partition and division do not apply to it. "
 Hearing this I said, "Let us come down to this ground and discuss the matter." And I asked, "What do you mean by a `person?' and what does the term signify?"
They said, "The term `person' signifies that which has no part or quality in another, but subsists by itself. Thus do all the heads of the church define it, and we agree with them."
I said, "Is this the definition of `person'?"
They replied, "It is."
To this I answered, "There is then no part of the Father in the Son, or of either in the Holy Spirit. From this it follows that each is at His own disposal, and possesses His own rights and powers, and therefore there is nothing that joins them together except the will, which is proper to each, and thus communicable at pleasure. Does not this make the three persons three distinct Gods? Listen again: You have also defined `person' as that which subsists by itself; consequently there are three substances into which you divide the Divine essence; and yet you say that this is incapable of division, since it is one and indivisible. Furthermore, to each substance, that is, to each person, you attribute properties that do not exist in the others, and even cannot be communicated to the others, namely, imputation, mediation, and operation. What can follow from this except that the three `persons' are three Gods?"
At these remarks they withdrew, saying, "We will canvass these statements and then answer you."
 There was present a wise man who, hearing the arguments, said, "I do not care to view this lofty subject through such fine network; but apart from these subtleties I see clearly that in your thought you have the idea of three Gods; but as you would incur disrepute by publishing this idea openly to all the world (for if you did so you would be called madmen and fools), it is expedient for you, in order to avoid that ignominy, to confess with your lips one God."
But the three, tenacious of their opinions, paid no attention to this; and as they went away they muttered some terms culled from metaphysical lore: from which I saw that metaphysics was their tripod from which they wished to give responses.
TCR 163 I have discussed God the Creator, and at the same time the creation, and then the Lord the Redeemer, and at the same time the process of redemption; and now finally the Holy Spirit, and at the same time how God works. So having discussed God the Three-in-one, I must now also discuss the Divine Trinity, a subject familiar to Christian people, yet actually one they know nothing about. For this is the only way of acquiring a correct idea of God; and a correct idea of God is to the congregation like the sanctuary and altar in a church, or like a crown on the head and a sceptre in the hand of a king, as he sits upon his throne. From this hangs the whole body of theology, like a chain from its anchor-point. If you are prepared to believe me, the idea everyone has of God determines his place in the heavens. It is like the touchstone used to test gold and silver, that is to say, it tests the nature of the good and truth a person has. For he cannot have any good which leads to salvation except from God, nor any truth which does not get its quality from the good deep within it. But to reveal the nature of the Divine Trinity so that it can be seen by both eyes, the discussion must be split up into propositions, as follows.
(i) There is a Divine Trinity consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (ii) Those three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are the three essentials of a single God, which make one as soul, body and activity do with a person. (iii) This Trinity did not exist before the creation of the world, but it was provided and made after the creation of the world, when God became incarnate, and then it was in the Lord God, the Redeemer and Saviour, Jesus Christ. (iv) A Trinity of Divine persons from eternity, or existing before the creation of the world, implies thinking about a Trinity of Gods; and this thought cannot be banished by a verbal confession of belief in one God. (v) The Trinity of persons was unknown to the Apostolic church, but was the invention of the Council of Nicaea, leading to its introduction into the Roman Catholic church, and thus to the churches which split from it. (vi) The Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and by Athanasius caused a faith to arise which has perverted the whole Christian church. (vii) This is the source of the abomination of desolation and the affliction such as never has been nor shall be, both of which the Lord predicted in Daniel, the Gospels and Revelation. (viii) Further, unless a new heaven and a new church are founded by the Lord, no flesh can be saved. (ix) From a Trinity of persons, each of which individually is God, as asserted by the Athanasian Creed, many absurd ideas of various kinds have arisen about God, which are mere fancies and abortions.
These propositions will now be explained one by one.
True Christian Religion (Chadwick) 164. 164. (i) THERE IS A DIVINE TRINITY CONSISTING OF FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.
The existence of a Divine Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is plainly demonstrated by the Word, especially the following passages:
The angel Gabriel said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so that the holy thing that is born of you will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35.
Here all three are named: the Most High, who is God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son of God.
When Jesus was baptised, behold, the heavens were opened, and John saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove, and alighting upon Him; and a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10, 11; John 1:32.
It is even clearer in the words which the Lord used to the disciples:
Go and make all nations disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Matt. 28: 19.
Moreover in this passage of John:
Three there are that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit. 1 John 5:7.
In addition there is the fact that the Lord prayed to His Father, and spoke about Him and with Him, saying that He would send the Holy Spirit, and this too He did. Moreover, the Apostles frequently named in their Epistles the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These passages show plainly that there is a Divine Trinity consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
TCR 165 If the reason is left to itself, there is no way it can see how these statements are to be understood; it could be that there are three Gods, who are one in essence and therefore in name; it could be that they are three aspects of a single subject, so that it is merely qualities or attributes of one God which bear these names; or other solutions may be possible. What then are we to do? The only way is to approach the Lord God the Saviour, and read the Word under His guidance, since He is the God of the Word; we shall then be enlightened and see the truths, which the reason too will acknowledge. But if you do not approach the Lord, though you should read the Word a thousand times and see in it the Divine Trinity as well as the oneness of God, still you will never be able to grasp anything but the doctrine of three Divine persons, each of which taken singly is God; and this means three Gods. However, since this is repugnant to the general perception shared by all people throughout the world, to avoid criticism they invented the doctrine that although in truth there are three Gods, faith none the less demands that we should not speak of three Gods, but one. Moreover, to avoid having insults heaped on them, in this respect especially the understanding has to be imprisoned and kept chained under the control of faith; and this is henceforward to be prescribed by the ordained ministry of the Christian church.
 That is the kind of paralysed offspring which is produced by not reading the Word under the Lord's guidance. Everyone who does not read the Word under His guidance must do so under the guidance of his own intelligence; and this is as blind as an owl in matters illuminated by spiritual light, as are all the essential doctrines of the church. When such a person reads about the Trinity in the Word and is led by this to think that although there are three Gods they are none the less one, he finds this as enigmatic as a reply from the Delphic oracle. Since he does not understand it, he rolls it round his teeth, for if he put it before his eyes, it would be a riddle, which becomes the more obscure the more he strives to solve it, until finally he begins to think about it without using his understanding, which is like seeing without using one's eyes. In brief, reading the Word under the guidance of one's own intelligence, as all do who fail to acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth and do not approach Him and worship Him alone, can be compared to children who in play tie a bandage over their eyes, and then try to walk in a straight line; they even think they are walking straight when step by step they turn to one side and end up walking in the opposite direction, so that they trip over a stone and fall down.
 They are also like ships' captains who sail without a compass, run their ship on rocks, and so are drowned. Or they are like a man who walking through a broad plain in a thick fog sees a scorpion and thinks it is a bird; he goes to grasp it and pick it up, and then gets a fatal sting. He is also like a sea-bird or a kite, which spots a small patch on the back of a large fish breaking the surface of the water, dives on it and jabs its beak into it, but is pulled under by the fish and drowns. He is also like a man who goes into a maze without a guide or a thread to pay out, and the farther he goes in, the more he loses track of the way out. A person who reads the Word under the guidance of his own intelligence instead of the Lord's thinks he is gifted with the vision of Lynceus, and has more eyes than Argus when in fact he cannot inwardly discern the smallest truth, but only falsity. But having persuaded himself that this is the truth, he shapes the course of all his thinking by reference to this apparent cynosure. Yet then he is as blind to truth as a mole, and what he does see, he bends to suit his fancy, so perverting and falsifying the holiness of the Word.
TCR 166 Each object has general essentials and particular essentials; and the two together make up a single essence. A person's general essentials are his soul, body and activity. These make up a single essence, as can be seen from the fact that one arises from the next, and exists on account of the next, in an unbroken chain. Every person starts from the soul, which is the true essence of the seed. This not only initiates but also produces one after the other the bodily structures; and later on it initiates the products of the soul and the body working together, what are called its activities. Since then one is produced by the next and by its being implanted and attached, it is plain that these three belong to a single essence. This is why they are called the three essentials.
TCR 167 Everyone acknowledges that those three essentials, namely, soul, body and activity, were and are in the Lord God the Saviour. No one but Antichrist can deny that His soul was from Jehovah His Father; for in the Word, in both testaments, He is called the Son of Jehovah, the Son of the Most High God, the Only-begotten. So the Father's Divine is His first essential, as the soul is in man. It follows from this that the Son born to Mary is the body of that Divine soul, for what grows in the mother's womb is simply the body conceived and derived from the soul. So this is the second essential. Activities make up the third essential, since they are produced by the soul and the body working together; and anything so produced is of the same essence as the productive agents. The three essentials, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, make one in the Lord, as the soul, body and activity do in man. This is plainly demonstrated by the Lord's saying that the Father and He are one, and that the Father is in Him and He is in the Father; likewise that He and the Holy Spirit are one, since the Holy Spirit is the Divine which proceeds out of the Lord from the Father, as was fully proved from the Word above (153, 154). To prove it again, therefore, would be filling one's stomach to overflowing, and like loading the table with food when one has eaten one's fill.
TCR 168 When we say that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the three essentials of a single God, in the same way as soul, body and activity are in man, it may look to the human mind as if the three essentials are three persons. This is impossible. But when we understand that the Father's Divine which makes up the soul, and the Son's Divine which makes up the body, and the Holy Spirit's Divine or the Divine which proceeds and makes up the activity, are the three essentials of a single God, then it can be grasped by the understanding. For God the Father is His own Divine, the Son out of the Father is His own, and the Holy Spirit out of both is His own. Since these are of one essence and one mind, they make up a single God. If, however, those three Divines are called persons, and each has attributed to Him His own property, imputation to the Father, mediation to the Son, and activity to the Holy Spirit, then the Divine essence is divided. Yet it is one and indivisible. In this case none of the three is fully God, but each is God to the power of one third, a proposition no sane understanding can accept.
TCR 169 Can anyone fail to see how the Trinity is in the Lord, if he considers the trinity in any human being? Every person has a soul, a body and activity; likewise the Lord, 'for in the Lord all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily,' as Paul said (Col. 2:9). Therefore the Trinity in the Lord is Divine, that in men human. Is there anyone who does not see that reason plays no part in this mystic belief that there are three Divine persons, yet only one God; and that this God, for all that He is one, is still not one person? When the reason is asleep, it can still force the mouth to speak like a parrot. When the reason is asleep, can the speech which comes from the mouth be anything but lifeless? If the mouth says one thing and the reason goes a different way and disagrees, speech must inevitably be foolish. As far as the Divine Trinity is concerned, human reason to-day is fettered, as completely as a prisoner shackled hand and foot. It can also be compared to a Vestal Virgin buried alive for having let the sacred fire go out. Yet the Divine Trinity ought to shine like a lantern in the minds of the people who make up the church, since God in His Trinity and in the oneness of the Trinity is the ultimate of all holiness in heaven and the church. To make one God out of the soul, another out of the body and a third out of the activity is no different from making three separate parts out of those three essentials of a single person; and this is dismembering and killing him.
TCR 170 (iii) THIS TRINITY DID NOT EXIST BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, BUT IT WAS PROVIDED AND MADE AFTER THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, WHEN GOD BECAME INCARNATE, AND THEN WAS IN THE LORD GOD, THE REDEEMER AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
The Christian church to-day recognises a Divine Trinity existing before the creation of the world, stating that Jehovah God fathered a Son from eternity, and the Holy Spirit issued from both of them; and each of the three is by Himself or singly God, because each is one person, who exists of Himself. Since this lies beyond the grasp of reason, it is called a mystery, which is only accessible by the belief that the three share a single Divine essence; by this is meant eternity, immensity, omnipotence and so equal Divinity, glory and majesty. But it will be proved in what follows that this is a trinity of three Gods, and thus no Divine Trinity. Yet it is obvious from everything said before that the Trinity, also of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which was provided and made after God's incarnation, so after the creation of the world, is the Divine Trinity, because it consists of one God.
 The reason why this Divine Trinity is in the Lord God, the Redeemer and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is that the three essentials of one God, which compose a single essence, are in Him. All the fulness of the Godhead is in Him, as Paul says, and this is clear from the words of the Lord Himself, that all things of the Father's are His, and the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself but from Him; moreover, when He rose from the dead, He took from the tomb His whole human body, flesh as well as bones (Matt. 28:1-8; Mark 16:5, 6; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:11-15), a thing no other person can do. He gave the disciples a living proof of this when He said:
Look at my hands and my feet, as proof that it is I myself; touch me and look, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see me have. Luke 24:39.
This can convince anyone, who is willing to believe, that the Lord's Human is Divine, and thus in Him God is man and man God.
TCR 171 The idea of the Trinity which the present-day Christian church has embraced and introduced into its faith, is that God the Father fathered a Son from eternity, and the Holy Spirit then issued from both, each by Himself being God. There is no way this Trinity could be conceived by human minds except as a triad of rulers, like having three kings in one kingdom, or three generals in command of one army, or three masters in one house, each of whom has equal power. This can only lead to ruin. And if anyone wants to form a mental picture or sketch of this triad of rulers while preserving their oneness, he can only conceive of it as a man with three heads on one body, or with three bodies beneath a single head. Such is the monstrous image of the Trinity which will be seen by those who believe in three Divine persons, each of whom is by Himself God, and link them to form a single God, denying that being one makes God one person.  The idea that a Son of God fathered from eternity came down and took upon Himself human form can be compared with the myths of the ancients, that human souls were created from the beginning of the world, and they enter into bodies and become men and women. It is also like the absurd idea that the soul of one person passes into another, as many of the Jewish religion have believed; for instance, that the soul of Elijah came back in the body of John the Baptist, and that David will return to his own or someone else's body, and reign over Israel and Judah, because Ezekiel says:
I will raise up over them a shepherd who shall feed them, my servant David. He shall be their shepherd, and I Jehovah will be their God, and David shall be prince in their midst. Ezek. 34:23, 24.
There are other such passages. But they do not know that David here means the Lord.
TCR 172 (iv) A TRINITY OF DIVINE PERSONS FROM ETERNITY, OR EXISTING BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, IMPLIES THINKING ABOUT A TRINITY OF GODS; AND THIS THOUGHT CANNOT BE BANISHED BY A VERBAL CONFESSION OF BELIEF IN ONE GOD.
It is perfectly plain from the following passage in the Athanasian Creed that a Trinity of Divine persons from eternity is a Trinity of Gods:
There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. The Father is God and Lord, the Son is God and Lord, and the Holy Spirit is God and Lord; yet there are not three Gods and Lords, but one God and Lord, because just as we are forced by Christian verity to confess each person singly to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the catholic religion to speak of three Gods or three Lords.
This creed has been accepted by the whole Christian church as worldwide and universal, and it is the source of all current knowledge and acknowledgment of God. Anyone who reads it merely with his eyes open can see that the members of the Council of Nicaea, which gave birth as it were posthumously to the so-called Athanasian Creed, understood the Trinity as a Trinity of Gods. It follows that not only did they understand the Trinity as a Trinity of Gods, but that no other idea of the Trinity is current in the Christian world, because this creed is the source from which all gain their knowledge of God, and everyone subscribes to the belief indicated by its wording.
 If anyone doubts that the current belief of the Christian world is in a Trinity of Gods, let me appeal to any witness, lay as well as clerical, to the masters and doctors of universities as well as consecrated bishops and archbishops, and to cardinals in their purple, indeed to the Roman Pontiff himself. Let each consider the matter and then pronounce as the ideas in his mind dictate. Is it not as clear and transparent as water in a crystal goblet, if we follow the words of this universally accepted doctrine about God? For instance, it states that there are three persons, and each of these is God and Lord; and that in accordance with Christian verity they ought to confess or acknowledge each person singly as God and Lord, but the catholic or Christian religion or faith prohibits speaking of or naming three Gods and Lords. So verity and religion, or verity and faith, are not one, but two mutually opposed things. The additional clause, that there are not three Gods and Lords, but one God and Lord, has been inserted to prevent its authors being exposed to ridicule before the whole world, for anyone would laugh at the idea of three Gods. Can anyone fail to see the contradiction in this addition?
 If, however, they had said that the Father had a Divine essence, the Son had a Divine essence and the Holy Spirit had a Divine essence, but there were not three Divine essences, but a single and indivisible one, then this mystery might have been capable of explanation, to be precise, by understanding the Father as the originating Divine, the Son as the Divine Human from that origin, and the Holy Spirit as the Divine which proceeds from them, since these three belong to a single God. Or again, if we understand by the Father's Divine something resembling the soul in man, by the Divine Human something resembling the body belonging to that soul, and by the Holy Spirit something resembling the activity which comes from both, then the three essences become intelligible as belonging to one and the same person, and so making up a single, indivisible essence.
TCR 173 The reason why the idea of three Gods cannot be banished by a verbal confession of belief in one God is that this idea has been planted in the memory from childhood up, and what the memory contains is the source of everyone's thought. The memory with human beings resembles the ruminatory stomach of birds and animals. They put food into it, and then they live on it bit by bit, taking it out from time to time and swallowing it into the stomach proper, where the food is digested and circulated to provide for the body's needs. The human understanding is the stomach proper, as the memory is the first stomach. Anyone can see that the idea of three Divine persons from eternity, being the same as the idea of three Gods, cannot be banished by the verbal confession of belief in one God, merely from the fact that it has still not been banished, and is still current with famous people who resist its banishment. For they insist that the three Divine persons are one God, but are so obstinate as to deny that, because God is one, He is also one person. But surely everyone who is wise thinks in his heart that 'person' cannot really be understood as person, but as a predication of some quality? But no one knows what quality, and because of this ignorance the idea remains implanted in the memory from childhood up, like the root of a tree in the ground, which even if the tree is cut down will still send up a shoot.
 Do not, my friend, just cut down the tree, but dig up the root, and then plant your garden with trees that bear good fruit. Take care therefore that your mind is not beset by the idea of three Gods, while your mouth, being totally devoid of ideas, rings with the sound of 'one God.' If so, then the understanding up above the memory thinking of three Gods, and the understanding underneath the memory which enables the mouth to say the words 'one God', are, taken together, like a clown on the stage, who can play two parts scuttling from one side to the other, saying one thing on one side and the opposite on the other, so that he has a quarrel with himself, calling himself wise on one side and crazy on the other. The result of this must surely be that, when he stands in the middle and looks in either direction, he thinks neither to be of any consequence, and so perhaps that, since there is neither one God nor three Gods, there cannot be a God at all. The nature-worship so prevalent to-day comes from no other source.
 No one in heaven can utter the words 'A Trinity of persons, each of whom singly is God.' For the very aura of heaven, the medium through which the waves of their thoughts are transmitted, as sounds are through air, offers strong resistance. The only person who can do this in heaven is a hypocrite; but the sound of his voice grates in the aura of heaven like teeth grinding together, or screeches like a crow trying to sing like a song-bird. I have also been told from heaven that it is as impossible to banish a belief in a Trinity of Gods, once it is implanted in the mind by finding proofs of it, by merely making oral confession of one God, as it is to pass a tree through its own seed, or a man's chin through a hair of his beard.
TCR 174 (v) THE TRINITY OF PERSONS WAS UNKNOWN TO THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH, BUT WAS THE INVENTION OF THE COUNCIL OF NICAEA, LEADING TO ITS INTRODUCTION INTO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND THUS TO THE CHURCHES WHICH SPLIT FROM IT.
The Apostolic church means not only the church which existed in various places in the time of the Apostles, but also in the following two or three centuries. But eventually they began to tear the door of the temple off its hinges, and like thieves to break into its sanctuary. The temple means the church, its door the Lord God the Redeemer, and the sanctuary His Divinity. For Jesus says:
Truly I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber. I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved. [John 10:1, 9.]
 This crime was committed by Arius and his followers. Consequently a Council was summoned by Constantine the Great to meet at Nicaea, a city of Bithynia; and its members, in order to expel the damaging heresy of Arius, invented, concluded and laid down the doctrine that the three Divine persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, existed from eternity, each of whom had a personality, and came into and continued in existence by Himself and in Himself. They also held that the second person, the Son, came down and took upon Himself human form and carried out the redemption, and by this means His Human has divinity by hypostatic union, so that by this union He has close kinship with God the Father. This was the beginning from which there spread over the earth heaps of unspeakable heresies about God and the person of Christ. Antichrist then began to rear his head, and split God into three, and the Lord the Saviour into two, thus destroying the Temple the Lord had built by means of His Apostles; this went so far that every stone was pried loose, until not one was left upon another, as predicted by His words (Matt. 24:2). Here 'Temple' does not mean just the Temple in Jerusalem, but also the church; and the whole of that chapter deals with its consummation or end.
 But could anything else have been expected of that Council, or those which followed it, seeing that they likewise divided the Divinity into three parts, and put the incarnate God on their footstool beneath them? For they cut off the church's head from its body by climbing up another way, that is, by by-passing the Lord and crossing over to God the Father, as if He were another God, simply keeping on their tongues the phrase 'Christ's merit,' so that He should pity them for its sake. Thus, they thought, justification would flow directly into them, together with all that accompanies it, forgiveness of sins, renewal, sanctification, regeneration and salvation, and all this without any intervention on the person's part.
TCR 175 The Apostolic church knew nothing about a Trinity of persons or three persons from eternity, as is perfectly plain from the Creed of that church which is known as the Apostles' Creed. This contains the words:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; and in the Holy Spirit.
There is no mention there of any Son from eternity, but of a Son conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. For they knew from the Apostles that Jesus Christ was the true God (1 John 5:20); and in Him all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Col. 2:9); and the Apostles preached belief in Him (Acts 20:21); and He had all power in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).
TCR 176 How can one trust Councils, when they do not directly approach the God of the church? Is not the church the Lord's body, and is He not its head? What use is a body without a head? And what sort of body is it that has three heads on it, under the guidance of which they debate and pass decrees? Surely then enlightenment, which, coming from the Lord alone, who is God of heaven and the church and at the same time God of the Word, is spiritual, becomes more and more natural until it finally reaches the level of the senses. Then it cannot scent out any real theological truth in its inward form without it being instantly expelled from the thinking of the rational understanding, like chaff being scattered to the winds from a winnowing shovel. In that state fallacies then take the place of truths and darkness the place of light rays. Then these people stand as it were in a cavern with spectacles on their noses, candle in hand, and keep their eyelids shut against spiritual truths illuminated by heavenly light, and open them to sense impressions illuminated by the deceptive light of the bodily senses. What happens when the Word is read is much the same; the mind then goes to sleep confronted with truths, and is wide awake confronted with falsities, becoming like the description of the beast from the sea, 'its mouth like a lion's, its body like a leopard's, and its feet like a bear's' (Rev. 13:2).
 It is said in heaven that when the Council of Nicaea finished its work, there took place simultaneously the things the Lord foretold to the disciples:
The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matt. 24:29.
In fact the Apostolic church was like a new star appearing in the starry sky; but the church after the two Nicene Councils became like the same star later dimming and vanishing, an event recorded a number of times in the natural world according to astronomical observations. We read in the Word that 'Jehovah God dwells in inaccessible light' [1 Tim. 6:16]. So who could approach Him, did He not dwell in accessible light, that is, had He not come down, taken upon Himself human form, and in this become the Light of the World (John 1:9; 12:46)? Can anyone fail to see that approaching God the Father in His light is as impossible as taking the wings of the morning and using them to fly to the sun? Or living on sunlight rather than material food? Or for a bird to fly in the ether, or a stag to run through the air?
TCR 177 (vi) THE TRINITY AS DEFINED BY THE COUNCIL OF NICAEA AND BY ATHANASIUS CAUSED A FAITH TO ARISE WHICH HAS PERVERTED THE WHOLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
It was shown above (172) from the Creeds that both the Nicene and the Athanasian definitions of the Trinity were of a Trinity of Gods.
This was the source of the faith of the present-day church, in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is in God the Father, so that He may impute the righteousness of His Son the Saviour and ascribe it to man; in God the Son, so that He may intercede and add His authority; in the Holy Spirit, so that He may realise the imputed righteousness of the Son by inscribing it, and when it is established sealing it, making man justified, sanctified and regenerated. This is the present-day faith, which by itself is evidence enough that it is a Trinity of Gods which is acknowledged and worshipped.
 The faith of any church is not only the source from which its worship flows, but all its theology. Hence it can be said that such as its faith is, such is its doctrine. It follows from this that the present faith, being faith in three Gods, has subverted everything in the church; for faith is the principle, and matters of doctrine are derivatives, and derivatives get their essence from their principle. If anyone puts to the test any points of doctrine, such as their belief about God, the person of Christ, charity, repentance, regeneration, free will, election, the use of the sacraments of baptism and the Holy Supper, he will see plainly that they each contain the idea of a Trinity of Gods. And even if this does not in fact appear to be contained in them, it is still the source from which they gush forth. Since such a testing cannot be undertaken here, useful though it would be to open people's eyes, I shall add an Appendix to this book, in which this will be proved.
 A church's belief about God is like the soul in relation to the body; and its doctrines are like the members of the body. Again, faith in God is like a queen, and its dogmas are like the officials of her court. just as they hang upon the queen's lips, so the dogmas depend upon the statement of faith. At least one can see from that faith how the Word is understood in that church; for faith grapples and hauls in to itself as it were by ropes whatever it can. If it is a false faith, it commits adultery with every truth in it, leading it astray and falsifying it, so that people become of unsound mind in spiritual matters. If, however, it is a true faith, then it enjoys the favour of the whole Word, and the God of the Word, who is the Lord God the Saviour, pours in light, and breathes His Divine assent upon it, so that people become wise.
 It will also be seen in the Appendix that the present-day faith, which in inward form is faith in three Gods, though the outward form speaks of one God, has put out the light in the Word, and banished the Lord from the church, thus chasing its morning headlong into night. This is what was done by the heretics before the Council of Nicaea, and then by the heretics in it and after it. But what reliance can be placed on Councils which do not enter the sheep-fold through the door, but climb up another way, as the Lord said in John 10:1, 9? Their debates are not far different from a blind man walking about by day, or a man with sight walking by night, neither of whom see the pitfall before falling into it. For example, what reliance can be placed in Councils which have established the position of the Pope as God's vicar, the canonisation of the dead, their invocation as if they were divine powers, the veneration of their images, the authority to grant indulgences, and the division of the Eucharist, not to mention many more things? What reliance can be placed in the Council which established the unspeakable heresy of predestination, and hung this out as an ensign in front of the churches of their sect? Rather, my friend, approach the God of the Word, and so the Word, and enter by this gate into the sheep-fold, that is, into the church, and you will be given enlightenment. Then you will see, as if you stood on a mountain, not only the way most people have gone, but also your own previous steps and wanderings in the dark wood lying below the mountain.
True Christian Religion (Chadwick) 178. 178. The faith of any church is like a seed, from which spring all its dogmas. It may be compared to the seed of a tree, from which grow all its parts up to and including its fruit; and to the human seed from which are procreated offspring and, generation by generation, families. Therefore if one knows what is the leading faith, which is from its dominant role called necessary for salvation, one can know what kind of church it is. The following example will serve to illustrate this.
Suppose the faith is that nature is the creator of the universe. it follows from this that the universe is what is called God, and that nature is its essence; that the ether is the supreme God, whom the ancients called Jupiter, and the air is a goddess, whom the ancients called Juno, and made Jupiter's wife; that the ocean is a god of lower rank, who following the ancients can be called Neptune; and because the divinity of nature reaches right to the centre of the earth, that there is a god there too, who following the ancients can be called Pluto; that the sun is the meeting-house of all the gods, where they assemble when Jupiter summons a council; moreover, fire is life from God, and thus birds fly in a god, animals walk in a god, and fishes swim in a god;
 further, thoughts are mere modifications of the ether, just as the speech which expresses thoughts is a modulation of the air; and the affections of love are changes of state occasioned by the radiation of sunlight impinging on them. This also involves the idea that life after death, together with heaven and hell, is a tale devised by the clergy in pursuit of honours and profit, but it is none the less a useful tale, not to be made fun of in public, because it serves the civic need to keep the minds of ordinary people rigidly obedient to the magistrates. Yet those who are hooked on religion are out of touch with reality, their thoughts are wild imagination, their behaviour ridiculous, and they are lackeys of the priests, believing what they cannot see and seeing things far beyond the reach of their minds. All these consequences, and many more of the same sort, are contained in that faith that nature is the creator of the universe, and emerge from it when it is laid open. This demonstration has been given so that people may know that the faith of the present-day church which is inwardly in three Gods, though outwardly in one, contains battalions of falsities. From this can be extracted as many falsities as there are tiny spiders in one ball produced by a female spider. Is there anyone, whose mind has become truly rational under the enlightenment the Lord gives, who does not see this? But how can anyone else see it, when the door leading to that faith and its offshoots is barred by the rule that it is unlawful for the reason to enquire into its mysteries?
TCR 179 (vii) THIS IS THE SOURCE OF THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION AND THE AFFLICTION SUCH AS HAS NEVER BEEN NOR SHALL BE, BOTH OF WHICH THE LORD PREDICTED IN DANIEL, THE GOSPELS AND REVELATION. We read in Daniel:
Finally upon the bird of abominations desolation, to the point of ending and cutting off, shall be poured drop by drop upon devastation. Dan. 9:27.
In Matthew's gospel the Lord says:
Then many false prophets shall arise and lead many astray. When therefore you see the abomination of desolation predicted by the prophet Daniel standing in the holy place, let him who reads take due notice. Matt. 24:[11,] 15.
Later in the same chapter:
Then there shall be great affliction, such as never was from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. Matt. 24:21.
This affliction and the abomination are dealt with in seven chapters of Revelation. These are what is meant by the black horse and the pale horse which came out of the book, when the Lamb opened its seals (Rev. 6:5-8); and by the beast coming up out of the abyss, which made war on the two witnesses, and killed them (11:7ff.); as by the dragon which stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, to devour her child, and pursued her into the desert, and there ejected water from its mouth like a river, to drown her (chapter 12); also by the beasts of the dragon, one from the sea, the other from the land (chapter 13); also by the three spirits like frogs, who came out of the mouth of the dragon and the mouth of the beast and the mouth of the false prophet (16:13); moreover by the fact that after the seven angels had poured out the bowls of the wrath of God, in which were the seven last plagues, upon the earth, the sea, the springs and streams, the sun, the throne of the beast, the Euphrates and finally the air, a great earthquake took place such as had never occurred since the creation of man (chapter 16). The earthquake means the overthrow of the church, the result of falsities and falsifications of truth, much as is meant by the great affliction such as never has been since the beginning of the world (Matt. 24:21). The following passage has a similar meaning:
The angel put in his sickle and reaped the grape-harvest of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God; and the winepress was trodden, and blood came out up to the bridles of the horses at a distance of one thousand six hundred stades. Rev. 14:19, 20.
Blood means falsified truth. There are many more such passages in those seven chapters.
TCR 180 In the Gospels (Matt. chapter 24; Mark chapter 13; Luke chapter 21) there are descriptions of how the Christian church stage by stage fell away and was corrupted. The mention there of the 'great affliction such as never was from the beginning of the world, nor ever will be' means, as in many other passages in the Word, the way truth was attacked by falsities, until there was no truth left which was not falsified and brought to an end. This too is the meaning of the 'abomination of desolation' there and the 'desolation upon the bird of abominations' and the 'ending and cutting off' in Daniel. It is the same thing which is described in Revelation, in the passages just quoted. It was caused by the church failing to acknowledge the oneness of God in the Trinity and His Trinity in oneness in one person, but rather dividing it into three persons. Thus they founded the church on the mental concept of three Gods, while verbally confessing belief in one God. For by this they separated themselves from the Lord, and eventually to such an extent that they had no idea left of divinity in His human nature, when in fact God the Father Himself is in the Human. This too is why He is called 'the Father of eternity' (Isa. 9:6), and He says to Philip, 'He who sees me sees the Father' (John 14:7, 9).
TCR 181 The question may be asked, what is the very source and spring from which has flowed forth such an abomination of desolation, as described in Daniel (9:27), and such an affliction as never was nor ever will be (Matt. 24:21)? The answer must be that it comes from the actual faith universally held throughout the Christian world, and from its influence, activity and imputation, as traditionally taught. It is astonishing that the doctrine of justification by that faith alone plays the leading role in the Christian churches, when it is no true faith, but a chimera; that is to say, it dominates the clergy almost as if it were the only theological dogma. It is this that all the recruits to the clergy in their schools avidly learn, swallow and absorb. And afterwards, as if inspired by heavenly wisdom, this is what they teach in their pulpits, publish in their books, and use to pursue and borrow a reputation for superior learning, fame and glory. It is for this that they are presented with diplomas, degrees and prizes. And this happens despite the fact that as a result of that faith alone to-day the sun has been darkened, the moon deprived of her light, the stars have fallen from the skies, and the powers of the heavens have been shaken, as predicted by the Lord's words in Matthew (24:29). I have been given evidence that the doctrine of that faith has to-day so blinded people's minds that they are unwilling and therefore unable to see any Divine truth inwardly in sunlight, or in moonlight, but only outwardly with its rough exterior in the light of a fire by night. Therefore I am able to prophesy that if there were sent down from heaven, written in letters of silver, the Divine truths about the true linking of charity and faith, about heaven and hell, about the Lord, about life after death and about everlasting happiness, these believers in justification and sanctification by faith alone would not judge them worth reading. But it would be quite different if a paper on justification by faith alone were sent up from hell; this they would seize on, kiss and carry off home in their pockets.
TCR 182 (viii) FURTHER, UNLESS A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW CHURCH ARE FOUNDED BY THE LORD, NO FLESH CAN BE SAVED.
We read in Matthew:
Then there shall be great affliction, such as never was from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. Indeed, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved. Matt. 24:21, 22.
That chapter deals with the completion of the age, by which is meant the end of the present-day church. Therefore 'cutting short those days' means bringing it to an end and setting up a new one. Is there anyone who does not know that if the Lord had not come into the world and carried out the redemption, no flesh could have been saved? Carrying out redemption means founding a new heaven and a new church. The Lord predicted in the Gospels that He would come into the world again (Matt. 24:30, 31; Mark 13:26; Luke 12:40; 21:27), and also in Revelation, especially in the last chapter. I have shown above in the section on Redemption [114-137], that the Lord is carrying out redemption to-day too, founding a new heaven and starting a new church, for the sake of man's salvation.
 The great secret about no flesh being able to be saved, if the Lord had not started a new church, is this. So long as the dragon with his crew stays in the world of spirits, into which he was thrown, no Divine truth united with Divine good can get through to people on earth without being perverted and falsified or being destroyed. This is what is meant by this passage in Revelation:
The dragon was cast down to earth, and his angels were cast down with him. Woe to those that live on the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to them having great wrath. Rev. 12:9, 12, 13.
But after the dragon was cast into hell (20:10), then John saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (21:1, 2). The dragon means those who hold the faith of the present-day church.
 I have several times in the spiritual world talked with those who believe that man is justified by faith alone, and I have told them that their doctrine is wrong and also absurd; it induces carelessness, blindness, sleep and darkness in spiritual matters, leading to the death of the soul. I have pleaded with them to abandon it. But I got the answer: 'Abandon it? Surely this is the one thing upon which the superiority of the clergy's learning over that of laymen depends.' I replied that in that case the salvation of souls was no part of their purpose, but only the superiority of their reputations. Because they had used the truths of the Word to support their false principles, thus adulterating them, they were angels of the abyss, those called Abaddons and Apollyons (Rev. 9: 11), by whom are meant those who destroy the church by totally falsifying the Word. 'What do you mean?' they replied; 'our knowledge makes us oracles of the mysteries of that faith, and we give its replies as if from a shrine. So we are not Apollyons, but Apollos.' This made me cross and I said: 'If you are Apollos, you are also leviathans, your first rank twisted leviathans, the second elongated leviathans, whom God will visit with His hard and mighty sword (Isa. 27: 1). But at this they laughed.
TCR 183 (ix) FROM A TRINITY OF PERSONS, EACH OF WHICH INDIVIDUALLY IS GOD, AS ASSERTED BY THE ATHANASIAN CREED, MANY ABSURD IDEAS OF VARIOUS KINDS HAVE ARISEN ABOUT GOD, WHICH ARE MERE FANCIES AND ABORTIONS.
The doctrine of three Divine persons from eternity, which is in itself the chief of all the doctrines held by the Christian churches, has given rise to many unbecoming ideas about God, unworthy of the Christian world, which, however, can and ought to be a light to all peoples and races in all four quarters of the globe concerning God and His oneness. All who live outside the Christian church, Mohammedans as well as Jews, and the heathen besides of whatever religion, reject Christianity solely on account of its belief in three Gods. Missionaries are well aware of this; so they take the greatest care not to speak openly of the Trinity of persons as described in the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, since then their converts would run away and make fun of them.
 The absurd, ridiculous and frivolous ideas which have arisen from the doctrine of three divine persons from eternity, and which still arise in the mind of anyone who sticks to believing the wording of that doctrine, rising from the ears and eyes to the level of mental contemplation, are these. God the Father sits overhead on high, with the Son at His right hand and the Holy Spirit in front of them listening, and rushing off on the instant through the world to hand out the gifts of justification according to the decision taken, inscribing these gifts and making their recipients sons of grace instead of sons of wrath, and elect instead of damned. I challenge the learned among the clergy and educated laymen to say whether they have in their minds any other picture than this imaginary one. For this springs to mind of its own accord from the doctrine itself; see the experience described in 16 above.
 Another thing that springs to mind is a curiosity to guess what they talked to each other about before the creation of the world. Did they talk about creating the world, about who were predestined to be saved and justified, as the Supralapsarians believe, and also about redemption? Likewise, what do they talk to each other about since the creation of the world, the Father with His authority and power to impute, the Son with His power to mediate; that imputation, which is election, is dependent upon the mercy of the Son who intercedes for all, and individually for some; and these receive grace from the Father, who is moved by love for His Son and by seeing His suffering on the cross. Can anyone fail to see that such ideas of God are the ravings of a deranged mind? Yet in Christian churches those are the holy things to be kissed with the lips, not inspected by any mental vision, because they are above the level of reason; if anyone were to lift them above the memory level to that of the understanding, they would drive him mad. But still this does not banish the idea of three Gods, but induces a foolish faith, which makes people think about God like someone dreaming in his sleep, walking in pitch darkness at night, or like a person blind from birth walking in daylight.
TCR 184 The fact that the minds of Christians are obsessed with the idea of a Trinity of Gods, for all that shame makes them deny it, is perfectly clear from the ingenuity many of them display in proving that three are one and one is three. They use various devices in geometry, solids, arithmetic and physics for the purpose, as well as folds in garments and sheets of paper. So they make the Divine Trinity a subject for games, like scenes between comic actors. This farce can be likened to the vision of patients in fevers, who see a single object, whether it be a person, a table or a candle, as three, or see three objects as one. It can also be likened to the game in which the players knead soft wax between their fingers, and pinch it into various shapes, now making it triangular to represent the Trinity, now into a ball to show it is all one, saying, 'Is it not still one and the same substance?' Yet the Divine Trinity is like a pearl of great price; but divided into persons it is like a pearl cut into three, which is obviously completely ruined.