THE evangelist now brings us to the splendid conclusion of that divine history which opens with the birth of the Saviour into the world, and ends with his ascension into heaven. The desires and the hopes of the nations are now realized, though, like many other human desires and hopes, even of the noblest kind, in a manner very different from that in which it had been expected. Prone to trace their miseries and their happiness no further than to the nearest cause, men look for relief and support to external things. By many who looked for redemption to Israel the Lord had been received as the promised deliverer, and followed as their leader to a temporal kingdom, in which all grievances were to be redressed and all desirable blessings were to be enjoyed. That vision had died away; but out of the tomb in which their hopes had been buried one now arises, as the conqueror, not of natural, but of spiritual liberty, and the sovereign, not of a temporal, but an eternal kingdom. This great event – the Lord’s resurrection – had already taken place, unseen by mortal eye. How the knowledge of the risen Saviour came to be communicated to his disciples – how their eyes were opened to see the grand truth, and their hearts to receive it – and how their minds were prepared for proclaiming the great salvation, – this concluding chapter unfolds.
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
1 Jesus rose again the third day. The number three is used where a work is finished and perfect. In every Divine work there is a first, a middle, and a last, and the first passes through the middle to the last. See S. 27. S. 29.
That Jesus rose again on the third day. Three signifies complete, thus to the end. R. 505.
The two previous statements repeated. T. 211.
That the Lord rose again the third day. E. 532.
1, 2. See Chapter XXVII., 51-54. E. 400.
1-8. The Divine trinity is in the Lord God the Redeemer and Saviour Jesus Christ, because the three essentials of one God, which make one essence, are in Him. That in Him is all the fulness of the Godhead, as Paul says, is evident also from the Lord’s own words, that all things of the Father are His, and that the Holy Spirit ” does not speak from Himself/’ but from Him, and further that He took from the sepulchre, when He arose, His whole human body both as to the flesh and as to the bones, unlike any other man. This also He attested to His disciples. Luke xxiv. 39. T. 170.
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. The Sabbath of the Jewish church was the highest representative of the Lord’s glorification. The six days in which God is said to have created the world are expressive of the states through which the Lord passed while engaged in the work of Redemption; and the Sabbath, in which God is said to have rested, is expressive of the rest into which the Lord entered when that stupendous work was completed. It would seem to be appropriate, therefore, that the Lord’s life of labour and temptation should end with the sixth day of the Jewish week, that he should rest in the grave during the Jewish Sabbath, and that he should rise from the dead on the morning of the first day of a new week, thence to be called the Lord’s day, and be thereafter consecrated as the Christian Sabbath. As the last Sabbath of the old dispensation departed and the first of the new drew near, the two Marys came to see the sepulchre. “The last at the cross and the first at the sepulchre,” the female disciples of the Lord will ever be conspicuous in the Word, and honoured in the church, as the patterns of affectionate and devoted attachment to the Lord Jesus, when “despised and rejected of men.” Suitable types are they of the pure and ardent affections of the regenerate heart, which go out while it is yet dark to see the sepulchre where the body of Jesus is laid, which go in the hour of mental obscurity and temptation, to see the Divine Word, where love has its centre and hope has its grave. Theirs was a pilgrimage of devotion, to weep over the dead, and pour some fresh ointment over one whom they desired to preserve, but dreamt not of being able to restore.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
2 To sit is an expression significative of essence and endurance in the state of a thing and of the life. An angel of the Lord was sitting upon the stone which he had rolled away from the door of the sepulchre, which things were representative of the glorification of the Lord, and introduction into Heaven by Him. By the stone is signified Divine truth, consequently the Word, which was shut by the Jews, but opened by the Lord. E. 687.
2, 3. Snow from being small and white is predicated of truth. A. 8459.
2 But when they came, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Their minds must have received as great a shock as the earth by the convulsion. A new and unexpected scene was presented to their sight, in which wonder and joy must have been contending emotions. But let us consider the spiritual import of these extraordinary circumstances. The earthquake betokened an entire change in the state of the church, and of the world itself. It was the fulfilment of the prophecies, “the earth shook and trembled – the foundations of the earth are out of course the earth is moved out of its place.” “The angel of the Lord had descended from heaven.” Who was this angel? As angels derive from the Lord all that is angelic in their nature, an angel in the Word means some attribute of the Lord himself. This angel had descended from heaven to roll away the stone from the door of the sepulchre. We know that no angel was needed for this purpose, except for the representative use that required it. For the Lord who rose from the dead could have burst open the sepulchre, or could have come forth without disturbing the stone, as he entered into the room where the disciples were assembled without opening the door. But when we know that the stone on the mouth of the sepulchre represented the letter of the Word, and that the Word must be unsealed, and the letter, as it were, removed, in order that the Lord may come forth in the power and glory of his resurrection, we can see a sufficient spiritual reason, though there be no sufficient natural reason, for the removal of the stone by an angel, who should represent the Divine power itself; for who can break the seal and open the Word but the Lord alone? When the strong angel proclaimed, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? no one in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. The Lamb who was in the midst of the throne was alone found worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof (Rev. v. 2, 3, 9). But the angel, after he had rolled away the stone, sat upon it. The power of the spirit of the Word resting upon and teaching from the letter, is meant by the angel sitting upon the stone, as the Lord sat on Jacob’s well and instructed the woman of Samaria.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
3 When angels are presented to view, their interiors shine forth from the face, their exteriors are represented both in their bodies and in their dress, and this so fully that every one can know their quality from their dress alone, for they are real substances, and thus essences in form. A. 2576.
That the angels who are likenesses appear in flaming radiance and hence in white, is plain from the angel who descended from heaven and rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre. A. 5530.
That spirits and angels appear in garments, may be evident from the Word. , A. 5954.
The angels who were seen in the Lord’s sepulchre appeared clothed in white raiment, bright and shining, because linen signified the truth of the exterior natural,, and the exterior natural is what clothes the interiors. Therefore truth was represented by the linen garments. A. 7601.
The signification of lightnings, the glowing and flashing of truth Divine. A. 8813.
Spirits and angels appear clothed in garments according to their truths of faith, shining in the case of those who are in truths derived from good. A. 9216.
That the angels appeared clothed with garments is manifest. A. 9814.
Since angels are clothed with garments in heaven, they have also appeared clothed with garments when seen in the world, as those seen at the Lord’s sepulchre. H. 180.
Because angels signify Divine truths, therefore the angels seen in the Lord’s sepulchre appeared in garments white and shining. R. 166.
By linen clean and shining is signified truth pure and genuine. R. 671.
The angels in the Lord’s sepulchre in white and shining garments— for fine linen signifies the righteousness of the saints, as in Revelation xix. 8. T. 686.
See Chapter XXL, 7-9. E. 195.
The reason why white in the Word is predicated of truths is, because Divine truth is the light of heaven, and from the light of heaven arise whiteness and brightness. Hence also it was that the raiment of the angels at the sepulchre of the Lord was white as snow and glittering or shining. E. 196.
3-5. See Chapter XVII., 2, 6, 7, add: and the angel also whose face seemed like the lightning and his garment like snow said to those women ” fear not.” R. 56.
3-5, 10. By the fearful those are signified who are in no faith. R. 891.
3 This angel is described as the Lord himself in his glory is described. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. The countenance, as it is the index, so is it the symbol of the mind, thus of the interiors, more especially as to love and goodness. But the original term is not limited in its signification to the face, but includes the aspect of the whole person. As the countenance signifies good, garments signify truths that invest good. As this angel represents the Lord as to the power of the Word, his countenance signifies the celestial sense, his raiment the spiritual sense, as the stone on which he sat denotes the literal sense. Therefore his countenance is said to be like lightning, and his raiment white as snow for the countenance is expressive of interior love, seen in the light of celestial truth, and this truth, like lightning, is a burning as well as a shining light, while spiritual truth is comparatively a snowy white, because comparatively without the warmth of love.
4 The aspect of the angel produced very different effects on the keepers of the sepulchre and on the women who came to see it. The keepers, indeed, had felt the earthquake and seen the stone, which they had been set to watch, rolled away – whereas the women saw but the effects, and the angel sitting peacefully on the stone after the shock had passed away. The keepers were the representatives of the old subverted church, the women were the representatives of the new. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. Shaking signifies the effect of the change upon the understanding, and becoming as dead signifies the effect upon the will. To the understanding belongs power, to the will life. Fear which the keepers felt, is an affection common to both.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
5, 9, 10. Recreation is signified by ” Fear not.” Recreation is effected by the Divine presence. E. 80.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. The women had fear, but it was the fear that accompanies love, which is holy fear, but even this love eventually casts out. The angel knew that they sought Jesus; and those who seek him, under whatever circumstances, shall receive an answer of peace. And even if they seek him crucified, they will find him risen.
6 The angel, therefore, continued, – He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. O joyful sound! not to these pious and adventurous disciples only, but to all his disciples in all ages. If the birth of Jesus was announced as glad tidings of great joy, which should be to all people, should not his resurrection? Yes. But his nativity looked forward to all that followed, even to the salvation for which he came into the world. Yet the disciples did not see the connection between his birth and his resurrection. It required a kind of second revelation to enable them even to understand it – so slow of heart is man to believe all the prophets have written respecting the necessity of Christ suffering and entering into his glory. But here is the secret. It is through suffering in us that he is glorified in us. This is one of the truths, therefore, that can only be learned by experience. We must suffer with him, that we may rise with him. The disciple must himself be risen before he can know him, and the power of his resurrection. Nor is it till then that the disciple can understand that the Lord is risen “as he said.” How this must have struck the women! “As he said.” Verily the operation of the Lord’s Spirit is required to bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever he has said unto them. While the women were told that the Lord was not there, they were invited to come and see the place where the Lord lay. The “place” where he lay signifies the state of humiliation to which he submitted for our sakes. We look at the place where the Redeemer lay when we look into the Word, in order to contemplate the sufferings, and temptations, and death which he voluntarily underwent for our sakes – when we follow him into the wilderness, and the garden, and to the cross; and when we look at what he endured for our sakes, imperfect as our estimate of his sufferings must be, we cannot but wonder and adore. But while we are invited and enabled to look into the Word, and see described in it the state of humiliation to which, for our sakes, the Lord submitted, we are at the same time instructed and enabled to see that he is not there, that, having put off all infirmity and finiteness, he is risen in a humanity completely glorified.
7 The angel then said to them: And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead. The female disciples representing the affections of the will, through which the Lord first flows in with his love, the male disciples represent the thoughts of the understanding which thence receive a perception of truth. We see in this a providential arrangement. The affections are held under the influence of the Lord’s love in states of trial. and even when the understanding may be clouded with doubts, and almost overcome with unbelief, light may be conveyed to it by an internal way, and faith and confidence restored. They were desired further to say: and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. Galilee represented the church among the Gentiles. The Lord went there after his resurrection, to represent that he would be received by the Gentiles, and be acknowledged by them. Galilee represented also the natural mind, which is analogous to the Gentile mind, for the Gentile world forms the natural mind of man collectively, the church forming the spiritual mind. This was that mind which our Lord assumed and glorified in the world. Therefore, when he had risen from the dead he went into Galilee. And there, also, he desires his disciples to go. For as regeneration is an image and effect of the Lord’s glorification, where the Lord goes, there must his disciples go likewise. The Lord goes before them. He leads and directs them thither. He still goes before his disciples into Galilee after his resurrection. His resurrection signifies that he rises, yea, is every moment rising, in the hearts of the regenerate: and those in whose hearts he rises he leads into the good of life; there they see him; for they who do his will shall know his truth to be truth.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
8-10. See Chapter XVIL, 5-7. E.677.
9 See Chapter IX., 18. L. 41.
The Lord’s church is under the heavens, and thus under the Lord’s feet, it is therefore called the footstool of His feet (Isaiah Ix. 13, 14). Hence it is that they fell down at the Lord’s feet worshipping. R. 49.
Falling at the feet signifies adoration from humiliation.E. 77.
The women meeting Jesus worshipped Him. D. P., Page 47.
8 We read that they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. To depart or go is to live, or carry out a purpose or direction actually; and to do this quickly is to do it fully and certainly; for time signifies state, and thence quickly and speedily signifies a present state of affection and thought; thus, what is certain and full. Running also signifies a state of eager affection; and to run to tell signifies the affection of making known.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail! The Divine purpose in thus meeting his overjoyed disciples was, no doubt, to give them the assurance of personal sight that he was really risen, and to enable them to carry the glad tidings to their brethren, confirmed by their own experience, and, with the words of Jesus himself upon their lips, require them to go to meet him in Galilee. We can imagine with what excess of astonishment and joy these women must have beheld their beloved Lord and Saviour alive. To see him with their own eyes, to hear him with their own ears – what transport of feeling must it have produced; and so soon after they had gone to the sepulchre, to look with blank sorrow on the bloodless body! And, oh, what blessedness to hear salvation sounded in their willing ears! Health, spiritual, saving health, is the first salutation that issues from his sacred lips – health to them, and to poor diseased and suffering humanity wherever it exists. No wonder that these loving and overjoyed ones came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. This is supposed by some to mean, not that they actually clung to the person of the Lord, but that they prostrated themselves before him; and this is supposed to be necessary to be understood to make the relation consistent with the Lord’s words to Mary alone, “Touch me not.” It is highly desirable to use all legitimate means of harmonizing the literal sense of the Scriptures. But when we are convinced that the letter is designed as a vehicle for the spirit, perfect literal consistency is not to be regarded as an absolutely necessary evidence of the inspiration of the Word, nor of its power of instruction in righteousness. Certain it is, that the words carry the impression which we naturally draw from them; and it is the meaning of the relation, rather than the absolute nature of the fact, that forms the basis of the spiritual sense. Thus considered, their holding Jesus by the feet signifies conjunction with him by the divine principle of his humanity, now glorified – and their worshipping him denotes that they rendered him the homage of their best and purest affections.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
10 See Chapter XII., 49. A. 6756.
See Chapter XII., 49, add : and therefore also the disciples. R. 32.
See Chapter XVII., 2, 6, 7. R. 56.
See Chapter XII., 49. M. 120.
See Chapter XII., 49, 50. E. 746.
10 Jesus then addresses to them almost the same words which had been addressed to them by the angel: Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. While this may be regarded is, like all repetitions in the Word, the same thing addressed to a higher or different faculty, flowing from a higher principle, there is one momentous point in which it differs from the other. The Lord calls his disciples his brethren. This expresses a most profound, encouraging, and consolatory truth. It implies that the Lord, by the humanity he assumed and glorified, had come nearer to us – that he had become, so to speak, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. The Creator had taken on himself the form of the creature. And although he had put off all imperfection and finiteness, he retained all that was really human, and is therefore most truly man as well as God. Having, indeed, made the human divine and the Divine human, the Lord is truly GOD WITH US, because he is God-man. Thence the Lord condescends to call his disciples brethren. In the spiritual sense a brother, as distinguished from a disciple, is one who is connected with the Lord by love, as distinguished from one who is connected with him by faith. In the abstract sense a brother is the principle of love, and a disciple is the principle of faith; so that the same person may be at once a disciple and a brother: and it was because the Lord’s followers were now capable of entering into this more intimate connection and relationship with their Lord that he tenderly invited them as brethren to meet him in Galilee. A distinction similar to that now noticed is involved in servant and friend, – as where the Lord said to his disciples, “Henceforth I call you not servants – for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends – for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John xv. 15).
11-18. At the time these women left the sepulchre, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. When the council were assembled, unable to resist the evidence of the soldiers that the Lord’s resurrection had taken place, they bribed the guard to say that his disciples had stolen him away while his keepers slept – an account that acquired credence and currency among the Jews. It is needless to use any arguments to refute this theory. They may be found in literal commentaries. The fact presents a melancholy instance of the power of unbelief. Unbelievers often plead want of evidence. Here is an instance of determined unbelief against admitted evidence, It is too seldom considered that belief or unbelief is but a means to an end. Belief or unbelief has its roots in the end we have in view – in the ruling love by which we are actuated. Hence that grand doctrine of the church, that faith has no ground but charity, and that where there is no charity, or love, there can be no faith. How marvellously, but painfully, was this exemplified in the whole course of the conduct of the Jewish leaders in relation to Jesus, and most of all in this climax of their cruel hatred and unprincipled opposition to the sinless, the just, the beneficent One! How instructive a lesson does this circumstance convey! It tells that the ground of unbelief is in ourselves, that nothing can give us faith that enters no further than the understanding, and that the clearest evidence will be repelled by evil cherished in the heart. And how does this sad relation tend to produce humiliation of heart, when we reflect that these false and malevolent rulers of the Jews are types of evils and falsities that are inherent in our own fallen nature, that rise up against the good and the truth which through divine mercy we may have received. This is an opposition from within that the faithful will ever have to encounter in becoming experimentally convinced of the great truth of the Lord’s resurrection – against his rising in the heart itself. We refrain from a more minute consideration of this part of the history. We are told that the reason that certain passages relating to the sin of profanation are not minutely explained in the writings is, that the angels cannot contemplate this crime, nor even the subject itself, without horror. Let us therefore draw a veil over this last and most presumptuous instance of profanation of the truth relating to Jesus the Saviour by the Jews.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
16, 17. See Chapter XIV., 23. A. 2708.
16, 18. The earth in the internal sense — the Lord’s kingdom on earth and also the Lord’s kingdom in heaven. That the Lord has all power in heaven and on earth, He Himself teaches in Matthew. A. 8769.
16 We proceed to the more agreeable and still more useful subject of the Lord’s meeting with his disciples. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. In the order of the history as derived from a comparison, and what is called a harmony, of the gospels, this is not understood to be the first meeting between the apostles and Jesus after his resurrection. Matthew has recorded only this one meeting, his gospel ending with it, without including the account of the ascension, when the greatest number of his disciples were assembled at once in his presence after his resurrection. It is certain, however, that Matthew has brought into the account of this one meeting circumstances that belong to several, which shows how subordinately the sacred writers, or rather the Spirit which guided them, regarded mere historical accuracy on which the mere literalist lays so much stress. Jesus met his disciples in a mountain in Galilee. Galilee, we have seen, represented the glorified natural principle in the Lord, and consequently the regenerate natural principle in man. This is the ground on which the Lord and his disciples meet after his resurrection; and this meeting in Galilee was the meeting, the one that had been alluded to by Jesus, even before his death, “I will go before you into Galilee” (ch. xxvi. 32). But this meeting took place in a mountain, to represent that love is the basis of the conjunction of the Lord and man – the very principle in and by which they are united. And what is this natural principle as to love in which there is union? The Lord himself expressed it when he said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (John xv. 10). The natural principle, though the last in order, is not the least in importance. There are, indeed, two things in the order of succession, which are the best and the greatest – the first and the last; the first, where every good begins as an end, and the last, where it terminates as a use. When the Lord met his disciples in the mountain in Galilee, he gave us a sign, “that all religion has relation to life, and that the life of religion is to do good.”
17 The meeting between the Lord and his disciples in the mountain in Galilee must have been an affecting one, if such an ordinary term can be applied to a meeting between Jesus and his disciples, who now had found all their temporal ideas and feelings cast into the shade, and higher views and purer motives dawning, at least, upon their hearts and minds. No wonder, then, that when they saw him, they worshipped him. There are several other cases recorded, in this and the other gospels, of Jesus being worshipped. We have not hitherto said much on this point, and cannot enter largely into it here. Nor is it necessary. The divinity of the Lord is so convincingly provable, and proved by every direct and indirect evidence, that it is not difficult to discover in such passages as this another evidence of that great truth. It is true that the word here employed is used to express a kind of worship that is also paid to men, as in Matt. xviii. 26; but this is the same word that expresses the worship which Peter deprecated when offered by Cornelius (Acts x. 28), and which the angel refused when offered him by John, and which that celestial messenger desired him to render to God, as its only proper Object (Rev. xix. 10). Jesus never refused worship, even when offered by all the host of heaven (see Rev. v., vi., &c). In accepting, then, on this and other occasions, the homage which men and angels refused, be practically acknowledged himself to be God, the supreme Object of human worship. But it is not necessary to pursue this subject further. We assume that members of the true Christian church have settled views on this all-important point. It is enough to know that Jesus is the True God and Eternal Life; supreme worship becomes his due as a consequence. Every one worships the Lord according to his state; and whatever may have been the character of the worship of the disciples then, worship by the Christian disciple is the worship of Christ as God. It is of much importance here to know what the worship is which the disciples render to Jesus. The quality of the worship we offer is of still more importance than the understood character of the Object of our worship. Worship is the practical homage of all the thoughts and affections to Him who is their Author. To worship is to serve; and we only truly worship the Lord when every affection of good and perception of truth is employed, in word and act, in his service – in doing his will. While the disciples generally worshipped the Lord, some doubted. It is probable, as some suppose, that the eleven were not the only disciples who met the Lord on this occasion; for no one but Thomas had withheld belief. However, some doubted. And these doubters represent some doubts that may trouble even the sincere worshipper. And what are doubts but contradictions in ourselves to the unity and harmony of truth? – contradictions not in the perceptions only, but in the affections also; doubts that haunt many a mind, and that only depart as the Lord gains an ascendency in the heart and life, or is glorified in our souls and in our bodies, which are his.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
18 See Chapter XL, 27. A. 1607.
See Chapter XL, 27. A. 2026.
See Chapter XL, 27. A. 3704.
It is the Lord who rules the whole heaven, as He Himself teaches in Matthew, and that in hell they are opposed to the Lord, because they are opposed to heaven, where the Lord is all in all. A. 6197.
To believe that there is a heaven and a hell, that men will live after death, the good in happiness for ever, the evil in unhappiness, that the life remains with every one, that faith and charity make spiritual life and that this is the life which the angels have in heaven, that the Lord hath all power in the heavens and on the earth, as He Himself says in Matthew, that from Him we live — such are matters of faith in spiritual things and are signified by believing. A. 6970.
In the Lord is the trinity and He is the Lord of heaven, for He has all power in heaven and on earth. A. 7086.
The Lord alone is God, because by Jehovah in the Word no other is meant than the Lord, and because in heaven they know and perceive that the Lord is the Lord of heaven, and thus the Lord of the universe, as He Himself says in Matthew. A. 7209.
That the Lord rules both heaven and the universe is a truth also known to Christians in this earth from His words in Matthew. A. 7477.
By Divine order is meant that order which has been in heaven from the time when the Lord from His Divine Human began to put all things in order in heaven and on earth, which was immediately after the resurrection. A. 7931.
That the Lord is Lord of heaven and earth is evident in Matthew. A. 8331.
The world cannot receive the Spirit of truth, since it does not see Him. It will not acknowledge the Lord by S faith in the heart, because the external things which are of the world will obscure. Hence who at this day adores Him as the Lord of the whole heaven and earth, when yet all who are in the heavens, thus all who are in things internal, see the Lord as their only God. A. 9278.
The Lord when he was in the world subdued the hells and reduced the heavens unto order and acquired to Himself Divine power over them. That the Lord has that power He Himself teaches in express words in Matthew. A. 10019.
See Chapter XL, 27. A. 10067.
See Chapter XL, 27. A. 10089.
To those who do not acknowledge Him heaven is closed, and he who does not acknowledge in the world, that is, who is within the church, does not acknowledge in the other life. A. 10370.
The reason why Jehovah is said on the seventh day to have rested and respired is, because the Lord as to His Human was then above all the infestations from the hells, and at the same time heaven and earth were under His government. A. 10374.
But when the Lord is worshipped who is the God of heaven and earth, then the angels who are attendant upon man from heaven, do not claim to themselves anything of worship, because they attribute all the truth of faith and good of love to the Lord. A. 10642.
Angelic spirits say that the Lord alone has power in the heavens, and that the heavens are His. . A. 10738.
Inasmuch as in the Lord everything is Divine, therefore He has all power in the heavens and in the earths. A. 10827.
He says, ” in heaven and on earth,” since He who rules heaven, rules also the earth, for the one depends on the other. Ruling heaven and earth means to receive from the Lord every good pertaining to love and every truth pertaining to faith. H. 5.
See Chapter XL, 27. N. 291.
I was then permitted to say to the inhabitants of the planet Mars, that Christians also on our earth know that the Lord rules heaven and earth from the words of the Lord Himself in Matthew, but that they do not believe this as those who are from the earth Mars do. U. 91.
The church on our earth also knows this from the mouth of the Lord Himself. U. 159.
The Divine is united to the Human, and the Human to the Divine. L. 32.
The Lord after His glorification had power over heaven and earth, as He Himself says. P. 245.
No one is safe because the Lord is known to him, but because he lives according to His commandments, and the Lord is known to everyone who acknowledges God, for He is the God of heaven and earth, as He teaches in Matthew. P. 330.
The Lord alone is the God of heaven and earth, they therefore who do not go directly to Him do not see the way to heaven. R. 176.
See Chapter XL, 27. R. 294.
That the church is from Him who is the Saviour and Redeemer is not denied, but that He is to be approached immediately as the Saviour and Redeemer is denied. Here it is manifest, that the church is about to expire, unless a new one comes into existence, which acknowledges the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, and therefore goes immediately to Him. R. 476.
The Lord is the God of heaven and earth. R. 517.
That the Lord will reign as to His Divine Human is plainly manifest from these passages. R. 520.
As the Divine itself from which He came forth, and the Lord’s Divine Human are one, as the soul and the body, it follows that the Lord alone reigns. This is meant by the gospel of the Kingdom, and the Kingdom of God. Matthew iii. 2, etc. R. 553.
See Chapter I., 20, 25. R. 613.
For it is said in the doctrine of the trinity, “There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit; ” also “The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.” And though it is there added that these three are one, still in their thought they divided the Divine Essence into three, which however cannot be divided. . . . From this idea of their thought it came to pass, that they could not comprehend that the Lord, as born in the world, can be the God of heaven and earth, and still less that He alone is God, notwithstanding that they have heard and read all those passages as Matthew xxviii. 18 : John xiii. 3 ; xvi. 15. R. 618.
That the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, He teaches manifestly. R. 693.
The Divine truth, according to the words of the Lord Himself in Matthew. R. 738.
That the Lord is God of heaven and earth, He teaches in plain words. R. 743.
See Matthew xvi. 15, 16. This is the truth upon which the Lord builds His church, and Peter then represented that truth. From which it is manifest that the confession of the Lord, that He is the Son of the living God who has power over heaven and earth, is that upon which the Lord builds His church. R. 768.
The Lord has power over heaven and earth, and thus the power of saving the men who from faith of heart are in that confession of Peter (Matthew xvi. 16). The Lord’s Divine operation to save men is from firsts by ultimates. R. 798.
Verse mentioned. R. 800.
By the testimony of Jesus is signified the Lord’s attestation in heaven, that man is His, and thus that he is in heaven among the angels there ; that attestation cannot be given to any others but those who are in conjunction with the Lord, and they are in conjunction with the Lord who acknowledge Him as the God of heaven and earth, as He teaches in Matthew, and at the same time live according to His precepts. R. 819.
See Chapter XL, 5. R. 839.
That the Lord is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End and that by this is meant that all things were made, are governed, and are done by Him and more besides, is evident. R. 888.
He then asked sharply (part of Memorable Relation) *l How can you demonstrate the first, that there is one God in whom there is a Divine trinity, and that He is the Lord Jesus Christ?” Then are quoted in reply John x. 30; John xiv. 10, n : Colossians ii. 9: Matthew xxviii. 18 and other passages. M. 82.
What other can be approached, when by Him all things were made which are made and when He is the God of heaven and earth? M. 336.
All who are in the hells are against the Lord, and all who are in the heavens are with the Lord. They who are of the church and do not acknowledge the Divine of the Lord in His Human, act as one with the hells, whence it is that they entertain so great hatred. It has been often told them that they do evil, because they know from the Word, that the Lord hath all power in the heavens and on earth. E.137.
All things of the Father are also the Lord’s, and as He and the Father are one therefore the Lord when He ascended into heaven, said to His disciples, see Matthew. E. 200.
See Chapter XXVII., 51, 54, add : the Lord then rose again and as to His Human glorified, or made Divine, took upon Him all dominion over heaven and earth, as He Himself said. E. 400.
See Psalm cv. 17-23. By Joseph is here described the Lord, how He was received when He came into the world, how He was tempted and afterwards made Lord of heaven and earth. E. 448.
That the Lord has dominion over the angels in the heavens and over man on the earth is known from the Word. E. 513.
By the God of the earth (Revelation xi. 4) is understood the God of heaven and earth, and specifically the God of the church in heaven and in the world. E. 639.
That the Lord is the God of heaven, He Himself made manifest whilst He was in the world and when He departed out of the world. E. 678.
That the Lord has infinite power may appear from these considerations, that He is the God of heaven and the God of earth, that He has created the universe, full of so many innumerable stars, which are suns, consequently so many worlds therein, and earths in the worlds, that they exceed several hundred thousand in number, and that He alone continually preserves and sustains the same, inasmuch as He created them. That the Lord rules all things, He Himself teaches. E. 726.
See Chapter XL, 27. E. 803.
See Chapter XL, 27. E. 805.
Inasmuch as the Father and the Son of God are one, therefore the Lord says that when He cometh to judgment : He shall come in the glory of His Father. E. 852.
The idea concerning God is the primary of all ideas, for according to the quality thereof with man, such is his communication with heaven and conjunction with the Lord, and hence such is his illustration, affection of truth and good, perception, intelligence and wisdom, for these things are not from man, but from the Lord. The idea concerning God is the idea concerning the Lord and His Divine, for no other is God of heaven and God of earth, as He Himself teaches in Matthew. E. 957.
See Chapter XI., 27. E. 1097.
The reason that the Lord sent out the disciples to baptise in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit was because in Him was glorified the Divine Trinity. Therefore He says in Verse 18. B. 32.
That in the Lord is all power in heaven and earth. B. 44.
From these and several other passages of the Word, It may be clearly seen that the union of the Father and the Lord is like that of soul and body. T. 98.
The state of glorification is also that of union. He Was in this state whenever He said that the Father and He were one, and when the union was full He said in Matthew xxviii. T. 104.
These passages in the Evangelists were read to them (ie clergy). John iii. 35 ; xvii. 2, etc. T. in.
The kingdom of God, of which the good tidings were made known, was the kingdom of the Lord, and so the Father’s kingdom. That it is so, is manifest from these passages : Isaiah liv. 5 : Daniel vii. 13, 14: Revelation XI. 15, etc. T. 113.
And what then is easier for the devil to do, divide and rule? that is, to distract the minds of men, and excite rebellious movements, now against one God, now against another, as has been done from the time of Arius to the present day, and thus to cast down from the throne the Lord God, the Saviour, who has all power in heaven and earth. T. 133.
Our faith is not in man as you suppose, but in the true God, in whom is all the Divine. The Lord Himself says in Matthew : T. 137.
That the apostolic church knew nothing whatever of a trinity of persons, or of three Divine persons from eternity, is very evident from the creed of that church. The apostles preached faith in the Lord (Colossians ii, 9) and that He had all power in heaven and in earth. T. 175.
The Lord is the Word, the God of heaven and earth, the God of all flesh, the God of the vineyard or church, the God of faith, Light itself, the truth and life eternal. That the Lord is the God of heaven and earth is evident in Matthew. T. 354.
The true faith which is the one only faith, is in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the God of heaven and earth. T. 379.
A paper was once sent down from heaven to a society in the world of spirits, where there were two prelates of the church, with canons and elders under them. The paper contained an exhortation that they should acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the God of heaven and earth, as He Himself taught. T. 389.
All the good of charity is from the Lord, as He says in Matthew. T. 459.
The Lord is the all in all of heaven. The church makes the body of Christ, and Christ is the life of this body. The Lord is the church with those who acknowledge Him alone as the God of heaven and earth, and believe in Him. T. 608.
Who except a stupid person cannot see that without free-will in spiritual things man cannot be regenerated? Can he without this go to the Lord and acknowledge Him Redeemer and Saviour, and as God of heaven and earth, as He teaches? T. 615.
That in that primeval time all in what was then the Christian world acknowledged that the Lord Jesus Christ was God to whom was given all power in heaven and on earth, and power over all flesh. T. 637.
That the Lord is at this day forming a new heaven from Christians who acknowledged in the world, and after their departure out of it were able to acknowledge that He is the God of heaven and earth. T. 781.
The new heaven which was formed and is still forming of those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth. T. 796.
It was granted me to converse with Calvin and to speak first concerning the new heaven which at this day is forming of those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth. T. 798.
It was granted me to speak with him (who had been a pope in the world) and he said that he adored the Lord alone, because He is God, Who has all power in heaven and on earth. T. 820.
It was proved by many things in the Word, that the Lord even as to His Human was God, as by those found in Matthew. Ind. xv.
See Chapter XXVIII., 18. Statement in T. 389 repeated. Ind. xliii.
Verse quoted. D. P., Page 47.
I advise seafarers henceforth to pray to the Lord, because He is the God of the heaven, of the land, and of the sea and there is none else beside Him. C. 96.
That He is the Lord of heaven and earth He Himself teaches. Can., Page 63.
18-20. It has already been shown that the Divine which is called the Father, and the Divine which is called the Son, are one in the Lord. It shall therefore now be shown that the Holy Spirit is the same with the Lord. The Lord said that they should baptise into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit for the reason that there is a trine or trinity in the Lord, for there is the Divine which is called the Father, there is the Divine Human which is called the Son, and the Divine proceeding which is called the Holy Spirit. The Divine which is the Father, and the Divine which is the Son is the Divine from which all things are, and the Divine proceeding which is the Holy Spirit, is the Divine by which all things are. L. 46.
18 When the disciples worshipped the Lord, then Jesus came and spake unto them, It appears from this that at the very sight of Jesus, while they were yet at some distance from him, they fell clown and worshipped him; and that, while they were thus engaged in adoration, Jesus drew near to them. The scene is impressive; but the relation itself is instructive. It reminds us of the promise, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James iv. 8). Nearness is proximity of state; and true worship brings him near who was before afar off, and makes him, when near, still nearer. And what words those were which the Lord addressed to his adoring disciples! All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth. These words are indeed of the highest significance, and teach the greatest truth – one of the highest, if not the very highest, ever delivered by God to man. They teach the truth that Jesus Christ is the great and only God, the Governor of heaven and earth – that is, of the whole spiritual and material universe. This truth is precious for what it contains, which is not merely the fact that Christ is God, but that God is in Christ, the eternal Divinity exercising all its powers in and by the Divine humanity. What must have been the impression of the disciples when they heard this declaration from the lips of Jesus! They had seen him, they had followed him, they had been with him in his temptations, and he had called them brethren; and now he tells them that he with whom they had become familiar had all power in heaven and in earth. This is just the value of this great truth – that Jesus, who has entered into all our states and sympathies, is Ruler over the two worlds to which we belong, one of which we live in for a time here, the other in which we are to live hereafter for ever. Need we say one word on the seeming incompatibility of this language with that of supreme divinity? How could he possess independent divine power when he only received it? To all such questions it is; enough to answer, This language is equally inconsistent with the notions either of Christ’s being a second divine person or a mere man. A divine person could not receive such power; a mere human person could not contain it. The Lord’s declaration can only be rationally understood on the principle that the power of the Lord’s divinity was given to his humanity. This humanity was not the same as that of a mere man. “A body hast thou prepared for me,” was pronounced from heaven in anticipation of the incarnation. The body which became the temple of the Divinity was prepared even in the womb of the virgin, by being begotten by that very power of the Highest, of which it had now become the sole possessor, and was raised from the dead by that same power. The humanity was thus a temple builded by the Divinity as a residence for itself, and now the power of the Divine is in the human, as all the power of the human soul is in the human body. Thus the power, like the presence, of God is with us in the humanity of Christ, that is kindred to our own. But there is another truth with this general one. Heaven and earth mean spiritually not only the church in heaven and the church on earth, they mean also the two corresponding parts and principles in every member of the church – the internal man, which is heaven in him, and his external man, which is earth in him. Jesus has all power in both; and his possession of power in these is to be contrasted with the power of which they were the subjects before the incarnation. Before God was manifest in the flesh, the Divine power in man was operative mediately through heaven, and men were ruled through angels, for these were nearest to him; but since the Lord’s glorification the Divine power is operative immediately through the humanity in which God dwells, and in which he is immediately and intimately present with him, and he is therefore now ruled by the Lord himself. The Lord as a man is nearer to us than angels are – and when I speak of nearness, I do not mean nearness in space, but nearness in nature – for the Lord has a humanity, not only spiritual, like that of angels, but natural, like that of men – always understanding that, when we speak of the Lord’s natural humanity, we mean divine-natural – a humanity analogous to ours, but as much more perfect as the Creator is more perfect than the creature.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
19 The Father in this passage is the Divine itself, the Son is that Divine itself in human form, and the Holy Spirit is the Divine proceeding, thus the Divine is one and still a trine. A. 9818.
That it is the Lord alone Who is meant in Matthew by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is evident from what precedes and what follows there. L. 46.
If you persist saying that the Lord Himself mentioned three in Matthew, yet it is manifest from the verse immediately preceding, and from that immediately following that He said this to make: known that in Himself now glorified was the Divine Humanity. P. 262.
What the Divine trinity is, is evident from the words of the Lord in Matthew. B. 32.
That there is a Divine trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is very evident from the Word. T. 164.
That baptism was commanded is perfectly evident from John’s baptising in Jordan, and furthermore by the Lord commanding the disciples to baptise all nations. T. 668.
The first use of baptism is introduction into the Christian church, and at the same time insertion among Christians in the spiritual world. T. 677.
Here by the Father is meant the Divine itself, by the Son the Divine Humanity, and by the Holy Spirit the Divine proceeding, which is the Divine truth, thus one Divine and yet a trinity. E. 183.
By the rite of baptism was signified initiation into knowledges received from the Word concerning the Lord, His advent, and salvation from Him. As man is reformed and regenerated by the Lord by means of truths from the Word, therefore baptism was commanded by the Lord. E. 475.
He therefore commanded the disciples that they should baptise in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Can., Page 52.
Since God is one and since He is the Divine trinity Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, according to the Word of the Lord in Matthew, it follows that that trinity is in one person, and that it is in the person of Him who was conceived from God the Father and born of the virgin Mary and was thence called Son of the Most High, Son of God. the only begotten Son. Can., Page 61.
19, 20. It shall also be told what is meant by the Lord’s last words to the disciples. . . . Until the consummation of the age is until the end of the church, and then, if they do not go to the Lord Himself, and live according to His precepts, they are left by the Lord, and being left by the Lord they become as pagans who have no religion, and then the Lord is with those only, who will be of His New Church. R. 750.
19 When the Lord had thus instructed his disciples regarding the power which he had acquired by glorification, and which he was now to exercise in and amongst them, he gave them the commission on which they were to act. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations. When first sent forth to preach the gospel of the kingdom, they were required to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; now they are commanded to go into all the world. These two commissions were consistent with the different conditions in which they then stood. Their first labour was to be bestowed upon the internal – now it was to be extended to the external also. And their commission was to teach all nations. Nations, meaning naturally the heathen, spiritually signify those who are in states of good, especially of simple good, for these only are in the desire, and thence in the capacity to receive truth. In the abstract sense nations signify the principles themselves of good in the external or natural mind, as the lost sheep of the house of Israel signify the principles of good in the internal or spiritual mind; so that we are here instructed that even in ourselves we are to see that there is good to receive truth, and to see that where there is good it ought to be supplied with truth, to enlighten and guide us in fact, to save it – for natural good is only made spiritual and saving by means of truth. The disciples were further commanded to baptize the nations whom they instructed. There can be no doubt that this command has reference to the formal baptism of all who receive the Christian faith, or are admitted into the Christian church. It is not our object to consider baptism as a Christian sacrament, to be administered in the Christian church. The doctrine of the church, as well as the words of the Lord, declare this to be of perpetual obligation, and to be of importance to us, both as a sign of introduction into the Christian church, and, at the same time, of connection with the church in heaven, and a memorial that the person baptized with water is to be regenerated by the truth and the Spirit of truth. Spiritual baptism, therefore, which is the antitype and the end of water baptism, is the washing of regeneration. Baptism was to be performed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These are three names of the one Divine Being; but they are the names of three distinct principles or essentials of his nature. The Father is the Essential Divinity, the Son is the Divine Humanity, and the Holy Spirit is the Divine Operation of the Father and the Son. In a more interior but harmonious sense, the Father is the Divine Love, the Son is the Divine Wisdom, and the Holy Spirit is the Divine Power. Those who were taught were to be baptized in the name of these. And when we reflect that in the Word, a name of any person or thing means the quality of that person or thing, we are enabled to understand the instructive import of this command. For to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is to regenerate by the communication and reception of love from God, of wisdom from God, and power from God. But to see the full significance of this formula, we must further consider that man was created an image of God, and that he can not only be restored to the Divine image, but renewed in all the parts or faculties of his nature, by the reception into them of a finite measure of the qualities or principles that make up the perfect nature of God. Man has a will, created after the likeness and adapted for the reception of God’s love; he has an understanding, created after the image and adapted for the reception of God’s wisdom and he has the faculty of acting, created after the image and adapted to the reception of God’s power. Now, man is regenerated when he receives of God’s love into his will, of God’s wisdom into his understanding, and of God’s power into his words and works. Nothing can baptize the heart but love, nothing can baptize the understanding but wisdom, and nothing can baptize the life but the power of these principles manifested in a life of true holiness. This is the baptism of the soul, and that which makes us members of the Lord’s body.
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
20 That the Lord is present with all He teaches in Matthew. W. in.
They who make the Human of the Lord like the human of another man, do not think of His conception from the Divine itself, nor do they consider that the body of everything is the effigy of its soul. Neither do they reflect on His resurrection with the whole body, nor on His appearance at His transfiguration, when His face shone as the sun. Neither do they think respecting those things which the Lord said concerning faith in Him, concerning His unity with the Father, concerning His glorification and concerning His power over heaven and earth, that these are Divine, and were mentioned in relation to His Human. Neither do they remember that the Lord is omnipresent also as to His Human. . . . Omnipresence is Divine. N. 292.
Verse quoted. B. 32.
Verse quoted. B. 120.
In the Word frequent mention is made of observing and keeping the precepts, the commandments, the words and the law. By observing and keeping them is there signified to understand, to will, and to do them, as in Matthew, in John viii. 51 ; xiv. 15, 23, 24. E.15.
See Chapter V., 18, 26. E. 228.
See Chapter XIII., 39, 40, 49. E. 397.
Verse quoted. D. P., Page 9.
It was said by the Lord that He would be with the disciples even to the consummation of the age, because by the Lord’s twelve disciples the like is signified as by the twelve tribes of Israel, namely all things of love and faith, and accordingly all things of the church. A. 4535.
By the age is here meant the duration of the church from beginning to end. A. 10248.
See Chapter XIII., 39, 40. A. 10622.
See Chapter XXVIII., 20. Statement N. 292 repeated. A. 10826.
By the Spirit when the Lord is spoken of, is meant in particular the life of His wisdom, which is the Divine truth. It is evident that by the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord meant Himself. L. 51.
See Chapter V., 18, 26. R. 23.
See Chapter XIII., 30, 40. R. 658.
From this and many other passages in the Word it is manifest that the Divine, which is called the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Divine in the Lord, through His Divine Human. R. 962.
That the Lord meant Himself by the Comforter or the Holy Spirit is manifest from those words of the Lord. See John xiv. 16-19 T. 139.
It is manifest that the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit, proceeds out of the Lord, from the Father. T. 188.
See Chapter XIII., 30, 39, 40. T. 755.
Inasmuch as all light departs at midnight, and the Lord is the true light, John i. 4-9 ; viii.-12 ; xii. 35, 36, 46, therefore when the Lord ascended to heaven He said to the disciples, I am with you even to the consummation of the age, and then He departs from them to the New Church. T. 761.
20 The disciples were to teach the nations, or the baptized of them, to observe all things whatsoever the Lord had commanded them. Salvation can only be secured by doing all things which the Lord has commanded in his teaching – that is, throughout his whole Word, of which he is the Author. But the force of this part of the Lord’s commission depends on the circumstance that baptism is to be followed up by this teaching. A teaching is to precede baptism, and another is to succeed it. The first is a teaching of principles, the second of duties, or, what is the same, the first is a teaching of the internal, the second a teaching of the external. Further, the teaching which is to follow baptism is the teaching of duties that are to follow baptism, on the principle that, unless the regenerate continue faithful in persevering holiness to the end of life, there can be no salvation. “He that putteth his hand to the plough and looketh back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.” And how encouraging is the final promise of the Lord to his faithful followers! And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. The Lord promised to be with his disciples at the very time he was about to leave them. Here we see the difference between real and apparent, between spiritual and bodily presence. Well was this difference stated by the Lord himself in the course of his teaching. When promising his faithful ones that when he went away from them he would send another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, saying at the same time, I will not leave you comfortless; I will come unto you; he says respecting the Spirit, “For he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John xiv. 17). It is this presence of the Lord in his disciples that is the real source of their comfort and power. It was this presence that the Lord promised. And this presence they were to enjoy to the end of the world. In the general meaning, the saving presence of the Lord with his people till the end of the church is promised. The world does not mean even literally the world as the habitation of man, the theatre of human action, – it means the age, the religious dispensation, the consummation of which is meant by the end. In reference to the members of the church individually, the end of their age is the end of life with those who persevere unto the end; for those who are faithful unto death, to them the Lord will give a crown of life. But with all, the Lord is present unto the end. He never withdraws his presence from any. The Lord’s words, literally rendered, are still more expressive and comforting. “I am with you all the days, even unto the consummation of the age.” He is with his church and people in all their states, to enlighten them with his truth, to influence them with his love, and to support them with his power. If the church declines, he never leaves her, but continues to be with her, and watch over her, even till her end comes, when she rejects him, and brings an end upon herself. If the member of the church, who has been baptized in the sacred name of the Lord, falls away, and turns to the beggarly elements of the world, the Lord is even with him always, even to the end of his state. But let us endeavour so to sanctify our minds and lives by the influence of his Spirit, and by the teaching of his Word, that we may know no end but that which Providence appoints us, when we have completed our course here below, and are called into the higher mansions of his house, where we may be with him always, for ever.
Amen. Although this does not appear to be a part of the inspired text, it may be considered as the response of the church, by which it has been added. Even so, let us desire, and pray, and labour to secure the fulfilment of this divine promise – that Jesus may be our portion in time and in eternity.
AUTHOR: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (COMPILED BY ROBERT S. FISCHER AND LOUIS G. HOECK 1906)
COMMENTARY AUTHOR: WILLIAM BRUCE (1866)
PICTURES: JAMES TISSOT Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum