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DLW 230. In the Lord the three degrees of height are infinite and uncreate, because the Lord is Love itself and Wisdom itself (as has been already shown); and because the Lord is Love itself and Wisdom itself, He is also Use itself. For love has use for its end, and brings forth use by means of wisdom; for without use love and wisdom have no boundary or end, that is, no home of their own, consequently they cannot be said to have being and have form unless there be use in which they may be. These three constitute the three degrees of height in subjects of life. These three are like first end, middle end which is called cause, and last end which is called effect. That end, cause and effect constitute the three degrees of height has been shown above and abundantly proved.

DLW 231. That in man there are these three degrees can be seen from the elevation of his mind even to the degrees of love and wisdom in which angels of the second and third heavens are; for all angels were born men; and man, as regards the interiors pertaining to his mind, is a heaven in least form; therefore there are in man, by creation, as many degrees of height as there are heavens. Moreover, man is an image and likeness of God; consequently these three degrees have been inscribed on man, because they are in God-Man, that is, in the Lord. That in the Lord these degrees are infinite and uncreate, and in man finite and created, can be seen from what was shown in Part First; namely, from this, that the Lord is Love and Wisdom in Himself; and that man is a recipient of love and wisdom from the Lord; also, that of the Lord nothing but what is infinite can be predicated, and of man nothing but what is finite.

DLW 232. These three degrees with the angels are called Celestial, Spiritual, and Natural; and for them the celestial degree is the degree of love, the spiritual the degree of wisdom, and the natural the degree of uses. These degrees are so called because the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, one called the celestial, the other the spiritual, to which is added a third kingdom wherein any men in the world, and this is the natural kingdom. Moreover, the angels of whom the celestial kingdom consists are in love; the angels, of whom the spiritual kingdom consists are in wisdom; while men in the world are in uses; therefore these kingdoms are conjoined. How it is to be understood that men are in uses will be shown in the next Part.

DLW 233. It has been told me from heaven, that in the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, before His assumption of a Human in the world, the two prior degrees existed actually, and the third degree potentially, as they do also with angels; but that after the assumption of a Human in the world, He put on over these the third degree, called the natural, thereby becoming Man, like a man in the world; but with the difference, that in the Lord this degree, like the prior degrees, is infinite and uncreate, while in angel and in man they are all finite and created. For the Divine which, apart from space, had filled all spaces (n. 69-72), penetrated even to the outmosts of nature; yet before the assumption of the Human, the Divine influx into the natural degree was mediate through the angelic heavens, but after the assumption it was immediate from Himself. This is the reason why all churches in the world before His Advent were representative of spiritual and celestial things, but after His Advent became spiritual-natural and celestial-natural, and representative worship was abolished. This also was the reason why the sun of the angelic heaven, which is the first proceeding of His Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, after the assumption of the Human shone out with greater effulgence and splendor than before the assumption. And this is what is meant by these words in Isaiah:--

In that day the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days (Isa 30:26).

This is said of the state of heaven and of the church after the Lord's coming into the world. Again, in the Apocalypse:--

The countenance of the Son of man was as the sun shineth in his strength (Apoc 1:16; Isaiah 60:20; 2 Sam. 23:3, 4; Matt. 17:1, 2).

The mediate enlightenment of men through the angelic heaven, which existed before the coming of the Lord, may be compared to the light of the moon, which is the mediate light of the sun; and because after His coming this was made immediate, it is said in Isaiah, That the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun (Isa. 30:26); and in David:--

In His days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace until there is no longer any moon (Ps. 72:7).

This also is said of the Lord.

DLW 234. The reason why the Lord from eternity, that is, Jehovah, put on this third degree by the assumption of a Human in the world, was that He could enter into this degree only by means of a nature like human nature, thus only by means of conception from His Divine and by birth from a virgin; for in this way He could put off a nature which, although a receptacle of the Divine, is in itself dead, and could put on the Divine. This is meant by the Lord's two states in the world, which are called the state of exinanition and the state of glorification, which are treated of in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Lord.

DLW 235. Of the threefold ascent of the degrees of height this much has been said in general; but these degrees cannot here be discussed in detail, because there must be these three degrees in things greatest and things least; this only need be said, that there are such degrees in each and all things of love, and therefrom in each and all things of wisdom, and from both of these in each and all things of use. In the Lord all these degrees are infinite; in angel and man they are finite. But how there are these three degrees in love, in wisdom, and in uses cannot be described and unfolded except in series.

Divine Love and Wisdom previous · next Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). www.TheisticScience.org