There were three reasons why faith in the Lord healed these [people]; first, because they acknowledged His Divine omnipotence, and that He was God; secondly, because faith is acknowledgment, and from acknowledgment intuition; and all intuition from acknowledgment makes another to be present; this is a common thing in the spiritual world. So now, when a New Church was to be established by the Lord, it was this intuition from an acknowledgment of the Lord's omnipotence from which they were first to look to the Lord; and from this it is clear what is here meant by faith. The third reason was, that all the diseases healed by the Lord represented and thus signified the spiritual diseases that correspond to these natural diseases; and spiritual diseases can be healed only by the Lord, and in fact by looking to His Divine omnipotence and by repentance of life. This is why He sometimes said, "Thy sins are forgiven thee; go and sin no more." This faith also was represented and signified by their miraculous faith; but the faith by which spiritual diseases are healed by the Lord can be given only through truths from the Word and a life according to them; the truths themselves and the life itself according to them make the quality of the faith. Emanuel Swedenborg [AE 815]
No one is held responsible for the evil tendencies which he inherits or for the falsities in which he is brought up. The conditions in which he is born, the circumstances by which he is surrounded are but the setting of his life work. Afflictions, like any other circumstances, are opportunities for the development of character-"that the works of God should be made manifest." We are individually responsible for what we do with the opportunities given us, for acknowledging and struggling against the evil tendencies in our hearts and for accepting the truth and following it as fast as we see it. ANITA DOLE
Most people wonder why humanity is plagued with so many diseases. And, although science has found the cure to certain infections and maladies, there is an ever-increasing number of diseases that remains incurable and a mystery to science. In fact, since scientists continue to believe that the human organism is purely physical, they are always treating the effects or symptoms of disease, never its real cause. However, recently, scientists have discovered that most of our diseases originate in the structure of our DNA. And, since they also believe that our DNA is fixed and cannot be altered, they have also concluded that we are doomed to manifest the diseases that we have inherited from the DNA of our parents and grandparents.
This seems to be depressing and unjust in many ways. Perhaps we should search for another source of information regarding disease. What does the Word of God or Bible say about disease? After all, if God created and continues to maintain and sustain the universe, He should know more about disease and healing than scientists. In fact, we read in the New Testament that, when He was on earth, the Lord met with many people who had fierce diseases such as leprosy, blindness, deafness, paralysis, psychosis, etc. Yet, He was able to heal all those who desired to be healed. But, if they were doomed by their DNA, how did He do it? First, He asked them if they desired to be healed. They had to be willing to believe that the Lord could heal them. In fact, after they were healed, the Lord often said: “Your faith has made you whole!” Then, He also said something very important; He implored them to stop sinning:
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:13-14
Is there a connection between physical or biological disorder and spiritual disorder? If our spiritual body is simply manifesting our material body by correspondence and influx, spiritual disorder has to be the real cause of disease. Since we are necessarily born from humanity, we do inherit all the spiritual disorders of our ancestors. And, due to the spiritual fall of mankind, most of us must be affiliated with the distorted spiritual fields of hell. This is where disease must originate. No disease can ever originate from Heaven because Heaven is the realm of spiritual Order. If our soul were conjoined with Heaven, we would only manifest health. In fact, our biological body evolved in correspondence with the spiritual form of Heaven (the Divine-Human form). (See Heaven) But our human ancestors eventually fell into love of self and the world. Thus, it is our connection with the spiritual disorder of hell that is causing so many human diseases. Every human vice eventually manifests a corresponding disease.
Life is not biological as most scientists believe. Life descends by influx and correspondence from the Lord and into Heaven and earth. God is the source of Life, Truth and Love; He is the shield that protects us from all spiritual, mental and biological disorder. In order to heal spiritually, mentally and physically, we must be properly connected to Heaven and the Lord. We are not doomed by our DNA. In fact, in the Bible, we can read how God changes the name [DNA] of certain persons after they undergo spiritual transformation. We do have the potential to manifest certain diseases but our will is free. There are all kinds of negative ideas flowing into our mind and evil (selfish) desires flowing into our heart from hell but it is only when we freely agree with these morbid ideas and consistently act upon these selfish urges that we are establishing our state of being and permanently forming the structure of our DNA. The Lord would never have urged us to repent if we did not have the capacity to change inwardly. And any spiritual and mental change that we undergo, will produce biological changes through correspondence and influx.
So, how can we heal? We cannot just have a superficial faith in God and expect to heal biologically. We must in fact heal mentally and spiritually first. To repent (and forgive) is to change our mind so our beliefs are aligned with Divine Truth and Love. Then the Lord will change our very being or will through spiritual temptation. We must ignore the gloomy ideas and resist the evil (selfish) urges that inflow into our mind and heart from hell. And we must equally behave and act in the world in accordance with our true beliefs and loving and useful intentions. This change may take many years to become fully realized. But once our spiritual body is in spiritual order, our biological body will manifest health or biological order. Thus healing can only unfold according to spiritual, mental, and biological law. And this does not in any way mean that we should abandon conventional medicine; we should use all means available to help us heal inwardly and outwardly. Medical science in combination with spiritual knowledge (and transformation) has the potential to eradicate many hereditary diseases that have plagued mankind for ages.
In the Bible, we read that, when King Hezekiah was ill, he implored the help of God’s prophet Isaiah. And, Isaiah proceeded to heal the king’s wounds by using an ointment made of figs. As we know, figs correspond to works of natural goodness. Thus it is by beginning to do Good that the Lord will eventually change the structure of our will so that we are able to heal inwardly and then outwardly:
How does Love heal?
Love does heal or restore order within us. However, here, when we are speaking about Love, we are referring to a very specific kind of Love: the Harmonic or True Love of God. In fact, certain kinds of love such as unbridled lust can even cause disease and destroy us. Such passionate love is disorganized and, as a consequence, it generates emotional, mental and ultimately biological disorder.
Real or True Love is True or Harmonic emotion; it involves and evolves harmonically like a toroidal vortex. As a consequence, this True Love is Harmonically organized in the form of Truth. And we know that the form of Truth is the human form. Therefore, this Real Love embeds the blueprint or true harmonic structure of the human body.
When we are ill, our mind is in false ideas and our heart is in negative emotions. In fact, this is where the causes of our biological illness originate. By understanding, acknowledging and believing Truth and being useful to others and God, we begin to experience Unselfish, Real or True Love. And this True Love within us begins to restore our human biological organization by correspondence and influx. True, Unselfish, Innocent, Pure or Divine Love is the most powerful energy in the universe. Hence, the vortex of True Love destroys or evacuates all that is discordant within us like a hurricane and it restores everything back into the harmonic order of the human form.
HEALTH AND SICKNESS.
by Edward Craig Mitchell
To do its work, and to serve its purpose, properly, our physical body must be kept in good health. Bodily health corresponds to the health of the mind, which is spiritual health. And so, bodily sickness corresponds to spiritual sickness, in all varieties, from slight sickness to exhaustion and death, at one extreme, or to insanity, at the other. All these represent different forms of evil in the will, or of falsity in the understanding, or of sin in the conduct.
Conditions of the body depend largely on the states of the mind. It is not always the large and strong man who has the most courage, or the most physical power, or efficiency, or influence. Often, vitiated states of the mind injure the body; and, in restoring the mind, we restore the body, also. The body is the mind's natural instrument, to do the bidding of the spirit in the physical world. And so, intelligent physicians, in treating existing conditions, pay considerable attention to the mental states of patients.
Before regeneration, we are all sick, in spiritual things, because we are born into disorderly inclinations of feeling and of thought, from accumulated hereditary tendencies. While Jesus was on the earth, a part of His work was to heal men of their various diseases. And it was a time when many and desperate diseases were quite common, for it was a time of desperate evil, falsity and sin, which disordered all things in men. But when men were willing to open their minds to the Lord, and to pay attention to His teachings, such men were brought into closer connection with the Lord, and with the heavens. And this condition in men's minds opened them to receive the life-giving influences of the Lord, on all planes of their life.
Many forms of sickness depended upon wrong mental states. And when these mental states were corrected by the Lord, and men's minds were released from such things, such men could have their disorderly bodily conditions, also, corrected and healed ; because their bodies were healed through their spirits. This can be seen to be the fact, from the opposite condition, when men were not willing to open their minds to the Lord. It is recorded in Matthew xiii. 58, "And He did not many mighty works, there, because of their unbelief." Men would not open their hearts and intellects to Him, to become receptive of life. When Jesus sent out His apostles. He said to them, "As ye go, preach, saying. The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (Matt. x. 7, 8.)
Author: Edward Craig Mitchell, From Scripture Symbolism, 1904
In the other life, none of us suffers any punishment for inherited evil, because it is not ours. We are not at fault for our hereditary nature. We suffer punishment for any actualized evil that is ours-that is, for whatever hereditary evil we have claimed as our own by acting it out in our lives. Emanuel Swedenborg [HH342]
As the correspondence of diseases is to be treated of, be it known that all diseases in man have correspondence with the spiritual world; for whatever in universal nature has not correspondence with the spiritual world cannot exist, having no cause from which to exist, consequently from which to subsist. The things that are in nature are nothing but effects; their causes are in the spiritual world, and the causes of these causes, which are ends, are in the interior heaven. Nor can the effect subsist unless the cause is constantly in it, because the effect ceases when the cause ceases. Regarded in itself the effect is nothing else than the cause, but so clothed outwardly as to enable the cause to act as a cause in a lower sphere.
These things have been said in order that it may be known that diseases also have correspondence with the spiritual world; not a correspondence with heaven, which is the Grand Man [Divine-Human], but with those who are in what is opposite, thus with those who are in the hells. By the spiritual world in the universal sense is meant both heaven and hell; for when man dies he passes out of the natural into the spiritual world. That diseases have correspondence with such is because they correspond to the cupidities and passions of the lower mind, which are also their origins; for the origins of diseases are, in general, intemperance, luxury of various kinds, mere bodily pleasures, as also feelings of envy, hatred, revenge, lewdness, and the like, which destroy man's interiors; and when these are destroyed the exteriors suffer, and drag man into disease, and so into death. It is known in the church that the death of man is from evils, or on account of sin; and it is the same with diseases, for these belong to death. From all this it is evident that even diseases have correspondence with the spiritual world, but with unclean things there; for diseases are in themselves unclean, because as before said they spring from unclean things. Emanuel Swedenborg [AC 5711-5712]
Take a lump of figs, then, would mean, determine to do good, to perform kind and just acts to the person against whom you have strong dislike. The great law of loving our neighbour as ourselves, is often felt to be difficult of exercise towards persons who are disagreeable to us. The exclamation will sometimes be heard.---" How can I like people whom I don't like ?" I wish I could alter my disposition towards such or such persons, but indeed they are very disagreeable. I cannot pretend to be pleased with them when I am not pleased. It would be hypocrisy. Religion cannot require that. The Divine method in our text tells us, what to do. We cannot directly or immediately alter our interior disposition, but we can determine our acts. We can embrace every opportunity of doing good, that is, of doing right to everyone, and when we compel ourselves to do kind acts towards those to whom we have felt bitterly, the Lord will alter the disposition. You get the lump of figs, the Lord will heal the boil.
Author: Jonathan Bayley [The Divine Wisdom of the Word of God]
By "healing he shall heal" is signified in the spiritual sense to restore, because disease and sickness signify the infirmity of the internal man, which infirmity exists when he is sick in respect to his life, which is the spiritual life; thus when he turns aside from truth to falsity, and from good to evil. When this is the case, the spiritual life sickens; and when he wholly turns himself away from truth and good, it dies; but this death is called "spiritual death," which is damnation. As this is the case with the life of the internal man, therefore such things as relate to diseases and death in the natural world are said in the Word of the diseases of the spiritual life, and of its death. So also the cures of diseases, or healings, as in Isaiah:
Jehovah smiteth Egypt, smiting and healing; whence he turneth himself unto Jehovah, and He shall be entreated for them, and shall heal them (Isa. 19:22).
Surely He was pierced for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and in His wound we are healed (Isa. 53:5);
speaking of the Lord.
Return, ye perverse sons, I will heal your backslidings (Jer. 3:22).
Behold, I will cause to come up to it cure and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth (Jer. 33:6).
Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt; in vain hast thou multiplied medicines; there is no healing for thee (Jer. 46:11).
And in Ezekiel:
By the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that, cometh up the tree for food, whose leaf falleth not, neither is the fruit consumed; it springeth up again in its months, because the waters thereof go forth out of the sanctuary; therefore the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicines (Ezek. 47:12).
"The fruit which shall be for food" denotes the good of love and charity which is for the nourishment of the spiritual life; "the leaf which shall be for medicine" denotes the truths of faith which are for the refreshment and restoration of that life. (That "fruit" denotes the good of love and of charity, see n. 3146, 7690; and that "leaf" denotes the truth of faith, n. 885.)
As diseases and sicknesses, and also healings and medicines, are not said in the Word of the natural life, but of another life which is distinct from the natural life; it is therefore plain to him who gives some consideration to the matter, that man has another life, which is that of his internal man. They who have gross thoughts with respect to the life of man, believe that he has no other life than that of the body, which is the life of the external or natural man. They wonder what the life of the internal man may be, and even what the internal man is. If they are told that that life is the life of faith and charity, and that the internal man is man's spirit, which lives after death, and which is essentially the man himself, they wonder still more. And such of them as live only for the body, and not for the soul, thus who are merely natural men, have no apprehension whatever of what is said about the life of faith and charity, and about the internal man, because their thought is merely from natural light, and not at all from spiritual light. Wherefore also after death they remain gross in respect to thought, and live in the shadow of death, that is, in falsities from evil; and they are wholly in thick darkness, and blind to the light of heaven. Emanuel Swedenborg [AC 9031]
THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT
by Frank Sewall
The woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, who had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, stands, in so far, as the type of our corrupt and degraded humanity, of our spiritual uncleanness and disease, which is beyond the help of mere human skill and effort but, in her saying within herself, "If I but touch his garment, I shall be whole," and her coming behind the Lord, amidst the throng that pressed about Him, and silently, but in faith, touching only the hem of his garment, she becomes the illustrious and ever-memorable pattern of true Christian humility and of saving faith. "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole ;" here is the whole gospel of salvation preached in a single sentence to this healed woman, the type of our redeemed humanity. " Daughter,"— it is the Father of all who speaks: come dowm from heaven to save,— "be of good comfort,"— it is the good tidings of salvation that He brings,— "thy faith hath made thee whole ;" this salvation is in such a faith as, overcoming all obstacles, shame, the fear of the multitude, the pressure of the throng, brings the believing one to the Lord Himself, and impels him to perform in lowliness of heart the humblest and most external duties in the fear of the Lord, and in a trust in his mercy and saving power. But it is manifest that the practical import of this simple and comprehensive lesson all turns upon the significance of that act of the woman's faith, by which the Saviour perceived that virtue had gone out of Him, and by which the woman was made whole of her disease. For no one will question but that this diseased woman is the representative of our natural and unregenerate will, and that in her miraculous cure is typified the regeneration of man through the operation of the Holy Spirit. But the practical and all-important part of the lesson here afforded is, By what means does the Holy Spirit thus exert or put forth in us its healing, saving power? what have we on our part to do ? how are we to do this ? and how will this make us whole ?
We see at a glance that the means of this Divine operation, of this going forth of the healing virtue, was the woman's deliberate, voluntary, humble, trustful act. The Lord did not come to her specially, calling her by name, raising her, assuring her. At most He was passing by where she was. He was in the world, He was going then on his mission of mercy, of giving life to the dead. The woman beholds Him, believes that He not only can save her, but will save her. She comes to Him ; she passes forward through the crowd ; she allows neither shame nor fear, nor any impediment, to stand in her way ; she is willing on her part to struggle hard for the attainment of her end ; but, as regards the Saviour, she does not importune Him with her cries, nor even her presence ; she will not stay his feet a moment ; she asks not a glance of compassion from his eye, a word of comfort from his mouth ; she knows that He is Love itself, ever merciful and ever strong to save ; the effort is to be on her part, not on his ; she willnot throw herself in his way,— she will not even utter a prayer in his outward ear ; she will implore Him only in the silent desire of her heart ; she will cry to Him in her earnest but unuttered faith ; she will come behind Him, saying to herself, " if I may but touch his garment, I shall be made whole." She does so : she touches but the hem of his robe, — the fringe or tassel of that garment whose pattern is given in the ancient Levitical law, and immediately the fountain of her blood is dried up ; she feels in her body that her plague is healed. 'Tis then the Saviour turns and looks upon her that has done this thing ; 'tis then she falls trembling before Him, and in heartfelt acknowledgment of his mercy tells Him all the truth. And now she hears from his lips those comforting and gracious words " Daughter, be of good comfort ; thy faith hath made thee whole. Go in peace." Her faith has been the means of her cure ; but it was faith in act: and that act was none other than coming and touching the hem of the Lord's garment.
Upon this act, then,— touching the hem of the Lord's garment,— hangs the whole significance of this event. That it is an act of great spiritual import, whose efficacy lies deeper than in the mere outward transaction, and is grounded on some interior truth which the act itself only typifies, is what every one must admit who believes that this narrative is written for our edification in spiritual things ; since it would be otherwise not only wholly meaningless to us,— inasmuch as we can see no rational connection between touching a garment and healing a plague, but, moreover, since it presents to us a means of cure which it is utterly impossible for us now to enjoy in a literal manner. And that it was no mere accident or single occurrence of the kind, grounded only in the momentary conceit of the woman, follows from the statement in another place, that " they sent out into all the country round about and brought unto Him all that were diseased, and besought Him that they might only touch the hem of his garment ; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole!'
What, then, is the spiritual act typified by touching the hem of the Lord's garment ? We know, in the first place, how the Lord came into the world ; namely, as the Word made flesh. He is the Divine Truth, made present to mankind, to enlighten, to guide, to heal, to sanctify. He is the vehicle by which the Divine Love descends to earth to regenerate and raise from death our fallen race. The Father, the infinite and eternal Love and Life, dwells in Him ; and through Him, as the Truth, this Love goes forth in wondrous deeds of mercy and power, overcoming evil of every kind, "healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. " Our Lord, as the Incarnate Word, becomes thus the clothing of the Divine Love, its garment, its form, and visible body. And everything our Lord did must, in its spiritual significance, point to some operation of the Divine Truth as revealed to man. Whatever is exterior to the Lord, and appertaining to Him, as, in this instance, his garment, must, therefore, refer to this Divine Truth or Word in its more external aspect. We may regard the Lord's garment, therefore, as typifying natural or literal truth,— that kind of truth which clothes and contains within itself a wisdom which is spiritual and concealed from our sight. It is the letter of the Bible, which clothes and contains within itself a spiritual meaning ; or it is the more external moral duties and religious acts of life, as, likewise, the vessel and the covering of corresponding spiritual duties and acts. But the hem of the garment is that which is at the bottom and end of all. It may be understood as the tassel at the corner or the fringe all around the border, which, while it is the outermost part of all, is yet that which completes the form and the beauty of the garment. It represents, therefore, that kind of truth which is most external, most natural, which belongs to the sensuous plane of the mind, and is connected with our outward experience and conduct in this material world.
That the hem of the garment is made so conspicuous in the precious narrative and teachings of the gospels is for no other reason than because this low, sensuous plane of our life is itself so prominent a thing, and one so directly in need of the saving precept and healing power of the Divine Word. The hem of the garment is even more conspicuous in the instructions of the Levitical law. We read of the priest's garment, that " they made upon the hems of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen. And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates upon the hem of the robe, round about between the pomegranates ; a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in ; as the Lord commanded Moses!'— Ex. xxxix. 24.
And in another place, " The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue : and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them!'—Num. xv. 38. Into what importance is this otherwise trifling and insignificant matter, the hem or fringe of a garment, thus elevated in the Divine Word ! And yet it is indicated with beautiful simplicity in both these passages just quoted what the spiritual significance of this fringe or border is ; for of the one it is said it shall be so made for the robe to minister in,—that is, the proper symbol of the Divine Truth as revealed and dispensed to man ; and of the other, that it shall remind them of the commandments of the Lord, that they are to be obeyed. Seeing this intimate connection between the hem of the garment to and sin reigned over all the world.
Then the Lord in his own omnipotence, Himself came a Light into the world, that whosoever should come to the light might be saved. Dispersing all these corrupted mediums, He became in his revealed Truth Himself the one great medium of the Divine Love and life to the souls of men ; He put to flight these legions of the enemy; He scattered the darkness in which men had been groping ; He opened again the clear depths of heaven, and in Him the sun of righteousness arose with healing in his wings. That nothing might stand between Him and our humanity, in its lowest, most sensuous, most external state, He Himself entered into this very humanity of ours, fallen, corrupt, ready to perish : yea, the hem of his garment swept indeed the very dust of the earth we tread. He brought his saving light and grace not only into the lowest social condition of our human life, but also into its extreme spiritual prostration, being tempted in every way that mortal man is tempted, and yet overcoming with his Divine power all temptation, and thus conquering for us liberty and the hope of salvation. It was to reach man in this world that God Himself came into the world; it was to rescue man in his carnal, earthly estate that He put on this carnal, earthly nature, and in it fought against our common foes ; it was to heal, to succor, to save man in his most degraded and lifeless condition, that He clothed Himself with our own degraded and perishing humanity. Into this, even to its lowest and most sensuous extremes, He brought his Divine life and power. His own humanity became glorified and Divine throughout, so that He could say of his own glorified, risen body," Behold my hands and my feet." This descent of the Lord with all the power of his Divinity, to heal and to save, into the very lowest plane of our human life and nature, and the operation of his power through this assumed humanity, as a medium, is what is illustrated by the healing" virtue that went forth from Him when the hem of his garment was touched. For, as then the mere corporeal touch was sufficient to the imparting- of an influence healing- to physical disease, so now can man be spiritually healed by the Divine grace immediately imparted to him from the Lord's Divine Humanity. " Touch me and see : for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." It is by touching the glorified, natural degree of the Divine Humanity that we are saved ! And we come into contact with the Lord by observing in humility and in faith the least and the most external of the Lord's commandments.
This may seem at first thought an easier way, if anything, of being spiritually made whole, than was that simple act by which the woman was physically healed. But let us look at the subject practically and see if it indeed be so. Not that it is desirable to make the religious life appear more arduous than it is, but that, be it easy or not, we come at the facts and practical reality of it. Now, first of all, two things are demanded of us,—faith and action. That is, that we no longer look to human physicians, to any human evidence or power, as such, for the cure of our spiritual disease, but to look humbly, prayerfully, and confidently to the Lord for the succor we need, and then make an earnest, determined effort to do that which, on our part, is needful as a medium of his working in us. Now this is itself just that which the natural mind is unwilling and finds it hard to do. It cannot readily convince itself that its own selfish and worldly motives and ends are not those which will conduce to real happiness. It goes on consulting year after year these human physicians, its love of wealth, of power, of distinction, of good reports, of the favor of men and their flatteries,— happy, indeed, if, like the woman of the text, it spends all it has, tries its every art and endeavor, only to find itself at last nothing helped and only growing worse.
Then, looking above, to the Divine mercy and power for aid, it must begin to act, to do something with persevering effort ; and what shall this be? It must be an opening of our hearts to the healing influence of the Lord by reforming our outward, conscious, voluntary conduct. We must touch the hem of the Divine garment of truth by beginning to obey the Divine commandments in our daily conduct. We must bring our actual life into contact with the Divine truth as applicable to it. We must apply the Ten Commandments to the reforming of the conduct of our own minds and bodies ; for this external sense of the Commandments is the hem of the Lord's garment; it is the border that shapes, holds in, and gives strength to all the inner and spiritual truth we can receive. The hem is, as we have said, the Divine truth in the sensuous or most external degree; but this means, of course, that aspect of the Divine truth that is applicable to the external conduct of our lives to whatever degree of spiritual advancement we have attained. For spiritual truth always becomes external and natural in our voluntary conduct and acts. We touch the hem of the Lord's robe when we think of and obey his Word in the little common duties of every day, when we correct ourselves in little faults and faithfully perform little duties.
Take, then, the Divine precepts of the Decalogue, and touch the hem of each holy truth. First: we must worship no idols. Wherein, then, in our conduct are we practicing idolatry ? If we do not, with the pagans, worship images of stone or brass, it does not follow that this commandment has no literal force with us ; for its hem, its external application, is just there where it strikes our actual conduct. If we are not worshiping brazen images, nor sun, nor moon, what, then, are we worshiping in our acts ? Are we not worshiping, as a God wealth, fashion, fame ; or some pet scheme and creation of our own minds; or some human idol whose favor we regard before that of God, in whose devotion we forget all the duties and obligations of religion ? And take the second: Thou shall not blaspheme. Are we given to open blasphemy, to using profane language, to making light of holy names and things ? Then begin at once to stop this practice: touch this garment on its hem, and virtue will go forth from the Lord into the soul to make us love and reverence his name and Word. Third : Keep holy the Sabbath. Are you a Sabbath-breaker, doing your own sensual and worldly pleasure, and thinking your own thoughts on the Lord's day, and neglecting the holy ordinances of his Church, omitting to pray to Him, to lift your mind to heavenly things, to read his Word, to go to church, and humbly, reverently, worship Him in word of mouth and on your bended knee ? Then begin here to reform, and be assured that the Lord will help you, and give you new strength and life, in ways and in measure that you knew not of. And so with the others. Are you lacking in honor to your earthly parents, in obedience to the authorities set over you in spiritual and temporal things, in reverence and grateful love for the Church as your spiritual mother, and to God as your Father in heaven ? Are you a murderer ? if not in bloody act, then in revengeful feelings, in hatred and ill will, which we know, if unrestrained by outward laws and penalties, would soon run into the act itself? Are you an adulterer? if not actually, still, in your mental conduct, in your unclean thoughts and desires ? Are you a liar, a slanderer of your neighbor, a bearer of false testimony, a deceiver, dishonest in your dealings with your fellow-man? Are you envious and covetous, dissatisfied with your own lot, and complaining that your neighbors enjoy what you do not ?
These are precepts which, no one can deny, do strike at the actual, every-day conduct of us all. They are no abstractions ; no vague, shapeless, unclothed ideals of truth or religion ; they are the visible, tangible garment of righteousness which the Saviour wore, and wore for us to touch, and, indeed, for us to touch upon the hem! By bringing our life into contact and conformity with these plain, literal truths, we open a way by which the saving grace of God can descend into our inner lives and regenerate us. And without this actual shunning of our natural evils of life as sins,— that is, out of faith in the Lord and in obedience to Him,—we cannot receive inwardly any spiritual help, any substantial religious life, with its real joys and everlasting blessings. Without this external obedience, this religion in our daily life,— its words, its motives, and its acts,— all that vague and fanciful notion within us which we call spiritual religion, which, with a vast array of truths never put to practice, and of good things which the heart, if the truth be spoken, has never had the least desire for, floats about in the imagination and shows itself in fine and learned or pious discourse,— all this is but a garment without a hem, ragged and shapeless, and liable to be torn into tatters by the first catch of strong temptation with which it comes in contact.
What we all need in the midst of the pretentious and ambitious life of this world is true humility, and faith in the great power and value of patient effort in doing these external but actual and practical duties of religion. It would be a fine thing to be reformed at once,— to be made in an instant all spiritual, without knowing temptations any more, nor needing the outward constraints of religious obligation! So exclaims that same vain mind that wonders why Almighty God came down from heaven, put on our miserable humanity, suffered, and died, in order to redeem man from Satan's power. But let us be thankful that God did so come down, that man might even touch his robe and be healed ; that his Word is so plainly revealed to us, and his religious precepts are so practically and so closely applied to our present condition and needs that all we have to do is to lay hold of them in humility and in faith, and thereby come into spiritual conjunction with the Glorious Body of our Lord Himself, and feel the healing and life-renewing power of his Divine Presence. What good comfort is there, indeed, in the truth that if we begin to put away a single evil forbidden in one of the Ten Commandments, and because God forbids, in place of that evil God puts a desire for the opposite virtue into the heart; that thus we cannot touch the hem of the Lord's garment, be it ever so secretly, so silently, but that virtue from the Lord will actually go forth into our souls; but that He will turn and look upon us, — will know him who has done this thine : and will then not let us depart till He have given us his blessing, " Go in peace !"
Author: FRANK SEWALL from The Hem of His Garment 1876
.....I will now cite passages where "faith" and "believing" are mentioned, but only from the Gospels, and not from the Epistles of the Apostles, and for the reason that the Gospels contain the words of the Lord Himself, all of which have concealed in them a spiritual sense, through which immediate communication with heaven is granted, while the writings of the Apostles contain no such sense, although they are nevertheless useful books for the church.
 The passages of the Word where "faith" and "believing" are mentioned are the following. In Matthew:
There came a centurion to the Lord, saying, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof; but say the word only, and my boy shall be healed. Jesus hearing, marveled and said to them that followed Him, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And He said unto the centurion, Go thy way, and as thou hast believed be it done unto thee; and his boy was healed in that hour (8:8, 10, 13).
The Lord healed this person and others according to their faith, because the first and primary thing of the church then to be established was to believe that the Lord is God Almighty, for without that faith no church could have been established. For the Lord was the God of heaven and the God of earth, with whom no conjunction is possible except by an acknowledgment of His Divinity, which acknowledgment is faith. The centurion evidently acknowledged the Lord to be God Almighty, for he said, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof; but say the word only, and my boy shall be healed."
 In the same:
A woman afflicted with an issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus' garment; for she said within herself, If I shall but touch His garment I shall be healed. Jesus turning and seeing her, said, Daughter be of good cheer, thy faith hath made thee whole; and she was healed in that hour (Matt. 9:20-22).
In the same:
They brought unto Him one sick of the palsy lying on a bed; Jesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy, Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven. Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thy house (Matt. 9:2-7; Luke 5:19-25).
In the same:
Two blind men cried, saying, Have mercy on us, Thou Son of David. Jesus said unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They say unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it done unto you; and their eyes were opened (Matt. 9:27-30).
No other faith than that which is called historical, which at that time was a miraculous faith, was meant by this faith whereby the sick were healed; consequently by this faith many wrought miracles at that time. This faith was, that the Lord was Almighty, because He was able to do miracles of Himself; for this reason He also allowed Himself to be worshiped, which was not the case with the prophets of the Old Testament, who were not worshiped. But there must always be this historical faith before it becomes a saving faith; for a historical faith becomes a saving faith with man by his learning truths from the Word, and living according to them.
 In the same:
A woman of Canaan, whose daughter was vexed by a demon, came and worshiped Jesus, saying, Lord, help me. Jesus said unto her, Great is thy faith; be it done unto thee as thou wilt; and her daughter was healed (Matt. 15:22-28).
A ruler whose son was sick besought Jesus to heal his son before he died. Jesus said unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth; and the man believed in the word that Jesus spake unto him. And his servants met him, saying, Thy son liveth. Therefore he believed, and his whole house (4:46-53).
In the same:
Jesus finding the man born blind whom He healed, said unto him, Believest thou, then, on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe on Him? He said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him and He it is that speaketh with thee. He said, Lord, I believe; and he worshiped Him (John 9:35-38).
Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was dead, Fear not, only believe, and she shall be made whole; and the daughter was raised up again (8:50, 55).
In the same:
One of the ten lepers that were healed by the Lord, who was a Samaritan, returned and fell upon his face at the feet of Jesus; and Jesus said unto him, Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole (Luke 17:15, 16, 19).
In the same:
Jesus said to the blind man, Thy faith hath saved thee; and immediately he was able to see (Luke 18:42, 43).
Jesus said to the disciples, when they were unable to heal a certain man's son* who had a dumb spirit; to whom Jesus said, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth; the father of the boy crying out with tears, said, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief; and he was healed (9:17, 23, 24).
There were three reasons why faith in the Lord healed these; first, because they acknowledged His Divine omnipotence, and that He was God; secondly, because faith is acknowledgment, and from acknowledgment intuition; and all intuition from acknowledgment makes another to be present; this is a common thing in the spiritual world. So now, when a New Church was to be established by the Lord, it was this intuition from an acknowledgment of the Lord's omnipotence from which they were first to look to the Lord; and from this it is clear what is here meant by faith. The third reason was, that all the diseases healed by the Lord represented and thus signified the spiritual diseases that correspond to these natural diseases; and spiritual diseases can be healed only by the Lord, and in fact by looking to His Divine omnipotence and by repentance of life. This is why He sometimes said, "Thy sins are forgiven thee; go and sin no more." This faith also was represented and signified by their miraculous faith; but the faith by which spiritual diseases are healed by the Lord can be given only through truths from the Word and a life according to them; the truths themselves and the life itself according to them make the quality of the faith. But more about this in what follows.
 In John:
When Lazarus was dead, his sister saith, Lord, by this time he stinketh. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, If thou wouldst believe thou shouldst see the glory of God? (11:39, 40).
Jesus said to the woman who was a sinner, and who made His feet wet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, which she also anointed with oil, Thy sins are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace (7:38, 48, 50).
From this it is clear that it was faith in the Lord's omnipotence that healed them, and that the same faith remitted, that is, removed, sins. The reason of this was that this woman not only had faith in the Divine omnipotence of the Lord, but also loved Him, for she kissed His feet. Wherefore the Lord said, "Thy sins are forgiven thee, thy faith hath saved thee," because faith makes the Divine of the Lord to be present, and love conjoins. It is possible, however, for the Lord to be present and not be conjoined; from which it is evident that it is faith from love that saves.
Jesus said to the disciples in the boat, Why are ye fearful, O ye men of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there came a great calm (Matt. 8:26; Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:24, 25).
Peter, at the Lord's command, went down out of the boat and walked upon the waters; but when the wind became strong he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus took hold of his hand and said, O man of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt (Matt. 14:28-31).
When the disciples could not heal the lunatic, Jesus said unto them, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? and Jesus healed him; and He said to the disciples that they could not heal him by reason of their unbelief (Matt. 17:14, seq.).
Jesus came into His own country, and there they were offended in Him; and Jesus said, A prophet is not without honor save in his own country and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:57, 58).
The Lord called the disciples "men of little faith" when they were unable to do miracles in His name, and He was unable to do miracles in His own country because of their unbelief, for the reason that while the disciples believed the Lord to be the Messiah or Christ, also the Son of God, and the prophet of whom it was written in the Word, yet they did not believe that He was God Almighty, and that Jehovah the Father was in Him; and yet so far as they believed Him to be a man, and not at the same time God, His Divine to which omnipotence belongs could not be present with the disciples by faith. For faith presents the Lord as present, as has been said above; but faith in Him as a man only does not present His Divine omnipotence as present. For the same reason those in the world at the present day who look to His Human alone and not at the same time to His Divine, as the Socinians and Arians do, cannot be saved.
 And for a like reason the Lord could not do miracles in His own country, for there they had seen Him from infancy like another man; and therefore they were unable to add to that idea the idea of His Divinity; and when that idea is not present while the Lord is present, He is not present in man with Divine omnipotence; for faith presents the Lord as present in man according to the quality of the perception of Him. Other things man does not acknowledge and therefore rejects; for in order that the Lord may operate anything with man by faith the Lord's Divine must be present in man, and not outside of him.
John: In John:
Many of the multitude believed on Jesus, and said, When the Christ shall come, will He do more signs than those which this one hath done? (7:31).
These signs shall follow them that believe: in My name they shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word by signs following (16:17-20).
As the Jewish nation believed in Jehovah solely because of miracles, it is evidently a miraculous and not a saving faith that is here meant; for they were external men, and external men are moved to Divine worship only by external things, like miracles which forcibly strike the mind. Moreover, a miraculous faith was the first faith with those among whom a New Church was to be established; and such a faith is also the first with all in the Christian world at this day, and this is why the miracles performed by the Lord were described, and are also now preached. For the first faith with all is a historical faith, and this afterwards becomes a saving faith when man by his life becomes spiritual; for first of all it is to be believed that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite, and one with the Father. These things must be known; but so far as they are merely known they are historical, and a historical faith presents the Lord as present, because it is a looking to the Lord from His Divine nature. And yet that faith does not save until man lives the life of faith, which is charity; for he then wills and does what he believes, and to will and to do is of the love, and love conjoins to Him whom faith presents as present. The signification of those miracles that the disciples were to do, and that were done by them in the beginning of the Christian church, as casting out demons, speaking with new tongues, and others, may be seen above (n. 706).
 In Matthew:
Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (17:14-20).
Have the faith of God; for verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou lifted up and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, what he hath said shall be done for him. Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye ask when ye pray, believe that ye shall receive them and ye shall have them (11:22-24).
Jesus said to the disciples, If ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which has been done to the fig-tree, but even if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou lifted up and cast into the sea. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask believing in Me, ye shall receive (21: 21, 22).
If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed ye would say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou rooted up and be thou planted in the sea, and it would obey you (17:6).
That this is to be understood otherwise than according to the words is evident from its being said to the disciples, that "If they had faith as a grain of mustard seed they would be able to pluck up a mountain or a sycamine tree from its place, and cast it into the sea;" also that "all things whatsoever they asked they should receive;" and yet it is not according to Divine order for one to receive what he asks if he only have faith, or for the disciples to pluck up a mountain or a tree from its place and cast it into the sea. But "faith" here means faith from the Lord, consequently it is called "the faith of God," and he who is in faith from the Lord asks for nothing but what contributes to the Lord's kingdom and to himself for salvation; other things he does not wish, saying in his heart, Why should I ask for what does not contribute to this use? Therefore if he were to ask for anything except what it is granted him from the Lord to ask he would have no faith of God, that is, no faith from the Lord. It is impossible for angels of heaven to wish and so to ask for anything else, and if they were to do so they could have no faith that they would receive it. The Lord compared such faith to the ability and power to cast a mountain or sycamine tree into the sea, because the Lord spake here as well as elsewhere by correspondences, and therefore these words must be understood spiritually. For a "mountain" signifies the love of self and of the world, thus the love of evil; and a "sycamine tree" signifies the faith of that love, which is a faith in falsity from evil, and the "sea" signifies hell; therefore "to pluck up a mountain and cast it into the sea by the faith of God" signifies to cast these loves, which in themselves are diabolical, into hell, and likewise the faith in falsity from evil; and this is done through faith from the Lord. This comparison of the ability and power of faith from the Lord with plucking up and casting a mountain and a sycamine tree into the sea was also made because in the spiritual world such things actually take place. There these loves of evil sometimes appear as mountains, and the faith in falsity from evil as a sycamine tree; and both of these an angel can root up and cast into hell through faith from the Lord. (That a "mountain" signifies love to the Lord, and in the contrary sense the love of self, see above, n. 405, 510; and that a "fig-tree," or a "sycamine tree," signifies the natural man in respect to its goods and truths, and in the contrary sense the same in respect to evils and falsities, see above, n. 403.)
 So much respecting miraculous faith. Passages from the Gospels respecting saving faith, which is faith in truth from love to the Lord, shall now follow. In John:
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life. He that believeth in Him is not judged; but he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God (3:14-19).
In the same:
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand; he that believeth in the Son hath eternal life, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God abideth on him (John 3:35, 36).
In the same:
Except ye believe that I am He ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
In the same:
They said to Jesus, What shall we do that we may work the works of God? Jesus answering said, This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom the Father hath sent. I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall not hunger, and he that believeth in Me shall never thirst. This is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone that seeth the Son and believeth in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Not that anyone hath seen the Father save He that is with the Father; He hath seen the Father. Verily I say unto you, he that believeth in Me hath eternal life. I am the bread of life (John 6:28, 29, 35, 40, 46-48).
In the same:
Jesus said, He that heareth My word and believeth Him that sent Me hath eternal life, and shall not come into judgment, but shall pass from death into life. Verily I say unto you, that the hour shall come when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. Even as the Father hath life in Himself so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:24-26).
In the same:
Jesus cried out, saying, If anyone thirst let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. These things He said of the Spirit which those believing in Him were to receive John (7:37-39).
In the same:
Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he die yet shall he live; but everyone who liveth and believeth in Me shall not die to eternity (John 11:25-27).
In the same:
Jesus cried out and said, He that believeth in Me believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in the darkness. And if anyone hear My words and yet believe not, I judge him not; he that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words hath one that judgeth him, the word that I have spoken shall judge him at the last day (John 12:44-48).
In the same:
While ye have the light believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light (John 12:36).
In the same:
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).
In the same:
As many as received Jesus, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe in His name (John 1:12).
In the same:
Many believed in His name, beholding His signs (John 2:23).
In the same:
These are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in His name (John 20:31).
Jesus said to the disciples, Going into all the world, preach ye the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned (16:15, 16).
These and other passages describe saving faith, which is to believe in the Lord; and to believe in Him is also to believe in the Father, because He and the Father are one. "To believe in the Lord" signifies not only to adore and worship Him, but also to live from Him, and one lives from Him when he lives according to the Word which is from Him; therefore "to believe in Him" is to believe that He regenerates man, and gives eternal life to those who are regenerated by Him.
 "To believe in His name" has a similar signification as "to believe in Him," since the Lord's "name" signifies every quality of faith and love by which He is to be worshiped, and by which He saves man. This is signified by "His name," because in the spiritual world names that are given to persons are always in accord with the quality of their affection and life, and in consequence the quality of each one is known from his name alone. So when anyone's name is pronounced, and the quality that is meant by the name is loved, that one becomes present, and the two are united as companions and brethren. The quality of the Lord however is everything of faith and love by which He saves man, for that quality is the essence proceeding from Him; therefore when that quality is thought of by man the Lord becomes present with him, and when this quality is loved the Lord is conjoined to him. Thence it is that those who believe in His name have eternal life. This shows how necessary it is that man should know the quality of faith and love, that is, the Lord's "name;" also how necessary it is to love that quality, which comes by doing those things that the Lord has commanded. The names "Jesus" and "Christ" moreover involve this same quality, since "Jesus" means salvation, and "Christ" or "Messiah" Divine truth, which is everything of faith and love as to knowledges, doctrine, and life. When, therefore, these names are mentioned their quality must be thought of and they must live according to it. This is what is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:
Jesus said, If two of you on earth shall agree in My name respecting anything that they shall ask it shall be done for them by My Father who is in the heavens. For where two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in the midst of them (18:19, 20).
There is, indeed, a presence of the Lord with all and also a love towards all; and yet man cannot be led and be saved by the Lord except in the measure of his reception of the Lord by faith in Him and love to Him.
 This shows how necessary it is for man to know the quality of faith and love, that is, the Lord's name, also to love it, since the Lord can be loved only through His quality. That the Lord, and not the Father, must be approached and must be worshiped in accordance with the quality of the faith and love that is prescribed in the Word the Lord Himself teaches, saying:
That no one has seen the Father at any time but that the Son brings Him forth to view (John 1:18);
Also that no one cometh to the Father except through Him (John 14:6);
Since the Father and He are one (John 10:30).
Therefore to approach the Father and not the Lord is to make two out of one, and thus to worship apart from the Lord the Divine that is in Him. And this destroys in man the idea of Divinity in respect to the Lord, which again makes evident the truth:
That he that believeth in the Son hath eternal life (John 3:36).
 That to believe in the Lord is to believe in the Father, the Lord Himself teaches also in John:
He that believeth in Me believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me; and he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me (12:44, 45).
This means that he that believes in the Lord believes in Him not separate from the Father, but in the Father; and it is therefore added, "He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me." So elsewhere in John:
Believe in God, believe in Me (14:1).
In the same:
Philip, believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me, that I am in the Father and the Father in Me. Verily I say unto you, He that believeth in Me, the works that I do he shall do also, because I go to My Father (John 14:10-12).
In the same:
In that day ye shall ask in My name; and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; and I go unto the Father. The disciples say,
In this we believe that Thou camest forth from God (John 16:26-30). "To come forth from the Father" signifies to be conceived of Him, and "to go to the Father" signifies to be fully united to Him. That "to come forth from the Father" means to be conceived of Him is clearly evident from His conception (Matt. 1:18-25; and in Luke 1:34, 35). That "to go to the Father" means to be fully united to Him is evident from the glorification of His Human by the passion of the cross, which has been spoken of above; and therefore He says, "In that day ye shall ask in My name," and no more in the name of the Father.
 In the same:
Jesus said unto Thomas, Because thou hast seen Me thou hast believed; happy are they that have not seen and yet have believed. And Thomas said, My Lord and my God (John 20:28, 29).
It was because the Lord was now fully united to the Divine Itself, which is called the Father, that Thomas called Him his Lord and his God. So elsewhere in the same:
Say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of My Father believe me not; though ye believe not Me believe the works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in the Father (10:36-38).
That the Jews did not believe is evident in John 5:14-47; 10:24-26; 12:37-49; Matt. 21:31, 32. The cause of their unbelief was their wish for a Messiah who would exalt them to glory above all the nations in the world; also that they were wholly natural and not spiritual; also that they had falsified the Word, especially where it treats of the Lord and also of themselves. That such were the causes of their unbelief is evident also from the faith of the Jews at this day, who are altogether natural, and know or wish to know scarcely anything about the Lord's kingdom in the heavens. That neither would those in the Christian world at the present day believe that the Lord is one with the Father, and is therefore the God of heaven and earth, is meant by the Lord's words in Luke:
When the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth? (18:8).
But on this subject, the Lord willing, more will be said elsewhere. Emanuel Swedenborg [AE 815]