This book, published by
Emanuel Swedenborg towards the end of his life, starts with a detailed
discussion of the nature of God, the Redeemer and the Trinity, continues
with an explanation of the Bible and the Ten Commandments, and then
proceeds to the various stages of a person's reformation, the sacraments
and the prophecy of Jesus' second coming. Every statement and argument
are supported by extensive Biblical quotations.
Swedenborg also adds,
at regular intervals through True Christian Religion, reports of his
discussions with angels on the subjects he is presenting in his book.
These astonishing records of his exploration of the spiritual world make
his presentations unique.
Here is what he writes
at the end of a section on the subject of the Oneness of God:
At this point I shall insert the following
account of an experience.
Once on waking from sleep I fell into a
profound meditation about God; and when I looked up, I saw in the sky
above me a brilliant, oval-shaped light. When I fixed my gaze upon that
light, it moved to either side and occupied the surrounding area. Then
suddenly heaven lay open before me, and I saw wonderful sights, and
angels standing in a ring on the south of the opening, talking among
themselves. Because I was fired with a desire to hear what they were
saying, I was first permitted to hear the sound of their voices, which
was full of heavenly love, and later their speech, which was full of the
wisdom which comes from that love.
They were talking among themselves about
the one God, being linked with Him and salvation by this means. What
they said was beyond words to express; most of it could not be put into
the words of any natural language. But because on a number of occasions
I had been in company with angels in heaven itself, and then, being in a
like state, I could speak similarly with them, I was now able to
understand them, and pick up a few points in their conversation which
can be rationally expressed in the words of natural language.
They were saying that the Divine Being is
one, the same, the very self and indivisible. They illustrated this by
spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Being cannot be reduced to
several, each of which is the Divine Being, and still remain one, the
same, the very self and indivisible. For each would think from His own
Being from Himself, and in each case through Himself; if He then thought
from the others and through them in agreement, then there would be
several gods of like mind, and not one God. For unanimity, being a
consensus of several with each one agreeing of himself and through
himself, is not consonant with the oneness of God, but with a plurality.
They did not say 'of gods', because they were unable to, since the light
of heaven which governed their thought, and the aura which carried their
speech, offered resistance.
They said too that when they wanted to say
the word 'Gods', and each as a Person by Himself, as soon as they
attempted to say this it was instantly replaced by one, or rather the
sole, God. They added that the Divine Being is the Divine Being in
itself, not from itself, because from itself supposes Being in itself
arising from another prior one. Thus it supposes a God arising from God,
which is impossible. Anything arising from God is not called God, but
Divine. For what is God arising from God, or God born of God from
eternity, and what is God arising from God proceeding by means of God
born from eternity but mere words totally devoid of heavenly light?
An online version of True Christian Religion can be viewed by following this link: