True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 224

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Hardly anyone at the present time knows that truths possess any power. People think that truth is merely something said by a person in a position of power, which they must therefore do. Thus they regard it as merely the breath issuing from the mouth and a sound heard in the ear. Yet in fact truth and good are the fundamental principles which underlie everything in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural. Hardly anyone knows that they are the means by which the universe was created and is now preserved, and the means by which man was made, so these two are the all in all. It is openly stated in John that the universe was created by means of Divine truth:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God; everything that was made was made by means of it, and the world was made by means of it. John 1:1, 3, 10.

Also in the Psalms of David:

By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made. Ps. 33:6.

In both passages the Word means Divine truth. Since the universe was created by Divine truth, therefore it is also preserved by it, for just as continuing in existence is continuous coming into existence, so preservation is continuous creation.

[2] The reason why man was made by means of Divine truth is that everything in man has reference to the understanding and the will; the understanding is for receiving Divine truth, the will for receiving Divine good. Consequently the human mind, being composed as it is of those two principles, is neither more nor less than a form of Divine truth and Divine good organised in a spiritual and natural pattern. The human brain is such a form; and because the whole of a person depends upon his mind, everything in his body is a dependency, acted upon and endowed with life by those two principles.

[3] These facts can now establish the reason why God came into the world as the Word and became Man. This was for the sake of redemption. For God then by means of the Human, which was Divine truth, clothed Himself in all power, and cast down, conquered and reduced to obedience the hells, which had grown up even to the level of the heavens inhabited by angels. He did this not by word of mouth, but by the Divine Word, which is Divine truth; and afterwards He opened up a great gap between the hells and the heavens, which no one from hell can cross. If anyone tries to do so, at his first step he experiences torments like those of a snake put on a red-hot iron plate or on an ant-hill. For devils and satans at the first whiff of Divine truth cast themselves at once into the depths, rush into caves and block their entrances so carefully that not a chink is left open. The reason is that their wills are subject to evils and their understandings to falsities, and are thus opposed to Divine good and Divine truth; and because, as has been said, the whole man is made up of those two principles of life, they are totally, from head to heel, struck a severe blow as soon as they perceive their opposite.

[4] These facts will be sufficient to prove that the power of Divine truth is beyond description; and since the Word possessed by the Christian church contains Divine truth in its three degrees, it is obvious that this is what is meant in John (1:3, 10). I can produce many proofs from my own experience to prove that the power of the Word is beyond description, but because they pass belief and appear incredible, I forbear to present them; a few details however, you can find related above (209). I shall give from this source this one memorable statement: the church which possesses Divine truths from the Lord is stronger than the hells. It was of this church that the Lord said to Peter:

On this rock shall I build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Matt. 16:18.

The Lord said this after Peter had made the admission that Christ was the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16). It is this truth which is meant in that passage by rock; for a rock throughout the Word means the Lord in respect of Divine truth.

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