A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg/9 The Sacred Scriptures
THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.
It is in the mouth of all that the Word is from Gcd, is divinely inspired, and therefore holy. But yet it has been unknown hitherto where within it its Divinity resides. For in the letter the Word appears like a common writing, in a foreign style, neither lofty nor luminous as, to appearance, secular writings are. From this it is that the man who worships nature instead of God, or rather than God, and therefore thinks from himself and his proprium, and not out of heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error concerning the Word, and even into contempt for it, and say within himself when he is reading it, What is this? What is that? Is this Divine? Can God, who has infinite wisdom, speak thus? Where and from whence is its holiness but from religious feeling and thence persuasion?
But he who so thinks does not reflect that the Lord Jehovah, who is the God of heaven and earth, spoke the word by Moses and the Prophets, and that therefore it cannot but be Divine Truth; for this is what the Lord Jehovah Himself speaks. Nor does he consider that the Lord the Saviour, who is the same with Jehovah, spoke the Word by the Evangelists, many things from His own mouth, and the rest by the Spirit of His mouth, which is the Holy Spirit, through His twelve Apostles. Hence it is, as He Himself says, that in His words there is spirit and life, that He is the light which enlighteneth, and that He is the Truth. . . .
But still the natural man cannot be persuaded by these considerations that the Word is Divine Truth itself, in which there is Divine Wisdom and Divine Life; for he judges of it by its style, in which he does not see them. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however lofty and excellent it may appear, can be compared. Such is the style of the Word that it is holy in every sentence, and in every word, nay, sometimes in the very letters. Therefore the Word conjoins man to the Lord and opens heaven. There are two things that proceed from the Lord, Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, or what is the same, Divine Good and Divine Truth; the Word in its essence is both. And because it conjoins man to the Lord and opens heaven, as has been said, therefore it fills man with the goods of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the goods of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom. Hence man has life through the Word. But it should be well known, that they only obtain life from the Word who read it for the purpose of drawing Divine truths from it, as from their fountain, and for the purpose, at the same time, of applying the Divine truths thence drawn to the life; and that the contrary takes place with those who read the Word for the purpose of acquiring honour and worldly gain. (T. C. R. n. 189-191.)
There is a Spiritual Sense in the Word hitherto unknown.
No man who does not know that there is any spiritual sense in the Word, like the soul in the body, can judge of the Word otherwise than from its literal sense; when yet this is as a casket containing precious things, which are its spiritual sense. While therefore this internal sense is unknown, a man can only judge of the Divine sanctity of the Word as he might of a precious stone from the matrix which encloses it, and which sometimes appears as a common stone; or as he would judge of a casket made of jasper, lapis-lazuli, amianthus, or mica, or agate, in which lie in their order diamonds, rubies, sardonyxes, oriental topazes, etc. So long as this is not known it is not to be wondered at if this casket should be estimated only according to the value of the material of it which appears to the eye. So is it with the Word as to its literal sense. Lest therefore man should remain in doubt whether the Word is Divine and most holy, its internal sense has been revealed to me by the Lord; which in its essence is spiritual, and which is within the external sense which is natural, as the soul in the body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter. It can therefore testify of the Divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince, if he is willing to be convinced, even the natural man.
Who does not acknowledge and assent when it is said that the Word, because it is Divine, in its bosom is spiritual? But who as yet has known what the spiritual is, and where in the Word it is concealed? The Word in its bosom is spiritual, because it descended from the Lord Jehovah and passed through the angelic heavens; and the very Divine, which in itself is ineffable and imperceptible, in its descent became adapted to the perception of angels, and at last to the perception of men. Hence is the spiritual sense; which is within, in the natural, just as the soul is in man, the thought of the understanding in speech, and the affection of the will in action. And if it may be compared with such things as appear before the eyes in the natural world, the spiritual sense is in the natural sense as the whole brain is within its meninges or matres, or as the young shoots of a tree are within its barks and rinds, nay, as all things for the generation of the chick are within the shell of the egg, and so on. But that there is such a spiritual sense of the Word within its natural sense has been divined by no one hitherto. It is therefore necessary that the mystery, which is eminent above all the mysteries yet revealed, should be opened to the understanding. (T. C. R n. 192, 193.)
Since it was predicted that at the end of this church also darkness would arise, from the non-recognition and acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and from the separation of faith from charity, therefore, lest through this the genuine understanding of the Word should perish, it has pleased the Lord now to reveal the spiritual sense of the Word; and to make manifest that the Word in that sense, and from that in the natural sense, treats of the Lord and of the church, yea of these only; and many other things by which the light of truth from the Word, almost extinguished, may be restored. That at the end of the church the light of truth would be almost extinguished is predicted in many places in the Apocalypse; and is also meant by these words of the Lord in Matthew: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then . . . they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory" (xxiv. 29, 30). By the sun here the Lord as to love is meant; by the moon, the Lord as to faith; by the stars, the Lord as to cognitions of good and truth; by the Son of Man, the Lord as to the Word; by a cloud, the literal sense of the Word; and by glory, its spiritual sense, and its shining through the literal sense. (S. S. n. 112.)
What the Spiritual Sense of the Word is.
The spiritual sense of the Word is not that which shines forth from the sense of the letter while one is searching and explaining the Word to confirm some dogma of the Church; this sense may be called the literal and ecclesiastical sense of the Word. But the spiritual sense does not appear in the sense of the letter; it is within it interiorly, as the soul is in the body, as the thought of the understanding is in the eyes, and as the affection of love is in the countenance, which act together as cause and effect. It is this sense chiefly, which renders the Word spiritual, not only for men, but also for angels; therefore the "Word by this sense communicates with the heavens. (T. C. R. n. 194.)
From the Lord proceed the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural, one after the other. What proceeds from His Divine Love is called celestial, and is Divine Good; what proceeds from His Divine Wisdom is called spiritual, and is Divine Truth; the natural is from both, and is their complex in the ultimate. The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom, who constitute the third or highest heaven, are in the Divine that proceeds from the Lord which is called celestial, for they are in the good of love from the Lord; the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, who constitute the second or intermediate heaven, are in the Divine that proceeds from the Lord which is called spiritual, for they are in the truths of wisdom from the Lord; and the men of the church in the world are in the Divine natural, which also proceeds from the Lord. From this it follows that the Divine going forth from the Lord to its uitimates, descends through three degrees, and is called celestial, spiritual, and natural. The Divine which comes down from the Lord to men descends through these three degrees, and when it has descended it contains these three degrees within it. Such is everything Divine; when, therefore, it is in its ultimate degree it is in its fulness. Such is the Word. This in the ultimate sense is natural, in its interior is spiritual, and in its inmost celestial; and in each it is Divine. That such is the nature of the Word does not appear in the sense of the letter, which is natural, for the reason that heretofore man in the world has not known anything of the heavens, and consequently has not known what the spiritual and the celestial are, nor therefore the distinction between them and the natural.
The distinction between these degrees cannot be known unless correspondence is known; for these three degrees are entirely distinct from each other, like end, cause, and effect, or like what is prior, posterior, and postreme, and yet make one by correspondences; for the natural corresponds to the spiritual, and also to the celestial. (S. S. n. 6, 7.)
The Word was written by Correspondences.
Since then the Word interiorly is spiritual and celestial, therefore it was written by pure correspondences. And what was written by pure correspondences in its ultimate sense is written in such a style as by the Prophets and Evangelists, which, though it appear common, yet conceals within it all Divine and angelic wisdom. (S. S. n. 8.)
Each and all things in nature correspond to spiritual things; and in like manner each and all things in the human body. But hitherto it has been unknown what correspondence is. Yet it was very well known in the most ancient times; for to those who then lived the knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges, and was so universal that all their books and manuscripts were written by correspondences. The Book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient church, is full of correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and the fabulous stories of highest antiquity, were nothing else. All the ancient churches were churches representative of spiritual things; their ceremonies, and also their statutes, according to which their worship was instituted, consisted of pure correspondences. In like manner all things of the Church among the children of Israel,—their burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings, with the particulars of them,—were correspondences. Also the tabernacle, with all things therein, as well as their feasts,—such as the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of tabernacles, the feast of first-fruits; and the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites, and their garments of holiness; and besides these all their statutes and judgments, which related to their worship and life, were correspondences. Now since Divine things present themselves in the world by correspondences, therefore the Word was written by pure correspondences; for the same reason the Lord, as He spake from the Divine, spake by correspondences; for whatever is from the Divine this descends into such things in nature as correspond to the Divine, and which then conceal things Divine, which are called celestial and spiritual, in their bosom.
I have been informed that the men of the Most Ancient church, which was before the flood, were of so heavenly a genius that they conversed with the angels of heaven, and that they were enabled to converse with them by means of correspondences; hence their state of wisdom became such, that whatever they saw on earth they not only thought of it naturally, but also at the same time spiritually, thus in conjunction with the angels of heaven. I have moreover been informed that Enoch,—who is mentioned in Genesis, v. 21-24,—with his associates, gathered correspondences from their lips, and transmitted the knowledge of them to their posterity; in consequence of which it came to pass that the knowledge of correspondences was not only known in many kingdoms of Asia, but was also cultivated, especially in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, and Arabia, and in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; and that from thence it was conveyed into Greece, where it was turned into fable, as may appear from the most ancient writers of that country. (T. C. R. n. 201, 202.)
Loss of the Knowledge of Correspondences, and Origin of Idolatry.
Because the representative rites of the church, which were correspondences, in process of time began to be converted into things idolatrous and also magical, then that knowledge, by the Divine providence of the Lord, was gradually lost, and among the Israelitish and Jewish people entirely forgotten. The worship of that people consisted indeed of correspondences, and was consequently representative of heavenly things; but yet they did not know what anything signified; for they were merely natural men, and therefore had neither inclination nor ability to know anything of spiritual and heavenly things, nor consequently anything of correspondences; for correspondences are representations of spiritual and heavenly things in natural.
That the idolatries of the nations in ancient times derived their origin from the knowledge of correspondences, was because all things that appear on the earth correspond; thus not only trees and plants, but also beasts and birds of every kind, as well as fishes and all other things. The ancients who were in the knowledge of correspondences made themselves images which corresponded to heavenly things, and took delight in them, because they signified such things as pertained to heaven and the church; and for this reason they not only placed them in their temples, but also in their houses; not to worship them, but to call to mind the heavenly things which they signified. Hence in Egypt and elsewhere there were images of calves, oxen, serpents, and of children, old men, and virgins; becanse calves and oxen signified the affections and powers of the natural man; serpents, the prudence and also the subtlety of the sensual man; children, innocence and charity; old men, wisdom; and virgins, affections of truth; and so on. Their posterity, when the knowledge of correspondences was forgotten, began to worship as holy, and at length as deities, the images and emblems set up by the ancients, because they found them in and about their temples. Hence with the ancients worship was also in gardens and in groves, according to the kinds of trees in them, and also on mountains and hills; for the gardens and groves signified wisdom and intelligence, and every tree something thereof,—as the olive, the good of love; the vine, truth from that good; the cedar, rational good and truth; a mountain, the highest heaven; a hill, the heaven below it. That the knowledge of correspondences remained with many orientals even to the coming of the Lord, is evident from the wise men of the east who visited the Lord when He was born; wherefore a star went before them, and they brought with them gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. ii. 1, 2, 9-11); for the star which went before them signified cognition from heaven; gold signified celestial good; frankincense, spiritual good; and myrrh, natural good; from which three is all worship. But still there was no knowledge whatever of correspondences among the Israelitish and Jewish people, although all things of their worship, and all the statutes and judgments given them by Moses, and all things in the Word, were pure correspondences. The reason was that at heart they were idolaters, and therefore of such a character that they were not even willing to know that anything of their worship signified what is celestial and spiritual, for they believed that all those things were holy in themselves; if therefore things celestial and spiritual had been laid open to them, they would not only have rejected but even profaned them; for this reason heaven was so closed to them that they scarcely knew that there was an eternal life. That this was so is evident from the fact that they did not acknowledge the Lord, although the whole Sacred Scripture prophesied of Him and foretold His advent. They rejected Him for the sole reason that He taught them of a heavenly and not of an earthly kingdom; for they wanted a Messiah who should exalt them above all the nations in the world, and not any Messiah who should have care for their eternal salvation. (T. C. R. n. 204, 205.)
Why the Spiritual Sense of the Word was not revealed before.
The knowledge of correspondences through which the spiritual sense of the Word is given was not disclosed after that time, because the Christians in the primitive church were so exceedingly simple that it could not have been disclosed to them; for if it had been disclosed it would have been of no use to them, nor would they have understood it. After their times darkness arose upon the whole Christian world; first, through the heresies of many that were spread abroad, and immediately afterwards through the counsels and decrees of the Council of Nice concerning three Divine Persons from eternity, and concerning the Person of Christ, that He was the Son of Mary and not the Son of Jehovah God. Thence came forth the present belief in justification, in which they approach three Gods in their order; on which belief each and all things of the present church depend, as the members of the body upon its head. And as they applied all things in the Word to confirm this erroneous belief, the spiritual sense could not be disclosed; for if it had been disclosed they would have applied that sense also to the same purpose, and thereby would have profaned the very holiness of the Word, and so would have entirely closed heaven against themselves, and removed the Lord from the church.
The knowledge of correspondences through which the spiritual sense is given is at this day revealed, because now the Divine truths of the Church are coming forth to light, and it is these of which the internal sense of the Word consists; and while these are in man he cannot pervert the literal sense of the Word. For the literal sense of the Word can be turned hither and thither; but if it is turned to falsity, its internal holiness, and with this its external, is destroyed; and if it be turned to the truth it remains. But of these things more will be said hereafter. That the spiritual sense would be opened at this day is meant by the fact that John saw heaven opened, and then a white horse, and that he saw and heard that an angel standing in the sun called all to a great supper; of which in the Apocalypse, xix. 11-18. But that for a long time this would not be acknowledged is meant by the beast, and by the kings of the earth that were about to make war against Him who sat upon the white horse (Apoc. xix. 19); and also by the dragon, in that it persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child, even into the desert, and then cast out of his mouth waters as a flood, that he might overwhelm her. (T. C. R. n. 206, 207.)
The Spiritual Sense is in each and all things of the Word.
This cannot be better seen than by examples. For instance, John says in the Apocalypse, "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a fiame of fire; and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew hut He Himself And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in the heavens followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" (xix. 11-14, 16). No one can know what these particulars involve except from the internal sense. It is manifest that each is representative and significative of something. For indeed it is said that heaven was opened; that there was a horse which was white; that One sat upon him who in righteousness doth judge and make war; that His eyes were as a flame of fire; that on His head were many crowns; that He had a Name which no man knew but He Himself; that He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; that the armies which were in the heavens followed Him upon white horses; that they were clothed in fine linen, white and clean; and that on His vesture and on His thigh He had a Name written. It is plainly said that He is the Word, and that He who is the Word is the Lord; for it is said, "His name is called the Word of God;" and afterwards, "He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" From the interpretation of each expression it is clear that the Word is here described as to its spiritual or internal sense. That heaven was opened, represents and signifies that the internal sense of the Word is seen in heaven, and therefore by those to whom heaven is open in the world. The horse, which was white, represents and signifies the understanding of the Word as to its interior truths. That this is the signification of the white horse will be clear from what follows. That He who sat upon him is the Lord as to the Word, therefore the Word, is manifest; for it is said, "His name is called the Word of God;" He is called Faithful, and is said to judge in righteousness, from Good; and is called True, and is said in righteousness to make war, from Truth. For the Lord Himself is righteousness. His eyes, as a flame of fire, signify Divine Truth from the Divine Good of His Divine Love. The many crowns upon His head signify all goods and truths of faith. Having a name written, that no man knew but Himself, signifies that what the Word is in the internal sense no one sees but Himself, and him to whom He reveals it. Clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, signifies the Word in the letter, to which violence has been done. The armies in the heavens which followed Him upon white horses signify those who are in the understanding of the Word as to its interior truths. Clothed with fine linen white and clean, signifies the same in truth from good. A name written on His vesture and on His thigh, signifies truth and good and their quality. From these particulars, and from those which precede and follow [in the chapter], it is evident that it is therein foretold that at about the last time of the church the spiritual or internal sense of the Word would be opened. (W. H. n. 1; S. S. n. 9.)
It is written in the Apocalypse, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. . . . And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. . . . The city had a wall great and high, which had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. . . . And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. . . . And the city lieth four square, and the length is as large as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; and the length, and the breadth, and the height of it were equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits; the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the wall of it was of jasper; hut the city itself was pure gold, like unto pure glass; and the foundations of the wall of the city were of every precious stone. . . . And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; . . . and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. . . . The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb was the lamp thereof And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it" (xxi. 1, 2, 12-24). When a man reads these words he does not understand them otherwise than according to the sense of the letter; he therefore understands that the visible heaven and earth will be dissolved, and a new heaven be created; and that the holy city Jerusalem will descend upon the new earth; and that as to its measure it will be according to the description. But the angels understand these things very differently; that is, the particulars which man understands naturally they understand spiritually. And the things which the angels understand are what they signify, and this is the internal or spiritual sense of the Word. According to this internal or spiritual sense, in which the angels are, by a new heaven and a new earth a new church is meant, both in the heavens and on the earth, each of which shall be spoken of hereafter; by the city Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven its heavenly doctrine is signified; by the length, breadth, and height, which are equal, are signified all the goods and truths of that doctrine in the complex; by its wall are meant the truths which protect it; by the measure of the wall, which is a hundred and fortyfour cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel, all those defending truths in the complex are meant, and their quality; by the twelve gates, which are of pearl, introductive truths are meant,—which are likewise signified by the twelve angels at the gates; by the foundations of the wall, which are of every precious stone, the knowledges are meant whereon that doctrine is founded; by the twelve tribes of Israel, and also by the twelve Apostles, are meant all things of the church in general and in particular; by gold like unto pure glass, whereof the city and its streets were built, the good of love is signified, by which the doctrine and its truths are made transparent; by the nations who are saved, and the kings of the earth who bring glory and honour into the city, are meant all from the church who are in goods and truths; by God and the Lamb the Lord is meant as to the very Divine and the Divine Human. (H. D. n. 1.)
In the Apocalypse, chap, vi., it is said, That when the Lamb opened the first seal of the book there went forth a white horse, and he who sat thereon had a bow, and a crovm was given unto him; that when He opened the second seal there went forth a red horse and unto him who sat thereon there was given a great sword; that when He opened the third seal there went forth a black horse, and he that sat thereon had a pair of balances in his hand; and that when He opened the fourth seal there went forth a pale horse, and the name of him that sat thereon was Death. What these things signify can only be evolved by means of the spiritual sense; and it is fully evolved when it is known what is signified by the opening of the seals, by the horses, and by the other particular things mentioned. By these things the successive states of the church are described as to its understanding of the Word, from its beginning to its end. The opening of the seals of the book by the Lamb signifies the making of those states of the church manifest by the Lord. By a horse the understanding of the Word is signified; the white horse is the understanding of truth from the Word in the first state of the church. The bow of him that sat upon that horse signifies the doctrine of charity and faith contending against falsities; the crown signifies eternal life, the reward of victory. The red horse signifies the understanding of the Word as to good, destroyed in the second state of the church; the great sword is falsity fighting against truth. The black horse signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed, as to truth, in the third state of the church; the pair of balances signifies that the estimation of truth is so little as scarcely to be any. The pale horse signifies the understanding of the Word annihilated, by evils of life and the falsities from them, in the fourth or last state of the church; and death signifies eternal damnation. That such is the signification of these things in the spiritual sense is not apparent in the sense of the letter, or the natural sense; unless therefore the spiritual sense were once opened, the Word, as to this passage and the rest of the Apocalypse, would have been closed entirely so that at length no one would know where the Divine Holiness therein was concealed. It is equally so, in respect to what is signified by the four horses and the four chariots that came forth from between the two mountains of brass, in Zechariah vi. 1-8.
In the Apocalypse, chap, ix., it is written: "The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit; and he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the, pit; and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth, and unto them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power . . . The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold; and their faces were as the foxes of men, and they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions; and they had breastplates as of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of many chariots running to battle; and they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon." Neither would any one be able to understand these things unless the spiritual sense were laid open to him, for nothing here is uselessly said, but all things, even to the least particulars, have a signification. The subject here treated of is the state of the church when all knowledges of truth from the Word are destroyed, and consequently man, having become sensual, persuades himself that falsities are truths. By a star fallen from heaven are signified the knowledges of truth destroyed; by the sun and air being darkened is signified the light of truth made darkness; by the locusts which came forth out of the smoke of the pit are signified falsities in the extremes,—such as pertain to those who have become sensual, and who see and judge all things from fallacies; by a scorpion is signified their persuasive [power]. That the locusts appeared as horses prepared for battle signifies their ratiocinations, as if from the understanding of truth; that the locusts had crowns like unto gold upon their heads, and faces as the faces of men, signifies that they appeared to themselves as conquerors, and wise; their having hair as the hair of women signifies that they appeared to themselves as if they were in the affection of truth; their having teeth as the teeth of lions signifies that sensual things, which are the ultimates of the natural man, appeared to them as if they had power over all things; their having breastplates as breastplates of iron signifies argumentations grounded in fallacies, by which they fight and prevail; that the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots running to battle signifies ratiocinations as if from truths of doctrine from the Word, for which they were to contend; their having tails like scorpions signifies persuasions; their having stings in their tails signifies the cunning arts of deceiving thereby; their having power to hurt men five months signifies that they induce a kind of stupor on those who are in the understanding of truth and in the perception of good; their having a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon, or Apollyon, signifies that their falsities were from hell, where they are who are merely natural and in self-intelligence. This is the spiritual sense of these words; nothing of which appears in the sense of the letter. There is such a spiritual sense throughout the Apocalypse. (S. S. n. 12, V6.)
That it may be seen that the prophetical parts of the Word of the Old Testament in many places are not intelligible without the spiritual sense, I will adduce only a few passages; as this in Isaiah: "Then Jehovah of Hosts shall stir up a scourge against Ashur, according to the smiting of Midian at the rock of Oreh; and His rod shall be upon the sea, which He shall lift up after the manner of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, that His burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and His yoke from off thy neck. . . . He shall come against Aiath; He shall pass to Migron; against Michmash He shall direct His arms; they shall pass over Mebara; Gebah shall he a lodging to us; Ramah shall tremble; Gibeah of Saul shall flee. Wail with thy voice, daughter of Gallim; hearken, O Laish, wretched Anathoth. Madmenah shall be a wanderer; the inhahitants of Gebim shall gather themselves together; as yet there is not a day to stand in Nob; the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem, shall shake her hand. . . . Jehovah shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by the Mighty One" (x. 26-34). Here mere names occur, from which no meaning can be drawn but by the aid of the spiritual sense; in which sense all names in the Word signify things pertaining to heaven and the church. From this sense it is gathered that these things signify that the whole church was devastated, by means of sensuous knowledges perverting all truth and confirming all falsity. In another place in the same Prophet it is written: "In that day , . . the envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries ofJudah shall he cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim; but they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together; they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab. . . . Jehovah shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod; and there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people which shall he left, from Assyria" (xi. 11-16). Here also no one can see anything Divine unless he knows what is signified by each particular name; and yet the subject treated of is the advent of the Lord, and what shall then come to pass, as plainly appears from verses 1-10. Who then without the aid of the spiritual sense would see that these things in their order signify, that they who are in falsities through ignorance, and have not suffered themselves to be seduced by evils, will come to the Lord; that the Church will then understand the Word; and that then falsities will be no longer hurtful to them. The case is the same where no names occur; as in Ezekiel: "Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou son of man, speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves from every side to My sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth; . . . ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye he drunken, of My sacrifice which I am sacrificed for you. Ye shall he filled at My table with the horse and the chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war. . . . And I will set My glory among the heathen" (xxxix. 17-21). He who does not know from the spiritual sense what is signified by sacrifice, what by flesh and blood, what by the horse and the chariot, the mighty man, and the man of war, will understand no otherwise than that such things are to be eaten and drunken; but the spiritual sense teaches that to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the sacrifice which the Lord Jehovah shall offer upon the mountains of Israel, signifies to appropriate Divine Good and Divine Truth from the Word. For the subject referred to is the calling together of all to the Lord's kingdom; and in particular the establishment of the church by the Lord among the Gentiles. Who cannot see that flesh is not here meant by flesh, nor blood by blood?—so that men should drink blood till they are drunken, and that they should be filled with the horse, the chariot, the mighty man, and every man of war? So in a thousand other places in the Prophets.
Without the spiritual sense no one could know why the Prophet Jeremiah was commanded to buy himself a girdle, and put it on his loins; and not to draw it through the waters, but to hide it in the hole of a rock by the Euphrates (Jer. xiii. 1-7); or why the Prophet Isaiah was commanded to loose the sackcloth from off his loins, and to put off the shoe from off his foot, and go naked and barefoot three years (Isaiah xx. 2, 3); or why the Prophet Ezekiel was commanded to pass a razor upon his head, and upon his beard, and afterwards to divide [the hairs of] them, and burn a third part in the midst of the city, smite a third part with the sword, scatter a third part in the wind, and bind a little of them in his skirts, and at last to cast them into the midst of the fire (Ezek. v. 1-4); or why the same prophet was commanded to lie upon his left side three hundred and ninety days, and upon his right side forty days; and to make himself a cake of wheat, and barley, and millet, and fitches, with cows' dung, and eat it; and in the meantime to raise a rampart and a mound against Jerusalem, and besiege it (Ezek. iv. 1-15); or why the Prophet Hosea was twice commanded to take to himself a harlot to wife (Hosea i. 2-9; iii. 2, 3), and many such things. Moreover, who without the spiritual sense would know what is signified by all things belonging to the tabernacle,—by the ark, the mercy seat, the cherubim, the candlestick, the altar of incense, the bread of faces on the table, and its veils and curtains? Or who, without the spiritual sense, would know what is signified by Aaron's garments of holiness,—by his coat, his cloak, the ephod, the Urini and Thummim, the mitre, and other things? Who, without the spiritual sense, would know what is signified by all the things which were enjoined concerning burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings? concerning Sabbaths also, and feasts? The truth is, that not the least thing of these was enjoined which did not signify something relating to the Lord, to heaven, and to the church. From these few examples it may be clearly seen that there is a spiritual sense in each and all things of the Word. (S. S. n. 15, 16.)
Six Degrees of Divine Truth, the Letter of the Word being the Lowest.
Truth Divine is not of one degree, but of several: Truth Divine in the first degree, and also in the second, is what immediately proceeds from the Lord; this is above angelic understanding. Truth Divine in the third degree is such as is in the inmost or third heaven; this is such that nothing of it can be apprehended by man. Truth Divine in the fourth degree is such as is in the middle or second heaven; neither is this intelligible to man. Truth Divine in the fifth degree is such as is in the ultimate or first heaven; this may for some little while be perceived by man, but by one enlightened; and yet it is such that a great part of it cannot be uttered by human words; but when it falls into ideas it produces a faculty of perceiving and also of believing that it is so. And Truth Divine in the sixth degree is such as is with man, accommodated to his apperception; thus it is the sense of the letter of the Word. This sense or this truth is represented by a cloud; and the interior truths by the glory in a cloud. Hence it is that Jehovah, that is the Lord, so often appeared to Moses and to the children of Israel in a cloud. (A. C. n. 8443.)
The Literal Sense of the Word is the Basis, the Containant, and Foundation of its Spiritual and Celestial Senses.
In everything Divine there is a first, a mediate, and an ultimate or last; and the first passes through the mediate to the ultimate, and so exists and subsists; the ultimate therefore is the BASIS. Then the first is in the mediate, and by the mediate in the ultimate; so that the ultimate is the CONTAINMENT; and since the ultimate is the containant and the basis, it is also the FOUNDATION. The learned reader will understand that these three may be called the end, the cause, and the effect; and also the Being, Becoming, and Existing; and that the end is Being, the cause Becoming, and the effect Existing; consequently, that in every complete thing there is a trine, which is called the first, the mediate, and the ultimate; also the end, the cause, and the effect. When these points are understood it will also be understood that every Divine work is complete and perfect in the ultimate; and also that all is in the ultimate, because the prior things are together in it. (T. C. n. 210.)
There are three heavens; the highest, the middle, and the lowest. The highest heaven constitutes the Lord's celestial kingdom; the middle heaven forms His spiritual kingdom; and the lowest heaven. His natural kingdom. And just as there are three heavens, there are also three senses of the Word,—the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural; with which also those things coincide which were said above,—that is to say, that the first is in the mediate, and by the mediate in the ultimate; just as the end is in the cause, and by the cause in the effect. From this the nature of the Word is clear,—namely, that within the sense of its letter, which is natural, there is an interior sense which is spiritual, and within this an inmost sense which is celestial; and thus that the ultimate sense, which is natural, and is called the sense of the letter, is the containant, and so the basis and foundation of the two interior senses. (T. C. R. n. 212.)
The Literal Sense of the Word is a Guard to the Truths concealed within it.
Moreover, it should be known that the literal sense of the Word is a guard to the genuine truths concealed within it; and the guard consists in this, that this sense may be turned in different directions, and explained according to the apprehension, and yet the internal not be hurt and violated by it. For it does no harm that the literal sense of the Word is understood by one differently from another. But it does harm if the Divine Truths which are concealed within are perverted; for thereby violence is done to the Word. Lest this should be the literal sense guards it,—and it guards it with those who from their religion are in falsities and do not confirm them; for these do no violence. This guard is signified by the cherubim, and is also described by means of them in the Word. This is signified by the cherubim which, after Adam and his wife were cast out of the garden of Eden, were placed at its entrance; of which we read that,—When Jehovah God had driven out the man, He made cherubim to dwell at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword, which turned this way and that way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen. iii. 23, 24). By cherubim a guard is signified; by the way of the tree of life is signified entrance within to the Lord, which men have by means of the Word; by the flame of a sword turning itself this way and that way Divine Truth in its ultimates is signified, which is like the Word in its literal sense, that can thus be turned. (S. S. n. 97.)
In the Literal Sense of the Word Divine Truth is in its Fulness, in its Holiness, and in its Power.
That in the sense of the letter the Word is in its fulness, in its holiness, and in its power, is because the two prior or interior senses, which are called spiritual and celestial, exist simultaneously in the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, as stated above. But how they are simultaneously in that sense shall be further explained. There is in heaven and in the world a successive order and a simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another, from the highest down to the lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing is next to another, from the inmost things to the outermost. Successive order is like a column with degrees from the summit to the base; and simultaneous order is like a work coherent with the periphery, from the centre to the outermost surface. It shall now be explained how successive order, in the ultimate becomes simultaneous order. It comes to pass in this manner: The highest [degrees] of successive order become the inmost of simultaneous order; and the lowest [degrees] of successive order become the outermost of simultaneous order; comparatively as a column of degrees subsiding becomes a body coherent in a plain. Thus the simultaneous is formed from the successive, aud this in each and all things of the natural world, and in each and all things of the spiritual world; for everywhere there is a first, a mediate, and an ultimate; and the first tends and passes through the mediate to its ultimate. But it should be well understood that there are degrees of purity, according to which each order is produced. Now to the Word:—The celestial, the spiritual, and the natural proceed from the Lord in successive order, and in the last or ultimate they exist in simultaneous order; so then the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word exist simultaneously in its natural sense. When this is comprehended it may be seen how the natural sense of the Word is the containant, the basis, and the foundation of its spiritual and celestial senses; and how Divine good and Divine Truth in the literal sense of the Word are in their fulness, in their holiness, and in their power. It may be seen from all this that the Word is the very Word in its literal sense; for in this interiorly there is spirit and life. This is what the Lord says in John: "The words that I speak unto you are spirit and life" (vi. 63); for the Lord spoke His words in the natural sense. The celestial and the spiritual senses are not the Word without the natural sense; for they are like spirit and life without a body; and are as a palace which has no foundation. (T. C. R. n. 214.)
By means of the Literal Sense of the Word Man has Conjunction with the Lord and Consociation with the Angels.
The reason why there is conjunction with the Lord by means of the Word is, that the Word treats of Him alone; and therefore the Lord is the all and all of it, and is called the Word, as has been shown in the Doctrine concerning the Lord. The conjunction is in the literal sense because in this sense the Word is in its fulness, in its holiness, and in its power, as was shown above. The conjunction is not apparent to man, but exists in his affection for truth, and in his perception of it, and thus in the love and faith of Divine truth in Him.
The reason why there is consociation with angels by means of the literal sense is, that the spiritual and celestial senses are within this sense, and the angels are in those senses,—the angels of the spiritual kingdom in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the angels of the celestial kingdom in its celestial sense. Those senses are evolved from the natural sense of the Word, which is the literal sense, when a true man is in this sense. The evolution is instantaneous; and therefore the consociation also.
That the spiritual angels are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the celestial angels in its celestial sense, has been shown me by much experience. It has been granted me to perceive that when I read the Word in its literal sense communication took place with the heavens,—now with one society of them, now with another; and that the things which I understood according to the natural sense, the spiritual angels understood according to the spiritual sense, and the celestial angels according to the celestial sense, and this in an instant. As this communication has been perceived by me some thousands of times, there remains with me no doubt about it. There are also spirits that are beneath the heavens, who abuse this communication; for they read aloud some passages out of the literal sense of the Word, and immediately observe and mark the society with which communication takes place. This too I have often seen and heard. From these circumstances it is given me to know, by living experience, that the Word, as to its literal sense, is the Divine medium of conjunction with the Lord and with heaven. (S. S. n. 62-64.)
I have been informed from heaven that the most ancient people had immediate revelation, since their interiors were turned to heaven; and that thence there was at that time a conjunction of the Lord with the human race. But that after their times there was not such immediate revelation, but mediate by correspondences; for all their Divine worship consisted of correspondences; and therefore the churches of that time were called representative churches. For they then knew what correspondence and what representation was, and that all things that exist on earth correspond to spiritual things which are in heaven and in the church; or what is the same, represented them. The natural things therefore which constituted the externals of their worship, served them as mediums for thinking spiritually, thus with the angels. After the knowledge of correspondences and representations was lost then the Word was written, in which all the words and the meanings of the words are correspondences; they thus contain a spiritual or internal sense, in which the angels are. When therefore a man reads the Word, and understands it according to the literal or external sense, the angels understand it according to the internal or spiritual sense; for all the thought of angels is 5piritual, and the thought of man is natural. These thoughts indeed appear diverse; but still they are one, because they corrrespond. Hence it is that after man removed himself from heaven, and broke the bond, a medium of conjunction of heaven with man by the Word was provided by the Lord. (H. H. n. 306.)
The Word was thus written in order that it may be a conjunction of heaven with man; and it is a conjunction, because every word therein, and in some places every letter, contains a spiritual sense, in which the angels are; so that when man apprehends the Word according to its appearances of truth, the angels who are around man understand it spiritually; in this way the spiritual of heaven is conjoined with the natural of the world, as to such things as conduce to man's life after death. If the Word had been otherwise written there could have been no conjunction of heaven with man. And because the Word is such in the letter, therefore it is as it were a support for heaven; for all the wisdom of the angels of heaven as to such things as pertain to the Church derminates in the literal sense of the Word, as in its basis, wherefbre the Word in the letter may be called the stay of heaven. The literal sense of the Word is therefore most holy; yea, it is even more powerful than its spiritual sense,—which has been made known to me by much experience in the spiritual world. For when spirits quote any part of the Word according to the sense of the letter, they immediately excite some heavenly society to conjunction with them. It is evident from these considerations that all that is of the doctrine of the church must be confirmed from the literal sense of the Word, in order that there may be any sanctity and power in it; and indeed from those books of the Word in which there is a spiritual sense. It also appears from this how dangerous it is to falsify the Word, to the destruction of the Divine truth which is in its spiritual sense, for so heaven is closed to man. (A. E. n. 816.)
The Marriage of the Lord and the Church, and hence the Marriage of Good and Truth, is in evert part of the Word.
That the marriage of the Lord and the church, and hence the marriage of good and truth is in all the least parts of the Word, has not hitherto been seen; nor could be seen, because the spiritual sense of the Word was not before revealed, and it can only be seen by means of that sense. For there are two senses in the Word lying concealed within its literal sense, the spiritual and the celestial. In the spiritual sense the things that are in the Word relate chiefly to the church; and in the celestial sense they relate chiefly to the Lord. Then in the spiritual sense they relate to Divine truth, and in the celestial sense to Divine good; hence is that marriage in the literal sense of the Word. But this is not apparent to any but those who, from the spiritual and celestial senses of the Word, know the significations of its words and names; for some words and names are predicted of good and some of truth; and some include both; without this knowledge therefore that marriage in the several particulars of the Word cannot be seen. This is the reason why this arcanum has not before been revealed.
Because there is such a marriage in the least parts of the Word, there are often pairs of expressions in the Word which appear as repetitions of the same thing. They are not repetitions however, but one has relation to good, and the other to truth; and both taken together form a conjunction of good and truth, thus one thing. Hence also is the Divinity of the Word and its sanctity; for in every Divine work there is a conjunction of good with truth, and of truth with good. (S. S. n. 80, 81.)
That there are pairs of expressions in the Word, which appear like repetitions of the same thing, must be seen by readers who give attention to the subject; as brother and companion; poor and needy; wilderness and desert; vacuity and emptiness; foe and enemy; sin and iniquity; anger and wrath; nation and people; joy and gladness; mourning and weeping; justice and judgment; etc. These appear as synonymous words, and yet they are not so. For the words brother, poor, wilderness, vacuity, foe, sin, anger, nation, joy, mourning, and justice, are predicated of good, and in the opposite sense of evil; but companion, needy, desert, emptiness, enemy, iniquity, wrath, people, gladness, weeping, and judgment, are predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity. And yet it appears to the reader who is not acquainted with this arcanum, that poor and needy, desert and wilderness, vacuity and emptiness, foe and enemy, etc., are one thing, whereas they are not so, but form one thing by conjunction. Many things are also coupled together in the Word; as fire and flame; gold and silver; brass and iron; wood and stone; bread and wine; purple and fine linen; etc.; because fire, gold, brass, wood, bread, and purple, signify good; and flame, silver, iron, stone, water, wine, and fine linen, signify truth. In like manner it is said, that men are to love God with all the heart and with all the soul; and that God will create in man a new heart and a new spirit; for the heart is predicated of the good of love, and the soul of truth from that good. There are also words which because they partake of both, that is of good and of truth, are used alone, not being joined with others. But these, and many other things, appear to the angels only, and to those who while in the natural sense are also in the spiritual sense.
It would be tedious to show from the Word that there are such pairs of expressions therein, which appear like repetitions of the same thing; for it would fill sheets. But that all doubt may be removed I will adduce passages where judgment and justice [or righteousness] are mentioned together; also nation and people; and joy and gladness. The following are passages where judgment and justice are mentioned together: "The city was full of judgment, justice lodged in it" (Isa. i. 21). "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with justice" (Isa. i. 27). "Jehovah of hosts shall he exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall he sanctified in justice" (Isa. v. 16). "Let him that glorieth glory in this, that . . . Jehovah exerciseth judgment and justice in the earth" (Jer. ix. 24). "Execute ye judgment and justice. . . . Woe unto him that buildeth his house without justice, and his chambers without judgment. . . . Did not thy father . . . do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?" (Jer. xxii. 3, 13, 15). "I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign, . . . and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth" (Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 15). . . . The reason why judgment and justice are so often mentioned is that judgment is predicated of truths, and justice of good; and therefore also to execute judgment and justice means to act from truth and from good. The reason why judgment is predicated of truth, and justice of good, is that the government of the Lord in the spiritual kingdom is called judgment, and the government of the Lord in the celestial kingdom is called justice. . . .
That these repetitions, as it were of the same thing, in the Word, are on account of the marriage of good and truth, may be more clearly seen in places where nations and peoples are mentioned; as in the following: "Ah! sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity" (Isa. i. 4). . . . "Jehovah will destroy . . . the covering over all peoples and the vail over all nations" (Isa. xxv. 7). "Come near, ye nations, . . . and hearken, ye people" (Isa. xxxiv. 1). "I have called thee, . . . for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations" (Isa. xlii. 6). "Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled" (Isa. xliii. 9). "Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my standard to the people" (Isa. xlix. 22). . . . The reason why nations and peoples are mentioned together is that by nations are meant those who are in good, and in the opposite sense those who are in evil, and by people those who are in truths, and in the opposite sense those who are in falsities. For this reason they who are of the Lord's spiritual kingdom are called peoples, and they who are of his celestial kingdom are called nations. For in the spiritual kingdom all are in truths, and thence in wisdom; and in the celestial kingdom all are in good, and thence in love.
It is the same with the other expressions, as that where joy is mentioned, gladness also is mentioned; as in these passages: "Behold joy and gladness, slay the ox" (Isa. xxii. 13). "They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isa. xxxv. 10; li. 11). . . . "Joy and gladness shall be found in Zion, thanksgiving and the voice of melody" (Isa. li. 3). "And thou shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at His birth" (Luke i. 14). "Then will I cause to cease, . . , the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride" (Jer. vii. 34; xvi. 9; xxv. 10). "Again there shall be heard in this place . . . the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride" (Jer. xxxiii. 10, 11). And in other places. Both joy and gladness are spoken of because joy is of good, and gladness of truth; or joy is of love, and gladness of wisdom. For joy is of the heart, and gladness of the spirit; or joy is of the will, and gladness of the understanding. It is also evident that there is a marriage of the Lord and the church in these expressions, from the fact that it is said, "The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride" (Jer. vii. 34; xvi. 9; xxv. 10; xvxiii. 10, 11); and the Lord is the Bridegroom, and the church the bride. That the Lord is the Bridegroom may be seen in Matt. ix. 15; Mark ii. 19, 20; Luke v. 35; and that the church is the bride may be seen in Apoc. xxi. 2, 9; xxii. 17. Therefore John the Baptist said of Jesus, "He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom" (John iii. 29). (ib. n. 84-87.)
Doctrine should be drawn from the Literal Sense of the Word, and confirmed by it.
The reason of this is, that the Lord is present therein, and teaches and enlightens; for the Lord never performs any of His operations except in fulness, and the Word is in its fulness in the literal sense, as was shown above. Hence it is that doctrine should be drawn from the sense of the letter. The doctrine of genuine truth can also be drawn entirely from the literal sense of the Word; for the Word in that sense is as a man clothed, whose face is bare, and whose hands also are bare. All things which concern the faith and life of man and consequently his salvation are naked therein, but the rest are clothed. And in many places where they are clothed they appear through, as objects to a woman through a thin veil of silk before her face. As the truths of the Word are multiplied from the love of them, and as by this they are arranged in order, they also shine and appear more and more clearly.
It may be supposed that the doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by the spiritual sense of the Word, which is given through the knowledge of correspondences; but doctrine is not acquired, but only illustrated and corroborated by that sense; for, as was said before, by some correspondences that are known a man may falsify the Word, by connecting and applying them to confirm that which inheres in his mind from a principle assumed. Besides, the spiritual sense is not given to any one except by the Lord alone; and it is guarded by Him as the angelic heaven is guarded, for this is within it. (T. C. R. n. 229, 230.)
Appearances of Truth in the Letter of the Word.
Truths Divine themselves are such that they can never be comprehended by any angel, still less by any man; they exceed every faculty of their understanding. Yet that there may be a conjunction of the Lord with men, truths Divine flow in with them into appearances; when they are in appearances they can both be received and acknowledged. This is effected adequately to the comprehension of every one; therefore appearances, that is truths angelic and human, are of a threefold degree. (A. C. n. 3362.)
If man were not instructed by appearances he would never suffer himself to be instructed at all; what is contrary to the appearance he does not believe nor comprehend, unless late in life when his judgment is ripened and he is gifted with the faith of charity, (ib. n. 1838.)
Many things in the Word, and more than any one could believe, are spoken according to appearances, and according to the fallacies of the senses; as where it is said that Jehovah is in wrath, anger, and fury, against the wicked; that He rejoices to destroy them and blot them out; yea, that He slays them. But these things were said that persuasions and evil lusts might not be broken, but bent; for to speak otherwise than as man conceives,—that is according to appearances, fallacies, and persuasions,—would have been to sow seed in the water, and to say that which would instantly be rejected. But yet these forms of speech may serve as common vessels within which there are things spiritual and celestial; for it can be insinuated into them that all things are from the Lord; afterwards that the Lord permits, but that all evil is from diabolical spirits; then that the Lord provides and disposes that evils may be turned into good; and finally that nothing but good is from the Lord. Thus the sense of the letter vanishes as it ascends, and the sense becomes spiritual, afterwards celestial, and at last Divine. (ib. n. 1874)
Rational human truth does not comprehend things Divine, because these are above the sphere of its understanding. For this truth communicates with the knowledges that are in the natural man; and in so far as it looks from these at the things above itself it does not acknowledge them. For this truth is in appearances which it cannot put off; and appearances are those [forms] which are from things of sense, which induce a belief as if things Divine themselves were also such,—when yet these are removed from all appearances,—and when they are spoken of this rational truth cannot believe them, because it cannot comprehend them. For example: when it is said that man has no life but what is from the Lord, the rational supposes from appearances that then man cannot live as of himself; when yet he then first truly lives when he perceives that his life is from the Lord. The rational, from appearances, supposes the good that a man does is from himself; when yet there is nothing of good from himself but from the Lord. The rational, from appearances, believes that a man merits salvation when he does good; when yet of himself a man can merit nothing, but all merit is the Lord's. From appearances man supposes that when he is withheld from evil and kept in good by the Lord, there is nothing with him but what is good and just, yea, and holy; when yet in man there is nothing but what is evil, unjust, and profane. From appearances man thinks that when he does good from charity he does it from the voluntary part in him, when yet it is not from his voluntary but from his intellectual part, in which charity has been implanted. From appearances man conceives that there can be no glory without the glory of the world; when yet in the glory of heaven there is nothing at all of the glory of the world. From appearances man believes that no one can love his neighbour more than himself, but that all love begins from himself; when yet in heavenly love there is nothing of the love of self. From appearances man thinks there can be no light but what is from the light of the world; when in the heavens there is nothing of the light of the world, and yet so great light that it exceeds a thousand times the mid-day light of the world. From appearances man thinks the Lord cannot shine as a sun before the universal heaven; when yet all the light of heaven is from Him. From appearances man cannot conceive that there are progressions in the other life; when yet they appear to themselves to progress just as men on earth,—as in their habitations, courts and paradises; still less can he comprehend if it be said that these are changes of state, which so appear. From appearances man cannot conceive that spirits and angels—since they are invisible to the [bodily] eyes—can be seen, nor that they can speak with man; when yet they appear to the internal sight, or the sight of the spirit, more visibly than man to man on earth; and in like manner their speech is also more distinctly heard. Besides thousands of thousands of such things which man's rational [faculty] from its own light (lumen), born of sensual things and thereby darkened, can never believe. Yea, even in natural things themselves the rational is dim-sighted; for instance, in that it cannot comprehend how the inhabitants directly opposite to us can stand upon their feet and walk; and in very many other things. What then must it not be in things spiritual and celestial, which are far above the natural? (ib. n. 2196.)
There are however degrees of the appearances of truth. Natural appearances of truth are for the most part fallacies, but when they are with those who are in good they ought not to be called fallacies, but appearances, and even in some respect truths; for the good that is in them, and in which the Divine is, effects that they have a different essence. But rational appearances of truth are more and more interior; the heavens are in these appearances,—that is, the angels who are in the heavens, (ib. n. 3207.)
There are also some things that appear like contradictions; and yet there is no contradiction in the Word viewed in its own light. (S. S. n. 51.)
Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, and is with thosewho love truths because they are truths, and apply them to the uses of life; with others there is no enlightenment in the Word. That enlightenment is from the Lord alone is because the Word is from Him, and therefore He is in it; that it is with those who love truths because they are truths and apply them to the uses of life, is because they are in the Lord and the Lord is in them. For the Lord is the Truth itself; and the Lord is loved when man lives according to His Divine truths; thus when. uses are performed from them,— according to these words in John: "In that day ye shall know that . . . ye are in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me; . . . and I will love Him, and will manifest Myself to him; . . . and I will come unto him, and make an abode with him;" (xiv. 20, 21, 23). These are they who are in enlightenment when they read the Word, and to whom the Word is bright and translucent. The reason why the Word to them is bright and translucent is that in the least parts of the Word there is a spiritual and a celestial sense, and these senses are in the light of heaven; and therefore through these senses and their light the Lord flows in into the natural sense of the Word, and into the light of this with man. Hence, from an interior perception, man acknowledges the truth, and then sees it in his thought; and this as often as he is in the affection of truth for the sake of truth. For perception comes from affection, and thought from perception; and thus the acknowledgment is produced which is called faith. (T. C. R. n. 231.)
Since few know how it is with the influx of Divine truth, and enlightenment thence with man, it is permitted here to say something on these subjects. It is known in the church that every good of love and truth of faith is not from man, but is with him out of heaven, from the Divine there; and that they are in enlightenment who receive this. But the influx and enlightenment are effected in this manner: Man is such that as to his interiors, which are of the thought and will, he can look downwards and can look upwards. To look downwards is to look outwards, into the world and to himself; and to look upwards is to look inwards, to heaven and to God. Man looks outwards, which is called downwards, of himself; since when he looks of himself he looks to hell. But man looks inwards not of himself but of the Lord; this is called upwards because as to his interiors which are of the will and the understanding he is then elevated by the Lord to heaven, and so to the Lord. The interiors are in fact actually elevated; and then are actually withdrawn from the body and from the world. When this is effected the interiors of man actually come into heaven, and into its light and heat. Hence he receives influx and enlightenment; the light of heaven illuminates his understanding,—for that light is Divine truth, which proceeds from the Lord as a sun; and the heat of heaven enkindles his will,—for that heat is the good of love, which at the same time proceeds from the Lord as a sun. As man is then among the angels there is communicated to him from them, that is through them from the Lord, the intelligence of truth and the affection of good. It is this communication which is called influx and enlightenment. But it should be known that influx and enlightenment are effected according to the faculty of reception in man; and the faculty of reception is according to his love of truth and of good. They therefore are elevated who are in the love of truth and of good for the sake of truth and good, as ends. (A. C. n. 10,330.)
How Heretical Opinions are derived from the Letter of the Word.
Many things in the Word are appearances of truth, and not naked truths; and many things are written according to the apprehensions of the natural, yea the sensual man, and yet so that the simple can understand them simply, the intelligent intelligently, and the wise wisely. Now such being the Word, appearances of truth, which are truths clothed, may be taken for naked truths; which when they are confirmed become falsities. But this is done by those who believe themselves to be wise above others, when in fact they are not wise; for it is wise to see whether a thing be true before it is confirmed, and not to confirm whatever one pleases. This they do who have a strong inclination for confirming and are in the pride of their own intelligence; but they do the former who love truths and are affected by them because they are truths, and who apply them to the uses of life. For these are enlightened of the Lord, and see truths by their own light; but the others are enlightened from themselves, and see falsities by the light of falsities.
That appearances of truth, which are truths clothed can be taken for naked truths from the Word, and that when confirmed they become falsities, is evident from the many heresies there have been, and are still in Christendom. Heresies themselves do not condemn men, but an evil life with confirmations of the falsities which are in heresy, from the Word and by reasonings from the natural man, condemn. For every one is born into the religion of his parents, from infancy is initiated into it, and afterwards retains it; nor is he able of his own power, on account of his occupations in the world, to extricate himself from its falsities. But to live wickedly, and to confirm falsities to the destruction of genuine truths, this condemns. For he who remains in his religion and believes in God,—and if within the pale of Christianity believes in the Lord, esteems the Word holy, and from a religious motive lives according to the commandments of the Decalogue, does not bind himself in falsities; and therefore when he hears truths and in his own way perceives them, he can embrace them, and so be withdrawn from falsities. But not so he who has confirmed the falsities of his religion; because falsity confirmed remains, and cannot be extirpated. For falsity after confirmation is as if a man were sworn in it,—especially if it coheres with the love of what is his own, and hence with the pride of his own wisdom. (S. S. n. 91, 92.)
The nature of the power of persuading and of confirming any heresy whatsoever out of the Word is known in the Christian world from the prevalence of so many heresies, every one of which is confirmed and so made persuasive from the literal sense of the Word. The reason is that the literal sense of the Word is accommodated to the apprehension of the simple, and therefore consists in great part of appearances of truth, and appearances of truth are of such a nature that they may be brought to confirm everything that is assumed by anyone as a principle of religion, and thence of doctrine, thus even what is false. On this account they who place genuine truth itself in the literal sense of the Word only may fall into many mistakes, if they are not in enlightenment from the Lord and in that enlightenment form doctrine for themselves, which may serve as a lamp to guide them. In the literal sense of the Word there are both naked truths and truths clothed; the latter are appearances of truth, and the appearances cannot otherwise be understood than from those places where naked truths stand forth, from which doctrine may be formed by one enlightened by the Lord, and the rest explained according to it. Hence it is that they who read the Word without doctrine are carried away into manifold errors. (A. E. n. 816.)
No one can know the Divine truths in the literal sense of the Word except by means of doctrine therefrom. If a man has not doctrine for a lamp he is carried away into errors, whithersoever the obscurity of his understanding and the delight of his will leads and draws him. The doctrine which should be for a lamp is what the internal sense teaches; thus it is the internal sense itself, which in some measure lies open to every one who is in the external from the internal, that is, with whom the internal man is open,—although he does not know what the internal sense is; for heaven, which is in the internal sense of the Word, flows into that man when he reads the Word, enlightens him, and gives him perception, and so teaches him. (A. C. n. 10,400.)
That doctrinals are derived from the Word does not make them Divine truths; for any doctrinal whatever may be taken out of the literal sense of the Word. Even such a thing may be seized upon as favours concupiscences, and thus falsity be taken for truth; as in the case of the doctrinals of the Jews, of the Socinians, and of many others. But not so if the doctrinal be formed from the internal sense. The internal sense is not only that sense which lies hidden within the external sense; but also which results from many passages of the literal sense rightly compared with each other; and is apperceived by those who as to their intellectual [faculty] are enlightened by the Lord. For the enlightened intellectual [faculty] discerns between apparent truths and real truths, especially between falsities and truths, although it does not judge of real truths in themselves. But the intellectual [faculty] cannot be enlightened unless it is believed that love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are the principal and essential [doctrines] of the church. He who proceeds from these [doctrines] acknowledged, if only he be in them, sees unfolded to him innumerable truths, yea, very many mysteries; and this from interior acknowledgment according to the degree of enlightenment from the Lord. (ib. n. 7233.)
Which are the Books of the Word.
The books of the Word are all those that have an internal sense, and those that have not are not the Word. The books of the Word in the Old Testament are the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, the book of Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books of the Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; and in the New Testament, the four Evangelists. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Apocalypse. (A. C. n. 10,325.)
The Character of the Apostolic Writings.
With regard to the writings of St. Paul and the other Apostles, I have not given them a place in my Arcana Cœlestia, because they are dogmatic writings merely, and not written in the style of the Word, like those of the Prophets, of David, of the Evangelists, and the Revelation of St. John. The style of the Word consists throughout of correspondences, and thence effects an immediate communication with heaven; but the style of these dogmatic writings is quite different, having indeed communication with heaven, but only mediate or indirect. The reason why the Apostles wrote in this style was that the Christian church was then to begin through them; and the style that is used in the Word would not have been suitable for such doctrinal tenets, which required plain and simple language, adapted to the capacities of all readers. Nevertheless the writings of the Apostles are excellent books for the church, since they insist on the doctrine of charity, and faith thence; as the Lord Himself has done in the Gospels and in the Revelation of St. John, which will clearly appear to any one who studies these writings with attention. (Letter to Dr. Beyer. Also A. E. n. 815.)
Four Different Styles in the Word.
There are in general four different styles in the Word. The first was that of the Most Ancient Church. Their mode of expression was such that when they mentioned terrestrial and worldly things they thought of the spiritual and celestial things which they represented. They therefore not only expressed themselves by representatives, but also formed them into a certain quasi historical series, that they might be the more living, which was to them in the highest degree delightful. This style was meant when Hannah prophesied, saying, "Speak ye what is high, high, let what is ancient come forth out of your mouth" (1 Sam. ii. 3). These representatives are called by David "dark sayings of old" (Psalm lxxviii. 2). The particulars concerning the creation, and the garden of Eden, etc., down to the time of Abram, Moses had from the descendants of the Most Ancient Church. The second style is historical, which is found in the books of Moses from the time of Abram, and onwards to Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the Kings; in which the historical events are precisely as they appear in the sense of the letter, and yet they all and each contain quite other things in the internal sense; of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, in their order in the following pages. The third style is prophetical, and was born of the style of the Most Ancient Church, which was greatly revered. But it is not connected and quasi historical, like the most ancient, but broken and even scarcely intelligible except in the internal sense; wherein are the profoundest mysteries, which follow each other in beautiful connected order, and relate to the internal and external man; to the many states of the church; to heaven itself; and in the inmost sense to the Lord. The fourth is that of the Psalms of David; which is intermediate between the prophetical style and that of common speech. The Lord is there treated of in the internal sense under the person of David as a king. (A. C. n. 66.)
The Word of the Old Testament.
No mortal conceives from the letter that the Word of the Old Testament contains the mysteries of heaven; and that all and everything therein relates to the Lord, His heaven, the Church, faith, and things that belong to faith. For from the letter, or the sense of the letter, no one perceives anything but that in general they relate to the externals of the Jewish church; and yet there are everywhere internal things which do not appear at all in the external, save a very few which the Lord revealed and explained to the Apostles; as that the sacrifices are significative of the Lord; and that the land of Canaan and Jerusalem—likewise Paradise—signify heaven; and therefore they are called the heavenly Canaan and Jerusalem.
But that each and all things, yea, the very least, even to the smallest iota, signify and involve spiritual and celestial things, is to this day profoundly unknown to the Christian world, and therefore it pays little attention to the Old Testament. Yet they might know this from a single consideration; that since the Word is the Lord's and from the Lord, it could not but be that it inwardly contains such things as relate to heaven, to the church, and to faith. Otherwise it could not be called the Word of the Lord, nor be said to have any life within it. For whence is its life, but from those things which are of life? that is, but from the fact that each and all things therein have relation to the Lord, who is the veriest Life? Whatever therefore has not regard interiorly to Him has not life. Nay, whatever expression in the Word does not involve Him, or in its manner relate to Him, is not Divine. (A. C. n. 1, 2.)
Not a single verse of the Apocalypse could be revealed except by the Lord. (C. L. n. 532.)
The Apocalypse does not treat of the successive states of the church, much less of the successive states of kingdoms as some have hitherto believed, but from beginning to end it treats of the last state of the church in heaven and on earth; and of the last judgment; and after this of the New Church which is the New Jerusalem. (A. R n. 2.)
"Things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev. i. 1), signifies that they will certainly be, lest the church should perish. By must shortly come to pass it is not meant that the things foretold in the Apocalypse will immediately and speedily occur, but certainly; and that unless they do the church must perish. In the Divine idea, and therefore in the spiritual sense, there is no time, but instead of time there is state; and as shortly is of time it signifies certainly, and that it will be before its time. For the Apocalypse was given in the first century, and seventeen centuries have now passed; from which it is clear that by shortly that which corresponds to it must be signified, which is certainly. Quite the same is also involved in these words of the Lord: "Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened" (Matt, xxiv. 22). By this also it is meant that unless the church should come to an end before its time it would utterly perish. In that chapter the consummation of the age and the Lord's coming are treated of; and by the consummation of the age the last state of the old church is meant, and by the Lord's coming, the first state of the new. It was said that in the Divine idea there is no time, but the presence of all things past and future. Therefore it is said by David, "A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday" (Psalm xc. 4); and again: "I will declare the decree, Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee" (Psalm ii. 7): "this day" is the presence of the Lord's advent. Hence it is too that an entire period is called a day in the Word, and its first state is called the dawning and the morning, and its last evening and night, (ib. n. 4.)
"John to the seven churches" (ver. 4), signifies, to all who are in the Christian world where the Word is and by means of it the Lord is known, and who draw near to the church. Seven churches are not meant by the seven churches, but all in the Christian world who are of the church. For numbers in the Word signify things, and seven signify all things and all men [omnia et omnes], and therefore also what is full and perfect; and this number occurs in the Word where it treats of a thing that is holy, and in the opposite sense of a thing that is profane. This number therefore involves what is holy, and in the opposite sense what is profane. The reason why numbers signify things, or rather that they are as a kind of adjectives to substantives, denoting some quality in things, is that number in itself is natural; for natural things are determined by nubers, but spiritual by things and their states. He therefore who does not know the signification of numbers in the Word, and especially in the Apocalypse, cannot know many mysteries that are contained therein. Now, as seven signify all things and all men, it is plain that by the seven churches all are meant who are in the Christian world where the Word is, and by means of it the Lord is known. These, if they live according to the Lord's precepts in the Word, constitute the very church.
"Which are in Asia" (ver. 4), signifies, to those who are in the light of truth from the Word. Since by all names of persons and places in the Word things of heaven and the church are meant, as was said before, so therefore by Asia, and by the names of the seven churches therein, as will appear from what follows. The reason why those who are in the light of truth from the Word are meant by Asia is, that the Most Ancient Church, and after that the Ancient, and then the Israelitish church, were in Asia; and that the Ancient Word, and afterwards the Israelitish Word, was with them; and all the light of truth is from the Word. (ib. n. 10, 11.)
"I was in the island called Patmos" (ver. 9), signifies a state and place in which he could be enlightened. The reason why the Revelation to John was made in Patmos was that it was an island of Greece, not very far from the Land of Canaan, and between Asia and Europe; and by islands are signified nations more remote from the worship of God, but yet which will draw near to it, because they are capable of being enlightened. The same is signified by Greece, but the Church itself is signified by the Land of Canaan; by Asia those of the Church who are in the light of truth from the Word; and by Europe those to whom the Word is about to come. Hence it is that by the isle of Patmos is signified a state and place in which he could be enlightened. (ib. n. 34.)
"What thou seest write in a book" (ver. 11). It is evident without explanation that this signifies that it was revealed for posterity.
"And send to the churches, to those which are in Asia," signifies for those in the Christian world who are in the light of truth from the Word. That these are meant by the churches in Asia, see above.
"Unto Ephesus and Smyrna, and Pergamos and Thyatira, and Sardis and Philadelphia, and Laodicea" signifies according to the state of reception of each in particular. For John when this was commanded him was in a spiritual state, and in that state nothing is called by name which does not signify a thing or state. These things which were written by John were therefore not sent to any church in those places, but were told to their angels, by whom are meant those who receive, (ib. n. 39-41.)
The Word is in all the Heavens, and the Wisdom of the Angels is derived from it.
It has been unknown hitherto that the Word is in the heavens, nor could it be made known so long as the church did not know that angels and spirits are men similar to men in the world; and that they have similar attributes to men in every respect, with the only difference that they are spiritual, and that all things with them are from a spiritual origin; while men in the earth are natural, and all things with them are from a natural origin. So long as this knowledge lay concealed it could not be known that the Word is also in the heavens, and that it is read by the angels there, and also by the spirits who are below the heavens. (S. S. n. 70.)
A copy of the Word written by angels inspired by the Lord is kept with every larger society, in its sacred place, lest as to any jot it should be changed elsewhere, (ib. n. 72.)
The angels themselves confess that all the wisdom they have is through the Word; for in proportion to their understanding of the Word they are in light. The light of heaven is Divine wisdom, which appears as light before their eyes. In the sacred place where the copy of the Word is kept there is a white and flaming light exceeding every degree of light which is outside of it in heaven. The reason is the same that was mentioned above, that the Lord is in the Word. (ib. n. 73).
The Historical Parts of the Word were given especially for Children.
The Word was given that heaven and earth may be united, or angels united with men; on which account it was so written that by the angels it may be apprehended spiritually while by man it is apprehended naturally, and that a holy influence may thus flow in through the angels, by which the union is effected. Such is the Word both in the historical and the prophetical parts; but the internal sense less appears in the historical parts than in the prophetical, because the historical parts are written in another style, but still by significatives. The historical parts were given that children and youth may be initiated thereby into the reading of the Word; for they are delightful to them, and are retained in their minds; and through these communication is thus given them with the heavens, which communication is grateful, because they are in a state of innocence and mutual love. This is the reason that the historical Word was given. (A. C. n. 6333.)
As regards the cognitions of external or corporeal truth which are from collateral good,—and, as was said, contain within them what is Divine, and so can admit genuine goods,—such as are with infant children who are afterwards regenerated, in general they are such as those of the historical portions of the Word; as what is therein said of paradise, of the first man there, of the tree of life in its midst, and of the tree of knowledge where the serpent was that deceived. These are cognitions which have within them what is Divine, and admit into them goods and truths spiritual and celestial, because they represent and signify them. Such cognitions also are the other things in the historical portions of the Word, as what is said of the tabernacle and the temple, and of the construction of them; in like manner what is said of the garments of Aaron and of his sons, and also of the feasts, of tabernacles, of the first-fruits of the harvest, and of unleavened bread, and other such things. When these and such like things are known and thought of by an infant child, then the angels who are with him think of the Divine things which they represent and signify; and as the angels are affected by them their affection is communicated, and causes the delight and pleasure which the child derives from them, and prepares his mind to receive genuine truths and goods, (ib. n. 3665.)
Delightful Perception by Angels of the Internal Sense of the Word when devoutly read by Men.
When the Word of the Lord is read by a man who loves the Word and lives in charity, and even by a man who in simplicity of heart believes what is written, and has formed no principles contrary to the truth of faith which is in the internal sense, it is displayed by the Lord to the angels in such beauty and in such pleasantness—with representatives also, and this with ineffable variety according to their every state in which they then are—that they perceive the least particulars as it were to live. This is the life that is in the Word, and from which the Word had birth when it was sent down from heaven. From this cause the Word of the Lord is such that, though it appears rude in the letter yet within it are stored things spiritual and celestial, which are manifested before good spirits and angels when it is read by man. (A. C. n. 1767.)
And especially when the Word is read by Children.
It may seem a paradox, but yet it is most true, that the angels better and more fully understand the internal sense of the Word when little boys and girls read it, than when it is read by adults who are not in the faith of charity. The reason stated to me is, that little children are in a state of mutual love and innocence, so that their vessels are extremely tender, almost celestial, and merely faculties of reception, which therefore are capable of being disposed by the Lord,—although this does not come to their perception except by a certain delight according to their genius. It is said by the angels that the Word of the Lord is a dead letter, but that in reading it is vivified by the Lord according to the capability of every one, and that it becomes living according to the life of charity and the state of innocence, and this with endless variety. (A. C. n. 1776.)
By means of the Word Light is communicated to the Nations out of the Church.
There can be no conjunction with heaven unless there be somewhere on the earth a church where the Word is and where by means of it the Lord is known, for the Lord is God of heaven and earth, and without Him there is no salvation. It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word is, though it consist of comparatively few. Through this the Lord is yet present everywhere in the whole earth, for thereby heaven is conjoined with the human race.
But it shall be explained how the presence and conjunction of the Lord and of heaven in every land is effected by means of the Word. The universal heaven before the Lord is as one man; so likewise is the church. The church where the Word is read and where thereby the Lord is known is as the heart and as the lungs in that man; the celestial kingdom as the heart, and the spiritual kingdom as the lungs. Just as from these two fountains of life in the human body all the other members and viscera subsist and live, so also do all those in every part of the world with whom there is a religion, and who worship one God and live a good life, and thereby are in that man, and belong to its members and viscera without the thorax, where the heart and lungs are, subsist and live from the conjunction of the Lord and heaven with the church by means of the Word. For the Word in the church, although it exists with few comparatively, is life from the Lord through heaven to all the rest; just as the life of the members and viscera of the whole body is from the heart and lungs. There is also a similar communication. This too is the reason why the Christians among whom the Word is read constitute the breast of that man. They are indeed in the centre of all; and around them are the Papists; and around these are the Mahometans, who acknowledge the Lord as a very great prophet and as a son of God. After these come the Africans; and the nations and peoples in Asia and the Indies form the outermost circumference. Moreover, all who are in that man look towards the centre where Christians are.
The greatest light is in the centre, where the Christians are who are in possession of the Word; for the light in the heavens is Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord as the sun there; and because the Word is that Divine Truth the greatest light is with those who have the Word. From thence as from its centre it diffuses itself around to all the circumferences, even to the outermost; hence the enlightenment of the nations and peoples out of the church also is by means of the Word. (S. S. n. 104-106.)
The same may be illustrated by this experience. There were with me certain African spirits from Abyssinia. On a certain occasion their ears were opened, that they might hear singing in some church in the world from a Psalm of David. They were affected by it with such delight that they joined their voices with those who sung. But presently their ears were closed, so that they could not hear anything from thence; and then they were affected with still greater delight because it was spiritual, and were at the same time filled with intelligence, for that psalm treated of the Lord and of redemption. The reason of their increased delight was, that communication was granted them with the society in heaven which was in conjunction with those who were singing that psalm in the world. From this and much other experience it was evident to me that there is communication with the universal heaven through the Word. For this reason, by the Divine providence of the Lord, there is universal intercourse of the kingdoms of Europe—especially of those in which the Word is read—with the nations out of the church. (ib. n 108.)
From all this it may be seen that the Word which is in the church of the Reformed enlightens all nations and peoples through spiritual communication; and that it is provided of the Lord that there shall always be a church on earth where the Word is read and by means of it the Lord is known. When therefore the Word was almost rejected by the Papists, through the Divine providence of the Lord the Reformation took place, and the Word in consequence was again received; and also the Word is accounted holy by a celebrated nation among the Papists, (ib. n. 110.)
It has been granted me to know by much experience that man has communication with heaven by means of the Word. While I was reading the Word, from the first chapter of Isaiah to the last of Malachi, and the Psalms of David, it was given me to perceive clearly that each verse communicates with some society in heaven, and that thus the whole Word communicates with the universal heaven. (ib. n. 113.)
Revelation and Inspiration.
All revelation is either from discourse with angels through whom the Lord speaks or from perception. It should be known that they who are in good and thence in truth, especially those that are in the good of love to the Lord, have revelation from perception; but those who are not in good and thence in truth, though they may indeed have revelations, yet not from perception, but by a living voice heard within them, thus by angels from the Lord. This revelation is external, but the former is internal. The angels, especially the celestial angels, have revelation from perception; and so had the men of the Most Ancient Church, and some also of the Ancient Church; but scarcely any one has this at the present day. But very many have had revelations from speech, without perception, even who have not been in good; likewise by visions, or by dreams. Such were most of the revelations of the prophets in the Jewish church; they heard a voice, saw a vision, or dreamed a dream. But as they had no perception the revelations were merely verbal or visual, without discernment of what they signified. For genuine perception comes through heaven from the Lord, and spiritually affects the intellectual faculty, and leads it perceptibly to think just as the thing really is, with an internal assent the source of which he is ignorant of. He supposes it is in itself, and that it flows from the connection of things; but it is a dictate through heaven from the Lord, flowing into the interiors of the thought, concerning such things as are above the natural and the sensual; that is concerning such things as are of the spiritual world, or heaven. From these statements it may be seen what revelation from perception is. (A. C. n. 5121.)
I have been informed how the Lord spake with the prophets through whom the Word was given. He did not speak with them as with the ancients, by an influx into their interiors, but by spirits who were sent to them, whom the Lord filled with His aspect, and thus inspired the words which they dictated to the prophets; so that it was not influx but dictation. And as the words came forth immediately from the Lord they are therefore severally filled with the Divine, and contain within them an internal sense; which is such that the angels of heaven perceive them in a celestial and a spiritual sense, while men understand them in the natural sense. Thus has the Lord conjoined heaven and the world by means of the Word. It has also been shown me how spirits are filled with the Divine from the Lord by aspect. The spirit filled with the Divine from the Lord does not know but that he is the Lord, and that it is the Divine which speaks; and this so long as he is speaking. Afterwards he apperceives and acknowledges that he is a spirit, and that he did not speak from himself but from the Lord. It is because such was the state of the spirits who spoke with the prophets that it is even said by them, that Jehovah spake. The spirits also called themselves Jehovah, as may be seen not only from the prophetical, but also from the historical parts of the Word. (H. H. n. 254.)
The Prophets wrote as the spirit from the Divine dictated; for the very words which they wrote were uttered in their ears. (A. C. n. 7055.)
It is known from the Word that there was an influx from the world of spirits and from heaven into the Prophets, partly by dreams, partly by visions, and partly by speech; and also with some into the speech itself, and into their very gestures, thus into those things which are of the body; and that then they did not speak from themselves nor act from themselves, but from the spirits which then occupied their body. Some of them then acted as if insane; as Saul, in that he lay naked; others, in that they wounded themselves; others, in putting horns upon them; and many such things, (ib. n. 6212.)
The world, even the learned, have hitherto considered that the historical parts of the Word are only histories; and that they involve nothing more interior. And yet they say that every jot is Divinely inspired. But they mean nothing more by this than that these histories were revealed, and that something dogmatic applicable to the doctrine of faith may be deduced from them and be of use to those who teach and to those who learn; and that because they are Divinely inspired therefore they have a Divine power over their minds, and are effective of good beyond all other history. But the histories in themselves regarded effect little for the amendment of a man; and nothing for his eternal life. For in the other life the histories are passed into oblivion. For example, of what use would it be there to know that Hagar was a servant maid, and that she was given to Abram by Sarai? to know about Ishmael? or even about Abram? Nothing but the things which are of the Lord and which are from the Lord are necessary for souls, that they may enter into heaven, and rejoice in its joy, that is in eternal life. For these the Word exists; and these are what are contained in its interiors.
Inspiration implies that in the least particulars of the Word, as in the historical so in the other parts, there are celestial things which are of love or good, and spiritual things which are of faith or truth, and therefore things Divine. For what is inspired by the Lord descends from Him; and indeed through the angelic heaven, and so through the world of spirits down to man, to whom it is presented as it is in the letter. But it is entirely different in its first origin. In heaven there is no worldly history, but all is representative of things Divine; nor is anything else perceived there; as may be known, too, from the fact that the things which are there are ineffable. If therefore the historical particulars are not representative of things Divine and thus heavenly, they cannot be Divinely inspired. (ib. n. 1886, 1887.)
Previous to the Word which now exists in the World there was A Word which is lost.
It has been told me by the angels of heaven that there was a Word among the ancients written by pure correspondences, but that it was lost. And they said that this Word was still preserved among them; and was in use in that heaven, among the ancients with whom that Word existed when they were in the world. The ancients among whom that Word is still in use in heaven were in part from the land of Canaan and its confines,—Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Chaldea, Assyria, Egypt, Zidon, Tyre, and Nineveh,—the inhabitants of all which kingdoms were in representative worship, and therefore in the knowledge of correspondences. The wisdom of those times was from that knowledge, and through that they had interior perception and communication with the heavens. Those who knew interiorly the correspondences of that Word were called wise and intelligent, and after that diviners and magi. But because that Word was full of such correspondences as remotely signified celestial and spiritual things, and therefore began to be falsified by many, by the Divine providence of the Lord in process of time it disappeared and was finally lost, and another Word was given written by correspondences less remote, and this through the prophets among the children of Israel. In this Word however many names of places are retained which were in the land of Canaan and round about in Asia, which signify similar things as in the ancient Word. It was for this reason that Abraham was commanded to go into that land, and that his posterity from Jacob were led into it.
It is evident too from Moses that there was a Word among the ancients, by whom it is mentioned and some quotation is made from it (Numb. xxi. 14, 15, 27-30); and that the historical parts of that Word were called the The Wars of Jehovah, and the prophetical parts Enunciations. From the historical parts of that Word Moses has quoted this: "Wherefore it is said in The book of the Wars of Jehovah, what He did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, and at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab" (Numb, xxi. 14, 15). By the wars of Jehovah in that Word, as in ours, are meant and described the Lord's conflicts with the hells and His victories over them when He should come into the world. The same conflicts are also meant and described in many places in the historical parts of our Word, as in the wars of Joshua with the nations of the land of Canaan, and in the wars of the judges and of the kings of Israel. From the prophetical parts of that Word Moses has taken this passage:—"Wherefore say the Enunciators, Go unto Heshbon; let the city of Sihon be built and strengthened; for a fire is gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it hath consumed Ar of Moab, the possessors of the high places of Arnon. Woe unto thee, Moab! thou art undone, people of Chemosh! He hath given his sons that escaped and his daughters into captivity unto Sihon, king of the Amorites; we have slain them with darts. Heshhon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medebah" (Numb. xxi. 27-30). The translators render it, They that speak in Proverbs, but they should be called Enunciators, and their compositions Prophetical Enunciations; as it is evident from the signification of the word Moshalim in the Hebrew tongue that they were not merely Proverbs, but also Prophetical Enunciations; as in Numb, xxiii. 7, 18, xxiv. 3, 15, where it is said that Balaam uttered his Enunciation, which was also a prophecy concerning the Lord. His enunciation is called Moshal, in the singular number. It may be added that the passages thence quoted by Moses are not proverbs but prophecies. That that Word likewise was Divine or Divinely inspired is plain from a passage in Jeremiah, where we read nearly the same words: "A fire is gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the sons of tumult. Woe he unto thee, O Moab! The people of Chemosh perisheth, for thy sons are taken away into captivity and thy daughters into captivity" (xlviii. 45, 46). Besides these a prophetical book of the ancient Word is also mentioned by David and by Joshua, called The Book of Jasher, or the book of the Upright. By David: "David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan; also he bade them teach the children of Judah the bow: behold it is written in The Book of Jasher" (2 Sam. i. 17, 18). And by Joshua: Joshua said . . . Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon; . . . is not this written in The Book of Jasher?" (Josh. x. 12, 13). Moreover, it was told me that the first seven chapters of Genesis are extant in that ancient Word, and that not the least word is wanting. (S. S. n. 102, 103.)
That religion has existed from the most ancient times, and that the inhabitants of the globe everywhere have known of God, with something about the life after death, has not been from themselves and from their own acuteness, but from the ancient Word mentioned above, and afterwards from the Israelitish Word. From these religious knowledge was diffused into the Indies and their islands; through Egypt and Ethiopia into the kingdoms of Africa; from the maritime parts of Asia into Greece; and from thence into Italy. But as the Word could not be written otherwise than by representatives,—which are such things in the world as correspond to and hence signify heavenly things,—therefore the religious truths of many nations were converted into idolatrous forms, and in Greece into fables; and the Divine attributes and qualities into as many gods, over which they placed one as supreme, whom they called Jove, from Jehovah. It is well known that they had a knowledge of paradise, of the flood, of the sacred fire, and of the four ages—from the first or golden age to the last or iron age—by which the four states of the church are signified in the Word, as in Daniel ii. 31-35. It is also known that the Mahometan religion, which succeeded and destroyed the previous religions of many nations, was taken from the Word of both Testaments, (ib. n. 117.)
The Sin of Profaning the Word and the Holy Things of the Church.
Profanation is the conjunction of Divine truth with falsities from evil; and that conjunction which is profanation does not exist with any but those who have first acknowledged those things which are of the church,—and especially who have acknowledged the Lord,—and afterwards deny them. For by the acknowledgment of the truths of the church, and of the Lord, communication with the heavens is effected, and at the same time the opening of the interiors of man towards heaven; and by denial afterwards a conjunction of the same with falsities from evil takes place. For all things which man acknowledges remain implanted, since nothing with man which has entered by acknowledgment perishes. The state of the man in whom there is profanation is, that he has communication with the heavens, and at the same time with the hells; by truths with the heavens, and by the falsities of evil with the hells. (A. C. n. 10,287.)
Those who are within the church can form principles of falsity in opposition to the very truths of faith, and be imbued with them; but those who are without the church cannot do this, because they do not know the truths of faith. Thus the former can profane holy truths, while the latter cannot, (ib. n. 2051.)
The Lord by His Divine Providence continually watches and so disposes that evil may be by itself, and good by itself, and thus that they may be separated; but this cannot be effected if a man first acknowledges the truths of faith and lives according to them, and afterwards recedes from and denies them. . . . Whatever a man thinks, speaks, and does from the will, is appropriated to him and remains. . . . Such things are each and all inscribed on his internal memory; and nothing is wanting. This memory is his book of life, which is opened after death, and according to which he is judged. . . . Good and evil moreover are separated by the Lord after death; with those who are inwardly evil and outwardly good the good is taken away, and they are thus left to their evil. The reverse takes place with those who inwardly are good and outwardly like other men have sought after wealth, have striven for dignities, have found delight in various worldly things, and favoured some concupiscences. With these however good and evil were not mixed, but were separated as the internal and the external; thus in the external form they were like the evil in many things, yet not in, the internal. On the other hand, the evil too, who in the external form, in piety, in worship, in speech and actions, have appeared as if good, and yet in the internal form were evil,—with them also evil is separated from good. But with those who have first acknowledged the truths of faith and lived according to them, and have afterwards turned away from and rejected them, and especially if they have denied them, goods and evils are no longer separated, but mingled. For such a man has appropriated good to himself, and has also appropriated evil to himself, and so has conjoined and commingled them. He has so far commingled good and evil that they cannot be separated; and if evil cannot be separated from good and good from evil he can neither be in heaven nor in hell. Every man must be either in the one or in the other; he cannot be in both, for thus he would be sometimes in heaven, and sometimes in hell; and while in heaven he would act in favour of hell, and while in hell he would act in favour of heaven. He would thus destroy the life of all around him, heavenly life among the angels, and infernal life among the devils; whereby the life of every one would perish. For the life of every one must be his own; no one lives in another's life, still less in an opposite one. Hence it is that with every man after death when he becomes a spirit or a spiritual man, the Lord separates good from evil, and evil from good; good from evil with those who inwardly are in evil, and evil from good with those who inwardly are in good; which is according to His words, "To every one that hath shall he given, and he shall have abundance, and from him that hath not shall he taken away even that he hath" (Matt. xiii. 12; xxv. 29; Mark iv. 25; Luke viii. 18; xix. 26). As good and evil must be separated in every man, and in such a man cannot be separated, therefore as to everything truly human he is destroyed. The truly human in every one exists from rationality; in that he can see and know, if he will, what is true and what is good; and also in that from liberty he can will, think, speak and do it. But this liberty with its rationality is destroyed with those who have commingled good and evil in themselves; for they cannot from good see evil, nor from evil recognize good, because [in them] they make one. They therefore have no longer rationality in capability or in power, nor consequently any liberty. For this reason they are like mere forms of fantastic delirium; and no more appear like men, but as bones with some covering of skin; and therefore when mentioned they are not called he or she, but it. Such a lot have they who in this manner commingle things holy with profane. But there are many kinds of profanation which are yet not of this character.
No man so profanes holy things who does not know them, for he who does not know them cannot acknowledge and then deny them. They therefore who are outside of the Christian world, and do not know anything about the Lord, and about redemption and salvation by Him, do not profane this holy truth when they do not receive it, nor even when they speak against it. Neither do the Jews themselves profane this holy truth, because from infancy they are not willing to receive and acknowledge it. It would be otherwise if they received and acknowledged and afterwards denied, which however is rarely done; although many of them outwardly acknowledge it and inwardly deny it, and are like hypocrites. But they profane holy things by commingling them with things profane who first receive and acknowledge, and afterwards turn away from and deny them. That they received and acknowledged in infancy and childhood is of no [such] effect,—every Christian does this,—because they do not then receive and acknowledge the things of faith and charity from any rationality and liberty, that is in the understanding from the will, but only from memory and from confidence in a superior; and if they live according to them it is from blind obedience. But when a man comes into the use of his rationality and liberty, which by degrees he does as he grows up and advances to maturity, if then he acknowledges truths and lives according to them and afterwards denies them, he mingles holy things with profane, and from a man becomes a monster, as described above. But if a man is in evil from the time when he comes into the exercise of his own rationality and liberty, that is until he comes to act of his own right in early manhood, and afterwards acknowledges the truths of faith and lives according to them, if only he then remains in them to the end of life he does not mingle them; for the Lord then separates the evils of his former life from the goods of his after life. This takes place with all who repent.
In the most general sense by profanation is meant all impiety; and therefore by profaners all the impious are meant who in heart deny God, the holiness of the Word, and therefore the spiritual things of the church; which are the holy things themselves, of which they even speak impiously. But it is not these that are here treated of. . . . In the impious who deny the Divine and Divine things there is nothing holy which they can profane; they are profaners indeed, but yet not the profane.
The profanation of what is holy is meant in the second commandment of the decalogue by, Thou shalt not profane the name of thy God; and that there should not be profanation is meant in the Lord's prayer by, Hallowed he Thy Name. . . . The name of God signifies God, with all the Divine that is in Him, and that proceeds from Him; and as the Word is the proceeding Divine that is the name of God; and as all the Divine things which are called the spiritual things of the church are from the Word, they also are the name of God. (D. P. n. 226-230.)
Different Kinds and Degrees op Profanation.
Since by the profanation of what is holy is meant profanation by those who know the truths of faith and the goods of charity from the Word, and also in some manner acknowledge them, and not those who do not know them, nor those who from impiety entirely reject them, therefore what follows is said not of the latter but of the former. Their profanation is of many kinds, lighter, and more grievous; but they may be reduced to these seven.
The first kind of profanation is by those who jest from the Word and about the Word, or from the Divine things of the church, and about them. This is done by some from a depraved habit of taking names or forms of speech from the Word, and mixing them up with conversation scarcely becoming, and sometimes filthy; which cannot but be connected with some contempt for the Word. And yet in each and all things the Word is Divine and Holy; for every word therein conceals in its bosom something Divine, and thereby it has communication with heaven. But this kind of profanation is lighter or more grievous according to the acknowledgment of the holiness of the Word, and the unbecoming character of the discourse in which it is introduced by the jesters. (D. P. n. 231.)
They who jest from the Word do not esteem it holy; and they who jest about the Word account it of trifling value. And yet the Word is the very Divine Truth of the Lord with man; and the Lord is present in the Word, and also heaven; for the least particulars of the Word communicate with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. Therefore to jest from the Word, and about the Word, is to strew the dust of the earth upon the sacred things of heaven. (A. E. n. 1064.)
The second kind of profanation is by those who understand and acknowledge Divine truths, and yet live contrary to them. But they more lightly profane who only understand; and they more grievously who also acknowledge; for the understanding only teaches, scarcely otherwise than as a preacher, and of itself does not conjoin itself with the will; but acknowledgment conjoins itself, for nothing can be acknowledged but with the consent of the will. But this conjunction is various; and according to the conjunction is the profanation when the life is contrary to the truths which are acknowledged. For example, if one acknowledges that revenge and hatred, adultery and fornication, fraud and deceit, blasphemy and lying, are sins against God, and yet commits them, he is in this more grievous kind of profanation; for the Lord says, "The servant which knoweth his Lord's will, and doeth not His will, shall he beaten with many stripes" (Luke xii. 47). And again, "If ye were blind, ye would not have sin; hut now ye say, We see, therefore your sin remaineth" (John ix. 41). But it is one thing to acknowledge appearances of truth, and another to acknowledge genuine truths. They that acknowledge genuine truths and yet do not live according to them, in the spiritual world appear without the light and heat of life in their voice and speech, as if they were mere inactivities.
The third kind of profanation is by those who apply the literal sense of the Word to confirm evil loves and false principles. The reason [why this is profanation] is, that the confirmation of falsity is the denial of the truth, and the confirmation of evil is the rejection of good; and the Word in its bosom is nothing but Divine truth and Divine good; and this in the ultimate sense which is the sense of the letter does not appear in genuine truths, except where it teaches about the Lord and the very way of salvation, but in truths clothed, which are called appearances of truth. This sense therefore can be wrested to confirm many kinds of heresies. But he who confirms evil loves does violence to Divine goods; and he who confirms false principles does violence to Divine truths. This violence is called the falsification of truth; and that the adulteration of good. Both are meant in the Word by blood; for a holy spiritual [principle] which is indeed the Spirit of Truth proceeding from the Lord, is within the least particulars of the literal sense of the Word. This holy [principle] is injured when the Word is falsified and adulterated; that this is profanation is obvious.
The fourth kind of profanation is by those who utter pious and holy things with the mouth, and also simulate the affections of the love of them in tone and gesture, and yet in heart do not believe and love them. The most of these are hypocrites and Pharisees; from whom after death all truth and good is taken away, and then they are sent into outer darkness. Those of this kind who have confirmed themselves against the Divine and against the Word, and therefore also against the spiritual things of the Word, sit in that darkness mute, unable to speak; wishing to babble pious and holy things as in the world, but they cannot. For in the spiritual world every one is constrained to speak as he thinks; but the hypocrite wishes to speak otherwise than as he thinks. Hence arises an opposition in the mouth, from which it is that he can only mutter. But hypocrisies are lighter or more grievous according to confirmations against God and reasonings outwardly in favour of God.
The fifth kind of profanation is by those who attribute Divine things to themselves. It is they who are meant by Lucifer in Isaiah xiv. Lucifer there means Babylon, as may be seen from the 4th and 22nd verses of that chapter, where the lot of such also is described. The same are meant too by the whore sitting upon the scarlet beast, in the Apocalypse, xvii. Babylon and Chaldea are mentioned in many places in the Word; and by Babylon is there meant the profanation of good, and by Chaldea the profanation of truth; both with those who attribute to themselves things Divine.
The sixth kind of profanation is by those who acknowledge the Word, and yet deny the Divinity of the Lord. They are called in the world Socinians, and some of them Arians. The lot of both is that they invoke the Father and not the Lord, and continually pray the Father,—some indeed for the sake of the Son,—that they may be admitted into heaven, but in vain; even until they become without hope of salvation; and then they are let down into hell among those who deny God. It is they who are meant by those that blaspheme the Holy Spirit, to whom it would not be remitted in this age nor in that which is to come (Matt, xii. 32). The reason is that God is one in Person and in Essence, in whom is a Trinity, and that God is the Lord; and as the Lord is also heaven, and hence those who are in heaven are in the Lord, therefore they who deny the Divinity of the Lord cannot be admitted into heaven and be in the Lord.
The seventh kind of profanation is by those who first acknowledge Divine truths and live according to them, and afterwards recede from and deny them. This is the worst kind of profanation, for the reason that they so commingle holy things with profane that they cannot be separated; and yet they must be separated that they may be either in heaven or in hell; and because with them this cannot be done, all the intellectual and voluntary human is eradicated and they become no longer men, as was said before. Nearly the same takes place with those who in heart acknowledge the Divine things of the Word and of the church, and entirely immerse them in their proprium, which is the love of ruling over all things, of which much has been said before; for after death when they become spirits they will not be led by the Lord, but by themselves; and when the rein is given to their love they would not only rule over heaven, but even over the Lord. And because they cannot do this they deny the Lord, and become devils. (D. P. n. 231.)
The Effects of Profanation.
Divine truth cannot be profaned except by those who have first acknowledged it. For they first enter into truth by acknowledgment and belief, and so are initiated into it. When afterwards they recede from it there continually remains a vestige of it inwardly impressed, which is recalled at the same time with falsity and evil; and hence the truth, because it adheres to them, is profaned. They therefore with whom this is the case have continually within them that which condemns, thus their hell. For when the infernals approach towards the sphere where good and truth are they instantly feel their hell; for they come into that which they hate, consequently into torment. They therefore who have profaned truth dwell continually with that which torments them; and this according to the degree of profanation. Because it is so it is most specially provided by the Lord that Divine good and truth shall not be profaned. And it is provided especially by this, that, the man who is of such a character that he cannot but profane is withheld as far as possible from the acknowledgment and belief of truth and good; for, as was said, no one can profane but who has first acknowledged and believed. This was the reason why internal truths were not made known to the posterity of Jacob, the Israelites and Jews. Not even was it openly declared that there was any internal in man, and thus that there was any internal worship; and scarcely anythiug of a life after death, and of the Lord's heavenly kingdom; or of the Messiah whom they expected. The reason was that they were of such a character that it was foreseen that if such truths had been revealed to them they could not but have profaned them; for they desired only earthly things. And because that generation was and also is of such a character, it is still permitted that they should be in a state of entire unbelief; for if they once acknowledged and afterwards receded, they could not but have induced upon themselves the most grievous of all hells. This also was the reason why the Lord did not come into the world and reveal the internal [truths] of the Word until there was no good at all, not even natural good, remaining with them. (A. C. n. 3398.)
Ideas commingled by profanation remain associated, so that whenever a holy thought comes into the mind the profane idea connected with it also enters. The effect of which is that the man cannot be in any society but that of the damned. The association of ideas in the mind of every one is exquisitely perceived in the other life, even by spirits in the world of spirits, and much more so by angelic spirits; so that from a single idea they know the quality of a man. The separation of profane and holy ideas, when thus conjoined, cannot be effected except by such horrible infernal torment that if a man was aware of it he would guard himself against profanation as against hell itself, (ib. n. 301.)
By the Providence of the Lord care is taken lest man should be admitted into real acknowledgment and belief of heart farther than he can afterwards be kept in it, and this on account of the punishment of profanation, which in hell is most grievous. It is for this reason that so few at this day are permitted to believe from the heart that the good of love and charity is heaven in man, and that all the Divine is in the Lord; for men are in the life of evil. (ib. n. 2357.)
The Lord does not admit man interiorly into the truths of wisdom and into the goods of love, except so far as man can be kept in them to the end of life. (D. P. n. 233.)
They who know what the truth and good of faith is and yet do not in heart believe, as is the case with very many at this day, cannot profane; because the intellectual faculty does not receive and imbue itself therewith. (A. C. n. 4601.)
Memorabilia respecting the Divine Word in the Heavens.
That the Word in the letter conceals such sublime treasures within it, is often visibly shown to spirits or souls that come into the other life; and it has sometimes been granted me to be present when this was done. . . . A certain spirit came to me, not long after his departure from the body,—as I could infer from the fact that as yet he did not know that he was in the other life, but imagined he was still living in the world. Perceiving that he was given to study, I spoke with him about his studies. But he was suddenly carried up on high; at which, being surprised, I conjectured that he was one of those who aspire to exalted station,—for such are often elevated to a lofty position; or of those that imagine heaven is on high,—who likewise are taken up, that they may thus know that heaven is not above, but within. But I soon perceived that he was taken up to the angelic spirits who are before, a little to the right, at the first threshold of heaven. He afterwards spoke with me from there, saying that he saw sublimer things than human minds can anywise conceive. When this occurred I was reading the first chapter of Deuteronomy, about the Jewish people, how that some were sent to explore the land of Canaan and what was there. But as I was reading he said he perceived nothing of the sense of the letter, but the things which are in the spiritual sense, and that these were wonderful,—such as could not be described. This was at the first threshold of the heaven of angelic spirits. What would not be perceived then in that heaven itself! And what, in the heaven of Angels! . . . . After this, on two occasions, I saw others taken up among the angelic spirits in another heaven, and they talked with me from there. I was then reading the third chapter of Deuteronomy, from the beginning to the end. They said they were in the interior sense only of the Word, and earnestly declared that there is not even a point in which there is not a spiritual sense, most beautiful, coherent with all the rest; and that the names are significant. (A. C. n. 3473, 3474.)
- That is, in those parts of the Word where the internal sense is uncovered, and to the enlightened mind appears in the letter, or where the literal sense coincides with and teaches the doctrine of the internal sense. This teaching is quite consistent with that given elsewhere (p. 117) that "all doctrine ought to be drawn from the letter of the Word, and confirmed by it." See also note on p. 409.
- See note, p. 417.