Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/192

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

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,