Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/206

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

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