Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/207

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

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