Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/208

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

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