Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/209

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
113
THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

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