Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/213

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117
THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

the Lord is the Bridegroom, and the church the bride. That the Lord is the Bridegroom may be seen in Matt. ix. 15; Mark ii. 19, 20; Luke v. 35; and that the church is the bride may be seen in Apoc. xxi. 2, 9; xxii. 17. Therefore John the Baptist said of Jesus, "He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom" (John iii. 29). (ib. n. 84-87.)

 

Doctrine should be drawn from the Literal Sense of the Word, and confirmed by it.

The reason of this is, that the Lord is present therein, and teaches and enlightens; for the Lord never performs any of His operations except in fulness, and the Word is in its fulness in the literal sense, as was shown above. Hence it is that doctrine should be drawn from the sense of the letter. The doctrine of genuine truth can also be drawn entirely from the literal sense of the Word; for the Word in that sense is as a man clothed, whose face is bare, and whose hands also are bare. All things which concern the faith and life of man and consequently his salvation are naked therein, but the rest are clothed. And in many places where they are clothed they appear through, as objects to a woman through a thin veil of silk before her face. As the truths of the Word are multiplied from the love of them, and as by this they are arranged in order, they also shine and appear more and more clearly.

It may be supposed that the doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by the spiritual sense of the Word, which is given through the knowledge of correspondences; but doctrine is not acquired, but only illustrated and corroborated by that sense; for, as was said before, by some correspondences that are known a man may falsify the Word, by connecting and applying them to confirm that which inheres in his mind from a principle assumed. Besides, the spiritual sense is not given to any one except by the Lord alone; and it is guarded by Him as the angelic heaven is guarded, for this is within it. (T. C. R. n. 229, 230.)

 

Appearances of Truth in the Letter of the Word.

Truths Divine themselves are such that they can never be comprehended by any angel, still less by any man; they exceed every faculty of their understanding. Yet that there may be a conjunction of the Lord with men, truths Divine flow in with them into appearances; when they are in appearances they can both be received and acknowledged. This is effected adequately to the comprehension of every one; therefore appearances, that