Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/220

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; and in the New Testament, the four Evangelists. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Apocalypse. (A. C. n. 10,325.)

 

The Character of the Apostolic Writings.

With regard to the writings of St. Paul and the other Apostles, I have not given them a place in my Arcana Cœlestia, because they are dogmatic writings merely, and not written in the style of the Word, like those of the Prophets, of David, of the Evangelists, and the Revelation of St. John. The style of the Word consists throughout of correspondences, and thence effects an immediate communication with heaven; but the style of these dogmatic writings is quite different, having indeed communication with heaven, but only mediate or indirect. The reason why the Apostles wrote in this style was that the Christian church was then to begin through them; and the style that is used in the Word would not have been suitable for such doctrinal tenets, which required plain and simple language, adapted to the capacities of all readers. Nevertheless the writings of the Apostles are excellent books for the church, since they insist on the doctrine of charity, and faith thence; as the Lord Himself has done in the Gospels and in the Revelation of St. John, which will clearly appear to any one who studies these writings with attention. (Letter to Dr. Beyer. Also A. E. n. 815.)

 

Four Different Styles in the Word.

There are in general four different styles in the Word. The first was that of the Most Ancient Church. Their mode of expression was such that when they mentioned terrestrial and worldly things they thought of the spiritual and celestial things which they represented. They therefore not only expressed themselves by representatives, but also formed them into a certain quasi historical series, that they might be the more living, which was to them in the highest degree delightful. This style was meant when Hannah prophesied, saying, "Speak ye what is high, high, let what is ancient come forth out of your mouth" (1 Sam. ii. 3). These representatives are called by David "dark sayings of old" (Psalm lxxviii. 2). The particulars concerning the creation, and the garden of Eden, etc., down to the time of Abram, Moses had from the descendants of the Most Ancient Church. The second style is historical,