Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/226

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
130
THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

variety according to their every state in which they then are—that they perceive the least particulars as it were to live. This is the life that is in the Word, and from which the Word had birth when it was sent down from heaven. From this cause the Word of the Lord is such that, though it appears rude in the letter yet within it are stored things spiritual and celestial, which are manifested before good spirits and angels when it is read by man. (A. C. n. 1767.)

 

And especially when the Word is read by Children.

It may seem a paradox, but yet it is most true, that the angels better and more fully understand the internal sense of the Word when little boys and girls read it, than when it is read by adults who are not in the faith of charity. The reason stated to me is, that little children are in a state of mutual love and innocence, so that their vessels are extremely tender, almost celestial, and merely faculties of reception, which therefore are capable of being disposed by the Lord,—although this does not come to their perception except by a certain delight according to their genius. It is said by the angels that the Word of the Lord is a dead letter, but that in reading it is vivified by the Lord according to the capability of every one, and that it becomes living according to the life of charity and the state of innocence, and this with endless variety. (A. C. n. 1776.)

 

By means of the Word Light is communicated to the Nations out of the Church.

There can be no conjunction with heaven unless there be somewhere on the earth a church where the Word is and where by means of it the Lord is known, for the Lord is God of heaven and earth, and without Him there is no salvation. It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word is, though it consist of comparatively few. Through this the Lord is yet present everywhere in the whole earth, for thereby heaven is conjoined with the human race.

But it shall be explained how the presence and conjunction of the Lord and of heaven in every land is effected by means of the Word. The universal heaven before the Lord is as one man; so likewise is the church. The church where the Word is read and where thereby the Lord is known is as the heart and as the lungs in that man; the celestial kingdom as the heart, and the spiritual kingdom as the lungs. Just as from these two fountains of life in the human body all the other members and