Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/230

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

that because they are Divinely inspired therefore they have a Divine power over their minds, and are effective of good beyond all other history. But the histories in themselves regarded effect little for the amendment of a man; and nothing for his eternal life. For in the other life the histories are passed into oblivion. For example, of what use would it be there to know that Hagar was a servant maid, and that she was given to Abram by Sarai? to know about Ishmael? or even about Abram? Nothing but the things which are of the Lord and which are from the Lord are necessary for souls, that they may enter into heaven, and rejoice in its joy, that is in eternal life. For these the Word exists; and these are what are contained in its interiors.

Inspiration implies that in the least particulars of the Word, as in the historical so in the other parts, there are celestial things which are of love or good, and spiritual things which are of faith or truth, and therefore things Divine. For what is inspired by the Lord descends from Him; and indeed through the angelic heaven, and so through the world of spirits down to man, to whom it is presented as it is in the letter. But it is entirely different in its first origin. In heaven there is no worldly history, but all is representative of things Divine; nor is anything else perceived there; as may be known, too, from the fact that the things which are there are ineffable. If therefore the historical particulars are not representative of things Divine and thus heavenly, they cannot be Divinely inspired. (ib. n. 1886, 1887.)

 

Previous to the Word which now exists in the World there was A Word which is lost.

It has been told me by the angels of heaven that there was a Word among the ancients written by pure correspondences, but that it was lost. And they said that this Word was still preserved among them; and was in use in that heaven, among the ancients with whom that Word existed when they were in the world. The ancients among whom that Word is still in use in heaven were in part from the land of Canaan and its confines,—Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Chaldea, Assyria, Egypt, Zidon, Tyre, and Nineveh,—the inhabitants of all which kingdoms were in representative worship, and therefore in the knowledge of correspondences. The wisdom of those times was from that knowledge, and through that they had interior perception and communication with the heavens. Those who knew interiorly the correspondences of that Word were called wise and intelli-