Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/262

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which the internal sense is inscribed. That the tables which were the work of God were broken by Moses when he saw the calf and the dances, and that at the command of Jehovah other tables were hewn out by Moses, and on them were afterwards inscribed the same words, and thus that the tables were no longer the work of God, but the work of Moses, while the writing was still the writing of God, involves a mystery as yet unknown. The mystery is, that the literal sense of the Word would have been different if the Word had been written among another people, or if this people had not been of such a character. For, because the Word was written among them the literal sense of the Word is concerning that people, as is plain both from the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word; and that people were in evil, because in heart they were idolaters. And yet, that the internal and external sense might agree, this people was to be commended, and to be called the people of God, a holy nation, and peculiar. The simple therefore who were to be instructed by the external sense of the Word were to believe that such was the character of that nation, as that nation also itself believes, and likewise the greater part of the Christian world at this day. And besides, many things were permitted them on account of the hardness of their heart, which stand forth in the external sense of the Word, and constitute it. As for example what is mentioned in Matt. xix. 8, and other things also which are here passed by. Since therefore the literal sense of the Word was made such for the sake of that people, those tables which were the work of God were broken, and by command of Jehovah others were hewn out by Moses. But as the same holy Divine was still within, therefore the same words which were upon the former tables were inscribed by Jehovah upon these, as is plain from these words in Moses: "Jehovah said unto Moses, Hew thee out two tables of stones, like unto the first, that I may write upon the tables the words that were on the former tables, which thou hast broken: And Jehovah wrote upon those tables the words of the covenant, ten words" (Exod. xxxiv. 1, 4, 28). (A. C. n. 10,453.)

To make this subject more clear, it may be here explained how the external or literal sense was changed for the sake of that nation. For the sake of that nation altars, burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and libations were commanded; and on this account, both in the historical and prophetical Word, these are mentioned as the most holy things of worship, when in fact they were merely allowed because they were first instituted by Eber. But in the Ancient representative church they were entirely unknown. For the sake of that nation also it came to pass that Divine worship was performed in Jerusalem alone, and