Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/307

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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

In the spiritual sense, to bear false witness means to persuade that falsity is truth in a matter of faith, and that evil is good in a matter of life, and the reverse; but it is to do these of purpose, and not from ignorance, that is, to do them after one knows what is true and good, and not before.

In the celestial sense, to bear false witness means to blaspheme the Lord and the Word, and so to banish the very truth from the church; for the Lord is the Truth itself, and also the Word. On the other hand, in this sense to witness means to utter truth: and testimony means the truth itself. Hence the Decalogue is also called the Testimony. (T. C. R n. 321-328.)

In the inmost sense this commandment forbids to falsify the truth and good of the Word; and on the other hand to establish falsity of doctrine as true by confirming it by fallacies, appearances, fictions, knowledges falsely applied, and sophistries, and the like. The very confirmations and the persuasions from them are false witness, for they are false testimonies. (A. E. n. 1019.)

 

The Ninth and Tenth Commandments.

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's." These two commandments look to the commandments which precede, and teach and enjoin that as evils must not be done, they also must not be lusted after; consequently that they are not of the external man only, but of the internal also; for he who does not commit evils, and yet lusts to commit them, even does commit them. For the Lord says, "Whosoever lusteth after the wife of another hath already committed, adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. v. 28); and the external man does not become internal, or act as one with the internal, until lusts are put away. This also the Lord teaches, saying, "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, . . . for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also" (Matt, xxiii. 25, 26). And moreover, in that whole chapter the internals which are Pharisaical are lusts after those things which are commanded not to be done in the first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments. . . . That these two commandments might look to all those which precede, that [the evils prohibited] should not be lusted after, therefore the house is first named, afterwards the wife, and then the man-servant, the maid-servant, the ox and the