PREFACE

The impulse to the study of exposition came from the late Bishop Benade, who pointed out to me the value and use of sermons in a series, and the importance of nothing what is first said in a chapter of the Word, and of what is last said in the preceding chapter. When it became necessary for me to succeed to his work in the Theological School of the Academy of the New Church, I was led to consider whether there were not other principles of exposition, and the result is the work which follows.

W. F. P.

Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.
June 1915




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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 2


CHAPTER I

PRINCIPLES OF EXPOSITION

The Word in its bosom treats of the Lord and of the things which are from Him in heaven and the church. These are the spirit and life of the Word, or its spiritual sense. The New Church sermon should set forth in the form of doctrine or teaching this inner spirit and life of the Word; for the internal upbuilding of the church depends upon instruction in the spiritual truth of the Word, the truth of the internal sense, and at the same time upon its reception in a state of spiritual, affection. Hence the teaching that there is conjunction with the Lord by the interior understanding of the Word, and that this is signified by, the white horse in the Apocalypse (A. R. 820, 826).

In the former dispensation, or in the first Christian Church, the purpose in exposition was to teach the literal sense of the Word, and the writings of the Apostles were directed to this end. This use is to continue with us in the teaching of children and young people. But in the New Church the sermon, as addressed to the adult, is to fulfill the purpose of the inscription over the gate of the temple in the spiritual world, Nunc Licet, Now it is lawful for the understanding to enter into the mysteries of the Word (T. C. R. 508). The minister will thus make his end one with that of the new Revelation itself when he preaches to men the internal sense of the Word. He will then fulfill the teaching concerning the scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old (Matt. xiii: 52).

It is important therefore to know something of the principles by which the understanding may enter into the interiors of the Word, and set them forth in the form of teaching. The entire Word or Sacred Scripture has indeed been opened by the Lord Himself in His Second Coming in the Writings of the New Church, but by virtue of this universal opening and on the basis of it, there is to be in the New Church a continual opening of the Word, a continual revelation of its internal sense, and thus a continual coming of the Lord, with each and all of the individual members of the Church who receive the Writings and instruction therefrom with spiritual affection.* In order that there may be in the New Church such a continual opening of the Word, not only has the doctrine of genuine truth been given, and innumerable particulars of the internal sense distinctly revealed, but the Writings also present to us a set of principles by which in the light of doctrine there may be a perpetual opening of the Word in the New Church.

* Although only Genesis, Exodus, and Revelation have been opened seriatim, we hope to show that the entire Word has been laid open.

There are indeed but three essentials for the opening of the Word, as we are taught in De Verbo, number 21, and in Sacred Scripture, numbers 25, 26. These three are, the doctrine of genuine truth, a knowledge of correspondences, and illustration from the Lord. The doctrine of genuine truth, and correspondences are to be found in the Writings by all who seek for them there, and illustration is given by the Lord to those who read the Writings in a state of worship, or in a state of spiritual affection. The principles of exposition do not add another essential, but they serve to make the three essentials more effective in their operation and application, as we shall endeavor to show in the following pages.

The rules or principles of exposition as given in the Writings are themselves an evidence of the universal opening of the Word, which the Lord in His Second Coming has effected; and this affords a reason for bringing them together, as is herein proposed, in order that the mind of the expositor may be more fully prepared to put into effect the three essentials above referred to, and thus promote a continual opening of the Word in the church. Entrance into the interiors of the Word by means of the three essentials, aided by the principles of exposition, is still the work of the Lord in His Second Coming, as He has revealed Himself in the Writings, and not the work of man, even though apparently effected through human agency. For doctrine is from the Lord and is the Lord, correspondences are also from Him, and illustration is His gift to all who seek Him in the spirit of that truth which leadeth unto all truth.

In the present consideration of the subject we shall assume a knowledge of correspondences and illustration from the Lord. We have then but to proceed in our endeavor to set forth the general principles of interpretation that have been given us, and by means of which the leading doctrine of a chapter or series may be obtained, and the internal sense be entered into, through that which is general to that which is particular. For if a knowledge of correspondences and a state of illustration be assumed, and the general doctrine of the series also be known' then according to the teaching referred to above, the Word is laid open, and the minister is ready to enter and expound its internal sense. It is for the purpose of aid in finding the leading or general doctrine of any given chapter or portion of the Word, that the principles or rules of exposition have been brought together in the following pages.

Let us notice at this point the fundamental truth, that the Word of God is written in a series, and thus there is in it a wonderful sequence and coherence of ideas and affections from beginning to end. For the Word is the Divine Mind revealed to men. It is thus alive (A. C. 3, 1408, 1776, 3424, 9383. John vi: 63), and is that in which we live and move and have our being-all men, all spirits, and all nature. All-Divine revelation is given in a series, and this is even true of all human composition that is constructed according to the principles of order. In fact all things created, -all nature is in a series. All motion, all activity is in a series. All human work, everything a man thinks and does, is in a series. There is not anything that exists that has not its place in some series. This is true 'because of the series of the Divine Word, by which all things were created, and created in its own image. That the Writings are written in a series, we learn from The True Christian Religion, number 351. It follows therefore that a knowledge of the series, and of the doctrine which leads in the series, is necessary to the understanding of the Word, or of any portion thereof. It is indeed generally acknowledged that the sense of any given statement of an author, especially in the case of doubt or ambiguity, should be determined by the context in which it occurs; nor is it regarded as fair to interpret it otherwise. The recognition of this principle is especially important in the study of Divine Revelation, where each thing is connected with what precedes and with what follows, in a wonderful order.

From the Writings we learn: That in the internal sense all things bear a signification according to what is being treated of in the series (A. C. 1041). That the correspondence of the whole heaven is a correspondence with the Word in a series (De Verbo 10). That the internal sense in many' passages' cannot so well appear from the signification of the words alone, but from the series of the things treated of, and their connection with what goes before and what follows (A. C. 2161, 4981). That the internal sense cannot so well appear from the proximate signification of the words, but still it appears from. the series of things (A. C. 2166). That the internal sense is such that the words are almost as nothing, but the sense thereof flowing from the series presents an idea, and indeed before the angels a spiritual idea (A. C. 2953). That what the words in Matthew xxiv:42- 51, involve may appear from the series of things treated of; for the whole chapter treats of the last time of the church and the advent of the Lord (A. C. 4422). That the beauty of the series of things cannot appear when the signification of each word is given separately (A. C. 1756). That the series itself cannot shine out in its true quality in the explanation of the single words, for hereby the contents seem unconnected, and the continuity of the sense is destroyed (A. C. 2343).

In the light of this teaching we are able to see how necessary it is in the study of the Word to find the leading idea of doctrine in any given series, or in a chapter or portion of the Word, before an attempt is made to expound a verse or the words of a verse. When this leading idea of doctrine has been obtained, the mind is prepared to enter more fully into the stream of the internal sense.

We speak of a chapter, but since the division of Scripture into chapters and verses is a modern arrangement for the sake of convenience, it should not be too strictly followed in the study and exposition of the Word, and may be varied from according to judgment of the context. Usually the chapters and verses are natural divisions or groupings of the Scripture text; but in some cases two or more chapters are as it were one chapter, as in the case of the seven churches and of the seven seals in the Apocalypse; and sometimes a portion of a chapter belongs more properly to the preceding or to the following chapter. It is similar with the divisions into verses.. Since the divisions of the text as indicated by the paragraph marks in the common English version are the ancient divisions of the text, and are the more natural groupings of the Word, it is necessary to note them in any close study of the Word, but these divisions or groupings should not be followed too rigidly. The paragraphs are groups of verses usually separated from the rest of the context, and each is under some distinct idea of doctrine, both in the literal and in the spiritual senses; related, however, in, the general series, or with the paragraphs which precede and follow. It is the paragraph therefore that should be especially treated as a distinct grouping, or as the unit of the general Scripture text. The arrangement into chapters is to a large extent in agreement with the paragraph groupings or divisions. Hence when the term chapter is used in the following pages it must be understood in the broad sense here indicated.

The expositor therefore should see the chapter or paragraph as a whole, or tinder one idea, which he will be able to do when he has found its general doctrine or leading principle, He will then be prepared to enter into it, through generals into the particulars of the internal sense. For we learn from the Heavenly Doctrine: That man without a general idea of a thing comprehends nothing particular (A. C. 3819). That generals must first precede, and then particulars follow (A. C. 4707). That in all things of the spiritual world, and in all things of the natural world, the general precedes, and into it things less general and finally particulars are successively inserted (A. C. 5208). That generals must first be in the understanding; for if generals are not first received, particulars can by no means be admitted, yea, they cause tedium (A. C. 5454). That truths must be referred to a general, and placed and contained under it, being dissipated otherwise. The general keeps them together in a form, and causes each to have its quality (A. C. 6115). That there are those who from the general see the particular, and those who from the particular do not see the general (S. D. 4392). That primary or general truths are represented by the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles (A. C. 2089, 2129), also by the elders of Israel (A. C. 8681). That the general or primary is the governing truth; but it is not the truth which governs, but the affection of that truth (A. C. 5044). That what is primary is also general (A. C. 5082). That faith is given by primary truths, for from them is effected illustration (A. C. 8585). That there are certain primary or general truths (A. C. 8773, 10632). That nothing whatever is given in the universe that is not under some general, that it may exist and subsist (A. C. 42). That the order of teaching and learning the Word is from things most general; wherefore the sense of the letter abounds with such most general things (A. C. 245).

This teaching has been brought forward in order to illustrate the point that some primary or general truth is always the subject of the chapter as a whole; and all things in the chapter are particulars under that general. And we would here note especially the last statement in the teaching cited, that the letter of the Word abounds in such most general things, that is, in the general or primary truths by which the Word is opened and entrance is made into its spiritual sense. These primary or general truths in the letter of the Word are what are meant by the doctrine of genuine truth, to which we have referred, and which we propose to discuss in a chapter devoted to that subject. Every chapter therefore, or paragraph, or group of verses in the Word, comes under one of the leading doctrines of genuine truth; and the principles of exposition, as given in the Writings, are here presented as aids to finding this leading idea or doctrine of genuine truth.

In a chapter that is chosen for study and exposition, the leading general doctrine reigning in the series may appear in the literal sense as a genuine truth, or it may be clothed in appearances of truth. If the latter, we shall soon see that it is interiorly contained in that which is most general in the letter (see Chapter 11). This general truth must be obtained or no real progress is made in unfolding the particulars of the internal sense; for, as we have seen, particulars must be classed, under a general, otherwise there is no order or systematic arrangement of truths, or no entrance into interior truths according to order. It should not be forgotten that entrance into the Word must be according to the laws of order; and essential among these laws is the one of which we are speaking, namely, that it is through generals that entrance into particulars is effected. If the Word be not entered according to order, there is, no entrance made except into its external.

The rules of exposition are intended to be used in analyzing and digesting a chapter before a particular study of it is begun. It may not be necessary to use all the rules in such an analysis, as the student may obtain what he is in search of before he goes over the whole list; but more than one should be applied, for one rule will confirm another, and will sometimes give an important bearing or application of the general doctrine of the chapter, or bring into view some state or quality of it not at first seen. As for instance, the first chapter of Genesis in its literal sense treats of the creation of the universe; the subject or leading idea of doctrine in the internal sense is therefore the spiritual creation or regeneration of man; but by applying in addition the rule in respect to time in the Word, we find that the word beginning indicates that the special subject of the internal sense is the regeneration of the first men, or the state of those from whom the Most Ancient Church was formed. The use of more than one rule therefore will bring before the mind certain applications, qualities, states, relative to the general doctrine of the chapter, and will at the same time afford valuable confirmations thereof. The various rules of interpretation are, however, essentially one, and are but various modes of finding the general or universal truth of doctrine in the chapter, various ways leading to the one reigning idea of the series, or various avenues of approach to the internal of the Word. We are thus as it were provided with more than one witness to the truth which we are seeking.

One of the chief uses of the rules of exposition then is to call attention to the leading signs of the internal sense appearing in the letter. These signs abound, and are so many gateways or means of entrance to the interiors of the Word, revealing the laws and conditions which reign and are universal in its spiritual sense. For instance, duality in the literal sense is the sign that the internal sense is celestial and spiritual, or good and truth.

The rules may also be used for an analysis of the literal sense alone. A thorough understanding of the literal sense of any portion of the Word is not only the first step in finding the internal sense, and a most essential preparation for it, but those who teach the literal sense to children will find the rules of value in the preparation of their lessons, providing them with a rational digest and analysis, which is essential to effective work in imparting the letter of the Word to the mind of childhood and youth,

The principles expressed in these rules, or in the most of them, may be applied to the analysis of any form, that is, of other forms than those of the Word, since it is by the Word that all things were created. Every form as deriving its origin from the Word, has therefore its rise or beginning, and its progression through means to an end, and is thus in the image of the Word.


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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 3


CHAPTER II

THE GENERAL SENSE OF THE LETTER

THE GENERAL SENSE OF ANY CHAPTER OF THE WORD CONTAINS IN ITSELF THE GENERAL DOCTRINE OF THE INTERNAL SENSE.

The general sense of the letter in any chapter of the Word is its general subject, topic, or theme, and it may be brought together in a single statement or sentence, and thus it may be seen as one idea. On the importance of seeing all things of any series under one idea, see Arcana Coelestia, numbers 1756, 2343, and elsewhere. To find this one idea or general of the letter should be the first object in the study of the Word or any portion thereof. The subject, topic, or theme of a chapter, is its general scientific or natural truth, in which is contained by correspondence the leading spiritual truth or doctrine of the internal sense. When this leading spiritual truth or general doctrine is obtained, the mind is able to view the spiritual sense as a whole, and is ready to proceed in the study of particulars, verse by verse.

It is proper to remark before proceeding further, that this and other rules of exposition which apply to a chapter as a whole, have application also to its parts, to the paragraphs and verses. Each chapter has a general sense, and each verse is a particular of that general; and a verse is in its turn a general, and the sentences and words contain the particulars of that general.

This general or natural truth of any portion of the letter of the Word is the means of introduction to its spiritual sense. It may exist in the literal sense as a genuine truth of doctrine, especially in the Gospels; or it may stand merely as an appearance of truth, or as, an historical fact, or fact in the natural world, as is the case for the most part in the Old Testament. The Prophets, however, are intermediate between the historical part of the Old Testament and the Gospels; for in them is found much of genuine doctrine in the form of prophecy concerning the advent of the Lord and redemption by Him, especially when regarded from the Gospel point of view. The first thing therefore in the study of a chapter is to bring clearly before the mind this subject or leading idea of the literal sense, the idea which runs through it as a thread from beginning to end. The literal sense should be carefully examined, whether in the form of history, law, prophecy, or parable, in order to obtain this general truth or fact of the series, or this general sense of the letter. For, let us repeat, the general idea of a chapter in its literal sense is the most general sense, and in this most general sense is contained the general doctrine ,of the internal sense.*

* That there is an idea in every series which is prior or more universal than the general of which we are here speaking, is shown in the next chapter.

When the general or leading subject, topic, or theme of the literal sense is a genuine truth of doctrine, it is then clear that this idea or truth is introductory to the internal sense; just as any general always introduces to its own particulars. Such a genuine truth in the letter is in this case in full agreement with the internal sense, being in reality a part of it, and is nothing else than the spiritual sense appearing in the letter in a general form. But if the general of the letter is only an apparent truth, or a purely natural idea, then the general doctrine of the spiritual sense is contained in it by correspondence. Thus it is still the means of entrance. In confirmation we have the teaching that things historical are in their series, and things spiritual in theirs, and that there is a correspondence between them (A. C. 3304). There is thus a spiritual series in every natural series of the Word; and as a series is not a series without a general truth which runs through it from first to last, therefore not only does a natural series correspond to the spiritual series within it, but the general or leading idea of the natural series corresponds to the general truth, which is as it were the thread of the series of the spiritual sense.

As has been said above, the orderly mode of entrance into particulars is through generals, and these generals are in the literal sense of the Word. Concerning this we are taught: That exterior truths, such as are in the sense of the letter are the first truths a man learns (A. C. 3857). That in the literal sense of the Word are general truths, but in the internal sense particular truths (A. C. 3819). That in the sense of the letter are generals, which are serviceable to the simple for initiation into the internal sense (A. C. 4783). That the external truths which are of the sense of the letter of the Word, are signified by a gate, because they afford entrance to internal truths (A. C. 4861). That scientifics in the natural are all to be reduced to order under a general (A. C. 6109). That general truths from the literal sense of the Word come first in order of time (A. C. 6997. A. R. 238). That the generals of truth are such things as are in the sense of the letter of the Word (A. E. 931. That the natural sense of the Word is its general sense (T. C. R. 704). And that explications of the Word as to its internal sense are nothing but particulars which elucidate a general idea [of the literal sense] (A. C. 2395). Since, therefore, the literal sense relatively to the spiritual is general, and the generals of the literal sense are introductory to the spiritual sense, it follows, as we have seen, that what is general in the letter is a door of introduction to that which is general in the spiritual sense. We have in this law an instrumentality of exceeding great value in any effort to gain entrance to the spiritual truth of the Word.

Let us now take note of another fact in this connection, namely, that the general doctrine of the internal sense is not only contained in the general subject of the literal sense, but that it is for the most part found in the leading word used in the literal narration,-the word which is the leading expression of the subject of the series, and corresponds to the leading idea of the spiritual sense. Let us illustrate this point by some examples.

The subject of the first chapter of Genesis is the creation of the universe. In its literal sense, the chapter treats of the natural or physical creation, and this general subject of the literal sense contains in itself, and at the same time leads to the general subject of the spiritual sense, which is the spiritual creation or regeneration of mail. It is plain at once that this subject of the chapter appears ill the leading word used, which is the word create. If therefore we find from the Writings the signification of the word create, we have before us, not merely the subject of the literal sense, but by correspondence the subject of the spiritual sense of the chapter.

In the second chapter of Genesis, verses 8 to 17, the leading word is garden, which is the subject of the literal sense of this group of verses, namely the garden of Eden. Now we find from the Writings that by garden is signified spiritual intelligence or the spiritual understanding of truth; and since a garden is the subject of the literal sense, that which is signified by a garden will be the leading subject of the spiritual sense of this group of verses, and every verse and every word in the group will bear some relation to that subject and be subordinated to it.

In the third chapter of Genesis the leading word is serpent, and the serpent is the subject or general of the chapter. When we find the signification of serpent we have before us the subject of the spiritual sense of this chapter, everything in the chapter bearing sonic relation to the subject signified by the leading word, serpent. This subject, as we know from the Writings, is the confirmed persuasion that a man lives from himself and not from God. With this in mind as the general subject of the chapter, we are ready to study it in all its parts, knowing that each verse will present some particular of the falsity, exposing it to the light of truth. The word serpent, as modified by other leading words or generals of the chapter, is a guide or sign-post pointing to the leading truth of the internal sense, which is that a man does riot live from himself but from God, -the term serpent signifying the opposite of this.

The frequent mention of camels in the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis is spoken of in Arcana Coelestia, number 3048, as pointing toward a general truth of the internal sense. Camel, however, is not the chief subject of the chapter, for the general of the chapter as a whole is the betrothal of Isaac and Rebekah, and so the subject of the spiritual sense is initiation to spiritual marriage. Camels therefore signify, according to number 3048, the means by which initiation is effected, which means are, as it happens, the very thing of which we are speaking, -the generals of the literal sense of the Word.

Examples and illustrations of this rule abound in the Word; as for instance, horse in the sixth chapter of Zechariah; man in the first Psalm; seals in chapters five, six, and seven of Revelation; woman in the twelfth chapter of the same; city in the twenty-first chapter; birth in the first chapter of Matthew; tempt in the fourth chapter of the same (verses 1-11); the Word in the first chapter of John (verses 1-14); being born again in the third chapter of John (verses 1-13); blind in the ninth chapter of the same; voice in the twenty-ninth Psalm; law in the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm; throne in the fourth chapter of Revelation; and the rod of Moses in the book of Exodus, beginning with the fourth chapter.

In all of these instances, and in many others in the Word, the general doctrine or subject of the internal sense is found by correspondence in the leading word of the literal sense. Occasionally, however, it is necessary to determine the general sense of the letter without the aid of a leading word; as for example, the general subject or leading natural idea of the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis is betrothal, though the word itself does not occur. But the phrase "wife unto my son," in the third and fourth verses, indicates clearly that the subject of the chapter is betrothal and marriage; and, as appears in the end of the chapter, it is the betrothal and marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. The word wife indeed carries in itself the whole idea of betrothal and marriage, and practically brings this chapter under the general rule. It is in fact clear that the entire narrative of the chapter is but an unfolding of the particulars contained in the words "Take a wife unto my son," -distinctly indicating that the subject of the internal sense is the spiritual betrothal which precedes the spiritual marriage.

A close examination will therefore clearly show that in nearly every portion of the Word, the general sense of a chapter coincides with the leading word; and where it does not so coincide the variation is more apparent than real. The spiritual sense of this single word will give us a view of the spiritual sense of the chapter, with such modification and application as the context will afford, together with the other rules of exposition.*
* It may be remarked that the Word should not be translated with a view only to the sense of the individual words, but also with a view to the general sense, or to the sense of the context. In fact the translator should analyze a chapter from these principles, and through them have the general of the internal sense before him.

In the above examples we see confirmation and illustration of the Position taken that some primary or general truth, or appearance of truth, is always the subject of the literal sense of any chapter or given series in the Word; and that all things of the chapter in the internal sense are contained in that general truth. The general subject of the literal sense therefore furnishes us as it were with a clue to its internal sense, since the latter is contained in the former; and it becomes thus a most important instrumentality for discovering the spiritual sense or the general doctrine of any chapter in the Word. For, as we have shown, it is of prime importance in the study of the Word for the exposition of its internal sense, to know the leading or general doctrine of that sense, whether it be of a verse or a group of verses, of a chapter or a group of chapters. It is also of use to know what the leading or general doctrine is of an entire book of the Word.

If, for instance, a chapter in the book of Revelation be chosen for a series of sermons, we should have in mind that this book treats throughout of the appearing of the Lord in His Word to execute judgment and establish a New Church. This idea reigns in every chapter, in every verse, and in every sentence; and there can be no complete exposition of any portion of it without this leading idea in the mind; for without it we may wander off into some subject that is foreign to the book, or exaggerate some particular at the expense of the general truth which the book, is intended to reveal.

Now if we did not know by direct teaching what is the general doctrine of the internal sense of the book of Revelation, it would be necessary to begin with the leading idea of its literal sense, as we do in the study of a chapter. On examining the letter we find that the Lord appears to John as the Son of Man. In looking to the Writings for the signification of the Son of Man we learn that by the Son of Man is meant the Lord appearing in His Word to perform judgment, The Lord is seen by John as the Son of Man in the first chapter, and this idea of Him, which appears at the beginning, runs through the entire work. It is plain from this 'that the last judgment is the subject of the book of Revelation, and it does in fact treat of the judgment from the first chapter to the close of the twentieth. But as the end in all judgment is the formation and establishment of a new heaven and a new church, therefore this subject also runs through the book; first in what is said of the seven churches, and finally in the figure of the holy city New Jerusalem in the two concluding chapters. In this manner we may find the general doctrine of the internal sense of any book of the Word, even when that sense is not directly revealed, namely, by taking the leading idea together with the related generals, and examining the Writings for their internal sense.

Let us take the book of Hosea as another example. We are taught that this book in its spiritual sense treats of the falsification of the Word (S. S. 79). In the absence of this teaching or any other direct teaching as to the spiritual sense of the book of Hosea, it would be necessary for us to find the subject or thread of its literal sense. A close examination shows that the subject or thread, which runs through it from be ginning to end, is the whoredom of the land, by which, as we are taught, is signified the falsification of the Word. When it is seen therefore that this is the general doctrine or subject of the spiritual sense of the book of Hosea, we shall have before the mind a guide to the exposition of any portion of it.

The book of Exodus may also be taken as an example. We are told that this book treats of the liberation of those who had been detained in the lower earth (A. C. 7932, 7933). This liberation or redemption was effected by the Lord when He came into the world. Let us suppose that we did not know this by direct teaching; it would then be necessary to examine what is the historical subject of the book of Exodus; and on finding that it is the deliverance of the sons of Israel from slavery in Egypt, we are at once given a clue to the internal sense of the book as a whole, under the rule that what is general of the spiritual sense is contained in what is general of the letter. The sons of Israel represent the good in the other world who were to be delivered from spiritual bondage when the Lord came into the world; Egypt is the hell from which they were to be delivered; and the land of Canaan is the heaven into which they were to be introduced after deliverance was effected. Thus is opened to our view the spiritual sense contained in the story of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

The rule therefore which applies to a single chapter, applies also to a group of chapters or to an entire book of the Sacred Scripture, and the general doctrine or subject of the spiritual sense may be obtained in a similar manner as above; for, as we have seen, this general doctrine or subject of the spiritual sense rests in the leading idea of the literal sense.

It should be borne in mind also that in every book, chapter, or group of chapters, there is not only a leading general, but there are also subordinate generals, that come next in importance to that which is leading. There is not only that which is more general, but that which is less general, as well as that which is particular (A. C. 5208).* It is necessary to observe these subordinate generals in the analysis of a chapter, or of any portion of the Word, especially in their relation to the leading general of the series. This will save the minister and teacher of religious instruction from going too much into particulars, from introducing matter that is irrelevant, and especially from entering into particulars without generals. The study of particulars without generals to guide in such study, is a common error and leads to much confusion of thought-an error that should be avoided in the study of the Word in the light of the Doctrines of the New Church.

* For a full treatment of the subject of universals, generals, and particulars, see the chapter on the Peritoneum in The Animal Kingdom.

Let us now bring forward some examples in illustration of this point. In the first chapter of Genesis the prime general, as we have seen, is involved in the idea of creation as resting in the leading word create. But there are other prominent or leading ideas, or subordinate generals, as expressed in such words as heaven, earth, light, and expanse. Again in the twelfth chapter of Revelation there is not only the word woman, which is the general or leading subject of the chapter, containing that which is leading in the spiritual sense, but there is man-child, dragon, and Michael. It is similar in every chapter of the Word.

The student should therefore determine which is the primary or leading general of any series, and which are the subordinate generals. For, as has been shown, that which is primary and most general in the literal sense is a sign of that which is primary and most general in the internal sense; and each subordinate general in the letter will represent a general that is subordinate to the leading general of the spiritual sense. The relation also of the generals to each other, or the modifications of the leading general by those which are subordinate in the series, should be carefully noted. Hence it is important to observe how the leading word or idea is modified by the context in which it occurs. This should always be done in the analysis of a chapter. In the study of the Word therefore with a view to its internal sense, it is necessary as the first step to find the general sense of the letter, or its leading general, and also the subordinate generals, by which there is entrance into the interiors of the Word.


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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 4


CHAPTER III

THE FIRST THING SAID

THE FIRST THING SAID REIGNS UNIVERSALLY IN WHAT FOLLOWS.*

* It is often the case that the first thing is related as being done, especially in the historical parts of the Word; but the principal is the same.

In all created forms the first of a series enters into all that follows and reigns supreme therein. This law is in all creation because it is a law of the Divine Word itself, for all things were created by the Word (John i: 1-4). The Heavenly Doctrine in treating of this law teaches: That the essence and quality of the beginning is derived and passes over into the things which follow (A. C. 3939). That the first involves all the things which follow (T. C. R. 326). That the first is the all in the products and derivatives, insomuch that if the first be removed, the things which thence succeed perish (A. C. 9568). That the beginning reigns in the things which follow (A. C. 4717, 9656). That when the beginning of any series is false, all things which follow are false (A. C. 1017). That the first looks to what follows in a continual series (A. C. 5122). That the tribe named in the first place is the all in the rest; it is as their head, and as a universal entering into all the things which follow (A. R. 350, 360, 363. A. C. 3862, 6337. A. E. 431). That inasmuch as the forty- second chapter of Genesis treats of faith, or the truths of the church, the first words are, Jacob saw, and by his seeing is signified the things which are of faith (A. C. 5400). That the things inscribed on the tables of the Decalogue were the first of the revelation of Divine Truth and the things which are first signify all the rest in order (A. C. 9416). That all things said by the Lord are of this character, namely, that what is first said must reign in the things which follow, and involve them, and thus involve successively things which are in the series, and in general that all and single things depend on their origin (A. C. 8864, 8865). That the derivations thence draw their form as from their root, in like manner as each plant or tree derives its form from its root or seed (A. C. 3116. See also D. L. W. 195-198. A. K. 467. Eng. tr.).

A chapter, or any group of verses in the Word, is in fact like a tree; that is, it is a complete form drawing its origin from its own root or seed. This root or seed is in the first thing said. As a tree can have no other form or quality than that which is in the seed, and which is derived from the seed, so the first thing said in any part of the Word is the all in what follows. All the parts of the chapter are thus as completely derived from its opening and beginning as the stem, branches, leaves, and fruit of a tree are derived from its root. Ill the works of God this law is without exception. The same is true of the Word which created all things, and what is true of the Word is true also of doctrine from the Word; for doctrine is the Word formulated, accommodated, and applied to the human understanding. The Writings are therefore constructed throughout according to this law. Even in all human work, and in all human composition, we find the same law observed and followed; and where it is not followed confusion and obscurity reign in the form, as something which has no apparent aim or purpose. In all development in a series from an orderly beginning, the law is therefore universal that the first, the head, the beginning, proceeds through the middle to the last and is terminated and concluded therein. Thus this law becomes a principle of interpretation in the study and understanding of the Word.

Let us note at this point that there is a distinction between the first thing said and the general sense or subject of a chapter. The first thing said or related as spoken or done contains the universal, and stands at the head or beginning of the series; but the general of the chapter, though sometimes included in the opening statement, more frequently appears in the body of the group as its leading or general subject, and is often expressed in the leading word. For example, the first chapter of Genesis opens with the creation, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This tells the whole story of the chapter, presenting it in a summary form, and bringing it under one universal idea. But the general subject of the chapter itself is the creation of the earth,-a general under the universal stated in the opening words, which speak also of the creation of heaven. We note too that the chapter is divided into six groups, each group describing a part in the creation of the earth, and each part containing a general for its own group with particulars under it. In the spiritual sense the first thing said also contains the universal of the chapter, the spiritual creation or formation of the internal and external man by regeneration; but the details relate to the regeneration of the external man signified by the earth. The general of the chapter, its topic or theme, is thus concerning the earth or what is signified by it. So that while the idea of heaven and earth together reign throughout, it is the earth that appears as if it were the leading idea of the chapter; though it is subordinate and secondary to the idea of heaven, just as the three kingdoms of the earth are subordinate and secondary to the kingdom of the atmospheres.

The Ten Commandments are introduced by the words, "I am the Lord thy God." This is the first thing said, and according to the law as above given, the idea to which these words give expression must reign throughout the commandments which follow, must enter into each commandment and become the prime idea and factor therein. Thus we read concerning these very words, "The reason that this is the first thing said by the Lord from Mount Sinai, is because this ought to be what universally reigns in all and each of the things which follow; for what is first said must be kept in the memory in what follows, and must be regarded as the universal which is therein. . . . The things which follow in this chapter are precepts of the decalogue, which are internal truths, and next statutes which are external truths; in the latter and in the former the Lord must reign as to the Divine Human, for they are from Him and are Himself, since truths which are truths all proceed from Him, and the things which proceed from Him are Himself." (A. C. 8864.) If therefore the idea of God in His Human does not reign in the Ten Commandments throughout, they become merely moral precepts such as exist in any nation, and have no saving quality. To avoid this they are introduced with the words, "I am the Lord thy God," which give them at once a spiritual and Divine quality, a quality necessary to be known that they may be acknowledged as Divine laws given for the salvation of human souls. But while the idea of God is the universal and the first great essential of the commandments, as contained in the first thing said, still we find that the general of the series throughout, in its apparent detail, is obedience on the part of man to the commands of God; thus the body of the commandments is occupied largely with the secondary and subordinate idea or general-the duty of man towards God.

The Lord's Prayer opens with the words, "Our Father who art in the heavens." This is the first thing said, and it gives expression to a universal that reigns throughout the prayer, and which must reign in all prayer to God. For it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Father in heaven, the God of heaven and earth, and the acknowledgment of him as such must be everywhere present in worship, and in fact preface all approach to Him; hence this acknowledgment is placed at the beginning of the Lord's Prayer. Concerning this we read, "That those things which precede must reign in the things which follow, and thus in the series, as was said above, is manifest from all the things which the Lord spoke, especially from His prayer, which is called the Lord's Prayer; in that prayer all things follow in such a series, that they as it were constitute a column increasing from the highest to the lowest, in the interiors of which are the things which precede in the series; what is first therein, this is the inmost, and what succeeds in order, this adds itself to the inmost successively, and thereby increases. What is inmost reigns universally in those things which are round about, that is, in all and single things, for hence it is essential to the existence of all." (A. C. 8864.) We would note especially the statement that what is first in the Lord's Prayer is the inmost, and what follows adds itself to the inmost successively. This is important, not only because it is true of the Lord's Prayer, but because it is true of every series in the Word, namely, that the first thereof is the inmost in what follows, and thus reigns universally therein; that is, what is first in the literal sense represents that which is spiritually the inmost and universal of the series. In the Lord's Prayer, the first or universal is the Lord, and the second or general is His kingdom or the neighbor, that is, the church. This law is true of every series in the Word. There is no exception.

The Writings teach in many passages concerning the essential importance of a true idea of God, essential to all doctrine, to all theology, to all worship, to all thought and acknowledgment of Him. We see therefore the reason why the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments open as they do; for without the idea of God as the first and universal, and thus the inmost in them, they contain merely moral teachings, or are nothing but a lip confession, devoid of spirit and life.

In Genesis ii: 8, it is said that "the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden." These are the opening words of the series from verses 8 to 17 inclusive. According to the rule we are endeavoring to set forth, these words, as being the first of the series, contain and involve the entire doctrine of the internal sense in what follows. But before proceeding with the consideration of the group of verses that treat of the garden, it may be well to take note of the fact that when a series is introduced by the particle and, it signifies that all which precedes is included and involved in the opening words; for and is a connective or a conjunction, and its frequent use in the Word, especially in the Old Testament, is because of its conjunctive character in connecting what precedes with what follows (A. C. 3102). In the present example it is clear that before a garden can be planted all the creative conditions necessary to it must have come previously into existence; and as a matter of fact these conditions have been described in the first chapter and in the second up to this point. These conditions being provided it can now be said, "And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden." The universe has been created, the earth has been formed, the ground has been watered, man has been placed upon the earth, and all things are ready for the sowing of the seed, or for the planting of the garden. The actual planting by Jehovah God now takes place, and is described in detail in the verses which follow, and not only the planting but the garden itself in all its beauty is described. The man himself has been placed in it to dress it and to keep it, the tree of life is in it, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; a river goes forth from the garden parting itself into four heads; the man is commanded to eat of every tree of the garden except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for if he eats of this tree he shall surely die.

It will be seen therefore that the garden is the general of this group of verses, its subject or topic; but prior to this and more universal is the planting of the garden by the Lord God, since what the Lord does is always more universal than anything that is said of the church or of man. Planting and what is signified by planting, as representing the Lord's work, is the prime and universal essential, and garden and what is signified by garden, is the general or the general topic. By planting is signified influx from the Lord and instruction by Him, and by the garden the resulting intelligence in the church. Although spiritual intelligence is therefore the subject in what is said of the garden, prior to it and more universal is the instruction of the church by the Lord, the reception of which brings into existence a state of spiritual intelligence.

The book of Revelation opens with the words, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass." This is the first thing said, and indicates the universal idea of the book, the prime essential truth reigning in it, in every chapter and in every verse. This truth is, that the Lord in His glorified Human now appears and announces His coming to execute the last judgment, and to establish a church which is to be the crown of all the churches that have hitherto been in the world, which church is to be called the New Jerusalem, and in which God Man is to reign as the all in all. The universal and never ending reign of God Man is therefore the prime idea of the book of Revelation, and every chapter and every verge unfolds some particular of this supreme and universal truth, which is contained and expressed in the first verse and the first chapter of the book (A. R. 70). It may be said, however, that the establishment of the New Church signified by His servants, by the seven churches, by the woman clothed with the sun, by the New Jerusalem, and represented by John himself that this establishment by means of the last judgment is the subject of the book; and this is true, for it is treated of from beginning to end, and yet the prime essential idea throughout is the appearing of the Lord in His glorified Human to establish the church. These two universals of the book of Revelation appear in the first verse and run through to the last.*

* Two universals are essential to every form, the one prior and the other posterior. The latter is what was spoken of above as the general of the series.

In the Blessings the first thing said by the Lord is, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." By the poor in spirit are meant those who acknowledge that they know nothing of themselves, but that all truth is from the Lord alone. This spiritual idea or affection is the first of the Blessings and runs through to the last; but prior to this and more universal is the idea of the Divine Doctrine, as coming forth from the mouth of the Lord God the Savior, instructing His disciples or the church. Without seeing these two things the Blessings are not fully understood.

In the seventh chapter of Matthew the first words are, "Judge not, that ye be not judged," by which is meant that judgment is not of man but of the Lord, and that judgment from man reacts upon him who exercises it. This twofold idea is universal in the chapter, the truth of which must be seen in order to understand the chapter as a whole and in all its parts.

In the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew the opening words are, "And Jesus went out and departed from the temple." When we know that by the temple here is meant the consummated church, we can then know what it is that reigns in the spiritual sense of this chapter, namely, that when the judgment comes the Lord departs from the former vastated church, and establishes the new outside of the old. The subject of the chapter is the judgment upon the consummated church, but. the prior idea is of the Lord as the judge.

The fifteenth chapter of Luke opens with the words, "Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him." When we know that repentance is meant by drawing near to the Lord, and that those in this state hear Him or receive instruction from Him, and are regenerated by Him, we can then know what are the two universal essentials of the chapter, in the parables of the lost sheep, of the piece of silver which was lost, and of the prodigal son, and the mind will be prepared to enter into and understand these parables.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters of Revelation treat of the opening of the seals, and the first words are, "After this I saw and behold a door was opened in heaven." When we know that by these words are meant the revelation of the interiors of the Word by the Lord in His Second Coming, and the judgment which follows, and at the same time the illustration of those who receive that revelation, we are prepared to understand more fully all that follows in the story of the opening of the seals, as seen by John; thus we are ready to see that the universal idea in the opening of the seals is the opening of the Word by the Lord, and that the general subject under it is the illustration of the church.

The same principle of interpretation can be applied to all things of the Word, to all things said by the Lord, namely, that the first of any series is the all in all in what follows in the series. If, therefore, the spiritual sense or spiritual idea in the opening words of any book or chapter be known, we thereby know in general all that follows in the chapter, or the leading idea in it from beginning to end; and the chapter may then be studied from a state of intelligence, and the mind may be safely led to the unfolding of the generals and particulars contained therein.

Before leaving this subject let us take, further note that every chapter in the Word is twofold, and that this appears even in the opening words; for the general or second universal is either expressed or involved in the first thing said in every series. There is thus an active and a reactive everywhere, and the two proceed together to the end. This appears in the opening words of the book of Revelation which we have just been considering. In those opening words we have presented to our view Jesus Christ, God in His Human, as the Divine Active, or the One who is alone the Active in all things of the Word and of the church. The reactive is also there in the words "His servants, to whom He is to show the things which must shortly come to pass. "His servants" represent the reactive and receptive in the church, or that which receives the Lord in His coming. These two proceed together to the end of the last chapter of the book, namely, the appearing of the Lord in His glorified Human, and the reception of Him by those who are to form His New Church; and there is not a chapter or verse in the book where this twofold idea does not appear, -the twofold idea of the marriage of the Lord and the church.

The same principle is illustrated in the Ten Commandments, which both historically and spiritually are the first of revelation (A. C. 9416); and being the first they represent the whole Word of God in a Divine summary. In many passages of the Writings our attention is called to the fact that the first table of the Decalogue teaches of the Lord and love to Him, and the second table of the neighbor and love to the neighbor. It is for this reason that the Lord in the Gospels reduces the Ten Commandments to two, called the Two Great Commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets, on which depends the whole Word of God.

In this first of the Word then we find two united as one, love to God and love to the neighbor; and since these two are the first of the Word, they are the all of the Word, the inmost thereof, and are present united as one in every passage, in every verse, in every word and syllable of Scripture. Since these two loves united are present in the whole of the Word and in all its parts, we can see reason for the teaching that the Word interiorly viewed is not a book but a Man, the Divine Man. It is the Divine Man or the Lord, and it is the Grand Man or heaven, taking on the form and appearance of a book for the instruction and salvation of men,

The general law therefore which is taught in the Writings and which we are here endeavoring to set forth, is that the first is the all, in all things that follow in the series, thus the inmost therein. This first as twofold becomes a guiding principle in the study and understanding of the Word, and we may expect to find it illustrated and operative wherever the mind may come in contact with Divine Revelation. This subject is further treated of in the chapters on "Duality in the Word," and on "The Covenant." The importance of this general law, that the first thing said reigns universally in what follows, is to be further set forth in the next chapter in our consideration of the last thing said in any series.


4



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 5


CHAPTER IV

THE LAST THING SAID

THE END WHICH IS FIRST APPEARS IN THE CLOSE OF THE SERIES OR IN THE LAST THING SAID.

The term end used in the Writings, as expressive in English of the Latin finis, has as its synonyms in common speech such words as aim, design, purpose, intention; and we speak of the end in view, or the end regarded, as that to which any given work tends, or as the final conclusion or object in view in anything that is said or done. Concerning ends we are taught: That there is nothing in which there is not an end, and without an end to which it looks not anything can subsist (A. C. 6044). That the end is the inmost of every cause and of every effect (A. C. 3562). That there is end, cause, and effect in every created thing (D. L. W. 167, 209, 241). That love is the end, wisdom the cause, and use the effect (D. L. W. 241). That in what is first said in the Word is the end for the sake of which are all things which follow in the series; and that it is usual to mention first that which is to happen last (A. E. 62). That the end itself is the Lord who is thus the first of every series (A. C. 6044). That the angels regard only ends and uses in the Word, and doctrine as the means of discovering the end or use (A. C. 1645. S. D. 5606). That the end which reigns in any series appears at its close or conclusion, or in the last thing said (A. C. 1018, 804, 899, 1058, 2114, 4667). That there is an effort in every effect to return to the end from which it is (D. L. W. 167, 171, 316).*

* When this rule is under consideration the numbers herein cited may be studied with profit in the analysis of any chapter of the Word.

These teachings reveal to us that since in every created thing there is an end, which is its first from which all other things follow in a series to the conclusion or last, or to the effect or use, so it is in the Word from which all created things derive their cause and origin. We wish therefore to make clear that the end which in reality is the first or beginning of every series in the Word appears in the last, and may be known from the thing last said or done in any given book, chapter, or passage of Scripture. Concerning the end as the first of a series we are further taught: That the first involves all the things that follow (T. C. R. 326). That what is first looks to what follows in a continual series (A. C. 5122). That what is first in time contains in itself what is first in end (T. C. R. 406, 336. H. D. 98. A. R. 17). As for instance, the first in time with a man is that he is born in the ultimates of nature, but the first in end, which is present in what is first in time with him, is that he may become an angel of heaven (D. P. 220).

What is first in time in the Word is what is first said or done in any given series, in which, as we have seen, is the end which universally reigns in what follows, and we read that this end is the love (A. C. 1318, 3839, 5440. D. L. W. 241); love is thus the universal that reigns in the series from the first to the conclusion (D. L. W. 28. C. L. 261. T. C. R. 37, 394. A. C. 5130, 6159, 6338). The end is the love, and the end is what is loved, which is the use; for love always has use for an end. (A. C. 9827, 1097. D. L. W. 230, 297, 308). The first of a series is therefore as a seed, and the last as the fruit (D. L. W. 310, 314, 316); and so the first looks to the last as an end (A. E. 1209). The end which is the love is also the head, the supreme, the inmost of the Word; and the inmost in the derivatives is the only thing that essentially lives (A. C. 10011. A. E. 66). The inmost is the all, in all things which thence succeed (A. C. 10188). In spiritual and even in natural forms all things are, and all things proceed, from the inmost as a center. The Lord Himself is this inmost, and we read that He as Divine Love is in the inmost of the truth of doctrine and the good of life thence in the New Church (A. R. 933). As it is in the church, as it is in the life of heaven, as it is in all creation, so it is in the Word which created all things, the Lord and His Divine Love is the end, the head, the first, the inmost from which all other things proceed and live.

It may therefore be seen that the end or love is the first or beginning of every series in the Word, and is as it were the head of the human form of the Word; and that this end or love appears in the close, or in what is last said, as the conclusion of the series, which is the effect or use. Thus the end in the first is love, and in the last is use. The end in the last or use is what is commonly called the goal.

Now where there is an end there is also a cause leading to an effect, therefore in the Word the cause is to be found in the intermediates of the series, and is there as doctrine and truths of doctrine, which are means leading to the effect or use. Thus all the truths of the series are from the good of love which is the head, and the good of life which is the use is the last end or the conclusion. Indeed the conclusion of every series is use; or, as stated in the doctrine, conclusion is determination to use from love by wisdom (D. L. W. 239). The active endeavor therefore of every series is to close in use; and this active endeavor is the love, which is the end or universal which reigns throughout, and exists in the ultimate or last, which is the effect or use. We hold therefore that in the last thing said or done, the end in what is said or done becomes manifest and declares itself, which may be seen in any use that is performed, as in the building of a house for a dwelling place; when it is completed, the end, purpose, or use for which it was constructed becomes manifest to every one who looks upon it.

Reference has been made to the provision of the means by which the end may come forth into the effect. We find in Apocalypse Revealed, number 360, the teaching that the means or intermediate is wisdom, first the love, then wisdom, and then by wisdom use. It is indeed a universal truth, that in order that any effect or use may be produced the Lord first provides the means or causes, which are the truths of wisdom. This important principle of order should be kept in mind in the study of any chapter of the Word; for all the intermediate verses, between the first and last of a chapter, treat of the means by which the end comes forth into its effect or use.

We have before us then the value of knowing the end in view in any chapter of the Word, and that in order to find this end its conclusion should be examined, for then it will manifest itself; since in any part of the Word, as in everything a man says or does, there is an end or purpose, and this is revealed in the conclusion. The first in every series is love or what represents it (A. C. 8853-8858); and the first looks to the last as an end (A. E. 1209). Love is thus the first of every form, wisdom the second, and the third is use. This is the human form; this is the Trinity' represented in the Word by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and this Trinity is in all things of the Word. (See the chapter on "The Trinity in the Word.")

In confirmation of this law we have the additional teaching: "The seven candlesticks signify the new heaven and the new church, for these are treated of at the end of the Apocalypse, and are thus the conclusion of all things therein; and because that which is last is also first, the prediction respecting them is presented here at the beginning. Moreover it is usual in the Word to mention in the beginning the things that are to take place at the end, because intermediates are thus included; for in the spiritual sense the first is the end for the sake of which, since that is both first and last, and to it all other things look." (A. E. 62.)

In illustration of the same law we might go further back than the beginning of the Apocalypse, even to the first chapter of Genesis, which in its literal sense treats of the natural creation. This is first in time, and is thus the first chapter of the Word. Being first in time it contains in itself that which is first in end, which is the spiritual creation or formation of a heaven from the human race by means of a church on earth. This being the end of all revelation, as it is of all creation, it is treated of first in the Word, and also last, -first in Genesis, and last in the two closing chapters of Revelation; and all things between this first and last of the Word treat of the means by which the end comes into effect.

It is clear therefore that the end in view in the spiritual sense is involved and included in what is first said, and that this end reigns throughout in any book, chapter, or series; but that it is especially treated of at its close, and that the application of this law will reveal the leading idea or affection in any series, or that which is the end in any book, chapter, or group of verses in the Word.

Let us take the Ten Commandments as an example illustrating this law. The subject of the commandments in their spiritual sense is the deliverance of man from the dominion of evil spirits, which is effected by the Lord when the evils mentioned therein are shunned as sins against Him. This idea or subject of the commandments appears in the first thing said, "I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Egypt and the house of bondage are the infernal societies to which man is subject before regeneration, and from which he must be delivered or he cannot be saved. The deliverance is effected by the Lord when man ceases to do the evils mentioned, not merely because thy are injurious to society in the world and to his own reputation, but because they are sins against God and His Divine order. When the evils are thus removed by the Lord with the co-operation of man, the Lord at the same time removes the evil spirits who had subjected him to their dominion, which they had effected by means of his hereditary and acquired evils. But the end in view is not merely the reformation of a man's conduct, the shunning of evil deeds-though this is a necessary preliminary or means; the real end in view is the removal of evil from the will itself, for not until then is a man regenerated and saved by deliverance from evil spirits. For, so long as evil spirits are intrenched in his will, there is as yet no regeneration or deliverance except in the outward appearance. This end or purpose in the commandments appears in the close of the commandments in the use of the word covet. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his house, nor his field, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, his ox: nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. The word translated covet, can also be rendered desire or lust after. Thou shalt not desire nor lust after the things which belong to thy neighbor. The word covet is used in effect eight times at the close of the commandments, showing that this word contains and involves the leading idea of the conclusion, namely, the removal of the lusts of the will in order that regeneration may be made complete. This in fact is the end in view from the beginning of the commandments, the end that reigns throughout, and appears manifestly in the close. This end can be accomplished by the Lord alone when man shuns evils as sins against Him; therefore the Lord reveals Himself as the first of the commandments, opening with the words, "I am the Lord thy God," and then in what follows points out the evils that can be removed by Divine power alone, and in the conclusion declares that evils and evil spirits are not removed until the lusts of the will are put away, in which lusts evil spirits dwell, that is, in the interiors of man, or in the ends of his life. We see, therefore, that the essential end Divinely proposed in the commandments, namely, the removal of the lusts of the will, appears and is manifestly declared in their close, in the words, "Thou shalt not covet."

From what was said in the preceding chapter it is clear that the decalogue has-as has every other passage in the Word-man for its subject, or something relating to man, but that there is also a prior idea which is the Lord, or something relating to Him. The Lord and man appear in the opening words, and in what is last said. But, as will be shown in the chapter on "The Trinity in the Word," wherever there is a two there is also a three. So in the opening of the commandments we have a threefold idea, which may be thus expressed, "I the Lord have brought thee out of the land of Egypt"; and in the closing words, "I the Lord command thee not to covet thy neighbor's wife." It is useful to begin the analysis of a chapter in this way.*

* We see involved here a trinity of the person speaking, the person spoken to, and the person or thing spoken of. See the chapter on "The Person Speaking."

Let us consider a further illustration of the principle before us as exhibited in the first Psalm. In the first verse of this Psalm, we are told in the literal sense of those who separate themselves from the company of evil men in the world, and from all their wicked ways; but the spiritual sense teaches that those who shun evils as sins against God will, as to their spirits, be separated from evil spirits. The end and purpose in such separation is that they may be conjoined with God and thus introduced into heaven. This end which is in the opening words appears in the last verse, "The Lord knoweth the way of the just"; for when it is said in the Word that the Lord knows any one, the meaning is that He has conjoined him with Himself. The opposite sense also runs through to the end, which is that those who do not separate themselves from evil deeds and evil associations in both worlds, cannot be conjoined with God., Hence in the closing words, where the conclusion appears in respect to them, we are told that the way of the wicked shall perish. Thus the end in this Psalm, which is conjunction with God and introduction into heaven, is contained in the opening words; the means to the end are treated of in the body of the Psalm, and the end itself is expressed in the closing words.

The law that what is interiorly in a series from its beginning appears in its close or conclusion, receives notable illustration in the Blessings and in the Parable of the Sower. In the former the closing words are, "For great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." This is the conclusion of the series and expresses what is contained interiorly in the first word of the series, a word which is repeated a number of times throughout-blessed. By blessed is meant the happiness in heaven of those who receive true doctrine from the Word and live according to it.* This end which is in the first and leading word, and thus which reigns in the entire series, is expressed in the closing words, "Great is your reward in heaven." The progressive steps in regeneration are described in the intermediate verses, and as each step is attended with temptations or assaults of evil spirits who are in the pride of their own intelligence, and who are therefore not poor in spirit, an opposite series is involved, and is expressed in the closing words, "For so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." We shall see later that the opposite is either expressed or understood in every part of the Word, and it will thus appear in the close of any series. In the Blessings the two opposing ends are seen in the concluding words which we have quoted.

* That doctrine and the reception of it is the subject of the Blessings, we know from the word prophet used in the conclusion, and from the fact that in the introduction it is said, "He opened His mouth and taught them."

Let us note the operation of this law also in the Parable of the Sower. We read in the opening of the parable that a sower went forth to sow. Now sowing involves ground in which the seeds are sown or received. The subject of the parable, as indicated in these opening words, is instruction by the Lord from His Word, as given to those who will receive its truths in heart and life. The end which reigns from the beginning through to the close is the reception of truth from the Word. This end is expressed in the concluding words, "Who hath an ear to hear, let him hear," and also in the words, "He that received seed into good ground is he that heareth the Word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty." (Verse 23.) It may be remarked that this end reigns also in the parables which follow in the chapter, as may be seen from verses 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 31, 37, 43; and especially from the closing words in verse 52, the end being, as has been indicated, the reception of truth by instruction from the Word.

Now since the first or the end which reigns from the beginning of any series is universal or interiorly present in all that follows even to the last, it is clear that it is also universal and prior even in what is last said, as may be seen from any of the examples given above; as, for instance, the Son of Man as the Sower is prior in the sowing and in the reception of the seed.

All parts of Scripture when examined will illustrate or bring into light the operation of the law we have been endeavoring to set forth in this chapter, namely that the end which is contained and involved in the first or beginning of a chapter or portion of the Word, and which reigns in the series, becomes manifest in the last or conclusion thereof. A close scrutiny will reveal the presence and operation of this law in all Divine Revelation.



5



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 6
CHAPTER V

THE PRECEDING SERIES

THE SUBJECT OF A CHAPTER, PARAGRAPH, OR VERSE, PASSES OVER TO THE NEXT, AND APPEARS IN THE FIRST WORD THEREOF OR IN THE FIRST THING SAID.

We have seen that the leading idea of a series passes on to its close, and appears in what is last said. We wish now to show that it does more than this, that it passes over into the following series, qualifying and modifying it from its beginning to its close. It becomes therefore essential to the complete understanding of any portion of the Word, to note the existence and operation of this law; and so it will now be in order to bring forward some teachings of the Writings bearing on this point; first, concerning the particle and, which is used as a connective everywhere in the Old Testament, a fact even more apparent in the Hebrew than in the English translation. We read that "it is usual in the Word, when a beginning is made of a new subject, to say, And he said." (A. C. 2802). "When one state terminates and another succeeds which is deserving of note, it is indicated by and it Was; and a change of state less deserving of note by and, wherefore those expressions so frequently occur." (A. C. 4987. See also 3558, 4814, 5578, 7191.) And, and he said, and it was, marking the introduction of another paragraph or chapter, are signs of something new, but they indicate at the same time the continuity of the series in the internal sense.

It may be well to say a word here on the general subject of connectives. A connective is defined as "a word used to connect words, clauses, and sentences." They are usually conjunctions, but frequently adverbs, prepositions,, and even nouns and proper names may act in this capacity; as, for instance, Jesus Christ in the first verse of the Apocalypse connects that entire book with the Gospels; and David and Abraham in the first verse of Matthew connect the Gospels with the story of the Old Testament. But the most frequent connective is and, which joins together not only words, clauses, and sentences, but also paragraphs, chapters, and even books. These connectives and their significance should never be lost sight of in the study of the Word. They are among the signs that the Word is written in a series, and that one series follows another in a regular continuity of ideas. We read: That the internal sense is in a continuous series with what goes before and with what follows after (A. C. 1659, 2333). That the internal sense is in a series in which one thing follows from another (A. C. 2102). That the things contained in the internal sense are connected together in a continuous series (A. C. 2654). That when the series is comprehended tinder one idea, the beautiful coherence and connection of all the parts is seen (A. C. 2343, 3952), and that this one idea is the general of the series (A. C. 5339). That all order proceeds from first to last, and the last becomes the first of the following order (C. L. 311).

It is plain therefore that not only are the things of the internal sense connected together in a continuous series from one chapter to another, but the last of a preceding order becomes the first of a following order. Hence in studying a given chapter, we should observe not only the subject of the preceding chapter, but especially its close or conclusion, and at the same time mark its effect upon the opening or beginning of the chapter under consideration,-since, as we have seen, the last of a preceding series becomes the first of the following. For, as has been shown already,, in order to know any series it is .essential to know its first and also its last; since the first reigns in all things that follow in its own series, and the end which is first appears and makes itself manifest in the last. This latter presents the reason-why it is important to pay attention to the close of a preceding chapter; since the end in view in it appears there, and passes over into the following modifying and qualifying it. That the internal sense of any given passage may become evident from what is said in the preceding chapter, may be seen from the following extract:

"The reason why here and in the following verses of this chapter (Gen. xl) the external sensual things . . . are treated of in the internal sense is that in the previous chapter the subject treated of was the Lord, and how He glorified or made Divine the interiors of His natural; here therefore the subject treated of is the Lord, and how He glorified or made Divine the exteriors of His natural." (A. C. 5078.)

We observe in the passage just quoted that the reason why the glorification of the exteriors of the natural is treated of in the fortieth chapter of Genesis, is because the glorification of the interiors of the natural was treated of in the previous chapter. The Lord glorified His Human as He regenerates man, and we are taught that in regeneration the internal man is regenerated first, and then by it the external. When therefore the one subject is treated of it may be expected that the other will be treated of in the series that follows. If then we are studying a chapter, and wish to find the leading idea of its internal sense, and supposing that we have learned that the preceding chapter treats of the regeneration of the interiors of the natural, we may conclude that the chapter under consideration may treat of that which follows it in the orderly course of regeneration. As it is with these two chapters in Genesis, so it is in all parts of the Word. One chapter follows another in a logical and orderly sequence of ideas, and to find that which is prominent and leading in one chapter is a step toward discovering the same in what goes before or in what follows after. Let us remember, however, that any conclusion we may form-in the absence of direct teaching, as to the leading idea of the internal sense of a chapter, or of any part of the Word, -should be corroborated by other evidence before it becomes established in our minds. Hence the use of applying more than one rule in any analysis that we may have in hand.

In illustration of the general principle before us, we present three more extracts from the Writings; and the remarks we have just made will apply also to them. They are as follows:

"In the foregoing chapter (Gen. xxxix) the subject treated of is the state of temptations of the celestial of the spiritual in the natural as to those things which are of the interior natural, and here as to those things which are of the exterior natural." (A. C. 5086.)

"And Joseph could not restrain himself before all that were standing by him. That this signifies that all things were now made ready for conjunction . . . for when anyone prepares himself with the utmost diligence for some end or effect, by getting together and arranging the means thereto, then when all things are made ready he ran no longer restrain himself. This is signified by the above words; for in the preceding chapter (Gen. xliv) initiation to conjunction was treated of, but in this chapter conjunction itself." (A. C. 5869.)

"The subject treated of in the preceding chapter (Exod. vi) was that those who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom were infested by falsities, and at last because of those temptations were near despair. Now they are encouraged with hope, and with the promise that they are certainly to be liberated; this is the subject treated of in the internal sense of the present chapter." (A. C. 7183. See also A. C. 5396, 6225, 6254, 7186, 7405.)

Thus we find from these and similar teachings that in the revelation of the internal sense of the Word, it was ever in the mind of Swedenborg, whenever a chapter was before him, to take note of the subject of the preceding chapter as a guide to the internal sense of the given chapter. We shall see later that this was also true in respect to the following chapter.

That in the first of a chapter what precedes and what follows are present, and that the first of a chapter looks both backward and forward, is clearly taught in Arcana Coelestia, number 2318, in explaining the words, "And there came two angels to Sodom in the evening." These are the opening words of the chapter, and it will be noted that they begin with and. Concerning them we read, "that they signify visitation, which precedes judgment, may appear from what was said by the three men or Jehovah in the preceding chapter, and also from what follows in this chapter. . . . In the foregoing chapter it was treated concerning the perverse state of the human race, and concerning the Lord's grief and intercession for those who are in evil, but still in some good and truth, wherefore it now follows concerning the salvation of those who are in some good and truth, and who are represented in this chapter by Lot; and at the same time concerning the destruction of those, who are altogether in evil and falsity, who are here signified by Sodom and Gomorrah." It will be seen, therefore, that what is treated of in this chapter is a logical consequence of the subject of the preceding chapter; that is, if the good are to be separated from the evil and saved, the judgment must take place, which follows as a legitimate result of the wicked and perverted state of the church, as treated in a former chapter.

This law is indeed operative at any point in the Word, for there is not anything in it that does not connect with what precedes and with what follows; but its application becomes especially notable at the initial point of any series. It is indeed the law Of all progression, whether expressed in the Word or in the operations of creation as exhibited in nature, or in the works of Providence as they manifest themselves in the stream of human life. One state, begins where another ends, but there is always a chain of connection between what precedes and what follows; and without the observance of this fact, or the study and application of it as a law, nature cannot be understood, history cannot be interpreted, nor any progression in a series be comprehended.

At a given point of an operative development, especially where there is a decided change from one thing to another, the past is in the present and looks to the future. In the Lord all things are present, hence He is spoken of as He who is, and who was, and who is to come. In image of this we are told that the angels live only in the present. The past is in their present, and in the present they are able to see in some finite measure what is to come. Concerning this we have the following teachings: "What is to come, and what is present, are, the same, thing with the Lord, and thereby the same in the angelic heaven; what is to come is present, or what is to be done is done." (A. C. 730.) "Although the angels have no care about what is past, and no anxiety about what is to come, they have still the most perfect remembrance of what is past, and intuition of what is to come, because in every present of theirs there is both the past and the future; thus they have a more perfect memory than can ever be thought and expressed." (A. C. 2493.) "With, those who are regenerating, interior and exterior things are arranged in order by the Lord for all following states, insomuch that things present involve things future, and things future when they become present, do the same, and this to eternity; for the Lord foresees all things and provides all things, and His foresight and providence is to eternity, thus is eternal." (A. C. 10048.) "That a kind of idea of the infinite, and an idea of the Divine eternal is insinuated into the angels by the Lord, appears from, this, that they know not what space is, for those who are in the extreme of the universe are present in a moment; and as to the eternal, that they have no idea of things past and future, but the past and future are in their present." (S. D. 3973. Compare D. P. 178. S. D. 2188-90, 2271, 3973.)

There is therefore always a continuity of the present with the past, whether in heaven or on earth, or a continuity of the past into the present; and the future will be but a development of what is. involved in the present. It is important that the human understanding should see, acknowledge, and co-operate with this law of Providence. Hence in any new departure it is always wise to connect with that which precedes, and not rudely and suddenly divorce oneself from it, nor abruptly break off from that which has been; for then one will not have made himself ready in an orderly manner for that which is to come. There is indeed a connection with the past whether we see and observe it or, not; but we are wise if we observe it and act accordingly. He is wisest who sees most clearly the bearing of the past on the present, and has the clearest intuition of the future from what he sees in the present.

Now the law of creation, the law of Providence, the law of all development in a series, the law of life itself and the flowing stream of life, is also the law of revelation or the Word. For the Word is life; it is the very stream of life itself proceeding from the Lord and returning to Him, -though taking on form and expression in human language, in order to accommodate and adapt itself to human understanding.

The operation in a series of this stream of life, which is the Word, is expressed under the appearance of time and its progression. In the literal sense there is a past, a present, and a future; but when the idea of time is removed, as it is in the internal sense, there is no past or future, but all things are present. And as it is in history, wherein any given event is interpreted by the events which precede it, so it is in the story of the Word. The New Testament is not understood without the Old. The second coming of the Lord is not understood without a knowledge of His first coming. Nor is a single chapter of the Word fully understood without a knowledge of the chapter or chapters which precede it. But for a complete understanding of a chapter it is sometimes necessary and useful to go further back than the chapter immediately preceding it; for instance, in order to understand the story of the flood we must know the causes which led to it, and these we find by going back to the story of the serpent, and even to that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which became the center of the garden when the serpent entered it. The signification of these reveals the causes which led to the flood, and the latter is not completely understood without a knowledge of those causes.

What is true of the literal sense is also true of the internal sense; but from the latter the idea of time is removed; for which reason there is no passage in the Word, no paragraph or verse, wherein all things of the Word from beginning to end are not contained and involved, But this law is more valuable to the student when seen or looked for at the beginning or close of any chapter or series. At the beginning of a chapter all things of it are present, and the same is true of its close. It is essential for interpretation, therefore, that the beginning and the close of a chapter should be closely examined and studied. But the point we are considering now is, -the use and value to the student of observing the subject of the preceding chapter, especially that of its close. Let us now illustrate this point with some Scripture examples.

Let us first take note of the operation of this law in the closing words of the Old Testament, which are, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Mal. iv: 5, 6.) These words are a prophecy of the advent of the Lord, and in particular of the preparation for the advent by the work of John the Baptist. John was the Elijah who was to come to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.

Now the entire story of the Old Testament centers around the function and use of the Jewish Church and its worship, which was to preserve the communication of heaven with the human race until the time of the Lord's coming. But this communication had ceased, or was about to cease, by the profanation of the Jewish worship in Jerusalem. The preaching and baptism of John, outside of Jerusalem at the river Jordan, was to restore this communication, or turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, in order to prepare the way for the coming and manifestation of the Lord. Without such a manifestation we are told that the earth or mankind would have been literally smitten with a curse (T. C. R. 688-691. A. E. 724). Thus in the last words of Malachi the whole story of the Old Testament, and the use of the Jewish Church, is given in a sum and conclusion, the use of that church in preserving the communication of heaven with mankind, and the use of the final severing of that communication by the profanation of all things of their worship. But this final prophecy looks not only backward but forward. The communication is to be restored, in order that the Lord may come and establish the Christian Church. It is essential, therefore, in order to understand the mission of John the Baptist, as related in the New Testament, and the Divine uses effected by the advent itself, to study the signification of this final prophecy of the Old Testament, as given in the Writings; in doing which we shall find illustrated on a grand scale the great value of the law, that the subject of the preceding series passes over and illuminates that which follows it, without which we may be left in the dark as to the full meaning of the subsequent events.

The sixtieth chapter of Isaiah opens as follows: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." By these words is meant that there will be spiritual light with men in the world, through which the church will be established with them. This being the subject of the first verse, it becomes therefore the leading idea of the chapter. Now when we examine the closing words of the preceding chapter, we find that the subject there is the revelation of Divine Truth by the Lord after redemption is accomplished. This introduces into the consideration of the sixtieth chapter the modifying idea, that there is spiritual light in the church after redemption has been effected, and not before. The reason for this will be seen fully stated in The Continuation of the Last Judgment, numbers 11 and 12, where it is shown that the light of illustration cannot be given until the last judgment is accomplished. Hence in the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah the subject of redemption as preceding the establishment of the church should be kept in mind.

The fifteenth chapter of John treats of the conjunction of the Lord with the human race after the glorification of His Human or union with the Father. This subject also appears in the previous chapter, but the leading idea there is that of glorification, appearing especially in the closing verses. There is indeed no conjunction with mankind until the Human of the Lord has been glorified, or union with the Divine has been effected. This truth, treated of in the fourteenth chapter, passes over into the fifteenth, and appears in its opening words, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman"; and it should therefore be kept actively in mind in the consideration of the latter chapter.

The twenty-first chapter of Revelation opens with the words, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away; and there was no more sea." These words point strongly to the subject of the preceding chapter, as indicated by the particle-and, as well as by the subject itself of these first words, treating as they do of the last judgment as of a thing now accomplished; and we find that this is the subject of the preceding chapter from beginning to end. The establishment of the New Church, therefore, naturally and logically follows that of judgment or redemption by the Lord, and should be kept prominently in the thought in a study of the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the book of Revelation.

In fact, wherever we turn, the operation of this law appears. Note, for instance, the close of Matthew ix, where the Lord is teaching concerning the need of a true priesthood, when the church is vastated, and before a new church can begin. The inauguration and sending out of such a priesthood occupies the whole of the following chapter. Note also the bearing of the closing words of Matthew xi upon chapter xii, wherein the Lord abolishes the Jewish sabbath, revealing that He Himself is the Sabbath, and there is no rest but in Him, because of His union with the Father.

The frequent teaching in the Writings also might be noted that where a passage treats of revelation, the preceding series if examined will probably be found to treat of the combats of temptation (A. C. 1785). Also where any passage treats of consolation and illustration we may expect to find that the previous series treats of temptation even to despair (A. C. 2690-2704). Hence we may always expect light to, be thrown on what follows by examining what precedes.

The rules which apply to the elucidation of a chapter, apply also to the parts thereof. Let us take as an example the twentieth verse of the third chapter of Revelation, which is as follows: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me." If we are in doubt as to what it is by which man opens the door for the entrance of the Lord, we shall find by reference to the preceding verse that it is repentance. The idea of repentance therefore passes over to the twentieth' verse, and becomes the leading idea therein in respect to man's co-operation with the Lord. It will be noted also that the twentieth verse closes with the idea of conjunction with the Lord as the result of repentance. This passes over to the twenty-first verse, and appears there in the representative image of the union of the Lord with the Father.

The law therefore that the subject of the preceding chapter or portion of the Word, especially of its close, passes over into the next, and appears in the first thing said therein, modifying the whole of the next series, this law holds good and will find illustration and confirmation in all parts of the Word.



6



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 7
CHAPTER VI

THE FOLLOWING SERIES

A KNOWLEDGE OF THE FOLLOWING CHAPTER WILL AID IN UNDERSTANDING ANY GIVEN CHAPTER OR PORTION OF THE WORD.

Since the internal sense of the Word is in a continuous stream, and the subject of one chapter passes over to the next and modifies it, or since the subject of a given series is a logical sequence of the one which precedes it, the conclusion is plain that a knowledge of the following chapter will aid in understanding any given chapter of the Word. This rule is indeed but the converse of the preceding one, and the principles and illustrations used for the one will apply to the other, requiring merely a viewing of it in the inverse order or a looking forward instead of a looking backward. Still as this latter principle has a distinct place and value in the interpretation of the Word, it would seem well to give it a separate and distinct treatment in a work of this kind; and the application of it will without doubt be found to be of frequent assistance to the student in entering and understanding the spiritual sense of any chapter that is under consideration.

The Writings in very many places make clear the importance of knowing the subject of the series, or the subjects that precede and follow any given verse or group of verses, in order to understand the particular one that is being studied, For instance, in Arcana Coelestia, number 103, we are told that trees in Genesis ii: 9, signify perceptions because the celestial man is the subject of the series in the internal sense. "It is otherwise when the spiritual man is treated of. For such as the subject is such is the predicate." If the spiritual man were the subject treated of in the context, trees, in the verse that is being expounded, would not signify perceptions but cognitions; for the celestial man has perception, but the spiritual man has in the place of perception the cognition of truth. If Genesis ii: 9 were chosen as a text, a knowledge that the celestial man is the subject of the chapter, and not the spiritual man, would therefore be fundamental to a clear understanding of verse 9, especially as to what is signified by tree; for tree and what is signified by tree is the leading idea of this verse. An interesting sermon on this text might be written setting forth the subject of cognitions as signified by trees, but it would not be an exposition of the text; for the subject of the series determines that the leading idea of the text is that of perception and not of cognition.

Again we read, -that maidservants in Genesis xx: 17, signify "the affections of doctrinals. . . . may appear from the signification of maidservants as being the affections of rationals and scientifics, here of doctrinals because they are predicated of the doctrine of faith, for they [the maidservants] were of Abimelech, by whom is signified the doctrine of faith; for all things have a signification according to the subjects treated, whereof they are predicated." (A. C. 2583.) Maidservants therefore in verse 17 signify the affection of things doctrinal and not of things rational and scientific, because the subject of the context is concerning Abimelech and what is signified by him. Hence we read that "all things in the internal sense are predicated with reference to the subject treated of." (A. C. 1041. See also 386, 568, 620, 721, 2712, 4502, 10265. A. E. 722. S. D. 1603.)

Anyone who follows closely the explanations of the internal sense of Genesis and Exodus, as given in Arcana Coelestia, will have observed the application of this law both to the preceding and to the following verse. or chapter. The numbers now to be quoted are examples of the advantage to be obtained by noting what follows any given passage of Scripture.

"From the things in this verse and those said in the following it is manifest that by Lamech is signified vastation." (A. C. 428.)

"That the book of nativities is an account of those who were in the Most Ancient Church, is very evident from what follows; for from this chapter [the fifth] to the eleventh, or to Eber, names never signify persons but things." (A. C. 470.)

"Concerning what this church was, nothing is mentioned in particular; but that its perceptive was become general and obscure appears from the description of the church Noah" treated of in the following verses and chapters. (A. C. 524.)

"That by Noah and his sons is signified the Ancient Church, was said and shown above, and appears from what follows." (A. C. 982.)

"It will, appear from what follows, that things celestial and Divine were not adjoined to the Lord, until He endured temptations, and thereby expelled the evil which was hereditary from the mother." (A. C. 1477.)

"That 'let a little water I pray you be taken,' signifies that they should approach and let themselves down from things Divine nearer to his intellectuals, cannot so well appear from the words alone, 'That they should take a little, water,' but from the series of things which are in this verse, and from their connection with those which go before and which follow." (A. C. 2161.)

"What therefore the blessing of Jehovah signifies in particular, may appear from the series of things going before and of the things following." (A. C. 4981.)

"That to go forth is to be of it, or to be its own, is manifest from those things which precede and which follow, and also from the spiritual sense of that word." (A. C. 5337.)

"'And it came to pass in this time' signifies the things which follow . . . for what is done is related in what follows; the things also which follow in a series, flow from those which go before." (A. C. 4814. See also A. C. 1542, 1564, 2324, 2661, 4644, 4981, 5074, 6162, 10505.)

Many other examples might be introduced, from the Writings in illustration of this principle, but we shall content ourselves with one more, namely, from The Doctrine of the Lord, number 46. The purpose of the number is to show that the Holy Spirit is not a God by himself, but that the Trinity is in the Lord Jesus Christ, although there is an appearance of three Persons, as in Matthew xxviii: 19. "That it is the Lord alone who is there meant by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is evident from what precedes and from what follows. In the preceding verse the Lord says, 'All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth'; and in the following verse, 'Lo, I am with you all the days, until the consummation of the age': thus He speaks of Himself alone. This was therefore said by Him, in order that they might know that the Trinity is in Him." There is an appearance in verse 19 of a Trinity of Persons, and if separated from the context it conveys the idea of such a Trinity, but since the Lord teaches in the preceding verse that He alone has Omnipotence or Divine power, and in the following verse that He Himself as the Holy Spirit will be present in the church to its end, it is evident that verse 19 is speaking of a Trinity in one Divine Person. Verse 19 therefore presents the appearance, but the verse preceding and the one following present the genuine truth, in the light of which the apparent truth is to be explained. Everywhere in the Word, as is said also of common writing, the text is to be examined and interpreted in the light of the context, and the paragraph or chapter in the light of the one which precedes and the one which follows. No just view of any composition, human or Divine, can be obtained without the application of this law.

To observe what precedes and what follows is nothing else than to observe the law of development in a series, which is a universal in nature as it is in revelation. The Word which created all things created them in a series, and all growth after creation is in a series; and the Word itself is in the form of the things which it has created. One thing is always connected with another, and anything unconnected does not exist. Thus nothing in the Word nor in creation is understood without observing this law of the connection of one thing with another. To understand any given link in the chain we must know the one which precedes it, and the one which follows it. Nor can the Writings be fully understood except according to this law, for they too are written in a series, as we learn from The True Christian Religion, number 351,

A striking example of how the Writings may be misunderstood without the application of this law is afforded us in The True Christian Religion, number 677. In this number there is a statement which appears to teach that there is a baptism of infants in heaven. But by examining closely what precedes and what follows, and by introducing the application of two other laws, which we have already considered,-namely, to note what is first said and what is last said in any series,-we find that the statement in question is. not speaking of the baptism of infants in the other world, but of, what takes place in their spirits when they are baptized on earth.

Similar to the law in respect to the preceding series, the one now under consideration is of general application. The former law is a looking forward from causes to effects, but the latter is a looking back from effects to causes, For there is not only a going forth from the cause to the effect, but there is a reaction in the effect and a return to the cause from which the effect was produced. A mind well instructed in this spiritual law, and in the doctrine of revelation, will be prepared not only to follow the stream of the outgo, but also the stream of the return toward the source from which it came. And since the things that follow in the Word reveal the effects of causes which precede, the former will often aid in the interpretation of the latter, even as a man's actions, especially in the spiritual world, will reveal the motives or causes of his conduct.

This principle has a striking illustration in what we are told of the operation of Providence, which to a large extent does not reveal itself until after the event, as the Lord said to Peter, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter," (John xiii: 7); and also as the Lord said to Moses, "I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by; and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen." (Exod. xxxiii: 22, 23.)

Swedenborg in his early studies was led to apply this law. From the visible things of nature he concluded concerning its invisible things with an unerring precision; and as a result we have given us that marvelous work called The Principia of Natural Things, a work without parallel in the literature of science and philosophy. The principles which he thus developed by observing effects, and returning from effects to their causes, he afterwards applied in his study of the human body, by which he was able to unfold a human physiology such as the world had never seen. He was led to apply the same principles later in life to the study of the Word, becoming thus the rational agent of the Lord in the Revelation of His Second Coming.

Now it is a fact well known to students of Scripture that no prophecy is understood until its fulfilment. It was so with the prophecies of the First Coming, and it is so now with the prophecies of the Second Coming. Nor is the First Coming understood without a knowledge of the Second. Every revelation explains the one which precedes it. The New Testament throws a bright light on the Old, and the Writings cast a far brighter light upon both. Nor can history be understood unless this law be applied to the study of it.

An example of interpreting any event by a knowledge of what occurred afterward, is illustrated in the story of Esau. He sold his birthright, as related in Genesis xxv: 29-34. But that this was only a temporary yielding of priority is clearly shown by the fact that he afterward accepted the acknowledgment of his primogeniture as offered by Jacob (Gen. xxvii: 41-46, also xxxii: 33).

The law that, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter," is universal, and what is universal is also particular, applying to all things that are and exist, applying to every chapter and every verse of Sacred Scripture. The events which follow, the things which are said in the next verse, the next paragraph, or the next chapter, should be closely examined if we wish to view the one under consideration in a complete light and with full knowledge. Let us now illustrate this law with some examples from the Word.

The closing verses of the third chapter of Matthew treat of the Lord's baptism by John, and the first eleven verses of the next chapter treat of His temptations in the wilderness. The question arises, What assistance do we obtain from a knowledge of the latter in understanding the former? In examining the third chapter we find from the last two verses that the subject is the glorification of the Lord as contained and represented in His baptism. The story of His temptations, appearing in the next chapter, brings at once to mind the teaching that it was by temptation combats that the Human of the Lord was glorified, and also the teaching that baptism always carries with it the idea of temptation. This is not expressed in the third chapter, but since it openly appears in the fourth, we conclude that the last five verses of the third chapter cannot be fully understood without a consideration of the doctrine of temptation combats, especially those of the Lord. We find therefore that what is interiorly contained in one series appears openly in the next, and that the latter aids in the elucidation of the former.

In the six closing verses of the fifth chapter of Matthew we find an illustration of the same law. These verses treat manifestly of charity or love to the neighbor. We conclude therefore that this truth will be a leading factor in the preceding group, where the subject is non-resistance to evil. An examination of the explanation of this group of verses in the Writings reveals this to be the case, although it is not openly expressed in the words that are used.

The closing words of the fourteenth chapter of Luke are as follows: "Salt is good; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out." According to the rule already considered, these words give expression to the truth which reigns in the series of which it is the close, which is that there is no affection of truth in the church, and therefore it, is vastated; hence it is said that the salt has lost his savor. Now the leading idea of the following chapter, coming out openly in it, is that of repentance. We therefore conclude, according to the rule we are considering, that the truth which appears in the fifteenth chapter as the leading idea, is interiorly contained in the fourteenth, and presents the real reason why the church is vastated, why there is in it no spiritual affection of truth, -because there is in it no repentance of life, nor combat against the falsity of evil.

At the close of the tenth chapter of John it is said that, "He went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there He abode. And many resorted unto Him, and said, John did no miracle; but all things that John spake of this man are true. And many believed on Him there." By the country beyond Jordan is represented the external church, but the application is to the Gentiles, which we learn from the fact that the next chapter treats of the state of the church with the Gentiles, who are represented by Lazarus. This is also confirmed by the fact that the country beyond Jordan is spoken of in Matthew (iv: 15) as Galilee of the Gentiles.

We find therefore that the leading and clearly expressed idea of the following series, while latent or concealed in the series which precedes, is still there, and is fundamental to a full understanding of it. Without a knowledge of this truth, interiorly contained and afterward expressed, we may perhaps remain without a full knowledge or understanding of any given chapter or group of verses in the Word. Hence the conclusion is manifest, that a knowledge of the following chapter or group will bring a substantial contribution to the understanding of any chapter that has been chosen for study and exposition.



7



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 8
CHAPTER VII

THE NAMES OF THE LORD

THE NAME OF THE LORD, THE NAME OF THE PERSON, AND THE NAME OF THE PLACE, ARE OF LEADING SIGNIFICANCE IN ANY CHAPTER OF THE WORD.

In the study of a chapter or a group of chapters, a verse or a group of verses in the Word, it is essential to give attention to the proper names that are mentioned therein, and to examine and analyze them. in their literal, historical, and spiritual meaning. The name of the Lord is first in importance; then the name of the person who acts the leading part, and finally the name of the place where occur the events, which are related in the historical or prophetical narration. A knowledge of the signification of these names, especially the names of the Lord, is fundamental to the understanding of the Word.

The name of the Lord represents the idea of God in the chapter, and it is clear that this idea is the first of every series, the great universal or Divine principle that reigns in it and in every part thereof. It is the supreme, inmost, or Divine Truth, Divine quality or attribute, it is the Lord Himself appearing in the series as the One and Only God therein, but accommodating Himself to angelic and human comprehension according to the subject that is treated of in the revelation of Himself that He is giving. The names of persons, however, and of places, present to us certain qualities or functions from the Lord in heaven and in the church. For there is the Divine above the heavens, the Divine in heaven, and the Divine in the church. In general the Divine above the heavens is represented by the name of the Lord, the Divine in heaven by the name of the person, and the Divine in the church by the name of the place. This threefold Divine appears and is represented in all parts of the Word in various ways, and under various forms; but its appearance and representation under the three sets of proper names that everywhere occur, is the subject that is now especially before us for consideration.

It is only the angels of the highest heaven who are able to perceive in any proper sense the significance of the names in the Word. To them even the names of persons and places represent something of the Lord; hence we read that "the reason why in heaven instead of the Sons of Israel they understand the church, is because in the inmost heaven, where the Lord is more present than in the heavens beneath, by names in the Word, in a good sense, is understood the Lord Himself. . . . and since by those names is understood the Lord there, hence the Divine things which are of heaven and the church, which are from the Lord, are perceived by the same names, according to the series of things treated of." (A. C. 10216. See also the chapter on the "Trinity in the Word.") Hence the angels of the inmost heaven by the three classes of proper names perceive a threefold Divine in the Word, or the Lord as present above the heavens, in the heavens, and in the church.*

* It is necessary, however, to avoid a too rigid application of any rule, for other principles may enter and modify the sense in any given passage. Thus there is always room for variation and apparent exception. Although it is perhaps not necessary to make use of all the rules in the analysis of any chapter or verse, several of what might be regarded as the more important ones should be brought to bear in the study of it.

The Divine above the heavens is, as we have said, represented in the names of the, Lord, and it thus contains that which is even more universal than the first thing said, concerning which we have spoken in previous chapters. Sometimes, however, the name of the Lord is included in the first thing said, and the two universals, greater and less, are together but still distinct; as in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, God is the all-creative Divine Truth; heaven and earth, however, are that which is created, but which are in their turn universal in all that follows, though subordinate to that which is signified by God. It may be well to call attention here to the fact that there is a trinity in the first verse of Genesis, even though not a trinity of proper names. The trinity is indicated in the terms God, heaven, and earth. God is the Divine above the heavens, heaven is the Divine in the angelic heaven, and earth is the Divine in the church; and since this threefold Divine appears in the first verse of Genesis, we may expect to find it in all things that follow in the Word, the one grand universal of the Word of God, that appears tinder many forms, especially under the three names of God in the New Testament, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is evident from the rule we have already discussed, namely, that the first thing said reigns supreme in all things that follow.

But in respect to the importance of knowing the signification of the names of the Lord, as appearing in any portion of the Word, much is said or clearly indicated in the Writings; let us therefore consider some of the things that are taught on this subject. We read that "He who knows what in the Lord the Son of God signifies, and what in Him the Son of Man, is able to see many arcana of the Word; for the Lord sometimes calls Himself the Son, sometimes the Son of God, and sometimes the Son of Man; always according to the subject treated of. When His Divinity, His oneness with the Father, His Divine power, faith in Him, and life from Him, are treated of, He then calls Himself the Son, and the Son of God, as in John v:17-26, and elsewhere. Where His passion, the judgment, His coming, and in general redemption, salvation, reformation, and regeneration are treated of, He then calls Himself the Son of Man; the reason is because He is then meant as to the Word. The Lord is designated by various names in the Word of the Old Testament; He is there named Jehovah, Jah, the Lord, God, the Lord Jehovih, Jehovah Zebaoth, the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the Mighty One of Jacob, Shaddai, the Rock; also the Creator, the Reformer, the Savior, and the Redeemer; everywhere according to the subject treated of. So likewise, in the Word of the New Testament, where He is named Jesus, the Christ, the Lord, God, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Prophet, the Lamb, and also other names; yet always according to the subject treated of." (L. 22.) Since the Lord is always named in the Word according to the subject treated of in the spiritual sense, it is clear that we may learn from the name used what the subject of the series is, or may know what the leading idea of doctrine, or what universal truth, is contained in the chapter that is under consideration. But "all the names are names of the one God who is the Lord; and yet where they are mentioned in the Word they signify some universal Divine attribute or quality distinct from other Divine attributes or qualities." (A. E. 959, 852.)

Again, "That it is here said God, because by God Shaddai, whom Abram worshipped, is represented the Lord; also because the subject treated of is truth which is to be united to good, is manifest from what has been said above. In the Word the Lord is sometimes named Jehovah, sometimes Jehovah God, sometimes the Lord Jehovah, sometimes God, and this always from a cause hidden in the internal sense." (A. C. 2001.) Hence when Shaddai is used as a name of God, we know at once that the leading idea or subject of the spiritual sense is truth to be united to good by means of temptation; and all the particulars of the chapter will take their place tinder this leading idea.

We read further, "That it is said Lord when good is referred to, is evident from the Word of the Old Testament, where Jehovah is sometimes called Jehovah, sometimes God, and sometimes Lord, sometimes Jehovah God, sometimes the Lord Jehovih, sometimes Jehovah Zebaoth, and this from a hidden cause, which can be known only from the internal sense; in general, when it is treated concerning the celestial things of love, or concerning good, then it is said Jehovah, but when it is treated concerning the spiritual things of faith, or concerning truth, then it is said God; but when concerning both together, then it is said Jehovah God; and when concerning the divine, power of good, or omnipotence, then it is said Jehovah Zebaoth, or Jehovah of Hosts, and also Lord, so that Jehovah Zebaoth and Lord are of the same sense and signification." (A. C. 2921.)

It is evident from these passages, and similar teachings in the Writings, that we have given us in them an invaluable principle of interpretation for the opening and exposition of the internal sense of the Word. Those who may wish to pursue the subject further, can do so by reading the following numbers: A. C. 2724, 3488, 3667, 3921, 4162, 5628, 6003, 6674. T. C. R. 114,298. A.R. 81. A. E. 102, 815.

Let us now consider some illustrations of this law in respect to the use of proper names in the Word. The name of the Lord occurring in a given series is, as we have said, of the first importance in any attempt to discover the spiritual sense of any portion of the Word. In numbers quoted above (as L. 22, and A. C. 2921), attention is called to the fact that the Lord is called by different names in different parts of, the Word, and "always according to the subject treated of" in the internal sense. Let us take, for instance, a designation of the Lord that is of frequent occurrence in the New Testament, namely, the Son of Man. In The Doctrine of the Lord, number 19, we are told that "the Lord as to the Divine Human, is called the Son of God; and as to the Word, the Son of Man." Thus whenever the expression Son of Man occurs, we can know at once that the subject of the series in the internal sense is the Word or the Divine Truth and its operation; and we learn also that when this name of God is mentioned, not only is the Lord as the Word signified, but other qualities of the Divine Truth in its operation are involved, such as the advent, judgment, redemption, regeneration, and salvation (L. 23 et al.).

Let us take as an example the first chapter of Revelation. The Lord is seen by John as the Son of Man, The reason for this is because the book of Revelation treats throughout of the Second Coming of the Lord, or the appearing of the Lord as the Word, or Divine Truth, to execute judgment and to establish a New Church. Thus the Lord appears at once at the opening of the book, and is described as the Son of Man, since what is meant by the Son of Man is the leading idea of the series from the first chapter to the last, and with this idea in mind the student is ready for an intelligent study of the Apocalypse. The first thing to do, therefore, when a name of the Lord appears in any chapter or group that has been selected for examination and study, is to find its signification in the Writings, and all the particulars of the chapter will take their place under the leading idea or truth of the chapter as indicated in the name.

We should not, however, confine ourselves strictly to the name of the Lord mentioned in a chapter, but take note of the idea or attribute of Him as exhibited in the context. The idea or attribute of the Lord in any series is often indicated or expressed in the context of the literal sense itself; as in the first chapter of Genesis it is God the Creator; in the second chapter it is Jehovah God, as the one who plants the garden; in Exodus He appears as the Deliverer or Redeemer; in the New Testament as the Savior; and in the Apocalypse as the judge.

It is evident, therefore, from all that has been said, that to obtain the signification of the names of the Lord, and in addition to this the signification of the names of persons, and the names of places and things, is fundamental to a knowledge and understanding of the spiritual sense of the Word, or of any portion thereof, since they contain the great generals or universals of the Word.



8



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 9
CHAPTER VIII

THE NAMES OF PERSONS

THE NAME OF THE LEADING PERSON IN ANY BOOK OR CHAPTER REPRESENTS A UNIVERSAL OF THAT SERIES, BUT IS SUBORDINATE TO THAT WHICH IS REPRESENTED BY THE NAME OF THE LORD.

Next in importance to the name of the Lord is the name of the person who acts the leading part in the narration, to whom the Lord speaks or gives command, and who speaks and acts from the Lord; who obeys Him or acts in opposition to Him, and who thus represents the Lord or that which is opposite to the Lord. Prominent examples of this are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, Joshua, Saul, David, John, and others in the Old and New Testaments. When any one of these names occurs as the name of the leading person in a chapter or group of chapters, it is fundamental to the understanding of the series in the internal sense to find from the Writings what it is this person represents; 'for we are thereby introduced to a knowledge of that particular attribute, function, quality, or thing, from the Lord in heaven or in the church, which distinguishes the series, and which is there as representative of Him, and as reactant with Him or against Him, according to the nature of the thing or subject treated of. It is the universal of the series, though subordinate to that grand universal which is represented by the name of the Lord.

Now this name of a person may be used to signify some angelic function; some quality of the church on earth; some doctrine or heresy; some form. of worship; some spiritual quality, essence, or thing; some state of the church, or some truth from the Lord in heaven and the church, which is prominent in the series, and which is set forth, brought to view, or represented in the actions of the person who takes the leading part in the history or prophecy of any portion of the Word.

That the prominent names of the Word represent angelic functions, we have the following teaching:

"In the Word angels are mentioned by name, as Michael, Raphael, and others; they who do not know the internal sense of the Word believe that Michael or Raphael is one angel, who is the supreme amongst his associates; but by those names in the Word is not signified one angel but the angelic function itself, thus also the Divine of the Lord as to what is of the function." (A. C. 8192.) Thus in the inmost sense all proper names, when used in a good sense, are names of the Lord.

"By Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, are represented and signified the angels who were with the Lord when He was engaged in combat in His earliest childhood. These angels were of a quality like that of the goods and truths then with the Lord, from which they were named. No angel in heaven has any name, but their names are predicated of goods and truths; as Michael and other angels in the Word are never such angels, but are so named from their office. So here in respect to Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, but representatively." (A. C. 1705.) These three names were the names of persons who were associated with Abraham, but nevertheless they represent angelic functions; and since it is true of these names it is also true of other names mentioned in the Word.

"By the names of persons and places [in the Word] is signified something of the Lord, and thence something of heaven and the church from Him, or something opposite thereto." (L. 2.) As we have already indicated this something is a Divine truth reigning in a function in heaven and in the church, thus also in a chapter of the Word where the name is prominent and leading.

"The reason that the doctrine of the church from the Word is signified by a prophet, and the like by prophecy, is because the Word was written by prophets; and in heaven a person is regarded from that which belongs to his office and function. From it also every man, spirit, and angel there is named; and therefore when a prophet is mentioned, -since to write and teach the Word was his function, -the Word as to doctrine, or doctrine from the Word is meant. Hence it is that the Lord, as He is the Word itself, was called a prophet." (A. R. 8.)

"Functions therefore are what the heavenly societies principally correspond to, and this being the case, organic forms also are what they correspond to, for the one is indivisible and inseparable from the other, insomuch that whether we say function or organic form, by which and from which the function exists, it is the same thing. Hence it is that there is a correspondence with the organs, members, and viscera, because with the functions; wherefore when the function is produced the organ also is excited. This is the case also in all and each of the things that man does." (A. C. 4223.) A function can be nothing else than an organic form, as we see in the human body. The heavenly societies are thus not only the very organic forms themselves, but the origin of all other organic forms. The important point here is that names represent them.

"By those angels which are mentioned in the Word, as Michael and Raphael, administrations and functions are meant, and in general certain and determinate parts of the administration and function of all the angels; so here by Michael is meant that part of the angelic function that has been referred to above, namely, the defense of that part of doctrine from the Word that the Lord's Human is Divine, and that man must live a life of love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbor, in order that he may receive salvation from the Lord; consequently that part of the function is meant that fights against those who separate the Divine from the Human of the Lord, and who separate faith from a life of love and charity, and who profess charity with the lips but not in the life." (A. E. 735. See also A. C. 3667, 6003, 10216. H. H. 52. T. C. R. 114, 300. L. 22.)

A knowledge of the signification of the name of the person most prominent in the context of a chapter or chapters, introduces us to the function of a heavenly society, in which society there will be present and active from the Lord a reigning, love and a truth dominant from that love. This dominant truth will also be a leading universal of the chapter in which the name occurs, as the most prominent name in the context after the name of the Lord.


Now any name that would represent a function in heaven would also represent a corresponding function in the world or in the church on earth. For angelic functions do indeed appear in the church, and are represented in correspondential forms even in civil society or on the plane of natural uses. Hence we read that names signify churches, as follows:

"By the names which follow, as by Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methusaleh, Lamech, Noah, are signified so many churches, the first and principle of which was that which was called Man. Of these churches the principle character or distinction was perception, wherefore the differences of the churches of that time were especially the differences of perceptions." (A. C. 483.) Perception was the distinguishing characteristic of the Most Ancient Church, as it is of the societies of the celestial heaven; and hence the varieties in that church were varieties of perception, as indicated in the names mentioned in the foregoing number. Each variety was a church, and was represented by a name in the literal narrative of the fifth chapter of Genesis.

"By the names in this chapter [Gen. v], as was observed, are signified churches, or what is the same thing, doctrines; for the church exists and has its name from doctrine; thus by Noah is signified the Ancient Church, or the doctrine which remained from the Most Ancient Church." (A. C. 530.) As we shall see, the church is also a church from doctrine, and the doctrine which makes a church is thus represented by the names mentioned above.

Concerning this subject we read further that, "By the Divine Mercy of the Lord, it has been permitted me to converse with those who belonged to the Most Ancient Church, also with some who belonged to the succeeding churches, to the intent that I might know that by the names in the first chapters of Genesis are only meant churches; and also that I might know what was the character of the men who formed the churches at that time." (A. C. 1114. See also A. C.10282.)

As was said above, the church is a church from doctrine, since doctrine is what makes the church. A name therefore in the Word which represents a church, also represents the doctrine which makes that church. "For the church exists and has its name from doctrine." (A. C. 530.) Or a name may represent the opposite, that is, a false doctrine or heresy. Hence we read that, "All these names signify heresies which were derived from the first, which was called Cain; and whereas nothing is extant respecting them but the names, there is no need to say anything about them; yet something may be related from the derivations of the names, as what Irad signifies, which is, that it descends from a city, thus from the heresy called Enoch, and so in other cases," (A. C. 404.)


"From what has been said and shown in the foregoing chapter it appears that by the names are signified heresies and doctrines; hence it may appear also that by the names in this chapter are not signified persons but things, and in the present case, doctrines, or churches, which were preserved, however changed they might be, from the Most Ancient Church, until Noah." (A. C. 468.)

"That they should cast out demons in the name of the Lord derived its effect from this, that the name of the Lord, understood spiritually, means everything of doctrine out of the Word from the Lord, and that demons mean falsities, of every kind, and these are thus cast out, that is, taken away, by doctrine out of the Word from the Lord." (A. E. 706. See also A. C. 9283. A. R. 903. A. E. 714, 935, 1025.)

A name in any series will signify a function, a church, a doctrine, or a heresy; and since all worship is from doctrine, and according to it, by a name is also signified forms of worship, the quality of which will be according to the doctrine which constitutes it. Hence we read that "by Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Canaan, nothing else was nor is understood than abstractly the Ancient Church as to its worship; namely, by Shem is meant internal worship, by Japheth corresponding external worship, by Ham internal worship corrupted, by Canaan external worship separate from internal. Such persons never existed, but those kinds of worship were so named because all other different kinds or all specific differences might be reduced to those as fundamentals." (A. C. 1140.)

"Although these names were the names of the nations which constituted the Ancient Church, still in the universal sense, things are understood, viz., different kinds of worship." (A. C. 1143.)

"They who have been named hitherto were nations with whom the Ancient Church was, all which were called the sons of Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan, because by Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan, are signified different kinds of worship prevailing in the church. . . . The nations here named also originally had such worship, and were therefore called the sons of one of the sons of Noah; and for this reason also the several kinds of worship themselves are signified in the Word by the names of these nations." (A. C. 1238. See also A. C. 2724, 3443, 6674, 6887.)

A name also is the ultimate expression of the quality of the thing that is represented by it; as the quality of the function, of the church, of the doctrine, or of the worship, signified by the name. Hence "when it is said in the Word respecting any one, 'This shall be thy name,' it signifies the quality, or that such shall be his quality; and as the name signifies the quality of any person, it comprehends in one complex whatever is in him; for in heaven no attention is paid to the name of any one, but when any one is named, or when the term name is mentioned, there is presented the idea of the person's quality, or of all things which are his, are with him, and are in him; hence a name in the Word signifies quality. . . . In heaven one is distinguished from another solely from his quality, which in the literal sense is expressed by the name; as may also appear to any one from this, that when any person is named on earth, he is presented in the idea of another according to his quality, whereby he is known and distinguished from others; in the other life ideas remain, but names perish; and still more amongst the angels. Hence it is that name, in the internal sense, is the quality, or to know the quality." (A. C. 2009. See also A. C. 142, 479, 4197, 6887, 6888, 8624. A. R. 122, 165. T. C. R. 300. A. E. 148, 798. D. P. 230. That by name is also signified reputation, see A. C. 1308, 1419. That name signifies also the essence of a thing, see A. C. 144, 145, 1736, 1754.)

Moreover the Doctrine everywhere teaches that a name in the Word has essentially no respect to the person, named, but to the thing represented by him. Hence the angels do not in the least think of the name of any person mentioned in the Word, nor anything of the person himself, but of the thing, -which is a spiritual quality or state, -that is represented by the person named. So it is to be in the exposition of the Word in the New Church. We are not to regard the person named in the historical or prophetical relation, but we are to find what that spiritual thing is, that spiritual quality, that spiritual state, that spiritual truth, which is represented in the name and in the speech and actions of the person named. The Word thus from natural becomes spiritual, and the mind enters into the light in which the angels are. Hence we read that when "one is aware that names in the Word signify things . . . he can see many arcana in the Word." (A. E. 9. See also A. C. 339, 470, 1179, 1876, 1888, 2311, 3465, 3767, 4592, 50951 6674, 6804, 10329. As to what is meant by thing, see A. C. 801, 5225, 5948, 6040. That names signify states, see A. C. 1946, 1953, 3861, 4298, 4591, 6752; and that names signify truths, see A. C. 3422. A. E. 676. Note well that when a number of persons are named they do indeed signify various things, but only in one person. A. C. 5095.)

The names of persons, places, and things are therefore essential signs in the literal sense of that which is leading and universal in the spiritual sense, -though subordinate as we have said to the Divine universals represented in the names of the Lord. In the historical portions of the Word especially do these leading universals appear in the form of names; but such names are not lacking even in the Prophets, for in them the principal historical names are repeated continually; for instance, such names as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, David, Solomon. We have before us then the reason why it is said that "when it is said in the Word, what the name of any one is, as here that her name was Hagar, it signifies that the name involves something that should be attended to." (A. C. 1896.) It is plain, therefore, that unless the signification or representation of the leading person be "attended to," a knowledge of the spiritual sense of that portion of the Word we are studying will be halting and obscure.

We are afforded an illustration of the use of this general law in respect to the names of persons in the book of Daniel. The leading proper name in the book is Daniel, signifying God is my judge, which indicates the Divine function of judgment, and which becomes from the Divine a function in heaven and the church. That this function is by the Divine truth is evident from the last syllable of the name. We may expect to find therefore that the last judgment is the subject of the book of Daniel, involving what precedes the judgment and renders it necessary, what takes place in the judgment, and what follows after it, namely, the consummation of the church, the advent of the Lord, and the establishment by Him of a new heaven and a new church. There are many other signs in the book of Daniel that the last judgment is the subject treated of in this prophetical book; the most important of these is the fact alluded to above that the last syllable in the name Daniel is the name of the Lord used throughout the book, -El or Elohim, -and but seldom Jehovah. This is because judgment is performed by the Divine Truth which is represented by Elohim, and not by the Divine Good which is represented by Jehovah. It is needless to add, what every New Church student knows, that this is the teaching of the Writings concerning the book of Daniel. What is true of Daniel is true of every leading proper name in the Word, in a book or in a chapter; the signification of which, when it is found, will present to us the function of that book or chapter, a Divine and an angelic function, and at the same time will present the leading idea or doctrine that reigns in the function.

We have an illustration of this law in the use of the proper name Israel in the Word, especially in the book of Exodus. In this book the word Israel, or the phrase sons of Israel, is of very frequent occurrence. The book is a history of the sons of Israel in Egypt, and of their deliverance from Egyptian bond age. This is the general subject of the literal or historical sense, and contains the general subject of the spiritual sense; and hence when we know from the Writings what the representation of Israel is, we have before our minds the universal of the book as it is in respect to man and the church. The other universals must also be obtained, as represented by Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and others, together with the representation of the leading places mentioned; but noting first of all that in the early chapters the Lord is spoken of as God or Elohim, and then in chapters iii and iv as Jehovah the God of their fathers, who is now come to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians, noting which we obtain the great universal of the book of Exodus, and of the books which follow, Jehovah God coming into the world to perform His Divine work of Redemption. In fact we are told in Arcana Coelestia, number 7932 1/2 that this is the subject of the book of Exodus. The deliverance of the nation called Israel is the subject of the literal sense, and the spiritual deliverance of the church which is represented by Israel, is the subject of the spiritual sense. By this striking example, therefore, we are shown that when we know the signification of the names of the Lord, and of the names of the leading persons, together with the names of the places mentioned, we are furnished with the means of entering into the spiritual sense of any book or portion thereof in the Word. But let us illustrate by some further examples.

When we know the representation of John, we have before us the subject of the Apocalypse as a whole, or its second leading universal, namely, the establishment of the New Church, for the New Church is what John represents. The first or Divine universal is the appearing of the Lord in His Divine Human as the God of heaven and earth, which is signified in the opening words of the book, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." But as the Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Human is what establishes the church, the Lord afterward appears as the Son of Man, and as the Son of Man He is present -throughout the book of Revelation. When we know what Peter represents in Matthew xvi: 13-20, namely, faith from charity, we have before us the leading spiritual idea of that group of verses, and can comprehend the significance of the Lord's words to him, especially when He said, "Upon this rock I will build my church"; for Peter represents that upon which the church is founded. When we know that by Lazarus is represented the Gentiles, we know that the general subject of the internal sense of the eleventh chapter of John is the establishment of a new church with the Gentiles or with nations outside the church. But it is not necessary to multiply illustrations, for the same law is applicable in every case.

We have been speaking of the name of the leading person in a chapter or group, but we would not ignore the fact apparent everywhere, that there are other persons mentioned as associated with him or subordinate to him; so that it is seldom that one person is mentioned without relation to others. Now as the other persons mentioned bear a relation in the literal or historical sense to the leading person, so do the things which they represent in the spiritual sense bear a corresponding relation to each other. The leading person represents the universal of the series, and the other persons the generals and particulars contained in that universal. See this point fully illustrated in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 4345, 4346, 4352.

We would here call attention to the fact that under the general rule we are considering it will be necessary to include all titles of functions, or words involving persons, or names of persons, such as king, governor, priest; also persons considered collectively, as nation, people, tribe; and individually, as man, woman, brother, sister, son, father. Illustrations of this point may be found throughout the Word.

We shall take up in the two chapters following a further application of the use of proper names.



9



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 10
CHAPTER IX

THE PERSON SPEAKING

THE PERSON SPEAKING OR ACTING REPRESENTS THE LEADING AND AT THE SAME TIME THE ACTIVE PRINCIPLE OF THE SERIES.

In every chapter or portion of the Word there is always some one person prominent and leading, some one speaking or acting, or some one who speaks to another or acts upon another; or the person prominent and leading speaks about a third person or thing. For instance, it is the Lord who speaks or acts, or it is Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, or John; or these are spoken to or addressed. The Lord speaks to Moses, to David, to Solomon, to His twelve disciples, to Peter or John, to the multitude, or to the Pharisees. Moses speaks to Pharaoh or to the sons of Israel. Elijah speaks to the prophets of Baal or to Ahab, or John speaks to the seven churches. Or again the Lord speaks to Moses about the sons of Israel, Moses speaks to Pharaoh about the same, or Isaiah speaks to Hezekiah about Sennacherib. Or it may be that the person who is leading and prominent is acting, doing some deed, in some place; or he may be going from one place to another. These points may be seen illustrated with much variety in the Word everywhere.

The principle we are now considering is one that should be carefully attended to when a chapter of the Word is analyzed for the sake of finding its internal sense. For it is clear that in a written narration or treatise of any kind, -if we wish to come into a full understanding of its literal statement, -we must follow closely the words or deeds of the chief speaker or actor; for the spirit and purpose of him who writes will appear in such speech or action, -this is one of the modes of its appearance. The same thing is true of the Word in its literal sense, and the principles governing in the literal sense are a guide to the spiritual sense, since they correspond in the whole and in every part.

The person speaking or acting represents that which is leading or active in the spiritual sense, or that which inflows; and in the Writings, when the signification of what any one says or does is given, it is frequently said that it signifies the influx of this or that thing which is represented by the person who speaks or acts. We also read that by speaking is not only signified influx, but perception and its derivative thought. The speaker represents that influx or that perception, and the derivative thought is expressed in the words that be utters or the thing that he does. The chief object of the student is therefore to acquire a view of the leading or general truth which inflows from heaven or through heaven, from the Lord when the Word is read, revealing the perception which governs in the series. The rule under consideration is important as leading to this end.

The value of giving special attention to the person speaking or acting, to what he says or does, is that in him is embodied the activity of a ruling love, a love reigning in some angelic function, by which and in which is the Lord's presence in that function, and which is given form in the name of the leading actor or speaker in the historical or prophetic narration. It is plain that in every word and deed of a man, in everything that he speaks or acts from the will by the understanding, his ruling love is secretly or openly operative and dominant. It is the same with the Word of God, which is a Man. Some love from the Lord in heaven rules and operates in every chapter of the Word. This ruling love or its activity is represented in the name of the person speaking or acting. Every love from the Lord in heaven organizes a function or society, taking form in the use of that society, and in the letter of the Word taking form in a name. But where there is a love and a use there is also a principle, a truth, a perception, a thought, or a doctrine, by which the love exhibits its quality and is seen and known; therefore the person speaking or acting also represents a doctrine, the leading doctrine of the series. For a function, whether in the spiritual world or in the natural, involves power to act. A principle or truth going forth from a ruling love is indeed a living, acting, organizing power, looking to use. It is some universal truth taking form in function and organization; and what we wish to make clear is, that this thing of which we speak, this function, this organized form, this active organizing power, this universal truth, exists interiorly in every part of the Word, since it exists in heaven, appearing in the revelation of the spiritual sense as a truth, a doctrine, and in the literal sense as a proper name, especially the name of the person speaking or acting, whether it be the Lord or some one representing Him.

The person speaking or acting represents something intermediate between the Lord and the church, thus something in heaven or in an angelic function, by which and from which the Lord speaks to the church. If it is the Lord Himself speaking, it is the Divine in heaven, or the Divine Human in heaven, that speaks; or if it was before His coming it was an angel of heaven speaking from Him, which is essentially the same thing; for an angel speaking was the Human Divine before the Advent. But in the letter of the Word a still further mediation appears, a leader, a king, or a prophet, Moses, Joshua, David, or Isaiah speaks from the angel of the Lord or from the Human Divine in the heavens, and thus represents that Human or Angelic Divine. In each case it is something intermediate between the Lord and the church, something from the Lord in and by heaven, that speaks to the church on earth; and what is said is clothed in representatives and correspondences. In the Writings, however, there is not any such mediation, for in them the Lord speaks immediately to men in the world. See Heaven and Hell, number 1, and what is said of Abram the Hebrew in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 1701-1708; also concerning the Human Divine, Arcana Coelestia, numbers 2803, 3061, 3195, 5663, 6000, 6280, 6371. Heaven and Hell, number 101.

The subject of this chapter is, therefore, a continuation of the subject of the preceding chapter, in which we considered the signification and use of proper names in the Word; but as continued and set forth here, we wish to enforce the importance of the principle that the leading proper name is a sign in the literal sense of that which is active and dominant in the series of the spiritual sense, and which therefore should be especially noted in the study of any portion of the Word.

In such a study, however, we should observe not only the name of the person who speaks, whether it is the Lord or some person who represents Him, but also the name of the person spoken to, and the name or names of the persons or things about whom speech is made; as, when the Lord speaks to Moses about the sons of Israel, or to John about the seven churches. This branch of the present rule, when applied, will exhibit a trinity in every part of the Word, though with some variety in form and application; for the law of opposites will sometimes make its appearance, about which we shall speak elsewhere. We shall also speak more fully in another chapter of the trinity which should be seen and noted when the Word is studied for the sake of discovering its spiritual sense. This trinity is represented in the Gospels as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and in representation everywhere it appears as the Divine, the Divine Human, and the Divine Proceeding, or again as the Lord, heaven, and the church; for the mediate influx of the Lord is through heaven into the church. The Lord, or the person representing Him, is the active in the series, heaven is the intermediate, and the church is the reactive or the receptive. For example, in Exodus, it is the Lord speaking to Moses about the sons of Israel, and afterwards it is Moses representing the Lord speaking to Pharaoh about the same. In this series the Lord is the Divine above the heavens, Moses is the Divine in heaven, and Israel is the church on earth; or Moses speaking is the Divine, Pharaoh is the imaginary heaven, and Israel is the church as before. This trine appears in some manner everywhere and is indicated in the names that are used, but with some variety. In order to obtain a view of this trine it is sometimes necessary to examine several chapters together, as in the instance noted above in the chapters of Exodus. They should be examined as a whole in order to bring before the mind a view of the trinity as represented in the names Jehovah, Moses, and Israel. In fact the entire story of Exodus is contained in these three names, or in what they signify. See further on this subject of the three generals of proper names in the chapter, "The Trinity in the Word."

The importance of noting the person or persons addressed may be illustrated in any portion of the Word. Let us take for example the fifteenth chapter of Luke, in which occur the parables of the lost sheep, the lost piece of silver, and the prodigal son. If we obtain from the Writings the signification of the lost sheep, and of the lost piece of silver, and of the prodigal son, we shall have the general idea of each parable or each group of the chapter. But let us suppose that we are unable to find any explanation of them in the Writings, we might then have recourse to certain of the general principles of exposition, which we are endeavoring to set forth in this work. Several of the rules will apply to this chapter in Luke; for instance, the rule as to the first thing said. The chapter opens with the words, "Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him." The signification of publicans and sinners is given in the Writings, and when we note also that they came to hear Him, and find the signification of hear, we shall have a clue to the chapter as a whole; and we are able then to safely conclude that the signification of the lost sheep, the lost piece of silver, and the prodigal son, will each be but a variation of the leading idea of the first verse. In addition to this, if we observe that the Lord in the chapter is addressing the publicans and sinners, and the Pharisees and scribes, -who also appear on the scene as expressed in the second verse, -we shall then know that these classes of persons are all in view throughout the chapter as the reactive therein, the publicans and sinners as reacting with the Lord, and the scribes and Pharisees as reacting against Him. The signification of the scribes and Pharisees will bear directly upon what is meant by the ninety and nine, the friends and neighbors, and the elder son. But the law of opposites must also be noted.* The scribes and Pharisees, or the Jews, represent in a good sense the celestial church, but in an evil sense the opposite. With these rules applied as indicated, we shall be able to obtain a view of the spiritual sense of the chapter as a whole and in all its parts. This will be more especially the case when we also consider the persons or things about which the Lord is speaking.

* See the chapter, "The Opposite Sense."

The examination of this chapter of Luke brings into mind a fact of frequent occurrence in the Word, namely, a kind of preliminary statement or introduction previous to the words of the speaker. For instance, before the Lord begins to speak, we find the following words as introductory: "Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured saying, This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. Then He spake this parable unto them, saying." The three parables of the chapter then follow. It is plain that the use of an introduction is to give a general idea of what follows, and that the latter will present particulars involved in the general of the introduction. This is a principle in all writing, and we find it fully exemplified in the Sacred Scripture. The three parables in this chapter of Luke give therefore the particulars involved in the general of the first and second verses, as being introductory to the chapter. This general in the literal sense is concerning the publicans and sinners, and their willingness to hear the Lord's teaching, and concerning the attitude of the Pharisees towards them and towards the Lord Himself, which was hostile. But since what is general in the letter is universal in the spiritual sense, the publicans and sinners in this sense are the simple good everywhere in all time, who, even though as yet in evils of life, are affirmative to the teachings of Divine Revelation, and continually desire to know the truth; but the Pharisees are those who falsify and pervert the truths of religion for selfish and worldly ends, and who are in hatred of the good and of the Lord.

In the introductory words of any series, therefore, we have exhibited to us the perception of a universal, and in what follows is the thought from that perception, or the doctrine. This subject is set forth in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 2513- 2517, in explanation of the words, "And God came to Abimilech in a dream by night, and said to him." We find here introductory words, and then follow the words of him who speaks, who in this case is God. We are taught that by the words, And God came to Abimelech, is signified the perception of the Lord in His Human concerning the doctrine of faith; but since it was an obscure perception, it is said that He came by night. (See the chapter, "Time in the Word.") By the words And said unto him, is signified thought from that perception. This thought or doctrine is developed in the internal sense of the words which follow.

Let us take the fifth chapter of Matthew as another example. The following words occur, introductory to the Blessings, or to the Sermon on the Mount which occupies the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters: "And seeing the multitude, He went up into a mountain; and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him, and He opened His mouth and taught them, saying." Then follow the Blessings, opening with the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." The latter words are the first that were said by the Lord to His disciples on this occasion, but the former are the first words of the chapter. Both must be noted, and the internal sense of both beginnings be found, in order to obtain a view of the principle which reigns in the series of the Sermon on the Mount. On examination we find that by a mountain, and the Lord on a mountain, is signified the internal of the church in which the Lord is present; and since the internal church is what the Lord came into the world to establish, we have indicated to us in these introductory words, that the internal church and its establishment is the subject of the group of three chapters. The introduction also indicates another thing, namely, that the internal church is established by means of doctrine from the Word, for it is said that when the disciples were gathered around the Lord on the mountain, He opened His mouth and taught them. Teaching is doctrine. We have now obtained the universal of the series, but another step is necessary which is to find the signification of the first thing said by the Lord, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." By spirit is meant the understanding, and these first words indicate the state of understanding with those who are to receive the teaching of the Lord in His coming. By the poor in spirit are meant those who see and acknowledge that they know nothing of themselves, and that they know only when they are taught of the Lord. Without this acknowledgment no internal church can be established with men. Hence this is the leading idea of the Blessings, as being the first group in the Sermon on the Mount. In the opening words of the fifth chapter of Matthew, we have therefore presented to us a perception of the internal church and the mode of its establishment, namely, by doctrine from the Word; then follows, in what the Lord says to His, disciples, the development of the doctrine by which the establishment takes place.

Examples of this mode of procedure occur throughout the Word. There is nearly everywhere something said before the person speaks, which is introductory to what he is about to say, and which contains the universal of the series, or a perception of that universal; and in the first words of the speaker we find the leading thought, indicating the mode by which the universal truth perceived is carried into effect. A student of the Sacred Scripture, therefore, desiring to find its internal sense, and knowing that it is not surely found without the discovery of the leading principle or doctrine of the series, will pay especial heed to the first words of a speaker, as well as to those words which introduce his first words. If what is discovered in this way be confirmed by the application of certain of the other rules of exposition, the student may feel confident that he has been led safely to the discovery of the reigning principle of the series of the internal sense, without which he has no sure guide in unfolding the particulars of the chapter before him.

In all study of the Word, therefore, it will be found profitable to take note of the trinity in the Word which we have herein indicated: that is, to find what is represented by the person who speaks and takes the leading part in the chapter; and then to find the representation of the person or persons to whom he speaks; and finally to find the representation or signification of the persons or things about whom or about which there is speech. It will readily be seen that this embraces in general all things of the chapter.



10



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 11
CHAPTER X

PLACE AND THE NAMES OF PLACES

THE PLACE WHERE AN EVENT OCCURS REPRESENTS THE DIVINE OF THE LORD IN THE, NATURAL OR IN THE CHURCH WITH MEN.

In the chapters immediately preceding we have spoken of the fact that there are in general three classes of proper names in the Word, the names of the Lord, the names of persons, and the names of places; and we have considered the first and second of these classes of names. It is now in order to bring into view the third or final class, the names of the places where the events occur as related in the Scripture story, or in the prophetical narration. Let us note at once that if a place is not mentioned by name, there is usually some term that involves place, such as heaven, earth, land, sea, wilderness, mountain, valley, plain, river, forest, east, and west.

We would also repeat here what has been said be fore in respect to proper names in general, that the name of the Lord represents the Divine above the heavens, the name of the chief person the Divine in the heavens, and the name of the leading place the Divine in the church or in the natural where the church is. Concerning the threefold Divine thus represented we are taught that "with the Divine in the Word the case is this: the Divine itself is in the supreme sense of the Word, because the Lord is there; the Divine is also in the internal sense, because there is the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, hence that sense is called celestial and spiritual; the Divine is also in the literal sense of the Word, because there is the Lord's kingdom on the earth, hence that sense is called external and also natural, for the gross appearances there are more remote from the Divine." (A. C. 3439.) This is the Divine Trinity of the Word, and that Trinity appears even in its literal formation and arrangement; for everything universal in the Word ultimates itself in some form or manner in the letter thereof; one of these forms is now before us, as represented in the three classes of proper names, See further on this subject in the chapter, "The Trinity in the Word."

We must, however, be prepared for variations from this and other rules, since what are called exceptions are likely to occur, the general law or principle remaining the same. A variation from a given rule, or what is called an exception, is but an appearance, and a close examination will show that the law still holds. Me exception or variation arises from the operation of some other law, and produces thus the appearance of variation, since no one form or force can approach or act upon another without modifying it.

Now in respect to place we find mention in the Word everywhere of the place where the speaker is, or where a thing is done. The speaker is present, or an event is described as taking place, in a certain land, region, or city; he is perhaps on a mountain, in a desert, by a river, fountain, well, or on the sea; he is in a tent or a house, or on a ship. The Lord is in Galilee, Samaria, or Judaea; He is in Jerusalem or beyond the Jordan, or as a child He is taken down into Egypt; He is in the wilderness; He is sitting on a mountain teaching His disciples; He is with them on the sea in the midst of a storm; or He is on a ship teaching the multitude on the shore. John is on the Isle of Patmos; Daniel is in Babylon; Moses is in Midian; the Israelites are in Egypt, in the wilderness, in Moab, or in the land of Canaan. John the Baptist is preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, or is baptising in the Jordan; he does not preach nor baptize in Jerusalem; he does not proclaim his mission on a mountain or by the sea. The same thing is true of all those who are mentioned in the Word; what they say and do is said and done in a certain place, nor could it be said or done in any other place, and this for a spiritual reason, as we shall now see.

It must be evident at once that a given place mentioned has a significant bearing on the spiritual sense of the series; and hence that the spiritual sense is not completely before us until we shall have found the signification of the place where the thing is said or done. These significations of places are usually given in the Writings, but not in every case; for there are some words and some names whose significations are not directly revealed. We can, however, be confident that what is not given directly in the way of explanation, can be obtained indirectly by means of the principles of exposition, which we have collated from the Writings in this work.

The teaching is clear and direct about the importance of the signification of the names of places in the Word, as may be seen from the following passages:

We are told that on account of the representation of places in the land of Canaan where the Ancient Church was, places which are mentioned in the Ancient Word, "Abram was commanded to go to that land, and his posterity from Jacob were introduced into it." (S. S. 102.) We read further, "That it is said, that the Church will be resuscitated where a former church had been, is because the Lord's church from the most ancient times had been there [that is, in the land of Canaan.] Hence also it was that Abraham was ordered to go thither, and also that the posterity of Jacob were introduced thither; and this not because that land was more holy than other lands, but because from the most ancient times all the places there, as well provinces as cities, and also mountains and rivers, were representative of such things as are of the Lord's kingdom, and the names themselves, which were given them, involved such things; for every name which is given from heaven to any place, and also to any person, involves what is celestial and spiritual; and when it is given from heaven it is then perceived there; and the most ancient church which was celestial and had communication with heaven, was the church which gave the names. The reason, therefore, why the church was again to be established there was because the Word was to be given, in which all and single things were to be representative and significative of things spiritual and celestial, and thus the Word might be understood in heaven as well as on earth, which could not in any wise have been the case unless the names of places and of persons were also significative. Hence it is that the posterity of Jacob were introduced thither, and hence prophets were there raised up by whom the Word was written, and on this account also the representative of a church was instituted among the posterity of Jacob. Hence it is evident why it is said that a church was to be resuscitated where a former church had been." (A. C. 6516.)

We also read that "inasmuch as by Philistia was signified the science of the interior truths of faith, and by Abraham and Isaac was represented the Lord, and by their sojourning, the instruction of the Lord in the truths and goods of faith and love, which are of Divine wisdom, therefore for the sake of that signification Abraham was commanded to sojourn in Philistia, and also Isaac." (A. C. 9340.) For the same reason it was necessary that David should dwell for a time in Hebron, because "Hebron represented the Lord's spiritual church; therefore David was commanded to go there to be anointed king; and he afterward reigned in Hebron seven years and six months." (A. C. 2909.) It was necessary also that John should go to the Isle of Patmos in order that the things that were to take place in the end of the church might be there represented, because an island, especially an island between Asia and Greece,, signified the nations about to receive the truths of doctrine revealed by the Lord for the use of the Christian Church.

In fact all persons mentioned in the Word, and all by whom the Word was written, were, led to places that were significant of the things they were about to speak or do, in order that they might represent anew the same things that the places represented, and had represented from the time of the Ancient Church. This was true even of the Lord Himself when He was in the world. It was for this reason that He was born in Bethlehem, and not in some other place; and for this reason that He was born in a stable and not in an inn; for He might have been born in a king's palace, if He had so chosen, but for the sake of the representation it was necessary that a stable should be the place of His birth. He was also, when a child, taken into Egypt, and not to Assyria, or Arabia, or Greece, because of the states to be represented, into which He was to enter, and which were to be represented in Him. For the same reason Abraham and Joseph and Jacob went down into Egypt, and not to some other place (See A. E. 50 in full, also A. C. 4298, 4310, 10559).

In further illustration of the importance of noting the signification of places in general, we read that "the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days"; and that "to the woman were given the wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (Rev. xii: 6, 14.) The subject of the chapter in which these two verses occur is the state of the New Church in its beginning, when it is as yet natural and confined to a few, and its protection by the Lord at that time, or while from natural it is becoming spiritual, and thus is being prepared for its future increase among many; this early or first state of the church is represented by a wilderness; hence the place to which the woman fled is a wilderness, not a cultivated field, nor a forest of noble trees, nor a garden or paradise, but a wild desert place. This early state of the church could not be represented by any other place' The wanderings of the children of Israel in the wilderness, after their departure from Egypt had a similar representation, nor can the spiritual history, signified by the long journey of the Israelites previous to their entrance into the land of Canaan, be understood unless the signification of a wilderness be kept in mind; for in this place where they were for so long a time, was represented the state in which every spiritual church is, in its beginning (A. C. 7313. A. E. 731).

In contrast with this wilderness state, the Most Ancient Church is called the garden of God, and also the garden of Eden, the very opposite of a wilderness. It is not said of this garden that it was in Egypt, or in Assyria, or in Babylon; but it was eastward in Eden, and the reason is found in the signification of the east, and of the name Eden; and that it could not be elsewhere than in the east and in Eden we see when we find what the east and what Eden signify, namely, the celestial intelligence of the people of the Most Ancient Church. It is not the intelligence of the people of the Ancient Church, nor of those of the Jewish Church, nor of the Christian Church, nor of those of the New Church in its beginning, that was represented, but that of the people of the Most Ancient Church. Hence a beautiful garden or paradise, such as are seen in heaven, is chosen to represent the most perfect state of intelligence that has yet existed with the human race. A grove, a field, a forest, or a wilderness could not represent this most perfect state.

It may be well to repeat here that in any given chapter there are for the most part a number of proper names, but all are subordinate to that which is leading, or to the name of the person who acts the leading part; and thus the principles which these subordinate proper names represent, are also subordinate to the leading principle of doctrine which is active in the chapter in its internal sense, and which is represented by the leading person. Sometimes there are also subordinate proper names that have relation to the place mentioned, where the event occurs, as well as to the person who plays the leading part. All these points should be noted, however trifling they may appear at first glance. For there is nothing in the literal sense of the Word that is trivial. Each thing there is significant; and, as we have already shown, those things in the letter that are representative of general truths should receive special attention in any attempt to analyze a chapter in the Word if we would enter into the internal sense according to order. One of these generals of representation is the name of the place where the events take place as related in the Scripture narrative.

The question may arise why it is that place represents the natural, and that any particular place represents something in the natural. One reason has been indicated, namely, that a place is the third term in the trinity of names in the Word-the first being the name of the Lord, or the Divine above the heavens; the second being the name of the person, or the Divine in the heavens; and the third being the name of the place, or the Divine in the natural or in the church. We now present another reason, which is, that places pertain to space, and space is in the natural degree, for all objects seen are in space, and thus in the sensual natural. A person represents what is more interior, more living, more universal, and thus more removed from space. The Lord or the names of the Lord represent life itself, thus what is most universal, and what is most completely removed from the idea of place or space. What is true of space is also true of time. See the chapter, "Time in the Word."

Let us now introduce some further illustrations exhibiting the use of knowing the signification of the places where the events occur as recorded in the sacred text. Take for an example the story of Abraham. He is always in some place and the place is mentioned by name. He is at first in Ur of the Chaldees, then he is in Haran, and from Haran he goes to the land of Canaan. In that land he proceeds from place to place, sojourning in each for a time-first in Shechem, then in the oak grove of Moreh, and successively he is in Bethel, Ai, the south, and finally he is out of the land of Canaan in Egypt. After a sojourn in Egypt he is again in. the land of Canaan at the south, and from there be returns to Bethel and Ai, and so on to the end of his career. The place is always mentioned, and in Arcana Coelestia the signification of each place is given, and it is different from the signification of every other place. In fact, as we have already learned, he, as well as all the other persons mentioned in the Word, is led to each place because of its signification, and the representation of Abraham is changed or adapted to the signification of the place in which he is, all of which shows how necessary it is to know the signification of each place in which he sojourns.

Or let us take the story of Moses and the children of Israel. Moses first appears as an infant concealed in an ark or little boat in the river Nile. Then he is in Pharaoh's palace as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He is afterwards in Midian. He returns again from Midian to the land of Egypt, and is with the children of Israel as their leader in all their wanderings in the wilderness. With the children of Israel be passes from place to place in the desert until they reach the land of Moab on the banks of the Jordan, each place in turn being given a name, and each name having a special signification, which it is necessary to know in order to understand the internal sense of each stage in the journey. It is the same throughout the Old Testament and also in the New. The place where the leading person is, and the place where the events occur as connected with him, have a separate and distinct signification in the internal sense, without a knowledge of which we shall as it were grope in the dark and our knowledge of the meaning will be one-sided, limited, and narrow.

In the Apocalypse, for a further example, why are the seven churches spoken of in the first chapter as being in Asia, when the church signified by them was not established in Asia but in Europe? (See A. R. 11, 40. A. E. 21). Why is the woman represented as being in a wilderness and not in a cultivated field? Why is the Roman Catholic Church pictured as Babylon, when it was never in Babylon, but was in Rome? Why is the New Church called Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem? and so in numberless instances throughout the Word. In the historical sense places are mentioned where events occur, and in the prophetical Word places are mentioned where the recorded events do not occur. It is all on account of the spiritual significance of the several places; and these significations must be obtained, if we would enter with knowledge and understanding into the stream of the internal sense in any given portion of the Word.

It would seem then, that we have in this principle of interpretation a guide to the student of the internal sense of the Word, as an aid in acquiring a broad and comprehensive view of that sense. We therefore conclude that the name of the Lord in any passage, the name of the leading person therein, and the name of the chief place mentioned, are among the most valuable signs placed in the literal sense of the Word, pointing and leading to the generals of the internal sense.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 12
CHAPTER XI

TIME IN THE WORD

THE TIME WHEN AN EVENT OCCURS, OR ANY MENTION OF TIME, AFFORDS AN IMPORTANT INDICATION OF THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF ANY PASSAGE IN THE WORD.

The subject of time is one that follows naturally after that of place; for time and place or space are two things that are associated together, and this not only in a physical but also in a spiritual idea. Hence as spaces are, so are times; for progressions through spaces are also progressions through times." (A. E. 1219); and time also has relation to truth, and space or place to good (A. C. 8325). Let us now therefore enter into the consideration of time, in order that we may see its bearing upon the understanding of any portion of the Word in searching for the spiritual sense thereof.

We find frequent mention in the Scripture of the time, period, or duration of an event; as, the day and the time of day, -the dawn, morning, noon, evening, night, and midnight; as, the year and the time of year, -the week, the month, spring, summer, autumn, and winter; the ages of certain persons are given and perhaps the time of their birth and death (A. C. 4901). These or other allusions to time are in all parts of the Word, and they are there as sign-posts pointing to certain general states in the spiritual sense, which are related to the subject treated of in the series. It is necessary to know what these states are in order to obtain a broad and comprehensive view of that sense; and as states are everywhere treated of in the internal sense, there is seldom a chapter where there is not some such reference to time. In fact, since the Word in its literal sense is in time, there must be something of time, or some suggestion of time, in all parts of it, even where no direct mention of time is made. Hence if there is no direct reference to time in any given passage, and none in the passage that goes before or in the one that follows after, it will at least be found as involved or understood in what is said. Thus there is hardly a verse that may not in some way be brought under an idea of time.

Let us take for example the first verse of the fifth chapter of Matthew, where it is said, "And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain; and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him." In connection with this verse there are three references to time, although there is no direct mention of any particular time; first, in what is said in the previous chapter, "From that time began Jesus to preach." (Matt. iv: 17.) This follows the verse where it is said, "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." These words refer to the light of day, or state of enlightenment, which will be given when the Lord comes into the world. Thus the event mentioned in Matthew v: 1, took place at the time when "Jesus began to preach." The second reference to time is found in the use of the word seeing, since sight is in the light of day. The third is found in the word when, -"and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him." This also refers in general to the advent of the Lord, at which time He will teach or give light to His disciples, and to all who are signified by them. For the time when, used in respect to the Lord, can refer to nothing else than His advent.

Time, as we have said, is involved in all progress from place to place, as when one is on a journey. It is also involved in all progression from one thing to another, as when a man builds a house. If a chapter in the Word should describe the building of a house, the time or progression of time, occupied in the building is present as understood; and the thing spiritually signified by time is present in the spiritual sense. Let us take for an example the phrase, "Jacob went down into Egypt." The time or number of days of his journey may not be expressed, still it is there, and has a value looking to the spiritual sense in the idea of progression from state to state. We may assume also that his journey was in the light of day, and not in the darkness of the night.

Time is thus involved in walking, running, marching, dancing, leaping; in fact in all rhythmical, successive, or progressive motion, in all motion through space; in all expansion and contraction, or oscillation in nature;* as well as in all poetry and music. Since progression carries the idea of time, -progression from place to place, from thing to thing, or from state to state, -we can see that it is never absent in the Word. It becomes therefore a universal of interpretation. It may be remarked that the motion of the earth in its annual journey around the sun, and its daily revolution on its own axis, is the natural origin of what we call time. Hence all motion has relation to time and is in time.**

* Those interested in this phase of the subject would do well to read Swedenborg's remarks on oscillation in The Animal Kingdom, in the chapter on the Lungs, and elsewhere.

** Time in its relation to space has already been referred to in this chapter, and we have also made some remarks on it in the chapter on "Place and the Names of Places."

The spiritual origin of time is in the spiritual states of which we have spoken, and the mention of time in the letter of the Word points to this its spiritual origin, to the spiritual state in which the angels are, who have passed beyond the region of time with the death of the body. But there is still a connection and a relation, the connection and relation by correspondence of the natural effect with its own spiritual cause. It is thus that in the spiritual sense the idea of time disappears, and there remains instead thereof the idea of the state which is signified by the time mentioned. For the spiritual sense of the Word is above the sphere of nature where time is, as are all things of the spiritual world, which is the reason that there is in the thought of the angels no idea of time, but of that which is the origin of all times, seasons, or periods.*

* There are three things in general that perish from the letter of the Word, when entrance is made into the internal sense, time, space, and person (A. C. 5253).

Time and space have their origin in nature, and the literal sense of the Word, being in the same sphere, is pervaded with the idea of both time and space. Time appears there not only in the particular divisions of the day, the month, and the year, but in the most general divisions of past, present, and future. But as there is no time with the Lord, none in heaven, thus none in the spiritual sense of the Word, the past and the future and all expressions of time, are mere appearances, and hence do not pass into the internal sense, as has been shown (A. C. 618, 1382, S. D. 3973). The general division of time into past, present, and future, is merely referred to here in order to show that the idea of time as well as of space is everywhere in the letter of the Word, and that we are justified in regarding it as a principle of interpretation, or as one of the general guides in the letter of the Word leading to the internal sense.

When we read in the Writings, not only concerning states, but also concerning periods, we see reasons for making use of this rule in respect to time in any effort to analyze the literal sense of the Word, as for instance in the following: "A whole period is designated in the Word by a day, a week, a month, or a year; even if it were one of a hundred or a thousand years; like the days in Genesis 1, by which are signified the periods of the regeneration of the man of the Most Ancient Church." (A. C. 893, 2044.) Again, "The reason why a week, as are all times in particular, is a state and also a period, is because all states have also their periods, that is, their beginning, successive, progress and end; but these are not perceived as times in the other life, but as states and their revolutions." (A. C. 3845.)

A period is defined as "a stated and recurring interval of time; more generally an interval of time specified or left indefinite." It is clear therefore that a period is a general of time, and that the mention in the Word of a day, a week, a month, or a year, signifies in a wide natural sense an interval or a period of time of indefinite length. These terms, however, such as day, week, month, year, signify not only generals of time, or periods, but also generals of state; hence it is eminently proper that we should regard an expression of time as one of the keys to the truth of any series of the internal sense; especially when we realize that the internal sense is entered by means of the generals of the letter.

Let us illustrate by some examples. When we are told that "the Lord appeared unto Isaac in that night and said," (Gen. xxvi: 24) we learn that by these words is signified that in the church for a long period of time, in its state of consummation, there was obscure perception (A. C. 3438). It is plain that a most important qualification occurs in the use of the phrase, "in that night"; for night is not only a single night and a condition of obscure vision, but it represents an entire period. "In that day" also signifies the period or state that existed at the time of the coming of the Lord, since the phrase "in that day" always has this signification (L. 4). Now since the words "The Lord appeared . . . and said" signify perception, which is the essential coming of the Lord, we can see what an important modification occurs when the phrase "in that - night" is added; a modification, not only in the .sense of the above words, but in the group of verses which follow. There is thus exhibited a general of the series which it is important to know, in the hint which is given us in the mention of the time of the appearing of the Lord to Isaac.

The same thing is illustrated in the words of the Lord to His disciples, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day." (Matt. xxiv: 20.) The reference here is not so much to a defect of perception, illustration, and faith, as to a dearth of charity and love, in the end of, the church; and the words exhibit this as a leading idea of the series, as well as the prevailing state in the consummation of the church. The few in whom there are still some remains of innocence and charity, are informed that they cannot leave the old and enter the new except by the removal of those things that are signified by winter and the Sabbath day, -a state opposed to charity, and a state of external sanctity in which there is the heat of self-love.

Any one who has studied the Apocalypse will have noticed the mention of time as one of the remarkable features of that work. Let us quote some passages from it, in order that we may see more fully illustrated the importance and value that is attached to the idea of time in the Sacred Scripture, because time is significative in each case of a leading general of the spiritual sense.

We call attention first to certain passages where the word time itself is used. In Revelation i: 3, we have these words, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand." This is the closing verse of the introduction to the Apocalypse, and it speaks of those who read, hear, and keep "this prophecy," that is, of those who receive and live according to the doctrine of the New Church when it is revealed to them. It is then added that "the time is at hand." It is a common thing in Scripture to use the word time, day, or year in reference to the period of the coming of the Lord, and to the state which renders His coming necessary. So it is in the verse we are considering. The time which is at hand is here the period of the Lord's second coming, at which time the church is in such a state as to render His coming necessary to save men. But they will be blessed, that is saved, who receive the doctrine then revealed, and obey it in their life. This verse is fully explained in the Writings, but supposing it were not directly explained, it would be necessary to find the signification of prophecy, the general of the verse, and the signification of the subordinate generals read, hear, and keep. On finding that these words involve the revelation of doctrine and the reception of it, we then turn to the word time, the spiritual sense of which, as we shall discover, relates to the coming of the Lord, and to the state of the church which makes His coming, and the revelation of doctrine which He then effects, a necessity. We might know from the signification of the word prophecy that the coming of the Lord is meant, but as there is no reference to the state of the church in the first long sentence of the verse, the words are added, "For the time is at hand." It is because of this state that the coming is effected. For, because, the time is at hand, that is, because the state is such that no one could be saved, unless new doctrine were revealed.

Similar or related is the signification of the word time in the following passages:

"The angel . . . sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever . . . that there should be time no longer." (Rev. x: 6.) Here the word time indicates a general period in which a certain state prevailed, but which now ceases to exist, namely, a state in which there was some understanding of the Word, but that now or at the end of the church this is no more. This last state is called the "time of the dead" in Revelation xi:18. The same also is signified where it is said that "the time is conic for thee to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." (Rev. xiv: 15.) Again we have these words in Revelation xii: 14: "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." These words refer to that early period of the New Church, a period of temptation, while it is slowly increasing from a few to many. The use of the word time here also shows that the combat during this period is a combat for or against the truth of the church, and the wilderness as the place of the woman's abode indicates that the period is one of temptation, especially when the idea of persecution by the dragon is added. The same in general is signified by these words, verse 6; "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days." Day has a signification like that of time. But for a full explanation of these two verses, see The Apocalypse Revealed, numbers 546, 547, 561, 562, and The Apocalypse Explained, numbers 729-732, 759-761.

Day has a similar signification in the following verses: "For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand." (Rev. vi: 17.) "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." (Rev. viii: 12.) "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (Rev. xi: 3.) "And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them." (Rev. xi: 11.) "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Rev. xvi: 14.) See the explanation of these verses in the two works referred to above. See also in the same what is signified by month in Revelation ix: 5, 10, 15; xi: 2. xiii: 5. Also what is signified by a thousand years, repeated six times, in Revelation xx: 2-7.

In the prophets throughout, or whenever prophecy occurs, -as in Genesis, iii: 15; xlix; Numbers, xxiv: 17; Deuteronomy, xviii: 15; and elsewhere, -the time of the coming of the Lord is understood even if it is not mentioned, and signifies the state which then existed, rendering the coming necessary; in fact time is frequently referred to in such phrases as in that day' in those days, at that time. This general idea of time is involved even in the historical portions of the Word, since everything in those portions looks to the coming of the Lord, as, for instance, when Abraham is mentioned, or Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, or Moses. It will thus be seen that some general idea of time is always understood, even where there is no particular mention of any portion of time; and this when examined will be found to have an important bearing on the spiritual sense, as revealing the state of the church in the period indicated.

We are therefore safe in concluding that the mention of time, or any portion of time, in the Word, affords an essential indication pointing to the spiritual sense of any chapter under consideration, modifying and qualifying the leading truth thereof.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 13
CHAPTER XII

NUMBERS IN THE WORD

A NUMBER USED IN ANY PASSAGE IN THE WORD PRESENTS AN ESSENTIAL MODIFICATION OF THE LEADING IDEA OF THE SPIRITUAL SENSE.

Since numbers are of frequent use in the literal sense of the Word, and since much is said in the Writings of their importance and signification, it clearly follows that when a number occurs in a chapter, paragraph, or verse, it is placed there as a sign of something in the spiritual sense necessary to be known before We are ready to enter fully into the interior things of Divine wisdom. In fact we read that "he who does not know the signification of numbers in the Word . . . cannot know many of the arcana which are contained therein." (A. R. 10.)

Concerning the importance in general of the numbers mentioned in Scripture, we have much teaching in the Writings, of which the following passage is a further example: "That by days and years are signified times and states, needs no further explication; it is only to be mentioned that in the world there must needs be times and measures, -to which numbers are applicable, -because they are in the ultimates of nature; but whenever they are applied in the Word, by numbers of days and years, and also by numbers of measures, there is signified something abstracted from times and measures, according to the signification of the numbers; as that there are six days of labor, and that the seventh day is holy; . . . that the jubilee should be proclaimed every forty-ninth year, and celebrated on the fiftieth; that the tribes of Israel were twelve, and the apostles of the Lord the same; that there were seventy elders, and as many disciples of the Lord; and many other cases where the numbers signify something peculiar, abstracted from the things to which they are applied; and in such abstracted sense, states are what are signified by numbers." (A. C. 493. See also A. C. 900, 2252, 5265, 6175.) The things of time and space, and that are in time and space, are the things that are numbered; for God Himself or the Infinite is one, and thus is not divided into parts that can be numbered; and the spiritual sense of the Word partakes more of this quality of the Infinite than do the things which are of nature. Hence the spiritual sense cannot be parted, divided, and numbered as the things of time and space. Number therefore appears with natural creation or when time and space come into existence. These two, time and space, being the two universals of nature, are also universal in the literal sense of the Word, which takes its form from nature. Now since the spiritual sense is not divided into mechanical or material parts, as nature is, what appears as number in nature appears as quality and state in the realm of spirit; and thus the teaching is that time and space or place, and the things related thereto, correspond to states in the spiritual world. It is from this ground that numbers in the Word signify states.

But the teachings on the importance of number are so numerous and so well known,, that it does not appear necessary to quote further. The great use and value of numbers in the Word being therefore taken for granted, we feel justified in concluding that a knowledge of the spiritual law of number has an essential place among the principles of exposition; and that when a number occupies a prominent position in a chapter or paragraph, and is also of frequent occurrence in a book of the Word, -as the number seven in the Apocalypse, -it is important to discover what it signifies, since it evidently stands there as one of the doors of entrance to the spiritual sense, a door that is open when we know the signification of the number.

In the teaching of the Writings concerning numbers and their signification we find in general three things that bear upon an understanding of the subject: first, that they indicate in each case a general truth of the series; second, that they signify a quality or state connected with the leading subject; third, that they are like an adjunct or adjective, adding some quality to the thing treated of. It will, however, become clear as we proceed, that these three are essentially one.

The first proposition is, that a number occurring in the Word, especially the leading number in a series, indicates some general truth which it is necessary to know, in order to understand the spiritual sense of any passage where the number appears. This is taught as follows: "Numbers involve generals and words particulars; and since one general involves innumerable particulars, numerical writing involves more arcana than literal." (H. H. 263.) The generals which numbers involve are general truths in any given passage, and the words used are the particular truths contained in the general. For instance, the number forty in Matthew iv: 1-11 involves and expresses a general truth concerning the glorification of the Lord's Human, which is that during this period He was in a state of humiliation or temptation. This is in fact actually stated, for it is said that He was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The number forty is used here as elsewhere to indicate the general truth that the subject or state treated of is one that is attended with temptations. The words used give expression to the innumerable particulars involved in the description. (See also A. E. 1063.)

It is clear therefore that we should give attention to a number used in any passage, since its signification will bring to view a leading general truth of the spiritual sense; and, as we are taught, it is through generals, and only through them, that there is a proper entrance into the particulars of the Word. There is always a leading general truth in every chapter, but there are also subordinate generals which it is necessary to know. There are various signs indicating the presence of these subordinate generals, one of which is the leading number used.

This leads us to the second proposition, that numbers signify a quality or state connected with the leading thing, principle, or doctrine, which is the subject of the chapter or paragraph 'where the number is found. That a number signifies the quality of a thing we have the following teaching: "Numbers in the Word signify the quality of the things with which they are coupled." (A. R. 738.) "By a number is signified the quality of a thing or of a state." (A. R. 448.) "Number signifies the quality of the thing treated of. . . . The quality itself is determined by the number expressed." (A. E. 429, 453.) "Number signifies the quality of the thing treated of, and that quality is determined by the number affixed." (A. E. 841.) "It must always be known that numbers in the Word signify the qualities of the things which are described." (A. E. 1063.) "The reason why to number in the spiritual sense signifies to know the quality, is because a number in the Word does not signify a number, but the quality of a thing. . . . Therefore by 'a great multitude which no one could number,' is meant in the natural sense, according to the words, that the multitude was vast; but in the spiritual sense that no one but the Lord alone knows their quality." (A. R. 364.)

It may be remarked that the term quality from the Latin qualis signifies the what of a thing, or that which exhibits what a thing is, and is thus nearly equivalent to form. It is that form which distinguishes a thing from other things. But a quality that is spiritual is not fully known unless there be allied to it the idea of state, and the two be seen together. It was said above that a number signifies a quality or state connected with the leading subject. In order to understand the relation of quality and state to each other, let us examine the following teaching: "The state of the life of man, is his quality; and because two faculties which make the life are in every man, which are called understanding and will, the state of the life of man is his quality as to understanding and will; thence it is manifest, that by changes of the state of life are meant changes of quality as to the things which are of the understanding, and as to the things which are of the will." (C. L. 184.) What is said in this passage of a man is also true of the Word, since the Word is the Lord who is a Man. In the Word are described the states of the Human of the Lord in the process of His glorification, and at the same time the states of man in the process of his regeneration. These states are continually changing, which as we read are "changes of the quality as to the things which are of the understanding and as to the things which are of the will." Whenever it is intended in the Word to call attention to these states or qualities, numbers for the most part are used.

The third proposition is, that a number in the Word is in its signification like an adjunct or adjective, adding some quality to the thing treated of. This proposition simply gives a wider or fuller view of the second, and is also in unity with the first. The teaching concerning this feature of the subject is as follows: "That all numbers signify the adjuncts of things, determining their quality or quantity, may be manifestly evident from the numbers in the Apocalypse, for unless they were significative, there would in many places be no sense in them. It may be seen from the things here said, that by the hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, and by the twelve thousand out of each tribe, is not meant that just so many were sealed and elected out of the tribes of Israel, but all who are in truths of doctrine from the good of love from the Lord. This is signified in general by the twelve tribes of Israel, and also by the Lord's twelve apostles; but in particular some truth from good by every tribe and by every apostle. But what is here signified by each tribe will be told in what follows. Since the twelve tribes signify all truths of doctrine from the good of love from the Lord, they therefore signify also all things of the church; on which account the twelve tribes of Israel represented the church, and the twelve apostles the same." (A. R. 348.) "Numbers signify things or rather they are like certain adjectives to substantives bringing or adding some quality to the things." (A. R. 10.) "Numbers are like adjectives connected with substantives or predicates adjoined to subjects." (A. R. 738.)

It will appear therefore that the number occurring in any passage does not usually signify the main thing, that which is prime and leading in the internal sense, but something which is adjoined or added to it. An adjunct is defined as "something joined or added to another thing, but not essentially a part of it"; and an adjective is "a word used with a noun or substantive to express a quality of the thing named." As it is with adjuncts and adjectives, so it is with numbers in the Word. They are signs of the active presence in the internal sense of those things which qualify what is prime and essential. For example, where the subject is the regeneration of the man of the church, as in the first chapter of Genesis, the number six is used to indicate that regeneration in its development and progress is attended with temptations. These are essential adjuncts to regeneration and are signified by the number six.

Numbers therefore represent the state and quality of the thing that is treated of in the series. Hence we read: That one hundred and forty-seven, the number of the years of the age of Jacob, contains the entire state of the thing represented by Jacob, and its quality (A. C. 6175). That when seven is used it signifies that the idea of holiness is to be added to the main subject as a, quality of it (A. C. 5265). That Moses being eighty years of age signifies the state and quality of the law from the Divine, which is represented by Moses; that this state is a state of temptation, the latter being signified by forty and its double eighty (A. C. 7284). That Aaron being eighty-three years of age signifies the state and quality of the doctrine of the church, which is represented by Aaron (A. C. 7285). That Esau being forty years old signifies that those represented by Esau are now in a state of temptation, for that which is represented by Esau is the leading idea of the series (A. C. 3469). It is similar wherever forty occurs, and so it is with other numbers; from which it is clear that a number is used in order to qualify the leading idea of the spiritual sense, even as an adjective is used to qualify a noun.

It is also well to remember that the number used, not only does not represent the leading truth of the internal sense of any given passage, but it represents that which is for the most part passing and temporary, a state that may change. The ruling love and its truth is permanent, but the states accompanying it are changed from time to time, such states as joy, grief, distress, temptation. These states are represented by numbers in the Word.

Now numbers in the ultimates of nature have respect to time and measure or space, but in the Word they signify things abstracted from time and space; as when it is said, "that there are six days of labor, and that the seventh day is holy; . . . that the jubilee should be proclaimed every forty-ninth year, and celebrated on the fiftieth; that the tribes of Israel were twelve, and the apostles of the Lord the same; that there were seventy elders, and as many disciples of the Lord." (A. C. 493.) These states are states of the church (A. C. 487), and are applied and adjoined to the leading subject of the spiritual sense, qualifying it.

In The Apocalypse Explained, number 336, we are taught that quantity corresponds to quality, "And the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, signifies the innumerable who are in truths and the innumerable who are in goods, may appear from the signification of number, that it is quantity and quality, quantity in the natural sense and quality in the spiritual sense, the number employed determining the quantity and quality." Hence when a number occurs treating of a certain quantity in the natural sense, in order to obtain the spiritual sense it is necessary to transfer the idea of quantity to that of quality. For instance, when it is said that the Israelites wandered forty years in the wilderness, -since the subject then treated of in the spiritual sense is regeneration, -we are not to think of the quantity or number of the years of the journey, but of the quality or state signified by the number used, which state is temptation; and it will be found, as was said above, that a state of temptation is always the state that is attendant on the leading subject when the number forty is used. This makes manifest the importance of the numbers mentioned in the Word.

Another point to be noted is that when several numbers occur together, as 300, 50, and 30 in Genesis vi :15 the number that dominates should be found, or the number that is their common factor. In explanation of the above passage we read that "the numbers or measures of the ark signify the remains which were with the man of this church when he was being reformed, and indeed that these remains were few; which may appear from this, that in those numbers [see above] the number five dominates, which in the Word signifies somewhat or a little." (A. C. 649.) That is, the number five, for the reasons given, determines the general spiritual sense of the verse, which is that there was but little of remains with the men with whom the Ancient Church began; or in a broader view, the subject of the series is the regeneration of the man of the Ancient Church, and the number five shows that remains from which regeneration begins were few or scanty with them.*

* In The Apocalypse Explained, number 548, something is said about the number five that applies not only to five but to all numbers and indeed to the spiritual sense of the Word everywhere, namely, that by five is signified all who are such. This reveals the importance and use of noting the concrete of the spiritual sense as well as the abstract. In the preparation of sermons for a congregation where there are many who are uninstructed, such as children, young people, and others, it is well to observe this principle of the spiritual sense.

The passage quoted above (A. C. 649) reveals the need of finding the common factor when several numbers occur together, but we learn also that when any large number occurs, its signification is to be obtained by finding what the simple numbers which compose it signify in the spiritual sense; concerning which we are taught that in Genesis vii: 6, six hundred years signify the first state of temptation, because ten and six are the simple and component numbers in it, ten signifying remains and six labor and combat (A. C. 737). For remains are the first of regeneration and six is always spoken of in relation to the combat of temptation. By thus reducing six hundred to its component parts, we are led to see that the subject is the temptations which took place at the beginning of the Ancient Church, or which take place at the beginning of any church, or at the beginning of the regeneration of any individual man of the church.

Again we read that "what eighty specifically signifies cannot be told, because it involves every state and every quality of the law from the Divine then appertaining to it. That eighty denotes states of temptation may be seen, number 1963, but in this case eighty involves the same as forty; but whereas it is also composed of ten and eight multiplied into each other, from this source likewise is to be sought the signification of this number." (A. C. 7284.) Thus we see that eighty signifies temptations because it is the double of forty, which latter number signifies temptations wherever used in the Word; but in order to determine the full signification of eighty, and of forty also, it is necessary to find the signification of the simple numbers which compose it.

We are again taught concerning the necessity of reducing any large number to its simple parts, as follows: "And Aaron was a son of three and eighty years: that this signifies the state and quality of doctrine appears from the representation of Aaron as being the doctrine of the church; and from the signification of the number three and eighty, as being state and quality, namely, of that doctrine; but the state and quality cannot be specifically known, except from the reduction of this number into its simple numbers, and from application afterwards to those to whom doctrine appertains." (A. C. 7285.)

The prime essential numbers are one, two, and three. All other numbers are compounds of these simple numbers. Five and seven, although compounds of two and three, may also be regarded as simple numbers (A. E. 430). When the signification of these simple numbers is known we are ready to find the signification of any number in the Word, however large it may be. Concerning this we read that "the simple numbers are more significative than others, and from them the greater numbers derive their significations, namely, the numbers two, three, five, and seven; two signifies union and is predicated of good; three signifies fullness, and is predicated of truth; five signifies much and something; and seven signifies holiness. From the number two the numbers 4, 8, 16, 400, 800, 1600, 4000, 8000, 16000, arise; and these numbers have the same signification as two, because they arise from that simple number multiplied into itself and multiplied by ten. From the number three the numbers 6, 12, 24, 72, 144, 1440, 144000, arise, and these numbers have the same signification as three, because they arise from this simple number by multiplication. From the number five the numbers 10, 50, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000 arise, and these numbers have the same signification as five, because they arise from it by multiplication. From the number seven the numbers 14, 70, 700, 7000, 70000 arise, and these numbers have the same signification as seven, because they arise from it." (A. E. 430, 532.) Hence we are informed that "until the signification of the simple numbers up to twelve be known, it will be impossible to comprehend the signification of the compound numbers." (A. C. 487.)

We would here call attention to the fact that simple numbers are always present as understood in any passage of the Word, even when not expressed. For instance, in the Lord's Prayer no number is used, yet we find one, two, and three involved in it from first to last. Our Father is the one and only God. Each sentence has a twofold idea, as heaven and earth; except the last which is trinal, -kingdom, power, and glory. See further in the chapters on Duality and Trinity in the Word.

Another point of interest and value should be noted by the student. It connects with the rule that the first thing said reigns universally in what follows. This law applies to numbers when several occur together. Hence we read that "in the numerical writing in heaven, that number is always placed first, on which the following numbers depend as on their subject; for that number is as it were the index of, the subject treated of, and from that number those which follow derive their specific determination to the subject." (H. H. 263.) The use of observing this law has already been shown in the chapter, "The First Thing Said."

From what we have said therefore in this chapter, and from all that is said in the Writings concerning number and the signification of numbers in the Word, it is evident that this subject occupies an essential place among the principles of exposition; and that when a chapter is studied, a consideration of it will not be complete until the numbers occurring in it are examined as to their signification and bearing upon the leading subject of the series.



13



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 14


CHAPTER XIII

DUALITY IN THE WORD

THE WORD IS TWOFOLD, CELESTIAL AND SPIRITUAL, FROM ITS INMOST EVEN TO ITS ULTIMATE.

A useful chapter might be written on the essential unity of the Word, treating of the appearances of that unity in the literal sense, but on consideration we have concluded instead to bring into this chapter the essential features of the subject of unity, as being involved where duality is; for two that are counterparts are always conjoined into one, making one form. Thus it is that all unity, or every unit, is twofold, both in the Word and in all creation. Let us proceed therefore to the consideration of the subject of duality in the Word.*

* There are other subjects that might be formulated into rules of exposition, such as the Kingdom of the Human Form, Separation, and others, to each of which a chapter might be devoted. A chapter might also be written on the Correlation of the Rules.

The two great commandments, as delivered in the Gospel, bear testimony to the universal duality of the Word, and at the same time to its unity; and evidences of the same appear everywhere in the letter of Scripture. The Word is dual because in its origin or in itself it is Love and Wisdom proceeding from the Lord, proceeding as two but united as one. It is from this same all-creative cause that all things in the spiritual world, all things in man, and all things in nature, are also dual (A. C. 5194). Since the Word is in itself Love and Wisdom proceeding from the Lord, it treats of nothing but love and wisdom, and thus it is everywhere celestial and spiritual. The term celestial is expressive of love, and the term spiritual of wisdom; or, if we follow the thought as set forth in the two great commandments, the term celestial is expressive of love to God, and the term spiritual of love to the neighbor. The two terms, celestial and spiritual, are used in these and in a number of other applications in the Writings. There is in the Word a celestial sense, and also a spiritual sense, and herein lies the essential duality of the Word. That there are in the Word these two senses from the above cause and origin, we have the following teaching: "What proceeds from the Divine Love is called celestial, and it is the Divine Good; what proceeds from the Divine Wisdom is called spiritual, and it is the Divine Truth. The natural is from both and is their complex in the ultimate. The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom, of whom the third or supreme heaven consists, are in the Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called celestial, for they are in the good of love from the Lord. The angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, of whom the second or middle heaven consists, are in the Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called spiritual, for they are in the truths of wisdom from the Lord." (S. S. 6.)

"The natural is from both and is their complex in the ultimate." The natural or literal sense is thus also dual, or spiritual and celestial, since the effect is always in the image of its cause. The duality of the internal sense shows itself in the letter in many ways, the most important of which is that the celestial sense descends and appears in the natural sense as the doctrine of the Lord, and that the spiritual sense descends and appears in the natural sense as the doctrine of life. In this is found the genuine duality of the letter of the Word. The celestial and the spiritual of the internal sense, however, descend even lower, or to the plane of the appearances of truth; but even there the duality is preserved, as we shall see. On this subject we are further taught that "there is a sense still more interior [than the spiritual sense] in the Word, which is called celestial; but this sense can scarcely be unfolded, for it does not fall so much into the thought of the understanding, as into the affection of the will. That there is in the Word a still more interior sense, which is called celestial, is because from the Lord proceed Divine Good and Divine Truth, Divine Good from His Divine Love, and Divine Truth from His Divine Wisdom. Both of these are in the Word." (S. S. 19.)

It may be remarked here that it is brought forth clearly elsewhere in the Writings that the celestial sense, although it "does not fall so much into the thought of the understanding as into the affection of the will," still it does come into perception, for where affection is, there also is illustration and perception. With the celestial, or with those who are in the celestial sense, when the Lord is presented to view in doctrine concerning Him, affection is stirred and perception is given. The spiritual sense is for those who think from the understanding, or from knowledges in the memory, concerning the things which are of man and his regeneration; but the celestial sense is for those who perceive from the will or from love those things which are of the Lord and His glorification.

The duality of the Word, as being celestial and spiritual, is again illustrated as follows: "There is consociation with the angels through the sense of the letter, because within that sense are the spiritual sense and the celestial sense; and the angels are in those senses, the angels of the spiritual kingdom in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the angels of the celestial kingdom in its celestial sense. These senses are evolved from the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, when a true man is in that sense. The evolution is instantaneous, and consequently the consociation." (S. S. 63.)

There is thus a dual consociation of man with those who are in the spiritual world, that is, there are two angels or two spirits with every man. That there is this dual consociation by means of the Word, was confirmed to Swedenborg by much experience in the spiritual world, which is recorded as follows: "While I was reading the Word in the sense of its letter, communication was effected with the heavens, now with this society, now with that; and what I understood according to the natural sense, the spiritual angels understood according to the spiritual sense, and the celestial angels according to the celestial sense, and this in an instant." (S. S. 64.) The duality of the Word even in the literal sense is indicated in this number. From the very nature of things it is clear that there must be a distinct ultimation and differentiation in the letter of the two interior senses of the Word, that the one cannot have the same ultimate as the other. This is further shown in the following teaching: "The Word and worship are altogether such as is heaven and the church; for in the Word there are three distinct senses, as there are three heavens; the inmost sense, which is called the celestial sense, is for the inmost or third heaven; the middle sense, which is called the spiritual sense, is for the middle or second heaven; and the ultimate sense, which is called the celestial natural and spiritual natural sense, is for the ultimate or first heaven. These three senses, besides the natural which is for the world, are in the Word and in the single things of it; and since the three heavens have the Word, and each -heaven is in its own sense of the Word, and from this is their heaven and their worship, it follows that what signifies heaven signifies also the Word and worship." (A. E. 630.)

The internal sense is the Word itself, and since this is dual, all things from it are dual, all things of doctrine, all things of worship, and all things of the literal sense itself. Hence we find that the natural sense of the Word, which is for the natural heaven, is spoken of as celestial and spiritual natural. The purely literal sense which is for the world would necessarily partake of the same dual characteristic.

It is clear therefore that the two senses, celestial and spiritual, are present everywhere in the Word, and that they cause the Word to be dual in every part of it, the duality extending even to the literal sense itself. But in some portions of the Word, the celestial kingdom is the dominant factor, in some portions the spiritual kingdom, and in some the two are conjoined together as one. Since this is true of the Word as it is of heaven, we may expect that signs of it will appear in the literal sense, that the laws and conditions reigning in the spiritual sense will make their appearance in the literal sense, and will be signs there of the presence and active operation of those laws and conditions. The signs of the activity of the law we are considering do indeed appear in the literal sense in the proper names that are used, especially in the names of the Lord. In the Old Testament when the celestial kingdom or celestial truth is the dominant presence and quality of the internal sense, the Lord is called Jehovah; when the spiritual kingdom or spiritual truth is dominant, the Lord is called God or Elohim; and when the two are conjoined as one, the Lord is called Jehovah God. It is similar in the New Testament, that is, when the celestial is the leading or dominant principle of the internal sense, the Lord is called Jesus; when the spiritual principle is dominant, the Lord is called Christ; and when both are united as one in the internal sense, the Lord is called Jesus Christ.

The marriage of good and truth is indeed in all things of the Word, but as good and truth are not always conjoined in a like degree, the complete marriage, or the full and complete unity of the Word, is expressed by two names of God occurring together, as Jehovah God, Jehovah of Hosts, Jehovah the Holy One of Israel, Jehovah the Redeemer, Jehovah the Savior, Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. In these twofold names of the Lord the union of the Divine and the Human is expressed, or in the relative sense, the even conjunction of good and truth in heaven and the church. But the dominance of the celestial or the spiritual in the Word is expressed, as was said, by the single names of the Lord.

The same law is represented in the other proper names of Scripture. There are compound proper names, and there are names that are single or not composed of two names together. Examples of the compound proper names are, Abraham, Ishmael, Israel, Reuben, Joshua, Samuel, John. These names consist of two proper names joined together into one, and in one name are expressive of the marriage of good and truth or of the celestial and the spiritual in the Word, which may be seen on examining the etymology and correspondence of each of the two parts in any one of the compound names. But when more of the celestial than the spiritual is present in any given series, or more of the spiritual than the celestial, then uncompounded names occur, as Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Peter. See further on this general subject in the chapter on "Proper Names in the Word."

It may be well to call attention here to the teaching in Heaven and Hell, number 133, that those who are in the celestial kingdom partake more of good than of truth, and those who are in the spiritual kingdom partake more of truth than of good, but that there are angels who partake of both good and truth in a like degree, and that these are angels of the inmost heaven. What is true of the heavens is true also of the Word in its application and accommodation to them, that is, there is more of good than of truth, in the Word as applied to those in the celestial kingdom, and there is more of truth than of good in the Word as applied to those in the spiritual kingdom; but for those in the inmost heaven there is a supreme sense of the Word, which sense is the Lord Himself in His glorified Human, in whom the Divine and the Human are conjoined as one. The angels who are thus nearest the Lord partake more of that which is in Him and from Him, and hence there is in them a more even conjunction of good and truth. It may be remarked here that there is love to the Lord and hence the doctrine of the Lord on all planes of the Word, just as the celestial kingdom is in all the heavens and in the church on earth; and that there is love to the neighbor and hence the doctrine of life on all planes of the Word, just as the spiritual kingdom is in all the heavens and in the church on earth. But love to the neighbor in its ascent is more and more intimately conjoined with love to the Lord, and in the inmost heaven becomes as one with it. The oneness of love to the Lord and of love to the neighbor in the inmost heaven is represented by the twofold name, Jehovah God, and also Jesus Christ. There is indeed the marriage of good and truth in all the heavens, and even in the natural world, wherever men live according to the truths of the literal sense of the Word; thus the image of the inmost heaven is wherever good is conjoined with truth. This image of the intimate union of good and truth, such as exists in the inmost heaven, is represented by some of the compound proper names in the Word.

In Sacred Scripture, number 80, it is directly stated that there is the marriage of good and truth in the literal sense of the Word, because of the two senses, spiritual and celestial, concealed within the sense of the letter. "But this is not apparent to any but one who, from the spiritual and celestial senses of the Word, knows the significations of the words and names, some of which are predicated of good, some of truth, and some include both." That is, unless the spiritual sense were revealed, and the mind enlightened by a knowledge of it, we could never know that the Word is dual, nor that there is the marriage of good and truth in all things of it, -in all things of the internal sense, and in all things of the literal sense.

The internal sense therefore is dual, and from 'this cause the literal sense is also dual; nor can it be otherwise, since both the celestial and the spiritual senses create and form the letter in the image of themselves. The essential image and form of the internal sense in the letter is doctrine, which is twofold. The celestial sense in its descent takes form in the doctrine of the Lord, as we have said, and the spiritual sense in its descent takes form in the doctrine of life. These two doctrines are the two essentials of the New Church, and are the two universals of salvation (A. R. 491, 505, 509, 529, 537, 876). They are everywhere in the literal sense, causing the essential duality of that sense, and they exist in some form in every religion (D. P. 326). These two doctrines, however, are frequently covered and concealed by the appearances which constitute the sensual degree or plane of the Word. The Old Testament especially is of this character. But the Word is dual even on the plane of the appearances of truth, exhibiting itself as dual in many ways. Some of these we shall now consider.

There is in Scripture a twofold arrangement of words and sentences, especially in that part of the Word which is in the form of prophecy and song. Hence we read: That "it is common in the Word, especially in the prophetic Word, to express one thing by two words . . . because of the heavenly marriage in all things of the Word." (A. C. 4691, 5502.) That "because truths and goods are joined together, as in a marriage, things in the Word are mentioned in pairs, one of which signifies good and the other truth." (A. E. 1142. A. C. 4691, 5138.) That "there are some words peculiar to spiritual things, and others peculiar to celestial things, or what is the same, some peculiar to the things of the understanding, and others to the things of the will." (A. C. 793.) That "in Isaiah two words constantly occur concerning the same thing, one of which signifies things celestial, and the other things spiritual." (A. C. 100.) That "in the prophets, especially in Isaiah, there are almost always two words applied for everything, one to denote what is spiritual, the other what is celestial; the spiritual of the Lord's mercy is wisdom, the celestial is love." (A. C. 590.) That "because there is in all things the marriage of good and truth, in the prophets everything is expressed in a twofold manner, especially in Isaiah, and one word relates to the celestial or good, the other to the spiritual or truth." (A. C. 2173. See also A. C. 683, 793, 801, 1432, 3880, 3901, 4105, 7945, 9789. A. E. 484.) The Psalms are also arranged in a twofold manner, similar to that of the Prophets. It is for this reason that these portions of the Word are well suited for alternate or responsive reading and singing.

Concerning this dual arrangement we read that every word belongs either to the celestial or to the spiritual class, except that some words are expressive of both. On this subject we have the general teaching that "there is in each thing of the Word the marriage of the Lord and the church, and thence the marriage of good and truth," (S. S. 80-83); and therefore the following teaching: "It may be seen by readers who give attention to it, that there are in the Word pairs of expressions, which appear as if they were repetitions of the same thing; as brother and companion, poor and needy, wasteness and solitude, vacuity and emptiness, foe and enemy, sin and iniquity, anger and wrath, nation and people, joy and gladness, mourning and weeping, justice and judgment, etc." It is then added that these words appear as if they were synonymous, when yet they are not, for the first term of each pair of words is predicated of good, and the second of truth, which is the reason why two terms are used instead of one. Other examples are then given of pairs in the Word, and the number closes as follows: "In like manner it is said, that men are to love God with all the heart and all the soul; also that God will create in man a new heart and a new spirit; for the heart is predicated of the good of love, and the soul, of truth from that good. There are also words which are used alone, not being joined with others, because they partake of both good and truth." (S. S. 84. See also S. S. 81.)

It is because of the reasons that have been mentioned that there are so many pairs of persons and things spoken of in the Word. We frequently read of two angels, two men, two brothers, two sisters, two sons, two daughters, father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister, husband and wife, male and female, the names of whom in many instances are given. We read of the two great commandments, the two tables of the Decalogue, the two witnesses, the two olive trees, the two candlesticks, the two great lights, two of every living thing going into the ark, the numerous pairs in the construction of the tabernacle and the temple, the two cherubs over the ark, and the law that required the evidence of two witnesses. Besides these there are many other instances of pairs mentioned in the Word, and the reason is, as given in the Writings, because of the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word, which descend into the literal sense, causing the appearance of duality there; so that there is no portion of Scripture where there is not an appearance of some kind of duality.

In certain cases, however, there are single words that represent both good and truth. Hence we read that "some words are predicated of good, some of truth and some include both," (S. S. 80); and that "there are words which are used alone, not being joined with others, because they partake of both good and truth." (S. S. 84.) We have already spoken of certain proper names that represent both good and truth, especially such as are compound; let us now consider certain words, other than proper names, that are of this character. We are told that when the term mind is used in the Writings, by it is meant both the will and the understanding. There are other words of similar twofold nature in the Writings and in common speech. It is also well known that there are certain organs and members in the body that are united as one, and are yet twofold, as the cerebellum, the heart, the mouth, the tongue, the nose; and there are some that are distinctly two or separate, but still acting in unison, as the cerebrum, the eyes, the ears, the hands, and the feet. Many examples of both kinds occur in the kingdoms of nature, Since this is true in nature it is also true in the Word.

We read in Genesis i: 27, that "God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." It is clear at once that the term man in this verse is one that represents both good and truth. It is man and woman that is meant, male and female. It is husband and wife together that are called man, and we are told that a husband and a wife in heaven are one angel. What is said of the man in the passage quoted above is doubtless true wherever the term man, (adam, homo), occurs in Scripture, -two things, good and truth, represented ill a single word. In the highest sense the man is the Lord, the Divine Human in which is the Divine itself, the two in union as one. In the third chapter of Genesis the opposite of the man, the celestial man, the Lord, is presented, and is called the serpent. The same is called in the Apocalypse the dragon, and the Devil and Satan. By this one term serpent is represented the conjunction of the evil and the false, or the Devil and Satan, the love of self and the love of the world.

In John iii: 1-8, we have the word born or birth, which signifies regeneration or the marriage of good and truth, the two included in the one term. In Matthew v: 13, the word salt occurs, which we are told signifies the desire of truth to good, thus including ill the one word the idea of the conjunction of good and truth. It is stated in the Writings that salt is a universal conjunctive in nature, and in this it represents the marriage of good and truth, The term fruit is of frequent occurrence in Scripture, and in the one word represents the marriage of good and truth,. or represents use in which good and truth are together as one. There are many other terms of this character in the Word.

Sometimes in Scripture a word occurs which is one of a pair of words, but the associate word is not mentioned. In this case, especially when it is the first or leading word of a series, the one term, as in the instances spoken of above, is representative of good and truth together; as for instance, the term mountain in Matthew v: 1, where hill is not mentioned, and mountain is the leading word after the mention of He instead of Jesus. Hence the duality of the series is represented in the single term mountain, as if it had no associate word. By the mountain, on which the Lord was set to teach His disciples, is signified heaven or the internal of the church which the Lord came to establish, and which is the subject of the entire series of the Sermon on the Mount. The internal of the church is good and truth together, which the one term mountain here represents. The same principle applies when any one of a pair of words occurs without the other; as when justice is mentioned without judgment, nation without people, brother without companion, eating without drinking, hunger without thirst, earth or land without sea, heaven without earth, create without make. In each case the single term without its associate represents in itself the marriage of good and truth, and thus involves all that the two terms together represent.

As we have shown, the duality of the Word exhibits itself in many forms, both general and particular, in the letter of Scripture. One of the general forms is that of speech and action, or saying and doing, or command and obedience. Sometimes one of these is dominant in a series and sometimes the other; if it is speaking, it is the truth or the spiritual that is dominant, or if it is doing, it is good or the celestial that is dominant. Speaking and doing represent the two activities of every man's life. He is either talking about use, or he is doing it. In use the two are united, namely, speech and action, or the understanding and the will, which speech and action represent. The same two are represented in the Word, which is a Man speaking and doing the things which are essential to the salvation of men and the formation of heaven from men who are His images. Those who represent the Lord, as Abraham, Moses, or Joshua, speak or act. The same is true of the Lord Himself. He teaches His disciples, speaking to them, or He performs miracles. When He speaks it is from His own Divine Truth, or from the Divine Understanding; and when He acts, it is from His own Divine Good, or from the Divine Will, which is love to the human race.

The student of the Word should note whether speech or action dominates in the chapter he has under consideration, remembering, however, that when the Lord speaks, He speaks also from His Divine Good, that it is the Divine Good speaking through the Divine Truth; but when the Lord acts, the immediate operation of the Divine Good in ultimates is what is represented. For instance, in the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of Matthew, which have been given the name of the Sermon on the Mount, it is the Divine Good speaking as the Divine Doctrine concerning the internal church which is now to be established. But in the eighth chapter He comes down out of the mountain, cleanses the leper, cures the centurion's servant sick of the palsy, heals Peter's wife's mother who was in bed sick of a fever, and rebukes the wind and the sea causing a great calm. He represents in these acts redemption from His Divine Love. Taking note, therefore, whether the series treats of the Lord as teaching or the Lord as doing affects the character of the exposition of the series.

The law of duality thus teaches us to note the prominent and leading words in any given chapter, after having noted the names of the Lord therein, and to decide whether the celestial or the spiritual is the dominant quality of the internal sense. This law will also help materially to a decision as to what is to be the leading subject of a sermon or a series of sermons, and in general whether the exposition is to treat of some truth coming under the general doctrine of life, or of some truth coming under the general doctrine of the Lord.

There is then a celestial sense and a spiritual sense in the Word, and these two appear everywhere in the literal sense, causing that sense to be dual; and we may conclude that a knowledge of this duality, as a universal of Revelation, is one of momentous importance in the study and understanding of the Word.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 15


CHAPTER XIV

THE TRINITY IN THE WORD

THERE IS A TRINITY IN GOD, A TRINITY IN THE WORD, AND A TRINITY IN ALL CREATED THINGS.

In the preceding chapter it was shown that there is a duality in the Word, in the whole and in every part of it. This duality has its origin in God, for in Him Love and Wisdom are two united as one. From this union of Love and Wisdom proceeds a third, which is Use. These three, Divine Love, Divine Wisdom, and Divine Use, are the Divine Trinity represented in the Word by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Divine Trinity is thus not a Trinity of Persons, but of qualities or attributes in the one Divine Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was shown that since there is a duality in God there also is a duality in the Word, and it now follows that since there is a Trinity in God, there is also a Trinity in the Word; for the Word is from God, and is God Himself, even as we read that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John i: 1.) It also follows that since there is a duality and a trinity in the Word, there is also a duality and a trinity in all created things; for all things were created by the Word, which is God, and that which is created is in the image of its Creator (D. L. W. 190, 209. T. C. R. 147).

It is plain therefore that where duality is, there also is trinality. The one does not exist without the other. In all creation there is never a two without a three; for when two are joined together into one, a third is produced as the result or effect of the conjunction of two; even as offspring come into existence as the product of the marriage of a man and a woman. This is a law operative in all creation, because of the duality and trinity in God and in His Word; and since there is a duality and a trinity in God and in His Word, there is a duality and a trinity in heaven and in the church; for heaven is distinguished into two kingdoms and three heavens, and the church is in the image of heaven. Hence the significance of the Lord's words to His disciples, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. xviii: 20.) These words are descriptive of the image of God in the church with men, and in heaven with the angels. If with the men of the church there is a marriage of good and truth, -as there is with the angels of heaven, -and their product which is use, the Lord Himself is present as the inmost life of such an image of Him. These words teach us indeed of a unity in the Glorified Human, of a unity in the Word, of a unity in heaven and the church, of a unity in all creation, in all of which, in all that proceeds from the Divine itself, two or three are joined together in the name of the Lord; and He Himself is the Unity in the midst of the universal duality and the universal trinity. Thus two or three are gathered together in all that proceeds from God, in all things that are in the image of God.

Now in respect to the Word we have seen that the signs of duality appear in the literal sense, and if this is true, then the signs of trinality will also appear there. The most important, the most essential sign of the Trinity in God appearing in the letter of Scripture, is the three-fold name of the one God, -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In His Duality God appears as the Father and the Son, but in His Trinity, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These Two or these Three are and appear in some form everywhere in Scripture; and the glorious Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the trinal name of the Lord, is but a type of the trinality of the Word. For as God is triune, so is His Word triune, so is nature, so is man, and so is heaven.

Concerning the Trinity of God in His Word, and in all things which are from Him, we have the following teaching: "In the Divine there is a Trinity, namely, the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Divine Proceeding, and these are One; this Trinity and One Divine Itself is in the Lord." (A. C. 9866.) It is because of this Trinity in the Lord that there is "in every complete thing a trine which is called first, middle, and last; or end, cause, and effect. Thus every Divine work is complete and perfect in the last." (S. S. 27-29.) Hence "in order that anything may be complete and perfect there must be in it a trine in just order, one under another, and communication between them. For every created thing is complete in its third. In such a trine is man and in such a trine are all things of the world." (A. R. 875. Coro. 17.) We read further that "there is what is dual and trinal in every created thing, which is evident in the human body. . . . It is similar with the human mind, which is distinguished into three regions, celestial, spiritual, and natural." (T. C. R. 147.) We see duality, evidenced in the cerebellum and the cerebrum, and the third in the spinal cord which proceeds from the union of the two former, making thus a trinity in the human body. Not of the human body alone, but of all things which exist in the world a trinal dimension is predicated (D. L. W. 190). Hence "in every thing there is a trine, which is called end, cause, and effect, and these three are to each other according to the degrees of altitude." (D. L. W. 209. See also D. L. W. 190, 222-230. Coro. 17.) Since all things were created by the Word, in the image of which they are, it follows that "there is a trinity in all and every thing of the Word, one within another, and this trine is as effect, cause, and end." Hence it is that "there are three senses in the Word, one within another, namely, a natural for the world, a spiritual for the heavens of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, and a celestial for His celestial kingdom." (A. E. 1083.)

It will be seen therefore from these passages and other teaching of the Writings, that the doctrine of a trinity in all things is one with the doctrine of discrete degrees, and that the three degrees of the Word, or its three senses, are a most perfect trinity. This trinity is indeed universal in the Word, and we may therefore expect to see abundant signs of it in the literal sense. Let us now examine some of these signs or appearances of a trinity, since a knowledge and observation of them will be a valuable aid in the analysis of any chapter of the Word for the sake of discovering its spiritual sense.

It was shown in the preceding chapter that duality reigns in the Prophets and in the Psalms, and that this is true even in the historical parts. Since duality is there, trinality is also there; and many of the passages are trinal in form. This law of trinality appears in the very first verse of the Psalms, where the man is said to be blessed, "who walketh not in the council of the wicked, who standeth not in the way of sinners, and who sitteth not in the seat of the scornful." (Ps. i:1.) Here is described the trinity of hell, which is to-be shunned by the regenerating man, if he would come - into the trinity of heaven.

The following are also examples of trinity of form and expression in the Psalms and in the Prophets: "Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." (Ps. xxiv: 7.) "Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.", (Ps. lii:7.) "In God I will praise His Word; in God have I put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." (Ps. lvi: 4.) "0 give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy is forever." (Ps. cxxxvi: 1.) "Hear, 0 ye heavens, and give ear, 0 earth, for the Lord hath spoken." (Isa. i: 2.) "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it." (Isa. ii: 2.) "Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence." (Isa. lxiv: 1.) "He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His intelligence." (Jer. x: 12.) Also in the first chapter of Genesis we have the trinity of the sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 1: 16. See also Rev. xii: 1). In these passages both the duality and the trinity of the Word appear, and the trinity follows the duality as expressed in the first two terms of each verse. But this trinity of the Word appears under many forms, one or two more of which we shall now examine.

In The Apocalypse Explained, number 1083, quoted above, it was made clear that the trinity of the Word is one with its three senses, celestial, spiritual, and natural; or one with the three discrete degrees of the Word. The first and second degrees, or the celestial and spiritual senses, unite to form the natural, which is therefore also dual or celestial natural and spiritual natural. This trine of the Word, its three degrees answering to the three heavens, has each its distinct appearance and ultimation in the literal sense, which, however, has already been forecast in the chapter on "Duality in the Word," but let us repeat what was there said, and follow up the subject a little further. It was said that the celestial sense descending into the letter takes form there as the doctrine of the Lord, and that the spiritual sense so descending takes form as the doctrine of charity, or the doctrine of life; and further that these two senses descend even lower, or into the sensual plane of the Word and clothe themselves there in appearances of truth. We thus have the expression of the trine in the literal sense itself, in the doctrine of the Lord, in the doctrine of life, and in the appearances or representatives of truth, which are distinct ultimations of the three heavens, or the three interior senses of the Word. The leading and dominant characteristic of the celestial heaven and thus of the celestial sense, the all in all of it, is love to the Lord and hence the truth which teaches the Lord; the leading and dominant characteristic of the spiritual heaven and thus of the spiritual sense, is love to the neighbor and from this the truth which teaches the doctrine of charity or the doctrine of life; and the leading and dominant characteristic of the natural heaven, and thus of the interior natural sense of the Word, is the descent into it of the two prior senses and the clothing of themselves there in representative and correspondential forms before the eyes of the angels of that natural heaven. By means of these representative forms the truths of the interior heavens are insinuated into the minds of the angels of the ultimate heaven; for the angels of that heaven, having minds relatively like those of children, are taught by means of objects which are correspondences, and not immediately by naked truths as in the higher heavens. The important point before us here is that the dominant characteristic of each heaven descends and takes form, or has distinct ultimation in the literal sense of the Word, producing in that sense a trinal form and arrangement.

This trinal form is in fact everywhere in the literal sense. It is in every book, in every chapter, and in every verse; that is, the doctrine of the Lord, the doctrine of life, and appearances of truth are found everywhere. From this it would follow that there are three classes of men in the world who are able to receive by means of the literal sense' the three distinct ultimations of Divine truth as it is in the heavens: first, those who are in love to the Lord, and thus who are chiefly affected by the doctrine of the Lord; second, those who are in love to the neighbor, and are chiefly affected by the doctrine of life; and third, those who are like Gentile idol-worshippers, or like the simple and children, who are chiefly affected by the stories of the Word, and other stories written and expressed in representative and correspondential forms, such as the parables of the Gospels, and the historical portions of Scripture, by means of which simple truths and simple affections of good are insinuated into their minds, -simple truths concerning the Lord and the life of love to the neighbor. For this reason the Word in its literal sense, from the internal sense within, is in a trinal form and arrangement adapted to these three general classes of men in the world; by means of which trinal descent and adaptation, the way is made possible for communication and consociation with the three heavens while men are still on earth, according to the capacity, the measure, and the need of each.

Let us remember then that the doctrine of the Lord and the doctrine of life, or celestial and spiritual truth, appearing in the literal sense of the Word are what is called in the Writings the doctrine of genuine truth, genuine because not clothed, covered, or concealed by appearances, but existing there as naked truth, Without this genuine truth in the literal sense no man could be saved.

Much of the literal sense of the Word is not genuine truth, but truth clothed in representative and correspondential forms, thus truth concealed and veiled by appearances or objects taken from nature and from human life in the world. Similar objects appear in the ultimate or natural heaven. These objects are appearances of the -thought and affection of the angels of the higher heavens clothed in representatives and correspondences, by means of which, truths and the affection of truth and good are insinuated into the minds of the simple good who are there, and who need these objects to assist their thought and excite their affection. What we know as the literal sense of the Word is formed very largely from this source, as seen in vision by the prophets, and written down by them. The Apocalypse is a notable instance of the literal sense of the Word as derived from appearances in the natural heaven. But while some of these appearances, which form the sensual plane or degree of the Word, are real correspondences, others contain fallacies which become falsities when confirmed by reasonings from the natural plane of man's mind. This arises from the invasion of the opposite, which is always present either expressed or understood. But on this subject see further in the chapter on "The Opposite Sense of the Word."

Let us note this example of this trinal form in the Word, wherein the doctrine of the Lord is the first term, the doctrine of life is the second, and appearances of truth are the third: The Lord, at the close of the Sermon on the Mount, speaks to His disciples in the form of a parable, as follows: "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, And the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it." (Matt. vii: 24-27.) In these four verses, three elements appear, constituting a trinal order and arrangement: first, the Lord speaks as the Divine Teacher of men in the form of precept or command; second, men are to hear and obey, or live according to His teaching; and third, His teaching is usually clothed in the form of parable, making use of objects that are visible to the eye in nature, for the purpose of insinuating the fundamental truth that men are to hear and obey His precepts, or otherwise they cannot be saved. It is a picture in representative language of a wise man and a foolish man, the one building his house upon a rock, and the other upon the sand; the house of the former, in consequence of being built upon a rock, is able to resist the rain, the wind, and the flood; but the house of the foolish man, built upon the sand, is not able to stand against the rain, and the rush of wind and water. These objects are appearances in nature, that are familiar to children and the simple in mind. As we have said, this mode of teaching is common in the natural heaven, namely, the insinuation of truth by representative objects, and stories or parables from them; from which source originates the purely literal sense or sensual degree of the Word as adapted to children or to the simple good. The trinal order in these four verses occurs throughout the Gospels in this general form, the Lord, the disciples, and the multitudes. To His disciples He taught genuine truths, but to the multitudes He spake in parables.

We have already seen in the chapters on proper names in the Word, that the name of the Lord, the name of the person, and the name of the place involve all things of the spiritual sense in the chapter; and that to obtain the signification of the name of the Lord occurring in a chapter, together with the signification of the leading person mentioned, and the signification of the place where the event occurs, is fundamental to a knowledge of the spiritual sense of any series in the Word. This is true because in these three leading names of any group, we have a trinity that is all-inclusive. In fact if we can reduce a chapter to a trinity, or find the trinity involved in it-and there will always be such a trinity appearing in some form, -we shall have at once an entire view of the chapter as a whole, and ail analysis of the details will be no longer difficult. This trinity of the Lord, the person, and the place, is always apparent in the historical portions of the Word, and even in the prophetic, and can be found by close observation, especially if the chapters preceding be examined, and the pronouns which occur be noted. This may not be so manifest in the Psalms of David, but the same trinity is there nevertheless; for the name Jehovah is everywhere, or sometimes Elohim, and the name David is also understood throughout, Jehovah and David representing the Divine and the Divine Human. Having these names before us in any given psalm, Jehovah or Elohim and David, all that is necessary will be to find the name of the place, or that which stands for the name of a place. In many or most of the psalms, the land of Canaan is the place that is meant or understood, especially when the words land or earth occur, for by this is always meant the land of Canaan, unless some other land is expressly mentioned. In fact David is understood as being in the land of Canaan. But sometimes another term is used to indicate the place involved; as for example in the first Psalm a river is mentioned, involving a river flowing through a wilderness country. In the fifteenth Psalm it is a tent upon a mountain. In the twenty-ninth Psalm several places are mentioned or understood, but it is the worship of the Lord in the temple that is especially in view. In the fifty-first Psalm the same is in view, namely, worship in the temple or at the altar. So that even if a place be not mentioned, there will be something that involves or suggests place, as land, nation, people, wilderness, river, sea. It will therefore be found on close examination that the third term of this trinity, -the trinity of the Lord, the person, and the place, -is either expressed or understood in every psalm, and in fact in every chapter of the Word. This trinity, as we have said, will indicate the generals that include all things of the group or series. See further in the chapters on proper names in the Word.

In the chapter on "The Person Speaking" another form of the trinity was considered, and it was shown that there is always in the Word a trinity of the person speaking, the person spoken to, and the person or thing spoken of, If this be not seen in any given chapter, it will be found in the series of chapters in which the given chapter occurs. For instance, in the first and second chapters of Genesis there are ten paragraphs, and in the first four of them it does not appear to whom God is speaking, but on examination of the entire group of paragraphs we find that God-and then Jehovah God-is speaking to man concerning the heaven and the earth which He has created, and this reveals to us the trinity that reigns in the entire series. In his view of the whole we obtain the generals that introduce to the particulars of these two chapters when we obtain the signification of God and Jehovah God, of man, and of heaven and earth.

The following are further examples of this form of trinity in the Word: In Genesis vi, vii, viii, God speaks to Noah of the corruption of the earth, of the ark which he is to make, of the flood of waters that will overspread the earth, of the living creatures that are to be taken into the ark. In Genesis xii, Jehovah speaks to Abram and commands him to go to the land of Canaan. In Genesis xv, Jehovah speaks to Abram concerning an heir, and promises the land of Canaan for an inheritance. In Genesis xvii, the Lord speaks to Abram concerning the covenant, and renews the promise of the land of Canaan, In the Prophets the Lord speaks to the prophets concerning the state of the church and the need of His coming to re- establish the church. In the Gospels the Lord speaks to His disciples concerning the church, which He is about to establish, and which is represented in various ways. In Revelation the Lord, as the Son of Man, speaks to John concerning the seven churches or concerning the New Jerusalem, which He will establish when the last judgment is accomplished. In all of these instances when the Lord speaks to a person concerning a church which is to come, in each case a trinity is represented in the internal sense.

The trinity is expressed in the Writings in various forms of statement, as the Divine, the Divine Human, and the Divine Proceeding; the Lord, heaven, and the church; the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural; love, wisdom, and use; end) cause, and effect; the first, the middle, and the last. Any one or all of these trinal forms of statement is involved in the trinities of the literal sense, and any One Of them may be used in exposition.

An example of the trinity of end, cause, and effect may be found in any chapter, paragraph, or complete statement in the letter of the Word. The end is seen in the first thing said, the cause or means by which the end comes into effect is found in the intermediate verses, and the effect appears in the close or conclusion of the series. This is also a trinity Of love, wisdom, and use, or of will, understanding, and action.

A close analysis therefore of any book, chapter, portion, group, or verse of Scripture will discover a trinal order and arrangement, and the three terms of the trine will contain in their spiritual sense the generals or universals of the series, and when obtained will open the way to the multitude of particulars which are stored in the bosom of the Word. The Word is of necessity trinal in form because the Word is a Man. It is God Man. It is the Lord whose form is trinal, and. from Him His Word and all creation is trinal. The trinal form is thus the human form itself.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 16
CHAPTER XV

THE COVENANT IN THE WORD

THE COVENANT APPEARS IN ALL THINGS OF THE WORD.

The subject of the covenant, when viewed broadly, is one with that of duality, and if it is one with the subject of duality, it is also one with that of the trinity; for we have already seen that where duality is, a trinity is also present, either involved or expressed. The two latter have been set forth in the preceding chapters, but we propose to devote a chapter to the subject of the covenant also, treating it by itself, since it has a value peculiarly its own, as is clearly indicated in Scripture history.

A covenant was a formal agreement between two or more persons, involving free will and consent, also obligation with a solemn promise to fulfil the conditions agreed upon; each party binding himself to the same by the most solemn oath, frequently accompanied by sacrifices and other religious rites. The term covenant is now confined to its religious usage, and in law and business the word contract has been adopted to express a binding agreement between parties who join themselves together for the fulfillment of a common purpose. Other words are sometimes used to express the same general idea, such as league, treaty, or compact. In the Old Testament the Lord is represented as entering into a covenant with men, thus exemplifying and illustrating the law that He always appears and accommodates Himself to the conditions and customs in which men are, and which they practice in their relations with each other. Besides, it was necessary in the period of Old Testament history, on account of the state in which men were, to bind them in the form of a solemn covenant to obey the laws required of them. In no other way could the Divine purpose at that time have been fulfilled in regard to men on account of their waywardness and perversity.

The covenant first distinctly appears in the story of Noah. The earth had become corrupt and filled with violence. The destruction of all flesh was imminent. The human race, on account of the universal prevalence of confirmed evil, was about to disappear from the earth. But there was one man who had found favor in the eyes of Jehovah, because he bad kept the covenant of obedience to the Divine commands. To him Jehovah said, "With thee will I establish my covenant, and thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee, and two of every living thing of all flesh." (Gen. vi: 18-19.) All the others were to be destroyed by the waters of the flood, because of their wilful disobedience to the commands of God. Nothing was left in them by means of which the covenant could be restored. But the covenant could be renewed and established with Noah, and the token of the covenant with him was to be the bow in the cloud, "between me and you, and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Gen. ix: 8-17.)

Men after the time of Noah continued to break the covenant by disobedience to the commands of God, and the human race was again threatened with extinction. But God in His mercy caused a renewal of His covenant with men. This was done in Egypt and in the wilderness, beginning with Abraham, and continuing with Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the sons of Israel; and afterward successively in the land of Canaan even until the fullness of time when the covenant could no longer be restored after the former manner, because of the great wickedness of men. Hence God Himself came into the world to renew the covenant in His own Person, the story of which we read in the New Testament. In the Gospel and in Revelation we read also of a Second Coming for a further and final renewal of the covenant, which has been accomplished in this our day.

It has been well said therefore that the entire history recorded in the Sacred Scripture is from the beginning to the end a history of the covenant, of its inauguration and development with the Jewish nation, and of its fulfillment in the Gospel. In fact, it may be seen as a thread running through from the beginning of Genesis to the last of Revelation; and even where it is not expressed in terms, the thing itself is there, existing as the one end and purpose in view in all the Revelation of God to man. All the rites of the Jewish Church, especially the rite of circumcision, were signs of the covenant; hence the entire worship of that church was a covenant, which, when observed, conjoined with heaven, at least externally. The same is true of all worship. It is a covenant which when kept both externally and internally, conjoins men with heaven and the Lord. Hence the most holy act of worship, the Holy Supper, is called a covenant (T. C. R. 730). It is a covenant which a man renews every time he partakes of it. Baptism is also a covenant, as was circumcision with the Jews, -a promise and a pledge of obedience to the Divine commandments.

The principle involved in the covenant indeed appears as soon as man is placed upon the earth. God has created him, God loves him, and would join Himself to him, and by such a conjunction make him happy forever. In order to bring this about, God reveals His will and requires obedience on the part. of His creatures. The man and the woman are placed in the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it, and are told that they may cat of every tree of the Garden, except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." But man did not continue in a life of obedience to the commands of God. He broke the covenant and was expelled from the Garden, By reaction against God instead of with Him as before, he fell from his pristine state of obedience and of life. Now it is not actually said that God made a covenant with Adam when He created him and placed him in the Garden, but the essential of the covenant is there, that which is involved and signified in every covenant, command and instruction on the part of God, and free consent with obedience on the part of man. In this view it will be seen that the principle of the covenant is universal in the Word, and the actual appearing of the covenant in sacred history is but an ultimate type and manifestation of the prime essential end and purpose in all revelation, the conjunction of God with man and of man with God.

This universality of the covenant is manifest in the ten commandments, for they are called a covenant. "And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments." (Deut. iv: 13. Exod. xxxiv: 28. Lev. xxvi: 15.) They are called also the "tables of the covenant," (Deut. ix: 11, 15); and the ark which bore them is called the "ark of the covenant." (Deut. x: 8. xxxi: 26.) Now we read that the commandments are the first of the Word (T. C. R. 283. A. E. 939). They are the first historically, morally, and spiritually. They were written on two tables of stone. The first table treats of the duties of man to God, and the second of his duties to his neighbor; or the first treats of love to God, and the second of love to the neighbor. They are thus essentially one with the two great commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets, as our Lord said to His disciples. The Lord thus teaches that the two great commandments, or what is the same, the ten commandments, are the all of the Word of God, in which we see illustrated the law that what is first reigns universally in what follows. The ten commandments are therefore universal in the Word, and since they are twofold, the Word also everywhere is twofold, that is, the conjunction of the Lord and man, or the marriage of the Lord and the church-the essential covenant-is everywhere. This is the reason why the Word is called the Book of the Covenant (Exod. xxiv: 7, 8, and II Kings xxiii: 2). The Old Testament is also called the Old Covenant, and the New Testament the New Covenant (Life 60).

A summary from the Writings on this general subject is presented as follows-

The whole Word is the covenant (A. C. 6804). The two loves joined together are the essential covenant (A. C. 2037). The Law is called a covenant (Life 57). The Law is called a covenant because a covenant signifies conjunction (Life 60). To keep the covenant is to live according to the commandments (A. C. 8767, 4197). The Decalogue is called a covenant because conjunction with the Lord is effected when man keeps the commandments (A. E. 1027). Regeneration is signified by the covenant. The Lord enters into a covenant with man when He regenerates him (A. C. 665). The covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were but representations of regeneration (A. C. 665). A covenant signifies regeneration, and indeed the conjunction of the Lord with the regenerate man, by love (A. C. 1023). In the Word the Lord Himself is called a covenant because He alone regenerates (A. C. 666). Every covenant is for the sake of conjunction, namely, that the parties may live mutually in friendship, or in love; hence marriage is also called a covenant (A. C. 1038). A covenant was representative of the conjunction of the Lord's Human Essence with His Divine (A. C. 1864). The Lord never establishes a covenant with man, but when conjunction by love and charity is treated of, it is also actually exhibited as a covenant (A. C. 2842). The conjunction of the Lord with the church was represented by a covenant, such as is made between two who swear to their compact; on which account, because an oath was part of a covenant, it is said that Jehovah sware (A. R. 474).

We now see that the abstract or universal idea of the covenant is that of action and reaction, and conjunction thereby, -action on the part of God and reaction on the part of man. Concerning this we read as follows: "Since man must desist from evils as sins as if from himself, these ten commandments were inscribed by the Lord on two tables, and these were called a covenant.; and this covenant was entered into in the same way as it is usual to enter into covenants between two, that is, one proposes and the other accepts, and the one who accepts consents. If he does not consent, the covenant is not established. To consent to this covenant is to think, will, and do as if of oneself. Man's thinking to shun evils and to do good as of himself is done not by man but by the Lord. This is done by the Lord for the sake of reciprocation and consequent conjunction; for the Lord's Divine Love is such that it wills that what is its own shall be man's, and as these things cannot be man's because they are Divine, it makes them to be as if they were man's." (A. E. 971.)

From the teaching of the foregoing number it is clear that the covenant stands as a universal of the Word, appearing in some form in every chapter and in every verse, as expressive of the marriage of the Lord and the church, the marriage of good and truth, or the conjunction of God with man and of man with God. Man therefore fulfills his part of the covenant when, in full freedom of will, he acts as of himself from God, and thus reacts with God.

The signs of this covenant are everywhere, and should be looked for and noted in the study of any chapter or paragraph in the Word. It is to be especially noted, however, in the places where it is the dominant idea, when the purpose is exposition, or the setting forth of the internal sense in the form of a sermon or discourse. For the leading idea of the series should be the leading idea of the sermon; which in this case would be the conjunction of the Lord with man, or the marriage of the Lord and the church, or the marriage of good and truth. In choosing a text therefore, and in studying the chapter where the text occurs, the minister will find an especial value in noting in it the element of action and reaction, action on the part of God and reaction on the part of man, and in comparing this truth with the related truths which will appear when the other rules are applied to the text, and when the explanations given in the Writings are also brought to bear in its elucidation.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 17
CHAPTER XVI

AFFECTION IN THE WORD

AFFECTION IS THE PRIME ESSENTIAL OF THE WORD, BOTH IN ITS NATURAL AND IN ITS SPIRITUAL SENSES.

It is necessary in the study of the Word to observe not only what is said, but also the affection from which a thing is said; for the Word is constituted of thought and affection together, but the affection is primary.* Until it is seen that the Word is both affection and thought, the internal sense is not fully before us, for in that sense especially is found the true spirit of the Word, which is affection and thought together, or good and truth, or love and wisdom. We can see that this is so when we understand that the Word is a Man, the Divine Man, the Divine Human of our Lord Jesus Christ (John i: 1-14). The Lord or the Word is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and is thus the one only source of love and wisdom with angels and men, the one only source of all human affection and thought, of everything of human life, even down to the body itself and all parts of it (D. L. W. 18). All this from the Lord is primarily and essentially the Word, which is the life and light of men. Man is thus the image of God, especially the image of the Divine Mind, or of the Divine Love and Wisdom. We know that it is the mind, or love and wisdom, or will and understanding, that make a man; this also makes the Lord or the Word.
* The affection and the thought from affection, which make the Word as to its internal sense, are in the angels who are present when the Word is read by man. Heaven is thus within the Word, and the Lord is within heaven.

Now the Doctrine teaches that there is a ruling love, or a ruling affection of love, in every man, that governs everything of his life (A. C. 6159, 7342). From this ruling affection of love there are many derivative affections, so that there is always some affection from which words are spoken and deeds are done (A. C. 1758). There can be no speech, nor any action of the body, that is not inspired by some affection of the mind, some love of the will, which takes the form of thought in the understanding; so that there is no thought without its affection, and the two are present in every word that is spoken, as well as in every deed; and what is true of human speech is true also of all human writing. That there are in general two states of life, a state of thought and a state of affection, see Arcana Coelestia, number 8750. A man gives expression to both of these in all that he speaks, in all that he writes, and in all that he does. Since this is true of every man and of every angel and spirit, it is eminently and supremely true of the Lord as the Word, and of the Lord in His Word. It is from this source, from the Lord as the Word, that the whole heaven, which is the Maximus Homo, is arranged into angelic -human -societies according to affections (D. Love ix), and not according to thoughts or truths, except so far as these are from affections or have affection in them. The ruling principle, the very life itself of a heavenly society, is some affection which is the activity of a ruling love. Indeed affection is the active and leading principle of every function whether in heaven or on earth; and a heavenly society is nothing else than a function, a function that is expressed by a name in the Word, and is present in that name when the Word is read'. Hence until we see the affection as well as the thought from which the words of Scripture are spoken, the interior life of the Word, the Divine Mind itself, is but obscurely revealed; for the Word is the Divine Mind of the Lord revealing itself to men, and the Divine Mind is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, -both together and not one without the other.

It is not, however, as easy for a man to see his own or another's affections as it is to see his thoughts; and so in the Word it is not so easy to see the affections that are in it, as it is to see the thoughts or truths (A. C. 6159). Hence the application of this law as a rule of exposition will be somewhat difficult. Still it is important to know this as one of the general principles by which the spirit of the Word is revealed and its interior life made known, even though the perception of its operation be obscure, and its application be attended with difficulty. Whatever is revealed and taught in the Writings is intended to be known, understood, and used; and hence a consideration of this law, that affection is the primary essential of the Word, cannot well be left out in any treatise on the exposition of the Word.

We are taught that the angels, from a single series of words, know what the ruling affection is (H. H. 236). They can see this in human speech, in human writing, and above all in the Word when it is read by man. They thus perceive clearly what we can perceive only obscurely, but even this obscure perception is of supreme value in the understanding of the Word. Let us now proceed to a consideration of certain teachings of the Writings that bear distinctly on this general subject.

It frequently occurs, especially in Arcana Coelestia, that attention is called to the affection contained in the words used in the literal sense, and the presence of such affection is taken as a sign of what the internal sense is in any given passage; for example, in words that are expressive of love, fear, anxiety, humiliation, indignation, anger, zeal, contempt, aversion, loathing, horror, or in other words of a similar character. Such words indicate the activity of sonic affection, and correspond with sonic affection in the spiritual sense.

We find this truth illustrated in the following passage: "'And he said, What is this that thou hast done?' That these words signify that he was grieved may appear from the indignation with which they are spoken; the sorrow thence arising is thus expressed. The internal sense is such that the affection which lies concealed in the words is what constitutes it; and the words of the letter are not attended to but are as if they were not." (A. C. 1492.) In the natural sense it is the indignation and grief of Pharaoh On account of the treatment be had received from Abram in respect to Sarai. But there is contained within this a spiritual or a celestial sense, in which Pharaoh and Abram wholly disappear, and the temptations of the Lord in His childhood come into view, accompanied with indignation and grief over the loss of the scientifics which He loved. In the number, a part of which is quoted above, this state in the Lord is spoken of as illustrating the fact that "the internal sense is such that the affection which lies concealed in the words is what constitutes it." Even in the natural sense affection is primary, and ideas of thought secondary, though this is not generally realized, either from want of knowledge, or because it is not reflected upon. That affection is primary in the spiritual sense is still more true, because that sense is nearer the infinite fountain of love, which is in the Lord and is the Lord. It is usual with us to think of the spiritual sense as truth, and indeed this is so, but within the truth that first appears to us is affection which is its soul and life. The subject is further illustrated in the numbers which now follow.

"'Abraham said unto God.' -That it signifies the Lord's perception from love, appears from the signification of saying unto God as denoting to perceive. . . . That the Lord said this from love is evident, for the affection of love shines forth from the very words, where it is said, 'O that Ishmael might live before Thee."' (A. C. 2077.) Since love "shines forth from the very words" of the literal sense, it is evident that love is primary in the celestial sense of the same words.

"'If, I pray, I have found favor in thine eyes.' That it signifies the respectivity (respectivum) of the Lord's state when He observed that perception, may appear from the affection of humiliation in these words, and also in those which immediately follow, 'Pass not, I pray, from over Thy servant,' in which likewise is humiliation." (A. C. 2157.)

"'And he said, let not, I pray, my Lord be angry, and I will speak.' -That it signifies anxiety concerning the human race, does not so plainly appear from the words, as from the affection in the words. . . . When these words are read, the celestial angels instantly perceive a certain anxiety, and this the anxiety of love towards the human race; and then at the same time innumerable and inexpressible things are insinuated into them concerning the anxiety of love Which the Lord induced, whilst He thought of the state of the human race." (A. C. 2275.) Here we are told that the internal sense does not so plainly appear from the words, that is, from the ideas of thought in them, as from the affection that is manifest as soon as they are read, -a positive indication that it is more important to observe the affection of the literal sense than its thought. We have in these pages frequently dwelt upon the importance of a thorough analysis of the literal sense, a clear view of the scientifics contained therein, as a fundamental of preparation for entering into the internal sense. We have now presented to our minds a feature of the literal sense, which is essential to such analysis, namely, the taking note of the natural affection from which the words of Scripture are spoken, without which a chapter cannot be thoroughly analyzed, nor is the way fully opened to the ruling affection of the spiritual sense and its truth, to which the natural affection and its truth corresponds. That this will sometimes be difficult of accomplishment does not appear as a reason why the attempt should not be made.

Let us quote one more example of the operation of this law. "'And he said unto Laban.' -That it signifies indignation appears from the affection in these words, and in those which follow. That it is the affection of indignation, which, according to the historical series, falls into these words is evident." (A. C. 3839. See also A. C. 2543, 2802, 6178.)

In all these passages and in others like them in the Writings, that affection appears in any word or phrase of the literal sense is taken as an indication that there is some corresponding affection in the spiritual sense. Another indication is also afforded, which is that since in such terms affection is the dominating element, affection also dominates in the spiritual sense.

Not only in Scripture, but sometimes in human language truth appears as the first the more active, and leading principle, as in ordinary prose; but at other times affection is manifestly the dominant quality, as in poetry. It is well known that poetry is weak in the degree that truth or intellectual thought appears as the active and leading principle in the language used. The Word is the type and at the same time the fountain of all prose and of all poetry, and it is clear that these two elements are in the Word throughout, either the one or the other being dominant. The Prophets, the Psalms, and Revelation are essentially poetic: the historical parts of the Old Testament and the Gospels are more like prose in their, form and structure. There is, however, much variety in each. The point of interest to us in this connection is, that poetic words are those which express affection, are signs that affection is active and leading not only in the natural, but also in the spiritual sense. Affection is indeed the first, even in the prose parts of the Word, but it is not so active and does not appear as the leading and dominant quality. In human speech also when strong feeling, emotion, or affection dominates the mind and is seeking utterance, the words are not the same as when the language is more deliberative, or more from the thought of the understanding.*

* It may be remarked that the Writings in their linguistic form and construction are essentially prosaic or didactic, because their purpose is to teach truth of doctrine to the understanding; and yet they contain in their bosom the Divine Love itself, and all heavenly affections.

In respect to affection in the Word we are told that it is the celestial sense. The spiritual sense appears as truth, but the celestial sense as affection or good or love; for we read that "there is a still more interior sense in the Word, which is called celestial . . . but this sense can scarcely be unfolded, for it does not fall so much into the thought of the understanding, as into the affection of the will." (S. S. 19. See also S. S. 40, 42. A. R. 830.) The affection is the affection of love to the Lord; hence it is often said that the celestial sense treats of the Lord alone. (See A. C. 10265. S. S. 80, and elsewhere.) The terms spiritual and internal are, however, often used to include both the spiritual and celestial senses of the Word.

As we have already indicated, natural truth in the Word corresponds to spiritual truth, and natural affection to spiritual affection; as for instance in Exodus i: 7, we read of the increase in numbers of the children of Israel by births, which with them was from the affection of the love of offspring. But the natural affection of offspring has in it by correspondence the spiritual affection of truth; and so the internal sense treats of the increase of truths from the spiritual affection of truth. Again in Genesis xx:8, we have the words, "And the men feared exceedingly." It was a natural affection of fear felt by Abimilech and his servants. Fear, as a natural affection, has respect to the loss of life, of reputation, of honor, and of worldly things. But the affection of fear in the spiritual sense, as contained in the above words, is fear for the loss of the things of spiritual life. This latter fear has its ground, not in the world and the love of worldly things, but in the love of the things of the church and of heaven. It is thus a spiritual fear and a spiritual affection (A. C. 2543). The affection of natural fear appears again in Exodus x: 16, 17, in the words, "And Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only." But the spiritual sense does not treat of the fear of Pharaoh on account of the threatened destruction of himself and of his people, but of the fear of those in the spiritual world whom Pharaoh represented, and who were now about to be judged and cast into hell, -the fear of those in the imaginary heavens who had been subjecting the simple good to their dominion. This fear was inspired by the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, making itself visible and felt in the seeming heavens which were now to be judged and dispersed. Again it is said in Genesis xxvi: 18, that "Isaac returned and digged again the wells of waters which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father . . . and he called their names after the names by which his fattier had called them." In the natural sense of these words the predominant feature is the affection of Isaac for the memory of his father Abraham; but in the spiritual or celestial sense this natural affection wholly disappears, and in its stead is seen by correspondence the affection of the Lord, excited while He was in the world for "those truths which were known and received among the Ancients," which were now opened to Him (A. C. 3419). But it is not necessary to multiply examples, as they may be found everywhere in the Word.

It is desirable to discover the natural affections which are in the Word, for the sake of the understanding of the literal sense, for the sake of the instruction of children and young people and others who may need such instruction, and also for the sake of the correspondence of natural things with spiritual. But these natural affections of the literal sense are not the affections which are spoken of as being concealed in the words of Scripture, and which are not apparent to the natural thought of man, for natural affections, "have nothing in common with the affections which are in the internal sense of the Word, these latter being the affections of spiritual and celestial love, which man is the less capable of perceiving, because few are in them, and those few are simple persons, who cannot reflect upon their affections. The rest of mankind do not even know what genuine affection is. These spiritual and celestial affections are contained in charity towards the neighbor and in love to God. Persons who are not in them believe that they are, nothing, when yet they fill the universal heaven, and this with ineffable variety. Such affections, with their varieties, are what are stored in the internal sense of the Word . . . and shine brightly before the angels when the Word is read by those who are in simple good and at the same time in innocence." (A. 3839.)

In the same number we are told that "there are principally two kinds of affections which shine forth in brightness from the Word before the angels, namely, the affections of truth, and the affections of good," and that the affections of good are affections of love to the Lord, and the affections of truth are affections of mutual love, or love towards the neighbor. We can see from this teaching the importance of finding, as far as we are able, the dominant spiritual affection in any passage of the Word, whether it be the affection of good or the affection of truth, the affection of love to the Lord, or the affection of love to the neighbor, that is, whether the ruling love in the series is love to the Lord or love to the neighbor. There are many signs in the literal sense of the active presence of these loves or affections. Among these signs are the names of God. For instance, if Jehovah be the name of God that is used, it is a sign that the affection of. good or the affection of love to the Lord is active and dominant in the internal sense; but if Elohim be used we know at once that the affection of truth or the affection of love to the neighbor is the leading affection in the internal sense.

We learn also from the passage quoted just above, that affections are ends, and that the angels are in the ends of the Word which are affections; or as we read: "Ends are nothing else but loves or affections, for what a man loves he regards as an end. Thus the angels are in the affections of the things contained in the Word, and this with all variety according to the kinds of affections in which they are." We have already seen that the end in a chapter or paragraph in the Word is in the first thing said and appears at the close of the series, This end is the affection of a love reigning in some angelic society; for heaven is interiorly in the Word, with all its life of affection and thought. This end or affection with its corresponding truth, which is in the first thing said, reigns universally in what follows, or in every verse and in every word of the group. If we are able to determine what the affection is, which is the end in the first thing said, we shall know what the affection is that is present throughout the following series. This affection will be some affection of love to the Lord or of love to the neighbor, or some affection of good or of truth, or an affection opposite to these, which may be determined according to the principles already laid down in these pages. It is well also not to forget that with affection there is also illustration, perception, thought, truth, understanding, which are laid open to view when we know what the affection is which is the end in the chapter. This can be found by the application of several of the rules.

The fact that there is in the Word not only thought but affection, not only truth but good, not only wisdom but love, is represented in human language itself, since language is nothing else than an ultimate expression of the mental state, and is intended to express not only the thought of the understanding but also the affection of the will. This is seen in the very structure of language in the twofold character of the letters, namely, in the vowels and in the consonants. Now the vowel, which is nothing but a sound or tone of the voice, represents affection because it is the mode of expressing affection, a thing which animals possess in common with men. Animals can express affection by vowel sounds, but as they do not possess thought or reason they have no consonants to clothe their vowel sounds, and hence they have no language. Man in early infancy is like an animal, he does not clothe his vowels with consonants until he is prepared to enter into the processes of thought and clothe his thought in the articulate words of speech. Vowels are thus made by which affection expresses itself in sound, and consonants are made by which the affection in the vowel or tone takes form as speech, expressive of thought.

Since vowels are merely sounds, the form of affection, they are not a part of human speech properly considered, but prior to it and thus within it as its soul and life, nor do they become a part of the speech until they are clothed with consonants, thus taking the form of thoughts which clothe affection. Hence we read that "vowels do not belong to the language (of the angels], but to the elevations of its words by various affections according to the state of every one." For this reason "in the Hebrew language the vowels are not expressed, and they are also variously pronounced. From the sound of the vowels the angels know the quality of a man as to affection and love." (H. H. 241.) But when the affection or love, ultimating itself in vowel sounds, takes form in consonants and thus in articulate speech, the angels then know also the quality of the thought of man; and in the same manner one man knows the thought of another.

We read also that "because affections manifest themselves chiefly by sounds, therefore also in human discourse when great subjects are treated of, as heaven (coelum) and God (Deus), those words are preferred which contain the vowels u and o. Musical sounds also have an elevation to the same vowels, when such things are expressed; it is otherwise when subjects not great are treated of; hence it is that the art of music is able to express various kinds of affections." (H. H. 241.) We are told further that "the language [of the angels] flows from their very affection and thought. The sound of speech corresponds to their affection, and the words correspond to the ideas of thought which are from affection; and because language corresponds to them, that also is spiritual, for it is affection sounding and thought speaking. . . . No thought and idea at all is given without affection; their soul and their life is from it." (H. H. 236, 241, 261. D. W. vii: 5. A. R. 29. T. C. R. 19.)

These considerations establish and confirm the teaching that there is in the Word not only thought but affection, both existing in the literal sense and in the internal sense, of which latter the literal sense is the ultimate form and image; and hence that in order to fully understand the Word it is necessary to observe not only its thought but its affection, or otherwise we see it only in part or as through a glass darkly.

In drawing to the close of this chapter it may be well to remark that the teaching concerning affection in the Word is given us for the sake of the understanding of the Word. All the principles of exposition set forth in this work are based on teachings of the Writings. These teachings are given that the Word may be laid open as to its interior contents, that is, as to its spiritual sense, and that the understanding thereby may enter into the interior mysteries of faith. They cannot fail therefore to be of use to a minister who will apply them for the sake of understanding the Word, and thence' for the sake of exposition and instruction. This work is an attempt to bring them together for those who wish to enter into the spirit of the teaching concerning the white horse in the Apocalypse-the Word laid open by the understanding thereof; and the church builded on this understanding as formed and established in the minds of men.



17



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 18
CHAPTER XVII

COMPARISON OF WORDS AND PASSAGES

THE INTERNAL SENSE MAY BE DISCOVERED BY MEANS OF A COMPARISON OF WORDS AND PASSAGES.

The value of comparison in the teaching and in the study of any subject is generally recognized; but its use in the study of the Word, when the mind is enlightened by truth of doctrine, is what we would endeavor to present in this chapter, trusting that we shall be able to show that this rule occupies a position of the same dignity and importance as the other rules of ex-, position that have been discussed in the preceding pages. The great practical value of it in the expounding of a given text for a sermon, and in the preparation of lessons for the religious instruction of children, becomes apparent as the subject is developed. We must not indeed lose sight of the fact that the light of doctrine is the one essential factor in the understanding of the Word. Without this light the mind wanders in dark and tortuous paths. But there are aids to this light, and among them is the rule of comparison.

We find the application of the rule of comparison carried to the full in works like Arcana Coelestia, The Apocalypse Revealed, and The Apocalypse Explained, wherein the numerous related passages quoted bear testimony to the value of this principle of exposition.* The use of this principle in the study of the Writings themselves is clearly shown by the great number of references to the same subject as treated elsewhere. It is indeed a rule that may be usefully applied in the study of any subject in any domain of human research. There is no truth, natural or spiritual, without relation to other truths more or less closely connected; and these related truths should be seen and known in order to obtain a comprehensive view of any subject tinder consideration. It is a rule therefore that should be used in the study of the Word, in -its literal sense, not only to acquire a just understanding of the letter, but also for the sake of entrance into the spiritual sense itself. This rule is followed in the Writings, as we have said, but there is also direct teaching on the subject. We read that "when the church is being established, the doctrinals of good must first be gathered into one, for these [doctrinals] are the things on which it is built. Doctrinals have also a connection with and a mutual looking to each other; therefore unless they are first gathered into one, there will be a defect, and that which is lacking must be supplied from the rational of man, and how blind and under illusion this is in spiritual and Divine things, when its conclusions are from itself, has been abundantly shown above. On this account the Word was given to the church, in which are all the doctrinals of good and truth." (A. C. 3786.)

* The amount of material from the literal sense collected in the Writings affords the student abundant help in procuring passages for illustration and comparison. For this purpose also, Bibles with marginal references have been provided. The use of this rule, however, need not be confined to the study of words and sentences, but groups of verses and chapters may be compared; and even books of the Word, as -Daniel and the Apocalypse, and the Gospels with each other.

We learn from this passage that the principle of interpretation we are considering is fundamental in the beginning of the church; that it is based upon the fact that truths have, a mutual relation to each other; and we further learn that heresies arise when this law is not observed, that is, when the attention of the mind is exclusively occupied with one truth without due consideration of related truths (A. C. 362); for then that which is lacking must be supplied from the rational of man, which is blind and under illusion in spiritual and Divine things when its conclusions are from itself.

We are taught also in the passage quoted concerning the importance of collecting all the doctrine on a given subject, or on a given text of Scripture. This involves not only the collecting of the doctrine in the Writings that bears upon the leading idea of the text, but also the doctrine of the literal sense of the Word, in order that the subject may be seen in an entire view, and that there may be no defect to be supplied from the human rational, from the light of the world, or from the destructive criticism of men. In other words the particulars of doctrine must be supplied from revelation and its light, and not from the light of human intelligence, For one truth does not make a form, as we learn from the following teaching: "The command given in the representative church that all truth shall stand on the word of two or three witnesses, and not on that of one (Num. xxxv: 30, Deut. xvii: 6, 7, xix: 15, Matt. xviii: 16), is founded on the Divine law that one truth does not confirm good, but a number of truths, for one truth without connection with other truths does not confirm, but a number together, for from one truth another can be seen. One does not produce a form, and thus not any quality, but a number that are connected in a series. For as one tone does not produce any melody, still less harmony, so neither does one truth. These are the things on which the above law is founded, although in the external form it appears to be founded in the civil state; but the one is not contrary to the other, as is also the case with the precepts of the Decalogue." (A. C. 4197.)

This number clearly indicates that the application of the rule of comparison will lead to related truths, which are necessary to a complete form, -related truths appearing in the text and in the context of similar passages. It will thus be of value even where passages are explained in the Writings. But its use will be seen especially where passages are not directly explained. There has been given us indeed explanation of every thing in the literal sense of the Word; but there are many portions that are not directly unfolded.

The bringing together of related truths bearing witness to each other, gives breadth of view, a wider field for the range of vision; and provides material for genuine illustration, for a larger enlightenment of the mind, and for confirmatory evidence, all of which comes when wisdom is the end regarded. For "he who reads the Word from the end of growing wise, that is, of doing good and understanding truth, is instructed according to the end, and according to the affection thereof; for the Lord flows in while he knows not, and illustrates his mind, and when he hesitates, gives understanding from other passages." (A. C. 3436.) When wisdom is the end regarded in the reading and study of the Word, there is formed and established what is called "the intellectual of the church," which "consists in man's perceiving when he reads the Word, and carefully compares one passage with another, what is thence to be believed and what to be done." (A. C. 6222.) The intellectual of the church is also what is called the understanding of the Word, by which is all progressive growth in intelligence and wisdom. Two things contribute to establish this intellectual, perception and comparison. By the latter the scientifics of truth may be gathered and heaped together; but they remain as an undigested mass, unless there be perception which is from spiritual light in the mind, by which perception truths are placed in an orderly relation one to another, and result in a form and state that is expressed by the term, "the intellectual of the church." This intellectual is the understanding of the Word as to its internal sense, based upon the understanding of the literal sense. For "the internal sense is not only that sense which lies concealed in the external sense, as has been hitherto shown, but also that which results from many passages rightly compared with each other, and apperceived by those who are in illustration from the Lord." (A. C. 7233.) As will be seen, the teaching in this passage is most clear that the mind of the student can be led to the spiritual sense by the comparison of one passage with another when there is illustration from the Lord, and illustration is given by true doctrine and by the affection of truth for its own sake.

We find the same teaching in the following passage: "How deceived they are who abide in the sense of the letter alone, and who do not search out the internal sense from other passages, where it is explained in the Word, may appear manifest from the number of heresies that have arisen, each one of which is confirmed from the literal sense of the Word." (A. C. 2760 Preface.) It has been shown elsewhere in this work, by extracts from the Writings, that the spiritual sense does indeed appear here and there in the letter of the Word; and now we have before us the teaching that when it does not appear in a given passage, it may be found by a comparison of passages. Comparison, however, is not only for the purpose of revealing what is unknown, but it is also for the sake of confirming and establishing what a man already knows or perceives to be true; or if the knowledge is not clear and distinct, if the perception is obscure, if there is doubt or hesitation as to what is true, and yet the end in view is to be taught of the Lord, then "the Lord flows in while he knows it not, and when he hesitates, gives understanding from other passages." (A. C. 3436.)

The general proposition therefore follows that a comparison of the text and context of similar passages is often necessary for the complete understanding of any given passage. Let us illustrate by some examples, which will serve to show that with the light of genuine doctrine in our minds, and by a comparison of passages, the spiritual sense appears.

Why does the Lord say after certain of His miracles, "See thou tell no man"? It does not appear that these words have been directly explained in the Writings, but we will endeavor to see if their spiritual meaning can be discovered by a comparison of the parallel passages. The following are some examples of this charge as given by the Lord to His disciples, and to those whom He healed: He said unto the leper whom He had cleansed, "See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (Matt. viii: 4.) Two blind men were healed by Him, "and their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them saying, See that no man know it." (Matt. ix: 30.) "And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried saying, Thou art the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known." (Mark iii: 11, 12.) He said unto His disciples, "But whom say ye that I am, and Peter answereth and saith unto Him, Thou art the Christ. And He charged them that they should tell no man." (Mark viii: 29, 30. See also Mark ix: 9. Luke ix: 21, 36.) Yet although the Lord commanded that He should not be made known, it appears that His words were not fulfilled; for we read such passages as the following: "And the fame hereof went abroad into all the land," (Matt. ix: 26) is said after the woman was healed of the issue of blood. Although the two blind men who were healed were charged that no man should know it, yet "when they were departed, they spread abroad His fame in all that country" (Matt. ix: 31); and we are also told that the Lord Himself "went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (See Matt. ix: 35, and elsewhere.)

It appears therefore that the Lord commanded that He should not be made known, and yet He Himself publicly proclaimed His mission, and the fame of His deeds was spread abroad. It could not be otherwise, and we must seek in the spiritual sense for the reason why this command was given. But if we are not told directly what He meant, may we not find by a comparison of related passages some hint of the mystery involved? Let us see.

In Matthew xii: 14-21, we read that "great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; and He charged them that they should not make Him known." Yet it was known in the doing to great multitudes of people. But the reason given for His charge to them follows- "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet. . . . A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory." The time when He should be made known is here mentioned, namely, when He should send forth judgment unto victory. In these words the clue is given and the mystery is solved. He was not to be known, nor could He be really known, until the last judgment was accomplished, until He had subjugated the hells and glorified His Human. Hence when He came down from the mount of transfiguration, where He had manifested His glorified Human to Peter, James, and John, "He charged them saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead." (Matt. xvii: 9. Mark ix: 9.) Thus to a mind that is in the light of revealed doctrine the spiritual sense appears in the letter by a comparison of passages. For nothing is really known, spiritually known, until true doctrine is revealed and the light of illustration is given; but this cannot take place until the last judgment is performed, and this is directly taught in A Continuation of the Last Judgment, numbers 11, 12.

Again let us suppose that we wish to find in the same manner the signification of the word publican in the spiritual sense. Let us therefore examine several passages where the word occurs, viewing them at the same time in their context. We shall begin with Luke xv: 1, 2, where it is said, "then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them." The significant facts in these words are, that the publicans and sinners drew near unto Him, that they desired to hear Him, and that they are placed in contrast with the Pharisees who were hypocrites. It is also apparent here and elsewhere that the latter had hatred and contempt for the publicans; and that one of the charges brought against the Lord was that He was "a friend of publicans and sinners." (Matt. xi: 19.) These indications lead to the general conclusion that the word publican is used in a good sense. Again we have these words, "And it came to pass, that as Jesus sat at meat in His house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, How is it that He eateth with publicans and sinners?" (Mark ii: 15, 16.) The same thing occurs and the same question is asked by the Pharisees in Luke v: 27-30. Again, "Two men went into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men. . . . And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke xviii: 10-13.) Let us note also that Matthew was a publican. Again, Jesus said unto the priests and elders in the temple, "Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before you. For John came unto you in the way of justice, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and harlots believed him." (Matt. xxi: 31, 32.) The words and the context here as elsewhere, indicate clearly that the Gentiles are meant, they with whom the Christian Church was to be established, for they are also spoken of as the "other husbandmen" to whom the vineyard should be let (Matt. xxi: 41. This is in fact declared in The Apocalypse Explained, number 617.

Again, if we wish to know what is signified by "beyond Jordan" in John i: 28, and x: 40, we shall find that the Gentiles are signified by examining Matthew iv: 15, "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles."

In Matthew xiii: 12, these words occur, "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath." If we wish to know who are here meant, by a reference to Luke viii: 18, we find it stated that from him that hath not "shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have." When we read this latter we know at once that the hypocrites are meant, for they are the class of persons who only seem to have the knowledge of truth and of the things of religion. After death, as we are taught, all these things which they seem to have are taken away from them. Almost any word, sentence, or verse can be treated in this way. By reading similar passages, and examining each in its context, it will become transparent as we proceed, and the spiritual sense will shine in the letter.

A minister or student of the Word, who is face to face with a passage, the spiritual sense of which he does not know, and who can find no direct explanation in the Writings, is in the position of the disciples and the multitudes whom the Lord taught by comparisons. "Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?" (Mark iv: 30.) This was His usual manner of teaching, especially of teaching the multitudes; for speaking by parables is nothing else than teaching by comparison. In the Old Testament also we find this method followed. Thus it may be considered the true mode of teaching the literal sense of the Word to the Gentiles, to the simple-good, and to children. It is evident therefore that comparison precedes correspondence and is introductory to it. Hence children are to be taught by comparison before they can be taught by correspondences; and it follows that the study of the science of correspondence should be preceded by a study of the principle of comparison; for what is naturally comparison is spiritually correspondence, and thus comparison represents correspondence and is the means of approach to it. Comparison is for the natural mind, and correspondence for the rational and spiritual mind, -the former for the juvenile state, and the latter for the adult.

That there is a direct relation between comparisons and correspondences, we learn from the following passages: All comparisons in the Word are correspondences (A. C. 5115, 8989. A. R. 334. A. E. 69, 376, 401). All comparisons in the Word are significative and representative (A. C. 4599. See also 3579, 3901, 3941, 4231, 7571, 10445). We read also that "comparisons are made for the sake of the simple, who see better by means of comparisons than by deductions formed analytically from the Word, and at the same time from reason." (T. C. R. 131.) The simple are children, most young people, and many adults.

As was said, the minister is in this state when in the presence of a passage the spiritual sense of which is unknown to him. If, however, he has a knowledge of true doctrine as given in the Writings, and if he has acquired the principles of exposition as there given, he may not need to apply this rule, -which is thus of especial value where other resources have failed; it will also be of value by way of confirmation, when he already knows the spiritual sense through the other modes that are given.



18



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 19
CHAPTER XVIII

THE OPPOSITE SENSE

THE OPPOSITE IS ALWAYS PRESENT, EITHER EXPRESSED OR UNDERSTOOD.

In order to comprehend the subject of opposition in the Word, it will be well to bring into view both the fact and the use of such opposition, the fact that it exists, and the reason why it exists and is permitted to exist, producing the appearance of contradiction in Divine Revelation. We shall now consider these two phases of the subject of opposites, in order to see its bearing upon the subject of the study and analysis of the Word.

The word opposite signifies a thing that is placed over against or contrary to another thing, as one army or one antagonist against another; thus it indicates not only what is passively, but also what is actively arrayed, one thing against another for the purpose of removal or destruction.

In the Sacred Scripture many words, if not all, have an opposite sense, which we learn from the Writings, and which is to a large extent confirmed in the lexicons. The same can easily be seen by a comparison of the use of terms in the texts of Scripture. This is true of the natural sense of the words, and also of their spiritual sense, having- as its ground and origin the fact that to every truth there is an opposite falsity, to every good an opposite evil, and to every heavenly society an opposite infernal society. The opposition of hell to heaven thus appears in every part of the Word; hence the teaching that "in the Word there is not only a natural but also a spiritual sense, and in this sense by the name of persons or places is signified something of the Lord, and thence something of heaven and the church from Him, or something opposite" (L. 2); also that "most things in the Word have a twofold sense, namely, a good sense and a sense opposite to that; from their good sense it is known what is the quality of their opposite sense, for the things which are in the opposite sense, are diametrically contrary to those which are in the good." (A. C. 4750.) And we read that the cause of this opposition appearing in the Word is "that the same things, which are being done in heaven, when they flow down towards hell, are changed into things opposite." (A. C. 5268.) We are further told that "hell is divided into societies in like manner as heaven, and also into as many societies as heaven, for every society in heaven has a society opposite to it in hell, and this for the sake of equilibrium. But the societies in bell are distinct according to evils and the falsities therefrom, because the societies in heaven are distinct according to goods and the truths therefrom. That to every good there is an opposite evil and to every truth an opposite falsity, may be known from this, that there is not anything without relation to its opposite, and that from the opposite is known its quality, and in what degree it is, and that hence comes all perception and sensation. On this account the Lord continually provides that every society of heaven may have its opposite in a society of hell, and that between them there may be equilibrium." (H. H. 541.)

Since "every society in heaven has a society opposite to it in hell," and since every verse in the Word communicates with some society in heaven (S. S. 64. A. R. 200. De Verbo 10), it follows by the law of opposition that every verse also communicates with some society in hell. A universal truth from a universal affection constitutes a society in heaven. Now in every truth of heaven there is a perpetual endeavor to descend into ultimates with men, or to take form in the literal sense of the Word; but in its reception on the part of men who are evil, it is turned into its opposite by falsification and perversion; hence the origin of all evil and all falsity, and the origin of the societies of hell. This is the reason that many things in the literal sense of the Word put on the appearance, the likeness and form, of evil and falsity; and when separated from their heavenly origin receive influx from a society of hell. This is always the case with the evil who read and study the Word. They are not able to see anything but the opposite of the truth. But when the good read the Word-those who are in charity and in love to the Lord, -appearances are bent by the Lord, and actually turned towards heaven to the good and truth from which they originated. Thus the truth is true to the good, even though in the form of appearance and fallacy, but it is evil and false to the evil; for influx is always according to the form of the receptacle.

A passage in the literal sense of the Word, false and evil in external form, becomes also to the regenerating man a source of infestation and assault from the society in hell which inflows and ultimates itself therein; and thus serves as a means of growth by resistance; for the ground of spiritual growth is by resistance to evil and falsity. But the evil experience no infestation nor temptation, for the opposite does not appear to them as opposite. It is only the truth that appears opposite to them. Hence we learn that those who are interiorly evil cannot see truths, because to them opposites appear (A. C. 3425). It is for the same reason that after death they can never see heaven however much they may seek for it, because they have been by life in the world interiorly confirmed in a life of evil, or in a life contrary to the things of religion. Such as these cannot be permitted to see truth, neither in this world nor in the other, lest they profane it. This is the reason why the things which are opposite to the truth and good of heaven are the only things that appear to them. For it is better that their eyes should be blinded and their hearts hardened (Matt. xiii: 13, 14), than that they should become guilty of profanation. Hence when opposites appear they immediately seize upon them, and tenaciously adhere to them (A. C. 3436). For they love only the things that are opposed to the life of heaven, and after death no man can see anything he does not love-neither can he in this world as to his spirit.

There are two classes of those who are in things opposite, which two classes include all mankind in the early stages of life. The one class will remain in things opposite, and can never be led out of them; but the other class is led out of them in the process of regeneration and is thus prepared for heaven. Hence the teaching that "the literal sense is such that in many passages it appears opposite to itself, but the reason is, because in that sense there are appearances of truth accommodated to those who are in externals, consequently who are also in worldly and corporeal loves." (A. C. 3451.) All are at first in worldly and corporeal loves, and in this state are unable to see the truth; for they are in mere appearances of truth. These are in fact the first things by which the human understanding is formed (D. L. W. 40). But in adult life these are to be dispersed by regeneration. With those who persist in a life of evil, however, this cannot be done. With them appearances are more and more confirmed, and appearances confirmed establish and make permanent a state of opposition to the truth. They therefore see nothing but evil and falsity in the Word, even as they see nothing but evil and falsity in the neighbor. All this is of the Divine Mercy and permission that men may not profane the interior things of the Word. It was for these reasons that the Jewish nation was chosen to take on the form of a church. They were in opposite states, and thus the Divine Truth might accommodate itself even to the evil, and in this manner might appear to the simple who at first are in opposites or in mere appearances of truth and good.

The same law is seen in nature itself. There is not a plant, shrub, animal, or mineral, to which there is not placed something over against it, actively assaulting it with the attempt to destroy. We see it illustrated too in human life, for there is a nothing a man thinks or proposes to do, to which there is not immediately presented something actively opposing, which would overturn and destroy were it not successfully resisted. The fact of opposition is indeed universal, and there seems to be no created thing against which something opposite does not arise with hostile intent.

Hence we are able to see that the opposition in the Word is an active and a real opposition. Evil spirits who are in the opposite, and who are thus present in the ultimates of the Word when it is read by man, inflow and are received by the evil, and would be received by the good also if not resisted by them. This influx of spirits who are in the opposite, is permitted by the Lord on account of certain uses which are thereby performed, of which we have spoken, and to which we shall again refer. It is in fact a general truth that all in the other life are allowed to have an ultimate in this world, in order that they may live, for no life in the spiritual world is possible that does not rest on some basis in the natural world.

That this universal opposition is not only represented in the literal sense of the Word, but also in nature and in human life, is distinctly set forth in the Writings, as in the following passage: "There is not anything in the universe that has not its opposite, and opposites are not things relative to each other, 'but they are contraries; relatives are between what is greatest and least of the same thing, but contraries are in the opposite against them, and the latter are relative to each other as the former are to each other, wherefore also the relations themselves are opposite. That every and each thing has its opposite, is manifest from light, heat, the times of the world, affections, perceptions, sensations, and many other things. The opposite of light is darkness, the opposite of heat is cold, the opposites of the times of the world are day and night, summer and winter; the opposites of the affections are joys and sorrows, gladnesses and sadnesses; the opposites of the perceptions are goods and evils, and truths and falses, and the opposites of the sensations are things agreeable and things disagreeable. Hence in all evidence it may be concluded that conjugial love has its opposite; that this is adultery every one may see, if he will, from all the dictates of sound reason; tell if you can, what else is its opposite." (C. L. 425.)

Now a fact that is general must exist from a general law, which is of the Divine provision or permission, and must lead to a use that is also general, since the Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of uses, and there is nothing in His kingdom which is not of use. The use of opposition is of this character, and hence we find it distinctly treated of in the Writings. That this use is one that is fundamental to human life in establishing freedom of choice, by which the human rational is formed, is most clearly set forth in Arcana Coelestia, as follows: "It is further to be known, that it is according to the laws of order that no one ought to be persuaded instantaneously concerning truth, that is, that truth should instantaneously be so confirmed as to leave no doubt at all concerning it, the reason is, that the truth which is so impressed becomes persuasive truth, and is without any extension, and also without any yielding; such truth is represented in the other life as hard, and of such a quality as not to admit good into it, that it may become applicable. Hence it is that as soon as any truth is presented before good spirits in the other life by manifest experience, there is presented some opposite, which causes doubt; thus it is given them to think and consider whether it be so, and to collect reasons, and so to bring that truth rationally into their mind. Hereby the spiritual sight has extension as to that truth, even to opposites; hence it sees and perceives in the understanding every quality of truth, and hence can admit influx from heaven according to the state of things, for truths receive various forms according to circumstances. This also is the reason why it was allowed the magicians to do as Aaron did; for thereby doubt was excited amongst the sons of Israel concerning the miracle, whether it was Divine, and thus opportunity was given them of thinking and considering whether it was Divine, and at length of confirming themselves that it was so." (A. C. 7298.)

This then is why opposition is permitted to have a place in all Divine Revelation, why the falsity opposite to the truth is permitted to appear there, simply because human liberty and human rationality, human freedom of choice, cannot otherwise be established and provided. In no other way can man appropriate to himself in freedom the spiritual truth of the Word given by revelation from God.

We are further instructed that it is of use to the good to learn what evil is; and that this use is provided for when evil is permitted to appear; and also that when evil is known as evil, its opposite good appears and is acknowledged. Concerning this we read that "besides the [instructing] spirits, of whom mention has now been made, there are given also spirits who infuse contrary persuasions; and they are those who, whilst they lived in the world, were banished from the society of others because they were evil. When they approach there appears as it were a flying fire, which glides down near the face; they place themselves beneath at the man's posteriors, and hence speak to the parts above. They speak things contrary to those which the instructor-spirits from the angels say, namely, that they ought not to live according to instruction, but at their own disposal and license, and like things; they generally come immediately after the departure of the former spirits. But the men in that earth know who and of what quality these spirits are, and therefore they pay no regard to them; nevertheless they thus learn what evil is, and so what good is; for by evil is learnt what is good, inasmuch as the quality of good is known from its contrary; every perception of a thing is according to reflection relative to discriminations arising from contraries in various Modes and degrees." (A. C. 7812.)

We learn of certain of the Africans, with whom there is a beginning of the New Church, that on one occasion "there then appeared many from this place . . . who spoke with the angels, and were instructed through heaven from the Lord, concerning such things as belong to the Heavenly Doctrine; and they said that they would communicate these to their people. Afterwards came hypocrites, and some from hell, and bore in contrary things, to which, however, the former spirits did not attend but yet heard, in order that they might know contrary things, and so be the better illustrated in truths, for where there is illustration, there also must be an idea of contraries." (S. D. 4772.)

By means of opposites there is equilibrium, or an equal balance of all the forces operating on any given subject, preserving all things in their order and use. Without such equilibrium, arising from opposite forces equally balanced, all created things would perish. The Doctrine teaches, "the existence and subsistence of all things, both in the natural world and in the spiritual world, depend upon a just equilibrium between two activities that are opposite; and when these act against each other manifestly, they act by forces, but when not manifestly they act by endeavors. By means of equilibrium all things in both worlds are preserved; without this all things would perish. In the spiritual world the equilibrium is between good from heaven and evil from hell; and thus between truth from heaven and falsity from hell. For the Lord arranges unceasingly that all kinds and species of good and truth in the heavens shall have opposite to them in the hells evils and falsities of kinds that correspond by opposition; thus goods and truths from. a celestial origin have for their opposites evils and falsities that are called devilish; and in like manner goods and truths from a spiritual origin have for their opposites evils and. falsities that are called infernal. The cause of these equilibriums is to be found in the fact that the same Divine goods and truths that the angels in heaven receive from the Lord, the spirits in the hells turn into evils and falsities." (A. E. 1043. See also A. C. 2686, 3300, 3425, 5798. D. P. 38, 69. T. C. R. 62. S. D. 2443, 4863.)

It is well known as a principle of science that equilibrium is the result of a reaction that equally balances the action. The reaction as it were opposes the action, bringing about an equal balance of the two forces. This brings forward the fact that there is an opposite which is not contrary, which is not hostile, and which does not attempt to destroy. For as was said, reaction rises up and as it were opposes itself to action, thus establishing equilibrium. Hence reaction is twofold. There is reaction with and reaction against. There is reaction which acts with and co-operates with the action, and there is reaction which acts against or contrary to the action. Equilibrium may be established by either mode. In the one equilibrium, that which is established by reaction with or co-operation, there is conjunction; but in the other equilibrium, that which is established by reaction which is against the action, there is brought about indeed a temporary equal balance of forces, but as there is no real conjunction, only a conflict for supremacy, there is final disjunction and separation. An example of the equilibrium in which there is conjunction is in the reaction of the external with its correspondent internal, or in the reaction of the effect with its own correspondent cause, or in general, of the reaction of man with God, leading to conjunction with God and eternal life. But the equilibrium in which is disjunction by reason of a hostile reaction is illustrated by the reaction of the natural man against the spiritual, of hell against heaven, and of man against God, leading to a permanent separation of the natural from the spiritual, of hell from heaven, and of man from God.

It should be noted that all reaction, because it establishes equilibrium, also establishes freedom, -on the plane of nature, freedom of movement, and on the plane of spirit, freedom of choice and the action which follows choice. In all equilibrium there is freedom to react with or to react against action. In his freedom man deliberately chooses to react with or against God; nor would there be any freedom if there were no freedom to react against action. If man were not free to react against God he would not be free to react with God. The freedom which is exercised to react against that which it should react with, is the cause of all opposition that is contrary. It is the cause that brings all evil into existence and creates hell. This is the opposition which appears in the Word and is expressed or understood in every chapter and in every verse, and it is an ever present reality with man. All such opposition is interiorly and essentially negative.

Let us repeat, that the opposition indicated or expressed in the Word is an active opposition, -acting against, hostile, attacking with the intent to destroy. It is like a disease in the human body, by which, if it be not resisted and removed, the body is destroyed. The spiritual disease is an evil love, contrary to the reigning love. The two loves come into conflict with each other; for the effort of every love is to remove that which is opposed to itself, as something inimical to its life. This is true of all love, whether good or evil; hence there arises collision, conflict. These loves, opposing each other, are in the Word because they are in man. For the whole spiritual world is interiorly in the Word, -the spiritual world as made up of the good and the evil who have left this world; and we are such as they were. It is from this cause that we find our life actively imaged in the Word, wherein we see ourselves as in a mirror.

The opposite is always present in the Word, but it does not always appear. Hence in any passage where the opposite evil or falsity is not expressed, it may be taken as a sign that the opposite is not, or not as yet, active in the states that are treated of in the internal sense, or that it has ceased to be active, that is, has been overcome. In Arcana Coelestia, number 1667 where the subject is the representation of Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, we learn that in early childhood, or in states before regeneration has begun and before temptations are actively present, evil spirits are held in subjection by the Lord, and are not allowed to infest by exciting hereditary evils into activity before the appointed time. When such states are treated of in the internal sense, opposites are not expressed in the sense of the letter. It is with evil spirits then as it is with an evil man, who does good works, but is held back by motives of fear or other causes from actual evil. Let us take for an example the ten Blessings, in which regeneration from its first beginnings in adult life to its close is treated of. The opening words are, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." The opposite does not appear in these words, because they treat of the first state or beginning of regeneration, wherein man acknowledges that he knows nothing from himself, but knows only as he is taught by revelation from the Lord. Still the opposite is involved as present, which can readily be seen by stating the words in their negative form, "Cursed are the proud in spirit," that is, those who are confirmed in the pride of their own intelligence, and hence are unwilling to acknowledge the Lord, or to be taught by Him. Such evil spirits are therefore present in the very beginning of regeneration, and in later states their opposition will become active, and will appear in the literal sense which follows, when the active assault by evil spirits is described. This is the case later in the Blessings where persecution by the evil is plainly spoken of: "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. . . . for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." This persecution was involved in the first Blessing, but not expressed until afterwards. The first may be called the latent opposite, and the second the active opposite; and it may be said that evil is latent, by opposition everywhere in the Word, because the Word treats of the states of men and spirits, or of conditions and states of human life: It is this condition and state of the natural man, or what is the same, the natural of the Word, that the Lord took on and glorified when He came into the world.

The idea of opposition naturally suggests that of separation, and a chapter might well be devoted to this subject, placing it among the rules of exposition; for the idea of separation from evil, or from the opposite, is universal in the Word, -as in the other world, of the separation of the good from the evil. It seems, however, to be sufficient to suggest that it will be useful to hold it in mind when the rule concerning the opposite is applied in the analysis of any chapter of the Word.

This chapter closes the series of principles of exposition which we have had under discussion in this work. There are other general laws that may be so applied, as we have remarked before; but it does not seem to be necessary to go further into the subject at this time.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 20
CHAPTER XIX

APPLICATION OF THE RULES

We shall now endeavor to show the practical working of the rules of exposition, as applied to the two closing chapters of the Book of Revelation. We propose to treat the two together, since they are essentially one chapter, or one general group and present a continuous subject from first to last. These two chapters are abundantly explained as to their spiritual sense in The Apocalypse Revealed, with incidental explanations elsewhere in the Writings; still an analysis of them according to the rules will serve to exhibit the value and use of them as aids to the understanding of the Word. For the sake of our purposes let us assume that we are ignorant of the explanation of these chapters in the Writings, and that we are approaching them through our rules.

THE GENERAL SUBJECT

It is clear at once that the subject of the two closing chapters of Revelation is "The Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven." The term city occurs many times, and is expressed or understood in every verse. There is nothing said that does not bear relation to this essential idea, the idea of a city, called by name, the New Jerusalem. If any doubt were left we have only to translate the second verse according to the order of the words in the original, and all doubt will be removed. "I John saw the city the holy, Jerusalem the new, coining down out of heaven from God." This exhibits the origin of the city, and emphasizes it as the leading general idea in what follows. This idea of the city is thus present even in the first verse, descending as it does from the new heaven. But as the new heaven is prior to the city, being its origin, it represents what is more universal. This is evident also from the fact that it is the first thing spoken of. As we have, however, previously shown that the general subject of a chapter is subordinate to the first thing said, we need not pause to discuss it further here.

If therefore we obtain from the Writings the signification of city, and in particular of the holy city New Jerusalem, we have before us the general subject of the spiritual sense of the two chapters as a whole. We learn that by the city New Jerusalem is signified, "the New Church as to doctrine," (A. R. 194), "the doctrine of the church," (A. R. 712), "the doctrine of the New Church," (A. R. 861), "doctrine and a life according to it," (A. R. 879); and the same in general is said in the Writings wherever the signification of city is given. This establishes the fact that the doctrine of the New Church is the subject of these two chapters, and hence that all things of their spiritual sense bear relation to this general idea, being included as particulars in it. We have thus taken the first important step in the elucidation of their spiritual sense. But since the city has its origin in the new heaven, it will be necessary, for the sake of a fuller understanding of the spiritual sense, to find the signification of the new heaven and the new earth which John saw. This leads us to the next rule.

THE FIRST THING SAID

The first thing said by John is, "And I saw," and the first thing he saw was "a new heaven and a new earth." Now since this book is called the "Revelation of Jesus Christ," what John saw here in the opening of the twenty-first chapter, as elsewhere in the work, was a revelation to him from the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus there are here two ideas, the idea of the Lord, and the idea of John seeing what the Lord is showing to him. This twofold idea runs through the chapters, and is present in every verse and in every word, -the idea of the Lord as giving, and of man as seeing and thus receiving. It is essential then to know what John represents, and what is signified by his seeing and by what he saw, especially by what he saw first; since this is universal in all that follows. The first and prime universal is revelation by the Lord to John, and the second is that John sees what is revealed; that is, those who are represented by John see what is signified by the new heaven and the new earth, and by the holy city New Jerusalem.

John represents, as we are told, the New Church considered as a state receptive and perceptive of the new revelation, or those who are able to receive that revelation in the understanding and confirm it in the life, The subject of the two chapters is thus the descent and establishment on earth of the New Church by the understanding of truth. Concerning John the teaching is that he represents good works, the works of charity, or uses, and in general the good of life from charity and faith (A. C. 3934, 6073, 7038, 9824, 10087. A. R. 5, 6, 17, 32. A. E. 785). John also represents the good of love to the Lord (A. R. 879. C. L. 119). For revelation from heaven can be made to no others than to those who are in the good of love and charity (A. E. 8). We read further that John in the supreme sense represents the Lord Himself as to doctrine (A. E. 19), and thus doctrine concerning the Lord (A. E. 45, 619). Hence John represents doctrine itself as coming from the Lord, and that doctrine as received by man, as well as the state that is receptive of it. For these reasons John and not Peter is the first of the apostles (A. E. 229).

In a general sense therefore John represents those in the Christian Church in whom there is still preserved some idea of the Lord and His Divinity, some love to Him and charity to the neighbor. These only are able to see or to receive interiorly in the understanding the new revelation as given by the Lord out of heaven. For to see signifies to understand, and when John says he saw, it signifies the illustration of the understanding with those who are represented by him, and who are to come into spiritual enlightenment as to all things of the -new revelation given by the Lord for the establishment of the New Church (A. R. 7. A. E. 11, 61, 260, 1081). To see signifies also perception (A. E. 416). We read further that no one can come into a state to see and hear the things given, and be held in a state of reception, except through angels adjoined to him (A. R. 945). Men are thus able to see or understand because the former heaven and the former earth are passed away, and there is no more sea, that is, because the last judgment has been performed, and the imaginary heavens have been removed (C. L. J. 11, 12). This, connecting as it does with the preceding chapter, must be kept in mind in all that follows.

What John first saw was the new heaven and the new earth. By the new heaven is signified the new heaven of Christians (A. R. Pref. 65, 342, 486). Those who are represented by John see this new heaven, that is, they see or perceive the internal sense of the Word in which the new heaven is, and which makes that heaven. They also see the new earth, that is, they not only perceive the state of the interior heavens, but that of the church in the world of spirits. By earth is signified the earth in the spiritual world (A. E. 413, 417, 742. D. L. W. 173), the ultimate heaven (A. E. 304, 342), and the world of spirits (A. R. 327, 342, 552, 858, 865, 877). Hence those represented by John not only see the internal of the, Word as revealed, but also its external; for heaven and the church are from the Word and according to it. The external of the Word is also revealed, because it had been covered and concealed by the thick darkness of a false theology. But now the internal sense of the Word is revealed and also the doctrine of genuine truth which is in its external or natural sense. This is essentially the new heaven and the new earth, since it is that which forms them.

Thus the first words of these two chapters have a twofold idea, or two ideas associated: first, that of a state receptive of revelation, as revelation from, the Lord, which is a state of illustration or understanding of the Word; and second, the revelation itself of the internal and external of the Word, and thus of the internal and external of the church. That is, the remnant of the Christian Church, represented by John, are able to receive the revelation descending from God out of the new heaven in the form of Divine Doctrine-the holy city. But the phrase John saw is put first because the subject of the series is the establishment of the church by means of the understanding of doctrine from heaven; for after the judgment upon the former heaven and the removal of those who were in it, the church is established in the understanding, and by means of the understanding with those who can be associated in spirit with that new heaven.

As revelation and the reception of it are treated of in the opening of the two chapters before us, they are treated of in a variety of application and detail in all that follows, and the closing chapters of the Apocalypse are essentially laid open, and in them is revealed the end for which that Divine Book was given. It may be repeated here that any chapter in the Word is essentially opened as to its internal sense when we know the signification of its leading subject in the literal sense, and also when we know what is interiorly contained in its introductory words. This, however, becomes more complete when we shall have added a knowledge of the preceding chapter, and the significance of the names of the Lord and of the other proper names; and the view enlarges as we apply the remaining rules. But the first two rules applied give the essentials of the chapter.

THE LAST THING SAID

We have shown in its own chapter that the end which is in the first, and which thus reigns throughout, appears in the last of a series. In the conclusion of the twenty-second chapter of Revelation there are not only the closing words of the two chapters under consideration, but the closing words of the whole book of twenty-two chapters; and what is more, in that last chapter, the entire Word in its literal sense comes to a conclusion. We may expect therefore the end in all revelation from the beginning of Genesis to appear in the close of the Apocalypse. This end, which is one with the end of creation, is a heaven from the human race (D. P. 323), or what is the same, it is conjunction with God, for this is the prime and universal essential of heaven, -this end, which was in the beginning, appears in the closing words in the idea of the conjunction or marriage of the Lord and the church. But there is a more interior end, appertaining to the Lord Himself, namely, that the one grand conclusion of all revelation is the appearing of the Lord in His glorified Human, which appearing is called His Second Coming, and which is His final Coming to the human race. This end of ends appears, according to the usual rule, in the first of the Apocalypse and runs through to the last, being wonderfully Manifest in its final words.

In this conclusion of revelation there is thus a twofold idea, the appearing of the Lord in His glorified Human, and conjunction with Him. This twofold idea or end is in the first verse of the twenty-first chapter, wherein the new heaven is seen after the former heaven has been removed; for the essential of the new heaven is conjunction with the Lord, but the all in all of it is His glorified Human, His appearing as the one and only God Man. This same twofold idea or end is manifest in the final words of the twenty-second chapter.

The appearing of the Lord in His glorified Human, or what is the same, the Lord in His Second Coming, becomes clearly manifest early in the twenty-second chapter. It is three times said, "Behold, I come quickly," namely, in verses 7, 12, and 20. The same thing is meant in verses 6 and 16 by "sending His angel." In verse 13 He makes manifest His glorified Human by declaring Himself to be the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. In verse 16 His Second Corning, or appearing in His glorified Human, is meant by "the morning star." In verse 17 the desire for His Coming by those who are to form His New Heaven and New Church is expressed in what is said of the spirit and the bride, and the prayer is to the Lord Jesus. In verses 18 and 19 we are told that the things revealed must be altogether kept and done, for thereby alone is conjunction with Him. And conjunction with Him when He comes is treated of in verses 17, 20, and 21, the twenty-first verse being the last of the entire series.

We wish, however, in this connection to call attention to the fact that the Lord calls Himself Jesus in this conclusion of the Apocalypse. In verse 16 He says, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." In verse 20 the response of the church is expressed in the words, "Yea, come, Lord Jesus." And in verse 21 is the Divine salutation, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.."* The Lord calls Himself Jesus or Jesus Christ also in the opening of the Apocalypse. This is His name in the first half of the first chapter, occurring many times, -if we include the pronouns. Indeed the first words of the chapter and of the book are, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." The Apocalypse thus opens and closes with the idea of the glorified Human of the Lord Jesus Christ. But in all the intermediate chapters, that is, from the second half of the first to the close of the twentieth, the Lord is treated of as the Word; hence in the first chapter, after being called Jesus Christ, He appears to John as the Son of Man, and the idea of the Lord as the Son of Man continues nearly to the close of the book. Other names and titles indeed occur, but always by something expressive of the Word as Divine Truth and its power. Hence we find that the judgment or separation of the evil from the good is the subject all through the intermediate chapters; for judgment is from the Word and according to it. Concerning the signification of the Son of Man the teaching is (L. 24-28) that the Lord is called by that name when the Word and revelation are treated of, thus also when judgment, redemption, regeneration, temptation, etc., are treated of. These are the subjects that appear everywhere in the intermediate chapters of the Apocalypse, and this because the Word and doctrine from it are the means of approach to the Lord in heaven, or to conjunction with the Divine Human, Jesus Christ.**
* It is notable that the Apocalypse opens and closes with a Divine salutation.
** In the chapter on "The Last Thing Said," it was shown that the intermediate verses of a chapter, or the intermediate chapters of a book, treat of the means by which the end is accomplished.

THE PRECEDING SERIES

In treating of the preceding series it was shown that the subject of a chapter or group passes over to the next and is contained in what is first said therein, modifying it and all that follows in that chapter. This rule is illustrated in the opening verse of the twenty-first chapter of the Apocalypse. Not only the particle and appears there as a connective with what precedes, but also the mention of the former heaven and the former earth which have passed away, and it is added that the sea also was no more. The phrase "a new heaven and a new earth" also suggests what precedes. These could not exist until what is described in the preceding chapter had taken place, namely, the last judgment upon the old heaven and earth.

The subject of the last or universal judgment begins to be treated of with the appearing of the Son of Man in the first chapter of the Apocalypse, for as we have shown, the Lord is called by that name when the judgment is the subject of the series. The judgment continues to be the leading subject until the close of the twentieth chapter, in which chapter is described the final damnation of the dragon, and the salvation of the faithful. The twenty-first and twenty-second chapters treat of the results of the judgment in the formation of a new heaven in the spiritual world, and of a new church in the natural world, which could not be formed until what is previously described had taken place. It is then and not before that John is able to see the new heaven and the new earth, and the holy Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven. The value of knowing the subject that precedes becomes manifest, since what follows in the closing chapters could not otherwise be understood, or at least would remain obscure.

THE FOLLOWING SERIES

There is of course no following series in the literal sense, since that sense of the Word closes with the last chapters of the Apocalypse; for in them the end of all prophecy is fulfilled which is the appearing of the Lord in His glorified Human and the establishment of a church that is to endure forever. What follows, therefore, is the everlasting kingdom of the Lord with men, in which kingdom He is perpetually present to save all those who believe in Him and keep His commandments. And so a look forward to what follows the Apocalypse aids to a broader view of what is contained in it.

THE NAMES OF THE LORD

We have noted that the Lord is called Jesus in the opening and closing of the Apocalypse, and that this reveals the further fact that the leading idea in that book concerning the Lord is that in His Second Coming He appears in the Human which He assumed in the world and glorified (A. R. 953). It was shown that shortly after the opening of the work the Lord is called the Son of Man, but that He is no longer called by this name after the twentieth chapter, because in the last two chapters is described what takes place subsequent to the last judgment. It was also shown that in these last chapters He is called by other names and titles, all expressing the truth that the Lord in His coming to build a New Christian Church appears as the glorified Lord, the Lord God Omnipotent, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Without this idea of the Lord, as revealed in the names mentioned, neither the two closing chapters, nor the Apocalypse as a whole, can be fully understood. In this is exhibited the value and use of observing the names by which the Lord is called, when the Word is studied for the sake of finding its internal sense.

To discuss at length every rule of exposition, as applied to the matter in hand, would make this chapter too long. We shall therefore pass rapidly over some of them.

THE NAMES OF PERSONS

There is first of all John, whose name is expressed or implied in the Apocalypse from beginning to end. He it is who sees and hears all the things that are done. There are also mentioned men, angels, servants, kings, nations, etc.; and several classes of those in the opposite are spoken of in xxi: 8, 27, and in xxii: 11, 15, 18, 19. The signification of all these, when obtained and brought together, will broaden the view of the chapters as a whole. But it is the representation of John in particular that must be known in order to understand what is meant in these chapters and in the book at large.

THE PERSON SPEAKING

The Lord speaks, then John, and also an angel. In the chapter on "The Person Speaking" it was stated that the speaker represents that which is active and leading in the internal sense. The two chapters should also be examined to find the persons spoken to, and the persons and things spoken of, and what is represented by them.

THE NAMES OF PLACES

The places are the new heaven, the new earth, the first heaven and the first earth, the sea, the city, the New Jerusalem, the tabernacle of God, etc. The Isle of Patmos where John was is also understood. But we have already discussed the importance of finding the signification of the places mentioned in any group. See the chapter on this subject.

TIME

The time when the events occur, as described in the two chapters and in the Apocalypse in general, is the period of the consummation of the age, of the last judgment, and of the coming of the Lord, -indicated in the twenty-second chapter by such phrases as, "The time is at hand," "Behold I come quickly," and "Yea, I come quickly." There are similar expressions in the first chapter and elsewhere in the Apocalypse. The idea of the bright light of day in which the city is to be, and in which there is to be no night, is also prominent, which points to the glorious light of truth that is to be in the New Church after the consummation, after the judgment, and after the coining of the Lord. It is evident therefore that the things involved in these ideas of time are essential to an intelligent comprehension of the two chapters as a whole.

NUMBER

The frequent mention of the numbers seven and twelve in the Apocalypse is one of the remarkable features of the book. The number seven is mentioned three times in the ninth verse of the twenty-first chapter, and in the same chapter the number twelve has a very prominent place. There are twelve gates, twelve angels, twelve tribes, twelve foundations, twelve apostles, twelve thousand furlongs, one hundred and forty four cubits, twelve precious stones, twelve pearls, all mentioned in the twenty-first chapter; and, in the twenty-second, the twelve fruits. No analysis of these chapters would be complete without obtaining the signification of the number twelve, since that number is involved even where it is not expressed, being present for instance wherever the term city occurs; for with the city are its walls in which are twelve gates, etc.

A study of the number twelve where it occurs in the Word, and of its signification as given in the Writings, will show that it is used where introductory truth is the subject treated of; as, for instance, the twelve gates by which entrance is made into the city. Introductory truths are such as are contained in the literal sense of the Word, called also general truths and genuine truths. They are universal spiritual truths appearing in the literal sense, which there become general, and which are called genuine to distinguish them from the appearances of truth that make up a large part of the letter. It will be seen at once that the number twelve indicates that introductory truth is one of the essential subjects treated of in the two chapters before us, a knowledge of which is fundamental to a proper understanding of them.

DUALITY

We have previously dwelt on the importance of remembering that there is no place in the Word where duality and trinality are not found. Duality in the Lord appears several times in these chapters, especially where He is called God and the Lamb, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, -that is, the Divine and the Divine Human. There is also the new heaven and the new earth, the first heaven and the first earth, the bride and the wife. The idea of the Lord and the church, and the marriage of the Lord and the church appears under various forms, and is as we have shown a leading characteristic of these closing chapters of the book.

THE TRINITY

The trinal form, as was said, is everywhere, and may be found on close examination.

THE COVENANT

The idea of the covenant or of the conjunction of God with man and of man with God is in every verse.

AFFECTION

The affection of love to the Lord is manifest in the closing verses of the last chapter where the desire is expressed for the Lord to come, and in the response to the announcement of His coming, and especially in the use of the term Jesus as the name of God; for Jesus is the Divine Love in the glorified Human. The affection of truth prepares the way and is evidenced in what is said of the city; for by city is signified doctrine in the understanding, and the ruling affection in the understanding is the affection of truth. The affection of truth is also expressed in the twenty-first chapter where the city New Jerusalem is spoken of as the bride, the Lamb's wife; for by woman is signified the affection of truth, notably by the woman clothed with the sun mentioned in the opening of the twelfth chapter. See the chapter on this general subject where it was shown that affection is the dominant element of the Word.

COMPARISON

The comparison of words and passages applies especially to the verses of a chapter or to its individual parts, although a chapter at times may be compared to similar chapters elsewhere. There should at least be, a comparison of leading words and phrases; and when a single verse is studied each word in it may be compared with the same word as used in other parts of Scripture. Let us take for example the word new. It is evident that this is an exceedingly important word in the twenty-first chapter; for the first thing John sees is a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth have passed away. The Lord also says in the fifth verse, "Behold I make all things new." To know what is signified by new, therefore, is to take an important step in the elucidation of this chapter. If we may suppose that this word as occurring in the twenty-first chapter has not been explained in the Writings, we can then have recourse to other passages where the word occurs, and if these have been explained we shall probably find that the spiritual significance of new has been given. This is in fact the case, for it is a word of frequent occurrence. But even if its spiritual sense had not been declared in the Writings, we find a hint of it in the mention of a new heart and a new spirit in Ezekiel xi: 19, xviii: 31, xxxvi: 26; of new wine in new bottles, Matthew ix: 17, and elsewhere. The same may be done with other leading words in this connection according to the principles laid down in our chapter on Comparison, with such words as heaven, earth, gates, temple, city, Jerusalem, water of life, tree of life, and book of life.

THE OPPOSITE SENSE

In the chapter on "Opposites in the Word" it was stated that the opposite is always present either expressed or understood. This rule receives illustration in the closing chapters of the Apocalypse. The opposite appears all through this last book especially in what is said of the dragon and of Babylon, which represent those who compose the former heaven and the former earth and upon whom judgment was performed thus preparing the way for the new heaven and the new earth and the descent of the New Jerusalem. This opposite appears at once in the first verse of the twenty-first chapter, and it continues even to the end; where it does not present itself it is still involved in what precedes. It is an opposite, however, that has been put away from the presence of the Lord and of heaven, and those who are in the opposite are now spoken of as being without the city; they are the sorcerers, and whoremongers, and idolaters, and all liars. A close examination of every verse in these last two chapters will therefore reveal the presence of the opposite, but an opposite that is no longer within but without; for the last judgment has been performed, the evil have been separated from the good; and while the judgment will continue and infestations and temptations will occur, still the dark clouds of the imaginary heavens have been removed, and it is now possible for every man to be saved who is willing to fulfill the conditions of salvation. Thus this rule is found to be of essential value even in these last chapters of the literal sense of the Word; for separation from the opposite, effected by the Lord, in order that a new heaven and a new church may exist and in order that salvation may be effected, is the first and last of all revelation.

We trust that it has now been sufficiently shown that these rules of exposition are of use in the analysis of a chapter for the sake of the opening of its internal sense. They are of use in entering that sense by means of general or introductory truths such as appear in the literal sense, without which there is no proper entrance into the interior spiritual truths of the Word. To enter through introductory truth, or the doctrine of genuine truth, such as is furnished in the letter of the Word, is to enter through the door or gate into the city -a door or gate which is Divinely provided and Divinely revealed in the literal sense, and which constitutes the First Corning of the Lord, preparatory to His Second Coming in the revelation of the internal sense.

But we would not lose sight of the fact, to which we called attention early in this work, that the doctrine of genuine truth is not the only means of entrance to the interior of the Word. A knowledge of correspondences is also essential-as, for instance, in these chapters a knowledge of the correspondence of city and finally illustration from the Lord. Not one of these alone but all three together are essential to the opening of the Word. The principles of exposition as taught in the Writings bring these three modes into full play, and furnish a field for their legitimate operation. We trust therefore that we have exhibited their use in this chapter, and if so we are now ready for the study of the individual verses, applying the same principles to their elucidation. We propose to present some considerations on this latter branch of the subject in the two chapters which now follow, in the second of which we shall endeavor to apply these principles to a, study of Revelation xxii: 14.



20



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 21

CHAPTER XX

THE TEXT

We have been discussing thus far the principles of exposition as applied to the chapter as a whole, with a view to finding the general doctrine or leading idea in the spiritual sense of any group or series in the Word. It is now in order to take up for consideration the verse,. which is usually chosen for the text of a discourse or sermon. We shall treat of the sermon later, but we wish here to deal with the subject of the text; and as the study of the text includes the preparation of material for the sermon, that also may be considered as the subject of this chapter.

A text is a verse or passage of Scripture chosen as the subject of a sermon, in order that by unfolding its meaning the members of a congregation may be instructed in the truths of doctrine contained 'therein, and he inspired thereby to the good of life. It is a distinct grouping of words making a complete sentence, or one or more sentences co-related with each other. It will sometimes include more than a verse and sometimes less, according to the judgment of the minister.

We are assuming that a text will be chosen from the literal sense of the Word, and we shall give reasons why this as a general rule should be done. But a text may also be taken from the Writings, choosing some terse or epigrammatic statement of doctrine with which the Writings abound; or some doctrinal subject without a text may be used, such as conscience, repentance, and influx. This will depend upon the purpose the minister has in view. As is well known, the Writings are not all direct explanations of the literal sense of the Word. The Divine Love and Wisdom, The Divine Providence, and The True Christian Religion, are examples of the exposition of doctrinal propositions which are set at the head of chapters or sections; and the literal sense is not so frequently quoted as it is in Arcana Coelestia, The Apocalypse Revealed, and The Apocalypse Explained. If this may be considered an example to be followed, many texts could be taken from the doctrinal statements of the Writings, and useful sermons written therefrom. But doctrinal classes seem to afford abundant field for this kind of work, leaving the sermon to be based upon texts derived from the letter of the Word. For the sermon, given in the sphere of worship, has in view, more than the doctrinal class, the inspiring of affection as well as the instruction of the understanding. We have shown in the chapter on "Affection in the Word," that affection is the dominant quality of the literal sense, and this would seem to give us a full and sufficient reason for the choice of a text from that source. The Writings contain other teachings bearing on this question, which we shall now present in a summary form.

Among the doctrinal reasons, in addition to the above, why a text should usually be taken from the literal sense of the Word, are the following: In the literal sense are general truths (A. C. 3819, 4783, 5620, 6222, 9034. A. E. 931. S. D. 4121, 4122). The literal sense serves for introduction to the spiritual sense (A. C. 4861, 5945). The scientific of the church is the Word in its literal sense (A. C. 6071, 6832, 9025. A. E. 545). The literal sense is first in order of time (A. C. 6774, 10028). The things of the literal sense are truths in the ultimates of order (A. C. 9026, 9163, 9360, 9430. A. E. 627). The literal sense of the Word is for the simple and or children (A. C. 3690, 3982, 6333, 6775, 6839, 6997, 8705, 9809, 10324, 10441, 10453. A. E. 739). The literal sense is the basis, continent, and firmament of the spiritual and celestial senses (S. S. 27, 31, 33, 34. A. R. 736. A. E. 175, 260, 1085). In the literal sense is fullness, holiness, and power (S. S. 37, 38, 39, 49. D. L. W. 221. A. E. 593, 1086, 1087). The doctrine of genuine truth is from the literal sense of the Word (S. S. 50-54, 59. A. R. 902. A. E. 356). These general principles from the Writings, bearing upon the question of the source of the text, are presented merely for the sake of suggestion. A full discussion of each in its application to the line of thought that is before us would be valuable, but it would cause us to depart too far from the present plan. It is therefore left for those who may wish to enter more fully into the subject.

Let us now proceed to the practical study and analysis of the text for the sake of the preparation of material for the sermon; and let it first take the form of the following general propositions:

1. Make a literal translation of the text in the order of the words of the original language.

2. Gather from the Hebrew or the Greek the meanings and roots of the words of the text.

3. COPY from the Writings explanations of the text.

4. Copy also explanations of the individual words of the text.

5. Examine the early works of Swedenborg for material bearing on the text.

6. Consult commentaries and similar works, that have been published in the New Church and in the Old.

7. Apply to the text the general rules of exposition.

8. Read in the Writings on the general subject of the text.

9. Reflect on the same.

We shall now take up for a brief consideration each one of these propositions. First as to the literal translation of the text: When one wishes to enter into the spiritual sense of any passage of the Word, it is not safe to depend wholly on the common printed translation of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Besides possible errors and variations from the original, and too liberal interpretations of the same, no 'translation can present the full meaning and spirit of an original language. This is so clear that we leave it without further discussion. We would, however, add a few words on the importance of writing out a translation of the text in the order of the words as they occur in the original.* If it be desired to make a sentence in good English or in any other modern language, the order of the words in Hebrew or Greek cannot always be followed. But the minister should have before his mind the order of the words as Divinely given. The reason it is necessary to observe this sequence of the words is that the truths of the spiritual sense follow each other in a regular succession of ideas, which is expressed in the words as they follow one after another in the literal sense. Hence we are told that not a word can be moved out of its place without disturbing the order and connection of truths (L. J. 41. See also A. C. 10633).

* It is not proposed that such a literal translation of the text should necessarily be placed at the head of the sermon, and read from the pulpit. For this the authorized version may be used, calling attention in the sermon, if it appears to be necessary, to any variation or departure from the original.

To have the text written out in a literal translation and according to the order and sequence of the words, is also necessary for the application of the rules of exposition. It is at least important to know the first word or the first thing said, and the last word or the last thing said, also the relative position of the leading word that expresses the general subject of the text. For this purpose the common translations cannot be depended upon. If a minister desires to make in his sermon a complete exposition of the internal sense of the Word, it follows that there should be a degree of familiarity with the source of Revelation, in the language in which it was first given. This requires a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, -and of Latin also, for Swedenborg's translation of the text into Latin should be examined, since his translations are made in the light of the internal sense.*

* It is important to study the Writings in Latin for a full understanding of the Heavenly Doctrine. Evangelistic discourses on some general doctrine of the church may be made, based on a text as translated in the common version, and from a study of the doctrine in the ordinary translations of the Writings; but this is not sufficient when a minister is addressing an intelligent New Church audience.

After a literal translation of the text has been made in the order of the original, the next step to be taken is to find and note down the meanings and the roots of the words. If the particulars of the internal sense depend upon the proper order of the words, much more is this true of their fundamental meanings or roots. The use of finding the etymology of words in linguistic studies has many values, and is a use that is generally recognized; but the greatest use of all to a New Church minister is a study of etymology as a source of inspiration, and as a means of entrance into the spiritual sense; for that sense rests fundamentally upon the roots of words, especially in the Hebrew language. There are indeed rich stores of ideas concealed in the meanings of words, as existing in a given language or in the languages that are collateral, or in those of a more ancient original stock. As this work of etymology is pursued, ideas are inspired replete with suggestion, looking to the spiritual sense. Notes should at once be made of these, for such ideas make a valuable groundwork of material for the sermon, and readily take their place in relation to the general subject.

What are called derivative meanings or the abstract sense of words, should also be noted, since these contain hints of the spiritual sense, and sometimes actually suggest or express it. In fact the derivative meaning of a word is frequently nothing else than the spiritual sense appearing in a general form in another passage of Scripture, concerning which we spoke in the chapter on "Comparison of Words and Passages." It is as it were the ascent of the word from its root or stem towards its own spiritual sense, that sense becoming manifest in another place or in a related passage.

The value of knowing the root meanings of words and of proper names is frequently referred to in the Writings, and it is clearly shown that the spiritual sense of any given word rests upon the meaning of the same in the original tongue.* See for instance what is said in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 4029, 4031, 4453, 4591, 4592, 4702, 5323, 5353, 5618, 5621.

* It may be suggested that it is often profitable to obtain the root meanings of the doctrinal terms used in the Writings.

With a literal translation of the text, and the meanings of the words collected, we are prepared for copying the explanations of the text as given in the Writings. If the text is from Genesis, Exodus, or Revelation, we shall at once have recourse to the works in which those three books are expounded as to their spiritual sense. We may find too that the text has been explained elsewhere, and this explanation should also be noted. But if the text is from some book of Scripture other than the three above mentioned, the Index of Scripture passages by Le Boys des Guays, or the one later by Searle, will inform us whether any explanation of the text has been given in the Writings. The Potts Concordance will prove to be of valuable assistance. There are also Rich and Beyer, and the Indexes which Swedenborg himself prepared, all of which may be usefully consulted.* The Concordance and the Indexes are of especial use when we wish to find the spiritual sense of some prominent word of the text.

* General Index of Passages from Scripture, by J. F. E. Le Boys des Guays. General Index to Swedenborg's Scripture Quotations, by Arthur Hodson Searle. The Swedenborg Concordance, by John Faulkner Potts. Commentaries on Some of the Books of the Old Testament, by Elihu Rich. Index Initialis, by Gabriel Andrew Beyer.

In respect to the explanations of the text in the Writings, they should be not only copied, but the whole number where the explanation occurs, and sometimes the context of several numbers, should be read, -if there is time for the reading to be done without an atmosphere of hurry and anxiety.* Connection with the series in which the explanation occurs is of use in several ways, especially in giving breadth of view or greater expansion of thought, to say nothing of the additional ideas that are thus obtained.

* The thought will readily suggest itself to the reader that it may not be necessary always to carry into practice all the modes of finding the internal sense of any chosen passage. Sometimes the application of a few principles, and the gathering of a small amount of material, is all that is needed, and reflection will do the rest.

If, however, we can find no direct explanation in the Writings, let us seek for parallel passages elsewhere in the literal sense of Scripture; for sometimes passages occur in almost the same words as the text. If we can find that such similar passages have been explained, we shall receive thereby suggestions as to the spiritual meaning of the text. We must be careful, however, to compare the context of the similar passages with the context in which the text itself occurs, to note what precedes and what follows each, bearing in mind that the sense of each is modified by its own series.

Many passages in the Word have no direct explanation in the Writings, nor will any reference to them be found in the Indexes spoken of above, nor shall we be able to discover any parallel passage that has been explained. It is left for us then to proceed to the next proposition, and seek for the significations of the individual words; for there is seldom a word of the literal sense that is not directly or approximately explained, or a synonym or antonym of it. Especial attention should be paid in this to the leading word of the text, and to the first word or to the first thing said.

The Hebrew and Greek Concordances will aid in the search for Englishman's the passages in the literal sense where the same word occurs as in the text, an explanation of which we shall find somewhere in the Writings. It will be well to obtain the Latin word by which Swedenborg translates any given word, and seek the explanation of it by means of the Concordance. If the signification of the word is not found, then it will be proper to seek for a related word of similar meaning, and see if its signification has been given in the Writings. For instance, supposing the word revile in Matthew v: 11, not to be explained, let us look up the signification of blaspheme, which has nearly the same meaning in the original Greek: the spiritual sense of the one will throw light upon that of the other (See A. E. 778). By these means the signification of almost any word can be obtained, and will readily find its place under the general sense of the text, or under its general doctrine. As to the general doctrine of the text there will be no great difficulty in finding it by seeking the explanation of its leading word, viewed in connection with the leading word or idea of the chapter, and also by applying the other rules of exposition, as will be shown in what follows.

Let us introduce a final remark in regard to the discovery of the spiritual sense of the individual words of the text. Useful results may be obtained by examining the given word as expounded in the dictionaries,-Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English or of any other modern language. A dictionary is not only a repository of words, but of ideas or natural truths; and it is frequently the case that the natural truth involved in a word, examined in its roots and derivations, is transparent and thus suggestive of its own spiritual sense.

The early works of Swedenborg come next in importance to the Writings as aids to the understanding of the Word. We may even go so far as to say that neither the Sacred Scripture nor the Writings can be fully understood without a knowledge of the wonderful philosophy contained in these early works. This is especially the case where a word or phrase involves the elementary kingdom, or where mention is made of some part of the human body. Any one who has read, for instance, The History of Creation,* will know that what is given in this little work is essential to a complete understanding of the first chapter of Genesis. Sometimes also in the philosophical works individual passages are explained. For example there is a rational unfolding of what is meant by searching the heart and the reins, in the chapter on The Kidneys in The Animal Kingdom. But there is no work of Swedenborg's previous to Arcana Coelestia, that is so direct an aid in exposition as The Adversaria [The Word Explained], especially if a text should be chosen from the historical parts of the Old Testament, or from Isaiah or Jeremiah. The Adversaria must be regarded as a work preparatory and introductory to the Arcana, and the student of the latter would do well to consult the former, especially if he is endeavoring to expound a text from Genesis or Exodus.

* See the excellent translation by the Rev. Alfred Acton.

Although no New Church commentary on the Word as a whole has been prepared, yet certain books of the Old Testament and of the New have been expounded by well known writers, beginning with Clowes, and their works may be usefully consulted. The sermons of New Church ministers, as printed in the periodicals of the Church for many years past, would also be a valuable resource, especially if an index of them could be prepared.* Commentaries in general, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and works of a similar character should by no means be neglected. They throw light upon the natural sense of the text, and sometimes even give hints looking to the spiritual sense. Clarke's Commentary ** is an example of what appears to be a sincere effort to find the real meaning of the literal text of Scripture. For when the literal sense of a chapter or verse is fully understood, the way is made plain for the spiritual sense; hence any work that will aid in the analysis of the letter of the Word has a value in exposition.

* A beginning of this work was made by the late Mr. Bennet Yarnall, and the results of his labor are in the Library of the Academy of the New Church.

** Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, by Adam Clarke.

The question next arises, Can the principles of exposition be applied to the verse as they are, to the chapter? Under the general law that a part is similar to the whole it is clear that the verse is an image of the chapter, and it follows that the principles of interpretation which apply to the one apply also to the other. Hence it is clear: that the literal sense of the verse has a leading idea expressed in the leading word or phrase; that it has opening and closing words or statements which are significant; that it has a connection with the preceding verse and also with the following; that in it there is always expressed or understood a name of the Lord, a name of a person or persons, and a name of a place; that there is a person speaking, one spoken to, and a person or thing spoken of; that the idea of time is in it, or in what goes before or follows after; that a number is expressed in it, or if only involved what it is can be found from the context, that there is in it a duality and a trinity which can be found on close examination; that the idea of a covenant or reaction with God can be seen in it; that there is in it affection, as in all things of the Word; that it can be usefully compared with parallel passages; and that there is always present an opposite sense either expressed or understood. If the text is examined faithfully according to each one of these principles in its turn, and the results are written down, there will accrue a valuable preparation of material for the sermon. When this is done in addition to the other modes leading to the internal sense as described in this chapter the construction of the sermon is a relatively easy task; and the minister will then put into it only what he finds in the text. He thus places himself in a position to be taught of the Lord, and led by Him, or led by the spirit of truth to all truth.

Having analyzed the text and collected the material, the minister might now proceed to the writing of the sermon; but there are two more things necessary to a complete state of preparation, namely, a course of reading in the Writings on the subject of the text, accompanied and followed by reflection upon it. Such a course of reading may be divided into the following heads:

1. Read much before beginning to write, and read in a state of repose.*

2. Read in the Writings the explanations of the text, and the context where the explanations occur.

3. Read especially on the general subject or doctrine of the text, and to some extent the explanations of the individual words.

4. Make notes while reading.

5. Read carefully the chapter where the text occurs, and parallel chapters and passages in the literal sense of the Word.

6. Keep the text in mind while reading.

7. Make notes while reflecting.

* It may be well to remark that repose of mind, having its basis in physical rest, is one of the essential elements of Worship. Not only should the minister prepare his sermon in a state of repose, but he should go to the church and enter into the service in a state of rest of body and mind; and the people should be encouraged to do the same. This of course applies to all teaching or to any work requiring the exercise of the mental faculties.

On the importance and use of reading there is much said in the Writings, as for example the following: When the Word is read the Lord flows in and teaches (A. C. 6516, 9188, 6222, 7012. S. S. 78). By revelation is meant illustration when the Word is read and perception thence (A. C. 8694, 8780). Illustration is influx, perception, and instruction by the Lord while the Word is being read (A. C. 10215). Heaven flows in with the man whose internal is open, when he reads the Word, and gives him perception and thus teaches, him (A. C. 10400). The acknowledgment and worship of the Lord, and the reading of the Word, cause the presence of the Lord (A. R. 796). The Lord enlightens those who love truths when they read the Word; for the Lord is in the Word and speaks there with every one according to his comprehension (A. E. 1183). Swedenborg was enlightened by the Lord when he read the Word (T. C. R. 779). By reading, the affection of truth is excited, and thought from affection (A. E. 923). There is thereby insertion into angelic societies, which is the source of all inspiration and is inspiration itself (T. C. R. 140).

The final stage in complete preparation for a sermon is reflection, the importance and use of which cannot be too strongly emphasized; for nothing else can take the place of it as a means to illustration or spiritual enlightenment. Reflection is defined as the reverting of the mind to that which has already occupied it. Hence the acquiring of knowledge must precede reflection; for "to know truths is of the greatest moment, since without the knowledges of truth there can be no reflection, thus no reformation." (S. D. 737, 739.) By reflection therefore are fulfilled the words of the Psalm, "In Thy light shall we see light"; that is, by reflection from the light of knowledges acquired the mind is in a position to see a higher or more interior light. The doctrinal definition of reflection is that it is "the intuition of a thing, as to how it is and what it is, from whence is perception." (A. C. 3661, 3682.) And we are told further that "without reflection a man knows nothing, except that a thing is, but not what it is, nor does he know anything else, thus not its quality." (S. D. 734.)

And finally the teaching is given, that "there are more arcana in the doctrine of reflection than in any other whatsoever." (S. D. 733.) Into these arcana the mind is able to enter, when there is reflection or spiritual thought in a state of repose, thus when the mind is abstracted from the light of the world, its anxieties and cares.

Happy is it for a minister, and also for his congregation, if he has at his disposal enough time for the preparation of material for his sermon, and is not burdened by the pressure of other work. For such preparation, and for the writing of the sermon an entire week is needed with no other absorbing occupation. Without this condition no sermon can be well prepared, nor the text as to its internal contents thoroughly expounded. As we have shown, there should be time for reflection after the material for the sermon had been collected; for without reflection the sermon will probably be lacking in the important elements of conclusion and application; there can be no complete digest of the matter in hand, and thus there will be wanting a complete kindling of the fires of inspiration and enlightenment.



21



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 22
CHAPTER XXI

THE TEXT

II

In the foregoing chapter certain methods of procedure were proposed, by which the preparation of material for a sermon on a given text might be carried systematically into effect. The rules of exposition were also considered as aids to the same end. We shall now endeavor to exhibit the working value of the one and of the other by a practical example, taking for that purpose the fourteenth verse of the twenty-second chapter of Revelation. We will suppose that this verse has been chosen as the text of a sermon, and that we are to proceed in the gathering and preparation of material for it, according to the order of procedure as indicated in the last chapter.

The translation of the text in the authorized version is as follows,: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." A more literal translation, which is in the order of the words in Greek, and which is also a literal rendering of Swedenborg's Latin, is as follows: "Happy are they who are doing the commandments of Him, that there may be power to them in the tree of life, and through the gates they may enter in into the city."

We shall now examine the words in the above order with the meanings and roots in the Greek language.

The Greek word for happy or blessed is "makarioi," the root meaning of which is, not dead; that is, as applied to the text, they are not dead who are doing His commandments, being alive or immortal by virtue of so doing; for they are thereby conjoined with God, having their power in the tree of life, and are able to enter in through the gates into the city. We have at once an example of the root meaning of a word suggesting the spiritual sense-eternal life to those who keep the commandments. Since it is the first word it therefore gives a key to the whole verse, according to the rule that what is first said is universal in what follows. Thus in every word of the verse the idea of eternal life reigns, but in what follows it is modified or applied. The term "makarioi" was in use as an epithet of the gods, and the phrase, the immortal gods, (Theoi makarioi) is common with the Greek writers. The happy, the blessed, the immortal gods, or the spirits or angels who were once men, have, as applied in the text, acquired eternal life and happiness by virtue of having kept the commandments during their abode in the 'world. We have herein the general sense of the text, and the composition of the sermon might indeed be undertaken under this leading idea, since it is one, that is familiar, simple, and clear. But it is always well to present familiar truths in a new light, which can be done by means of particulars; for particulars strengthen and renew general truths. Let us then continue the work of preparing material, proceeding to a consideration of the remaining words of the text. An examination might indeed be made of the roots of the words blessed and happy, in Hebrew, Latin, and English, and such an examination would lead to useful results. But as we are proposing to expound the text as a whole, it is not well to occupy much time in preparation, or much space in the sermon, to the consideration of a single word. We shall therefore proceed to the word next in order.

Those are said to be blessed or immortal who are doing His commandments. Let us note first the force of the present participle. They are not only doing now but are continuing to do, are always doing, His commandments. By virtue of such perpetual doing they are not dead; they are alive, immortal. This immortality suggests the teaching that they who continue to do His commandments to the end of life in the world, or they who during life undergo the gradual and successive process of regeneration, are they who will be saved. We are hereby again introduced to the leading thought of the text, immortality by keeping the commandments, but now by a continual keeping of them. This thought, or idea of doctrine is expounded at large in the Writings, furnishing much material for a sermon on the opening clause of the verse, should we decide to confine our exposition to those opening words. The store of material could also be considerably increased by examining the meanings of the words do and make in the ancient and modern languages. In this, however, as in all texts of the Word, we find an embarrassment of riches when we enter into the particulars of the natural and spiritual senses thereof. For there is no end to natural truth, still less to spiritual truth, and least of all to celestial truth (C. L. 185). The minister will thus nearly always gather for his sermon more material than he can use. Yet it cannot be said that what is left over has not been of use. It has been of use to him for his mental growth, and for a store to be drawn upon in the future; also for the implantation of affection. If he knows more than he can express in the sermon, -and if he has been inspired by affection, -he has a strong reserve and hence a sphere in the delivery of -the sermon; for, after all, it is not the truth that teaches but the affection of truth and the sphere which affection engenders (A. C. 3066, 3795).*

* When a minister or other public speaker is thus affected and inspired by his subject, the sphere which then goes forth is described by the word magnetism.

The next word of the text is the one translated commandment. But on account of the abundance of ideas involved in the consideration of the roots and meanings of words, we shall have to content ourselves with merely selecting and bringing forward certain ones as examples of the rest. We shall therefore confine ourselves here to the Latin word mandatum, from which the English word commandment is derived. Mandatum or mandare is a compound of manusdo, signifying to give in the hand, that is, to commit to one's charge, to place in one's hands to perform, execute, or carry into effect. It is clear that when this is done there goes with it as involved in it the power to execute; for no reasonable man will command another to do that which he is unable to perform. Neither does the Lord. He gives into our hand the commandments with power to do them, which power is His, but which we may persuade ourselves is our own. In this case we shall keep the commandments merely for the sake of natural life in the world, for our own gain and reputation among men. Here, however, the word commandment connects with the phrase which immediately follows, "the tree of life."* His power in keeping the commandments, in order to be spiritual power, must be in the tree of life that is in the Lord; otherwise he is in no permanent power, and what he appears to have will in the other life depart from him. This fundamental idea is therefore suggested to us by observing the original meaning of mandatum.

* We are constantly coming face to face with the importance of noting what precedes and what follows any portion of the Word. Even the individual words are not fully understood without observing this rule; which is ail expression of the general law that no truth is seen clearly when not regarded in its relation with other truths.

It has already been indicated that power is the correct translation of the word that is rendered right in the common version. The translation right conveys an idea of an inherent right which no man possesses, since the power to obey the commandments is not his but the Lord's and His alone. Hence it is not correct to say that man has a right to the tree of life by virtue of doing the commandments; but that he has power in and from the tree of life or from the Lord when he does them, having thus no self-derived power nor merit of his own.

Many interesting things could be brought forward from the various languages concerning the meanings of the remaining words of the text; but enough has been said here and in the previous chapter to illustrate the use of examining the roots of words for the sake of their application to the leading idea of the text. Let us therefore proceed to the next point in order, which is that of collecting the explanations of the text that may be found in the Writings.

The text is quoted or referred to several times but there is only one explanation of it as a whole; this is given in The Apocalypse Revealed, number 951, where we are told that the general sense of the verse is "that those have eternal felicity who live according to the precepts of the Lord, to the end that they may be in the Lord and the Lord in them by love, and in His New Church by knowledges concerning Him" This is the internal sense of the text brought into one general statement of doctrine. It is the text under a spiritual idea, and an analysis of it would be an analysis of the text itself. We learn from it that the result of living according to the commandments is twofold and threefold. By such living man is conjoined with the Lord by love, and introduced into His New Church by knowledges concerning Him. Eternal felicity follows, that is, he is in the New Heaven. Thus the Lord, the New Heaven, and the New Church are the grand trinity of the text; and keeping the commandments is the means of entering into or becoming an image of such a trinal form.

An explanation of the individual words follows. "By the blessed are signified those who have the felicity of eternal life; by doing His commandments is signified to live according to the precepts of the Lord; that their power may be in the tree of life signifies to the end that they may be in the Lord and the Lord in them by love, that is, for the sake of the Lord, as will be shown presently; by entering through the gates into the city is signified that they may be in the Lord's New Church by knowledges concerning Him; by the gates of the wall of the New Jerusalem are signified the knowledges of good and truth from the Word, and by the city or Jerusalem is signified the New Church with its doctrine." It is further added that by the tree of life is signified the Lord as to the Divine Love, and it is shown that they who are in the Lord and the Lord in them, are in all power, which is confirmed by passages in the Gospels; and finally some things are added concerning the power which the angels of heaven have, since they are in the Lord and the Lord in them.

The above words compared with similar teachings and connected with the leading idea, will open a rich field for thought and reflection, and may supply all that is needed for the sermon. We observe also that there is first given the general sense of the verse, and then the signification of the individual words; in which we have a suggestion for the style of the introductory portion of the sermon. But on this subject see the following chapter.

A part of the text is quoted in The Apocalypse Explained, number 785, namely, the first clause, "Blessed are they who do His commandments," in order to illustrate the necessity of living according to the commandments, and they are spoken of as the good works a man ought to do that he may be saved. It is added that a man is not justified and Saved by faith alone without the works of the law; and a number of passages are quoted in confirmation from the literal sense of the Word. Some of these passages could be usefully applied in the sermon, since they are all on the general subject of the text. The number also treats of the falsity which is opposed to the truth of the text. This should receive attention, as the preparation is, not complete without some consideration of the opposite.

With these explanations the minister might rest satisfied and proceed with the writing of his sermon; still it may be useful to act on the intimation given above, as well as to follow the indication given in the number quoted (A. R. 951),* and examine the explanations of the individual words in other portions of the Writings; for valuable ideas in addition will not only be thus acquired, but there will be a still further guard against introducing particulars foreign to the subject.

* There are in number 951 thirteen references to other parts of the Writings, and five to the letter of the Word, which point out the mode of comparative study and investigation.

Let us then study the explanations of the words in the order of their statement. The signification of blessed is given in other passages as follows: Those who have eternal life and felicity are signified by blessed (A. R. 639, and the same in 852 and 944); also those who as to their spirits are in heaven; thus while they live in the world they are in communion with-the angels of heaven (A. R. 8). This signification of blessed is illuminating and is of value in the interpretation of the text, since it is the first word. The series in which the text occurs shows that the New Heaven is meant, and hence we learn from this explanation that those who, after the last judgment, keep the commandments from religion, are introduced as to their spirits into the New Heaven. This is a most valuable point for the sermon. The term blessed is explained many times in the Writings, but it is unnecessary to pursue it further, as we have all that we need for the sermon, so far as this word is concerned .*

* As to collecting material for the sermon, the minister must stop somewhere; for as has been remarked by a writer whose name has been forgotten, "Endeavoring to collect all that pertains to a given subject, is like standing on the bank of a river and waiting for all the water to run by."

There is no need to quote passages on the next word, commandments, for the subject is universal in the Writings; however, some of the passages might be read since they treat of the leading idea of the text. It should be noted that they are called His commandments, that is, the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the God of heaven and earth, who spake them in the Old Testament and repeated them in the New as the essentials of salvation. And in His Second Coming in the Writings the keeping of them is the burden of every page.

We also pass by the word power which comes next, since it has already been spoken of; many explanations of it may be found in the Writings by means of the Concordance. Also the phrase "the tree of life" we leave for the present as it is here treated as a name of the Lord. We shall speak of it later when we consider the names of the Lord in the text.

The phrase enter in, which comes next in the common version, is so fully explained in the Writings, and its signification is so manifest, that no special preparation of material seems called for in connection with it. We may, however, remark that those who are already internally conjoined with God and associated with heaven by virtue of obeying the commandments, are those who enter in into the city New Jerusalem. No others will be able to enter in, or acknowledge in heart the new revelation of doctrine from heaven. A comparative study of the word enter might be made by examining its use in other passages of Scripture; as for instance where the Lord says, "Enter ye in at the straight gate," in Matthew vii: 13, and where we are told concerning those who shall "in no wise enter into it," in Revelation xxi: 27, and xxii: 15. Special attention should also be paid to the fact that entrance is by the gates. This leads us to the subject of the gates, which in the original is mentioned before the word enter, showing it is to be the important word at this point.

The root idea of gate in the various languages is that of opening and entrance. We are to enter into the city through the entrance and not climb up some other way, for he who does this is called a thief and a robber (John x: 1). It is fundamental then to know what is meant by the gates, since it will furnish us with one of the essential ideas of the text. We read that by gates are signified knowledges of truths and goods from the sense of the letter of the Word (A. R. 904); for the wall in which were the gates signifies the Word in the sense of the letter (A. R. 898, 899). The gates in the wall of the city were twelve, and the number twelve is used where introductory truths are treated of, and the truths which introduce are the genuine truths of the literal sense of the Word. These then are what are signified by the twelve gates; there are no other means of entrance to the interiors of the Word and of the church. A sermon on this text therefore must give an important place to the consideration of such genuine truths of the Word.

Finally we have the word city in which is the end for which are all the means treated of in the text. But as we shall speak of this when we treat of the first thing said and of the last thing said, we forbear further comment here, except to remark that a complete study of what is spiritually involved in the idea of a city would include its walls, its gates, its streets, its buildings, its inhabitants, and the uses performed in it. In such a study we find that in the idea of city is included all things of heaven and the church, or all things of the Word in its literal and in its internal sense. But as the city is said to descend into the world, by it is signified all these things revealed, being included in the all-comprehensive term, the Divine Doctrine. This is the city into which those enter who do His commandments, who have power in the tree of life, who enter into it through the gates, and who are said to be blessed.

In our fifth proposition in the previous chapter it was said, Examine the early works of Swedenborg for material bearing on the text. In a first view there would seem to be nothing in the passage under consideration that would receive light in this way. But since in Swedenborg's philosophy the law of creation and of the human form are unfolded to our view, we may expect to find in it something bearing upon any portion of the Word that may be before us for examination. We see this to be the case in the first word of the text-blessed. We have shown that in the Greek this word signifies in its root not dead. Now Swedenborg teaches in his philosophy, and the same is confirmed in the Writings, that when anything is said to be dead the meaning is that it has no active center, but is merely acted upon from without. It does not even act but merely resists action; for action is of life and reaction is the return of action. The natural sun and all things created from it are dead because there is no active center in any particle of them. They are merely acted upon by the life which is round about. Man is said to be dead when there is in him no active center or regenerate internal. But when he has this he is not dead because he has in him life from the Lord. The text is predicated of all such. Not dead are they who are doing the commandments, of the Lord; who have been doing them, who are doing them now, and who will continue to do them. The Divine purpose in the text is to show that those who are doing the commandments from loving them have the beginnings of a regenerate internal, are as to their spirits associated with the angels of the New Heaven, and are thereby prepared to enter interiorly into the doctrines of the New Church. Into such a train of thought are we led when we take note of the bearing of the philosophy of creation upon the root meaning of the first word of the text.

We spoke also of the value of consulting commentaries and similar works. These are of use because they explain, and at the same time enlarge our view of the literal sense, giving a fuller knowledge of manners and customs. Sometimes even hints looking towards the spiritual sense are given. For instance a Biblical scholar, Dr. Adam Clarke, calls attention to the root meaning of blessed in the Greek language, as being not dead. The value of knowing this we have already shown.

While the preparation of further material for a sermon on this particular text is hardly necessary, still as we wish to show the working value of the rules of exposition as applied to a single verse of Scripture, we shall now take them up in their order, as arranged in the successive chapters of this book

GENERAL SUBJECT

The subject or leading idea of the text is doing the commandments. For it is of this that blessing is predicated, those who do this have power in the tree of life, and they enter in through the gates into the city. It is the general containing all the particulars of the verse. It is also a genuine truth of the Word in its literal sense. It is therefore introductory to all things of the spiritual sense. This then becomes the subject of the sermon, which should be devoted to an exposition of it. As it is the leading idea of the text it naturally becomes the leading idea of the sermon; for the sermon is the text, -the text expanded and at the same time accommodated to the understanding of those who hear. But as we enter interiorly into the idea of keeping the commandments, the subject broadens and we are able to see, as taught in The True Christian Religion. in the chapter on the Decalogue, that more is involved in keeping the commandments than doing them in the external form. As we expect to show later, there are four planes of the Word or four distinct senses, from any one of which the leading idea of the sermon may be chosen. Let us take for illustration the commandment, Thou shalt not kill. In the mere letter or lowest plane of the Word it is the act of killing another that we are forbidden to do. In the wider or more interior natural sense hatred of the neighbor is the sin to be shunned. In the spiritual sense hatred of the spiritual truth of the church is to be resisted and removed. Finally in the celestial sense it is hatred of the Lord Himself that is to be fought against as the most deadly sin of all (T. C. R. 309-312). A sermon on the above commandment could treat of any one of these senses the others being referred to perhaps but not treated of at large. These four planes are in every verse of the Word, and material for the sermon could be drawn from any one of them. So in the text we are considering, the planes or senses are in general, doing the commandments, loving, them, loving the spiritual truth signified by them, loving the Lord; and any one of these could be chosen as the theme of the sermon.

THE FIRST THING SAID

The first word is blessed-blessed are they that do His commandments. As has been frequently shown, the first word or the first thing said plays an essential part in the elucidation of what follows. It also connects with what precedes and contains the end in view which appears at the close. The first thing said in this text has in it the end in view in keeping the commandments, which end is to enter in through the gates into the city. The leading idea of the preceding verse passes over into the first thing said in this verse, and shows that the commandments are given by Him who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning- and the End, the First and the Last. They are His commandments, or the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is God in His Human; and they are to be kept for His sake, for He alone is the Tree of Life, from Him alone is power to keep and to do, and He alone is able to bless in the doing. Man is blessed in doing the commandments because they are His commandments, and because there is conjunction with Him by doing them, and a man is thereby inserted as to his spirit into the New Heaven. This introduces us to the universal of the series, for the last two chapters of Revelation treat of the New Heaven and the New Church, as established after the last judgment. To enter into the New Church on earth and through it into the New Heaven, is therefore the subject of this verse; and the mode and manner of such entrance is by doing the commandments, or applying to life the truths of the Word.

THE LAST THING SAID

The last word occurring in this verse is city. It is the holy city New Jerusalem. In it is accomplished the end which is in view. Now since the first thing said is universal in what follows, it is also universal in the last thing said. Thus the New Heaven is interiorly in the New Church or in its doctrine, signified by city. Keeping the commandments is therefore the means of entering into the city or into the doctrine of the New Church, or into that which is interiorly contained in the doctrine, which is the New Heaven. Thus in every end there is always a prior end. The end in keeping the commandments is entrance into the city; but within this end is the prior or more interior end of entering the New Heaven, which is contained in the word blessed.

THE PRECEDING SERIES

The preceding series closes, as we have shown, with the idea of the glorified Human of the Lord. It is the Divine and the Human together, the First and the Last. We have also seen that the glorified Human is the one grand universal of the Apocalypse, reigning in all that precedes and in all that follows this verse.

It is the glorified Human in the New Heaven, conjunction with which in that heaven is eternal life. If then there were any doubt as to who is meant by His in the phrase His commandments, an examination of the verse which precedes the text would remove the doubt.

THE FOLLOWING SERIES

The verse immediately following treats of those who are not conjoined with the Lord in the New Heaven because they do not keep His commandments. Hence it is said of them that they are without the city. It is not only important to know who are they that enter into the city, but also who do not enter into it; hence this rule introduces us at once into a knowledge of those who are not able to effect such entrance, and to the reason why they are unable to do so. By examining what follows we find also that the Lord is called Jesus, which reveals to us, if we have not discovered it before, that the Divine Love is the supreme and universal active of the series, with which a man is conjoined by doing the commandments.

THE NAMES OF THE LORD

To discover the names of the Lord in this verse we of course seek for the antecedent of His, and the antecedent of I in the preceding verse. Who is it that says, "I am Alpha and Omega"? It is the Lord Jesus Christ, for He speaks of His coming in verses 7, 12, and 20; in verse 16 He speaks of Himself as Jesus, "I, Jesus, have sent mine angel"; and in verse 20 He is addressed as Lord Jesus. It is Jesus therefore that calls Himself Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last; and His commandments are the commandments of Jesus. The Divine Love in the Divine Human of the Lord is therefore what is meant by His, involving the reciprocal love to Him with those who do His commandments. This is indeed the ruling love or affection in this verse, love to the Lord from the Lord; which receives confirmation in the Lord's own words, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me." (John xiv: 21.) The tree of life is also love to the Lord, and perception from that love; power in the tree of life signifies power against evil spirits when there is perception from love to the Lord, -which they have who do His commandments. Let us note also that tree of life is here as a name of the Lord; for the tree of life in Genesis and in the Apocalypse is the Lord as to the Divine Love (A. C. 2187. D. P. 241. A. R. 89, 933, 951). In the whole series of the Apocalypse we have before us the idea of the Divine and the Divine Human, but specifically in this verse the Divine Love of His Divine Human, which is the only tree of life. The meaning of the name Jesus is also significant,-Jehovah the Savior. Christ as the Master teaches, but it is the Divine Love or Jesus that saves.

THE NAMES OF PERSONS

Next to the names of the Lord are the names of persons. No name of a person is mentioned, but the text speaks of those who do His commandments; these are all the true men of the church on earth. They do His commandments, they have power in the tree of life, and they enter in through the gates into the city. The same are meant in general by John, who is understood here as present. John as being in the spirit on the Lord's day on the isle of Patmos, is understood everywhere in the Apocalypse; and those represented by him are also in the spirit, or are as to their spirits in heaven while -they still live in the world, by virtue of doing the commandments.

In considering the representation of John we should not forget to note the meaning of the name, -Jehovah favors, Jehovah hath good will, that is, Jehovah loves, and because He loves He reveals Himself. This is John in the highest sense. John thus represents those who receive Jehovah's love.

THE PERSON SPEAKING

It is not directly said who speaks, but since the Lord is mentioned in the third person, it is some one else who is speaking. It is the angel speaking to John, and the angel represents heaven. John is spoken to, and they who do His commandments are spoken of, and also the city into which they are to enter. An angel speaking signifies revelation from heaven; for to speak is to reveal or to give perception. It may be said therefore that, perception is the leading idea of the verse, which they have who love the Lord by doing His commandments. Perception could thus be taken as the leading idea or thought of the sermon, which is also, as we have said, signified by the tree of life. The perception of love is given by keeping the commandments. It is by perception that the knowledges of truth are revealed. By the light of perception and the power that is in it, a man is able to enter in through the gates into the city. We see the value of noting who it is that speaks, for otherwise this idea about perception and revelation by perception might not occur to us.

PLACE

There is no verse in Scripture where a place is not expressed or understood. The place here is the city, the New Jerusalem. It was shown in the chapter on Place that the church on earth is understood by the place named in any passage. Here it is the doctrine of the church signified by city, as received by those who keep the commandments of the Lord. Patmos is also understood here and all through the Apocalypse, by which is signified the state of the Gentiles, who are in ignorance of truth but who can be brought to the church and receive illustration (A. R. 34. A. E. 50). The simple good of the Christian church are also meant, whose state is akin to that of the Gentiles, and also children and young people. The value of noting the place where an event occurs is thus made manifest.

TIME

We have shown that the idea of time, and the signification of the terms involving time, are fundamental to the understanding of the Word. Even where nothing of time is mentioned it is always understood. We have also shown that time in the Apocalypse has reference to the consummation of the age, the last judgment, and the advent of the Lord. These ideas are necessary to a complete understanding of the text; for the time was at hand, or a state existed, in which it would not be possible for any man to keep the commandments, unless the things mentioned should take place. There could otherwise be no repentance, no regeneration, that is, no separation from evil spirits, and hence no salvation.

NUMBER

No number is spoken of in the text, but the number twelve is understood in the mention of the city; for in connection with the city we are told that there were twelve gates, twelve foundations, twelve apostles, twelve tribes, twelve precious stones, twelve pearls, also twelve thousand furlongs, one hundred and forty-four cubits, and twelve fruits. The signification of the number twelve therefore assumes considerable importance. We have already shown that this number usually occurs where the doctrine of genuine truth is treated of, such doctrine as appears in the literal sense of the Word, and which is the essential means of entering into the internal sense.

DUALITY AND TRINITY

There is no part of the Word where duality and trinity are not found, though not always apparent at first sight. In the text there are three distinct sentences, each dual in form, or internal and external. In the first sentence heaven as the internal is represented in the word blessed, and those on earth who do the commandments represent the external. This could be commented on at large in the sermon if thought necessary; and the same with the duality in the remaining sentences, wherein those in the external or on earth have power from the Lord in the internal or in heaven; and also wherein they are spoken of as entering by the external into the internal, or through the gates into the city. In the first sentence also is the idea of the Lord as to His Divine Love, and of love to Him; in the second, perception from that love; and in the third, the knowledges of truth or thoughts from perception. There is also a trinity in the names the name of the Lord or Jesus, the name of the person speaking or the angel, and the name of the place or the city. There is a wonderful duality in the names of the Lord as occurring in the preceding verse, -the Divine and the Divine Human. The duality and the trinity in the Lord and from Him appears also under other forms in this verse. But the grand trinity of the text, is the Lord, heaven, and the church.

THE COVENANT

We are taught that there is a marriage of good and truth, or of love and wisdom, in all things of the Word, or a marriage of the Lord and the church, or a marriage of love to the Lord and love to the neighbor. This marriage or conjunction appears in the literal sense under many forms, but is especially expressed in the name and idea of covenant. The universal of the covenant is that of action on the part of the Lord and reaction or co-operation on the part of man; which reaction and co- operation in general consists in keeping the commandments. This is expressed in some manner in every part of the Word and manifestly in the text. The application of the rule therefore suggests introducing into a sermon on the text before us, a thought concerning the necessity of co-operation with God, which may be enlarged upon as much as is necessary.

AFFECTION

We have shown in the chapter on this subject that affection is the prime essential of the Word. From all that has been said, and from the very words of the text, it is evident that the affection of love to the Lord is the ruling affection of the text, which is inspired by doing the commandments.

COMPARISON

Some hint of the spiritual sense of most words is received by examining the same word in other passages of Scripture. As we know, however, the spiritual sense of the text and of every word in it, and as so much material has already been acquired, there is but little need of applying the rule in respect to the comparison of words and passages. Yet it may be of use to compare what is said in the text about doing His commandments, with the statement in verses 6, 7, 10, 18, and 19, about keeping the words of the prophecy of this book. Similar words occur also in the opening of the book (i: 3). From these passages we learn that they are blessed, or are as to their spirits in heaven "who live according to the doctrine of the New Jerusalem," (A. R. 8), or "who keep and do the truths or precepts of doctrine of this book now opened by the Lord." (A. R. 944, 946, 947, 957, 958, 959.) This comparison brings forward a point of great importance to the exposition of the text, namely, that doing the commandments is one with living according to the doctrine now revealed from heaven.

THE OPPOSITE SENSE

No preparation for a sermon can be considered as complete without some reference to the opposite sense; for as was shown, the opposite is always present, expressed or understood. The opposite does not manifestly appear in the text, but it is present all through the Apocalypse, and is distinctly spoken of in several passages of the chapter in which the text occurs. It presents itself forcibly in the verse immediately following the text, in the mention of those who are without the city, that is, of those who have no genuine truth of doctrine implanted in their life, and who are signified by the dragon and Babylon. The regenerating man must be separated from these while he still lives in the world, and he is so separated when he obeys the commandments and loves the truths of the Word.

Having now made notes under the principles as laid down in the foregoing chapters, we are prepared for further reading and reflection in order that we may come to see the text under one idea (A. C. 2343),* and may at the same time look to applications or to conclusions formed from the knowledges of truth that have been gathered together. These applications or conclusions will be such as to make it clear to the understanding of the hearer that the truths set forth are contained in the text, and are not mere human inventions; and if they are accommodated to the understanding the application by the individual to his own life will not be difficult.

* We have previously called attention to the importance of this in respect to the chapter. Without seeing the text under one idea, an exposition may be made of the individual words alone. This indeed should be done but under the guidance of the leading idea Of the text as a whole. Note how this principle is followed in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 2003 and 2004, which may be read in connection with numbers 1985, 1986,



22



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 23

CHAPTER XXII

THE SERMON

We have reached the point toward which our effort has been directed from the beginning of this work, that for which the rules of exposition have been preparing the way, namely, the unfolding and expanding of a text from Scripture into the form of a sermon or religious discourse, for the instruction of those who are receptive of the spiritual truth of the Word.

The proper theme of a sermon is the life after death, and preparation for it by obedience to the commandments of the Lord, looking to eternal conjunction with Him. Every verse of the Word treats of this life to come and of the means of obtaining it. Supremely considered, however, the one purpose in a sermon is to present the Lord and life from Him, the life which makes the church and heaven itself. The spiritual sense of the Word treats of nothing else, and the New Church sermon falls short of its purpose if it does not aim to unfold in the form of doctrine this spiritual sense of a text in language adapted to the understanding.

As to the understanding of the Word, there will be of course much variety in any given congregation. But the minister should always speak primarily to the center, or to the most intelligent. He will then feed all who bear. But if he speaks to the circumference, or to the least intelligent, making these the primary object of his interest, a famine will result that may in the end lead to disintegration and dissolution. The old church sermon at its best is an exposition of the literal or general sense of a verse in the Word. There is a field indeed for this kind of sermon in the New Church with children and the young; but the essential purpose of the New Church sermon is to address the adult or rational mind, and for this end to expound the internal sense of the Word; for upon this depends in large measure the intellectual and spiritual growth of any society of the church. The growth of the rational is the growth of the church.

It was stated in a former chapter that there is in every verse of Scripture, as in every chapter, a leading idea with subordinate ideas under it, expressed in the verse in the leading word and in the subordinate words. The group of words under a leading word indicates a group of ideas under some leading general truth-natural in the literal sense, and spiritual in the internal sense. There is also, as we have shown, a logical sequence of ideas, under one leading idea involved in the order of the words in the original language. It is clear that a sermon should follow this logical order, expounding the internal sense without digression or excursion into realms of thought extraneous to the subject.

The first thing is to choose the text, and the second is to expound what is in it. The sermon will thus become the expanded form of the text. It is not meant that a doctrinal subject may not at times be chosen, and a text sought which contains and expresses it; but in this case the minister should make sure that the doctrine is the doctrine of the text. The principle will thus be essentially the same in each case. What we wish especially to guard against is the putting into a text that which does not belong in it. We are to take out what is there, and not to put in something that is not there. We are not to import into it what belongs elsewhere or in some other series and above all not to insert something that is a mere product of human intelligence, something not inspired by the Word of God.       For this end true doctrine has been given and the principles of exposition have been provided, -the former and the latter having nothing else in view than that the student may find what is in the Word of God, and avoid the temptation to seek and set forth something that has another origin. Thus his purpose in collecting doctrine and his use of the rules should be to discover first of all the leading idea of doctrine contained in the internal sense of the text. He should not enter into a consideration of it with a preconceived idea in his thought. His mind should be open and unbiased-in a state of readiness to be taught by the Lord, and not by anything of man's own intelligence. He will thus be introduced into the stream of the Word, and will be led to expound only that which is in the Word, speaking from the Lord. Without this prior state of loyalty neither doctrines nor rules of exposition will be of any use.

There are certain teachings that bear upon the construction of the sermon, and the state in which the minister ought to be, which it may be well for us to consider in this connection, - teachings which indeed have a wider application, but which at the same time look strongly to the subject before us.

In Arcana Coelestia, number 9424, we are taught that "doctrine is to be collected from the Word, and while it is being collected, man must be in illustration from the Lord, and he is in illustration when in the love of truth for the sake of truth, and not for the sake of self and the world. These are they who are illustrated in the Word when they read it, and see truth, and make thence to themselves doctrine. The reason of this is, that such communicate with heaven, thus with the Lord, and being thereby illustrated from the Lord, they are led to see the truths of the Word such as they are in heaven, for the Lord inflows through heaven into their understandings, for the interior understanding of man is what is illustrated."

The foregoing passage is a part of a number that gives the internal sense of the words, "And behold Aaron and Hur are with you." Since Aaron represents the priesthood, and in the abstract sense, doctrine, the bearing and application to the sermon, and to the state of the minister when preparing it, is manifest. The sermon must be formed of doctrine collected from the Word, and the minister while bringing together such doctrine must be in a state of illustration, and he is in such a state when he loves truth for its own sake, and not for any considerations of himself and of the world, but only for heaven and the Lord; and what is most essential, his thought then communicates with heaven, for the Lord inflows through heaven into his understanding, giving him illustration or spiritual insight. In this state he sees the truth of the Word such as it is in heaven, or the truth of the internal sense of the Word, and he is able at the same time to accommodate it to the understanding of others in the world, who also can be brought into states of illustration, especially when they are in a sphere of worship.

The Minister is then able to act in the spirit of the teaching of the Lord to His disciples that the "scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." (Matt. xiii: 52.) The treasure is the Word, things new are the things of its internal sense, and things old are the things of the literal sense. What was addressed to the disciples who were to become apostles is addressed to every teacher of the Word of God. He will be provided with an abundance of spiritual and natural truths, sufficient for all who hear, from the wise to the simple. For even children are to be fed from the unlimited store of the Word.

We have the further teaching given in Arcana Coelestia, number 3786: "The case is the same in general with the Church at its establishment; the doctrinals of good and truth must first be collected into one, for these are the things on which it is built. Doctrinals have a connection with each other and a mutual respect to each other. Unless, therefore, they are at first collected into one, there will be a defect, which defect must be supplied by man's rational, and how blind and fanciful this is in things spiritual and Divine, whilst its conclusions are from itself, has been abundantly shown. On this account the Word, which contains all the doctrinals of good and truth, was given to the Church. In this the church in general is circumstanced as in particular with the regenerate man, for such a man is a church in particular. That the doctrinals of good and truth which belong to the Church, must needs be first together in man before he is regenerated, has been shown above." (See also the following numbers.)

As described in this passage the building of a sermon is like the building of a church. The doctrinals of good and truth must first be gathered into one, so as to be seen tinder one general idea.* To aid in this and to make it effective, the doctrine of genuine truth has been revealed, the internal sense of the Word has been laid open, the principles of exposition have been given, and a state of illustration is provided. Armed in this manner, the minister will be able to collect into one the doctrinals of good and truth, and to express them in forms accommodated to the understanding; and he will be saved from the blind and fanciful conclusions of his own intelligence.

* See the distinct teaching on this point in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 2343, 3074, 3786.

The teaching in The True Christian Religion, numbers 146, 155, concerning the illustration of the clergy, which is signified by the sending of the Holy Spirit, bears special relation to the state of the minister, and to his sermon, both in its preparation and its delivery. To be in a state of illustration is to be elevated by the affection of truth into a sphere of light similar to that in which the angels are, the light of the world being for a time closed out. The thought of the mind is then concerning the truth and nothing but the truth; and as it is in the mind so it is in the sermon. Hence as the thought of the angels is removed from any idea of time, place, or person, so the minister will not inject into his sermon any thought involving these things. He will think and speak solely of the truth and of the life. He will above all not intrude himself nor his own opinions into his sermon,* nor will he mention any person save those named in revelation. If he is in a state of illustration the sphere of his illustration will be communicated to his congregation, and nothing should be said by him to bring them back to the sphere of the outer world which, on their entrance into church, has been left behind. This is the ideal of the New Church sermon, and it is possible for it to exist in fullness now that the last judgment has taken place (C. L. J. 11, 12).

* What the minister thinks of the truth is of no consequence to the hearers, for the thing of consequence is what the truth itself is, thus what the Divine thought is.

Although it is not within the scope of our purpose to take up for special treatment the subject of the construction of a sermon, since each minister ought to be free to plan and build his sermon according to the form which the doctrine of the text takes in his own mind; still for the benefit of those who may desire suggestions, it may not be amiss to call attention to the model of exposition that is given in the Writings, especially in such works as Arcana Coelestia, The Apocalypse Revealed, and The Apocalypse Explained. When we examine these works we find that:

1. The Word is expounded in a series.

2. The internal sense of groups is placed at the heads of chapters.

3. A statement of the general truth contained in a verse or a sentence is given.

4. The significations of the individual words follow.

5. Finally the general sense or the leading idea of the verse is expounded.

The above plan with some variations is followed throughout in the three works mentioned. Let us now consider this plan in the order given above.

1. THE WORD IS EXPOUNDED IN A SERIES

We have shown by citations from the Writings that the Word from beginning to end is in a series, one -thing following another in the internal sense in a regular order of succession. It is but natural therefore that the Word should be expounded in a series, as has been done in the three works above mentioned. We have also referred on a previous page to the statement in The True Christian Religion, number 351, that the Writings are written in a series, an expression of the law that the Word itself is in a series, and that all things of nature, since they have been created by the Word, are also in a series. Since these things are true, and especially since the Word is expounded in a series in the works above mentioned, it is a natural conclusion that a sermon in order to be a complete exposition of the Word ought to be written in a series.

In the philosophical works of Swedenborg there is a wonderful unfolding of the law of series, as exhibited in nature. The reader is especially referred to the Principia, and to The Economy of the Animal Kingdom. In the Writings much is said on the same subject as applied to the Word. We learn by frequent teachings: That the internal sense of any given passage cannot fully appear except from a knowledge of the series in which it occurs (A. C. 3318, 4160, 4289, 4298, 4443, 5432, 6750). That the internal sense is not fully evident until what precedes and what follows is examined (A. C. 4368, 4429, 4502). That all things are to be taken in application to the subject of the series of the internal sense (A. C. 4502). That one series is distinguished from another by the use of and, and it was, or and it came to pass (A. C. 4987). See also the chapter in this book on "The Preceding Series," and the one on "The Following Series."

These numbers establish the importance of a full understanding of the series in which the text occurs, especially of a knowledge of the leading idea of doctrine in that series, -a subject of which we have frequently spoken, and which at the risk of repetition we again bring forward on account of its connection with the question of the sermon. Since the preparation of sermons in a series is also involved here, we would remark in addition to what was said above that the best way to imbibe thoroughly the leading idea of doctrine in any text, the best way to enter into a full understanding of the context of a verse, and thus of the verse itself, is to write a series of sermons, taking the chapter in regular order, verse by verse from its beginning to its end. Even if only one verse of a chapter be taken as a text, still the general doctrine of the chapter should be found and the text viewed in relation to it. Otherwise it will be difficult to determine with certainty the general of the text, and some particular of it may be expounded, which, however true in itself, will not be an exposition of the text in its entirety, and much that it contains will remain unknown. But if the course above indicated be pursued by a mind imbued with the spiritual affection of truth, such a mind wilt-be led into the full stream and tide of the internal sense of the Word.

Concerning the Divine stream of the Word, we are told that the internal sense is such a continuous stream that not even a syllable can be omitted without interruption of the series (A. C. 7933. L. J. 41). The leading doctrine of a chapter is the ship that guides in the navigation of this stream, when there is a state of illustration from the Lord.*

* It is because of the modification of the spiritual sense according to the leading doctrine of the series, that various significations are given in the Writings of the same word of Scripture.

2. THE INTERNAL SENSE OF GROUPS IS PLACED AT THE HEADS OF CHAPTERS

Groups, paragraphs, or parts of chapters are treated in this way in the works mentioned above, especially in Arcana Coelestia and in The Apocalypse Revealed; and the Prophetic Word is treated in the same manner in A Summary Exposition of the Prophets and Psalms. Let us take as, an example the twenty-first chapter of the Apocalypse, an analysis of which has already been given. At the head of this chapter in The Apocalypse Revealed, we have the following summary of its internal sense: "This chapter treats of the state of heaven and the church after the last judgment. That after the judgment, through the New Heaven, a New Church will exist on the earth which will worship the Lord alone, verses 1-8. Its conjunction with the Lord, verses 9, 10. A description of it as to its intelligence derived from the Word, verse 11. As to its doctrine thence derived, verses 12-21. And as to every quality thereof, verses 22-26." We observe here that the doctrine of the chapter as a whole is first given, and the doctrine of groups of verses or parts of the chapter is also given. Then follows a spiritual exposition of its verses, sentences, and words. The heads of the groups are subordinate generals under the leading general of the whole chapter.

In the light of revealed doctrine it is possible for a minister to prepare a like summary of any chapter of the Word; that is, he may with this in view copy from the Writings the explanations of the chapter and its parts, and then he may make use of the mode of analysis which the Writings give and which we have attempted to present in the preceding pages, and finally by thought and reflection he may prepare a digest or summary similar to that which is commonly given in the expositions of the Writings. The minister could then write a series of sermons on the chapter; first, a sermon on the chapter as a whole, expounding its leading idea; second, a sermon on the leading idea of each group; and finally a series of sermons on each verse. Or if he should decide to take only a single text from a chapter, he would find it useful as well as safe to make first such an analysis as we have indicated, of the whole chapter.

By such experiences in writing and in preaching a series of sermons the minister would obtain an education in the doctrines of the church, for which his previous training in a theological school would be but a preliminary, and there would also be great spiritual benefit to the members of his congregation.

3. A STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL TRUTH CONTAINED IN A VERSE OR SENTENCE IS GIVEN

The explanation of a part of the second verse of the twenty- first chapter of the Apocalypse is given in The Apocalypse Revealed, numbers 879, 880. "And I John, saw the holy city New Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven, signifies a New Church to be established by the Lord at the end of the former church, which will be consociated with the New Heaven in Divine truths as to doctrine and as to life." This general statement of the internal sense comes under the leading idea of the group of verses 1-8, and under the leading idea of the chapter as quoted above, on reading which we discover that this New Church is to exist on the earth after the last judgment has been performed, and that it will worship the Lord alone, and thus are connected the idea of the judgment and the idea of the Lord, which should be made prominent in a sermon on the above text.

4. THE SIGNIFICATIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL WORDS FOLLOW

The individual words of the verse above quoted are then taken up and explained in order. By John saw is signified those who are in the good of love to the Lord and in the good of life thence, who by virtue of illustration from the Lord are able to see and understand the doctrine revealed from heaven; by the holy city is signified that doctrine; by the New Jerusalem is signified the New Church as to doctrine and as to worship, since worship is prescribed in doctrine and is performed according to it; then the reasons are given why the city is called holy and why it is said to be new, and why it is spoken of as descending from God out of heaven. In a sermon on this text a brief statement similar to the above might be made before proceeding to an exposition of its leading doctrine.

5. FINALLY THE GENERAL SENSE OR LEADING IDEA OF THE VERSE IS EXPOUNDED

It is clear that the general doctrine in this text is involved in the signification of the words, "the holy city New Jerusalem"; for this is what John saw, and this is what came down from God out of heaven. The body of a sermon on this text should therefore be occupied with the unfolding of what is spiritually contained in these words, drawing especial attention to the fact that doctrine and worship go together and cannot be separated, for this is what is meant by the city being called holy, and by its name being the New Jerusalem. It is by virtue of the conjunction of doctrine and worship in the New Church that there is to be consociation with the New Heaven.*

* That evangelization and worship go together, and hence that with instruction there should be a sphere of worship, which is a sphere of love to the Lord, see Arcana Coelestia, number 9925.

Now the question might arise as to what is to be first said in a sermon. What should be the nature of -its opening words, or what kind of introduction should it have? In the Writings there is usually an introduction to chapters in the works above mentioned, and also in the other works where propositions are discussed seriatim. Also there are frequent introductions to books and chapters in the Sacred Scripture. This is a common practice too in books of human authorship, as is well known. The object of an introduction is to explain the purpose of the book or chapter, and to give a general view of what follows. This is not always done because it is not always necessary. Still what is first said serves as an introduction, since it contains in some form a statement of the subject of the sermon that is to follow.

A sermon might therefore have an introduction or exordium, opening with an explanation of the literal sense of the text, if this seems to be necessary, and it might include a statement of the universal of the chapter, and of the general of the group in which the text occurs, closing and connecting with the leading idea of the text. Judgment must of course be used, for what is necessary in one sermon will not be necessary in another. But a sermon should always present somewhere near its beginning the leading idea of the text, since that is to be the topic of the sermon itself, in order that the listener may know what the minister is going to talk about; for the text will not always present on its surface the general of its own spiritual sense.

After the general doctrine or subject of the text has been expressed in a few words, there may be a brief statement of the signification of the individual words, following the plan of the Writings, and then after the same plan the leading doctrine in the text may be expounded at length, and in the conclusion the end in view in the text may be unfolded and applied. The mode of exposition in the Writings may therefore be taken as a general guide in the construction of a sermon, but in a state of full freedom and judgment in producing the effect. For although we should follow what is essential in that mode, it is not always necessary to follow its form. It is the spirit of truth that leadeth to all truth, and not the mere letter which in itself is dead.

We have spoken of the importance of expounding only what is in the Word, as required by loyalty to the truth, and it will doubtless be of interest to add here some further teaching on this subject, that is, as to what is in a verse or in a text that may be chosen for a sermon. We read that "every verse contains a peculiar state or change of state in the church." (A. C. 205.) Hence every verse describes a state or contains a sense peculiar to itself, distinct from every other verse in the chapter, in the book, or in the entire Word, each with a fullness of meaning all its own. We can see how true this is when we realize that every verse communicates with some society of heaven, thus every verse is an expression of the state of an angelic society, concerning which we are informed in the following passages:

"What is wonderful, the Word is so written that it communicates with the universal heaven, and in its particulars with every society there; which it has been given me to know by living experience, concerning which elsewhere. That the Word is such in its essence, is manifest also from these words of the Lord: 'The words which I speak unto you are spirit, and are life,' (John vi: 63)." (A. R. 200.) There is thus no society in heaven that does not ultimate and give expression to its life of affection and thought in some portion of the literal sense of the Word, to enter into which is to enter into the unlimited store of, truth which is the gift of the Lord to that angelic society.

"It has been granted me to perceive that, while I was reading the Word in the sense of its letter, communication was effected with the heavens, now with this society of them, now with that; and that what I understood according to the natural sense, the spiritual angels understood according to the spiritual sense, and the celestial angels according to the celestial sense, and this in an instant." (S. S. 64.)

"It has been given me to know by much experience, that man has communication with heaven through the Word. While I was reading the Word from the first chapter of Isaiah to the last of Malachi, and the Psalms of David, it was given me to perceive, clearly that every verse communicates with some society of heaven, and that thus the whole Word communicates with the entire heaven." (S. S. 113.) A verse or a text in the Word therefore occupies a distinguished position, and a minister truly expounding it is giving general expression to the living active thought of an entire angelic society, and the thought of that society is stirred by his meditation, as a mother is stirred when her little one asks for food.

We read. further: "That all things of the Word correspond to all things of heaven, has been given me to perceive from this, that the separate chapters in the prophetic Word correspond to individual societies of heaven; for when I read through the prophetic books of the Word from Isaiah to Malachi, it was given me to see that societies of heaven were called out in their order and they perceived the spiritual sense corresponding to them." (De Verbo x: 1.) And again we read: "From much experience it has been given me to know that the Word opens heaven to man, that is, that when man reads the Word or speaks from it, communication is made with heaven. I have read the prophetic Word through from Isaiah even to Malachi, and it was given to perceive that every chapter, even every verse, was perceived in some heavenly society. And because the spiritual sense and not the sense of the letter is communicated, therefore the angels of the society did not know that these things came from any man." (De Verbo. xviii: 1.)

Hence when man reads the Word in a state of meditative thought, or when he speaks from it, his source of inspiration and enlightenment is not in the outer world but in heaven. We therefore have no need of the light of the world nor of the scientifics of men in any sense of source, origin, or point of beginning. We have need of them indeed, but merely to illustrate and confirm, to bring down and to accommodate that which has been perceived from the light of heaven, or from communication with some angelic society-with that angelic society which is present interiorly in that particular portion of the Word we are studying. The first thing in the order of time is the letter with its scientifics and knowledges of doctrine, but the first thing in importance is inspiration from heaven, and consequent perception. Knowledges and scientifics in the mind are then enkindled, and take their proper place in confirmation of that which has been given by perception.*

* Let it not be thought, however, that there is any perception independent of the knowledges of truth as given in the written Word. Yet such knowledges are merely in the memory until perception is given. It is not until then that truth is really revealed.

In the supreme idea inspiration and perception are from the Lord Himself in heaven, for the light in the minds of the angels is the presence of the Lord in their affection of truth. Hence we read: "The Word is from the Lord and concerning the Lord, and thus is the Lord. All thought, speech, and writing derives its essence and life from him who thinks, speaks, and writes, the man with all that he is being therein; but in the Word the Lord alone is. No one, however, feels and perceives the Divine life in the Word but he who is in the spiritual affection of truth when he reads it, for he is in conjunction with the Lord through the Word; there being something intimately affecting the heart and spirit, which inflows with light into the understanding and bears witness." (A. R. 200.) The Word and heaven are one, for heaven is interiorly in the Word; that is, the Word and the Lord are one, for the Lord is the all in all the Word. Such is the source of the infinite store of truth that is open to him who is willing to approach and enter.

There is in the Writings much of definite teaching as to what is in the Word, and we shall bring forward somewhat of this in a later chapter. We refer the reader especially to what is said there concerning the four distinct planes in the Word, one within another. The point that interests us here is, that in each of these planes in the text there is a leading idea, any one of which may be chosen as the topic or theme of the sermon. Thus the sermon may treat of the individual man and his regeneration; or of the church and its growth and establishment; or of the Lord, His glorification, redemption, and the last judgment; or other Divine works and attributes. If the sermons of a minister never, or but seldom, treat of the church or of the Lord, but are confined mostly to the regenerate life of the individual, there will be wanting a large and comprehensive view even of regeneration; and the understanding of the Word will be kept under unnecessary limitations. The Writings are again our model, and we find in their expositions a great variety of subjects. Their chief topic is the Lord, and then His kingdom and church, and finally the life of the individual man.

We would now say a word concerning the concluding portion of the sermon. As a general rule the sermon should close with an exposition of the end, aim, or purpose of the text. To find and determine this end is an important part of the preparation. It is usually expressed in the closing words. For instance, the end in the text quoted above from Revelation xxi is contained in its last words, "from God out of heaven." In closing a sermon on this text emphasis should be laid on the truth that the doctrine signified by the holy city New Jerusalem is from the Lord out of the New Heaven, and that this doctrine leads to that heaven all who are signified by John, or those who love the truth of doctrine now revealed and appropriate it in heart and life. In writing the sermon the minister is continually approaching the end and aim, even as the text itself does. For the sermon is, as we have said, an expansion of the text itself; or, it is what is in the text brought forth, accommodated, and applied according to its order and sequence of ideas from general to particular.

Let us illustrate by another example, in a brief examination of Revelation iii: 20. The words are addressed "to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans" as follows, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me." In order to be brief we omit a consideration of most of the rules as applied to this passage, simply noting that the preceding verse closes with the idea Of repentance. This passes over to verse 20, and qualifies all that is there said. The Lord is present when there is repentance. He stands at the door and knocks. Man hears His voice and opens the door, that is, receives instruction and repents. The Lord then enters by the door, or by the understanding of truth, and conjunction with Him is effected, which is signified by the words, "I will sup with him and he with me" -the supper of the spiritual marriage. Thus the end in view in the verse is heaven as a state of conjunction with God, as expressed in its closing words. A sermon with this as a text should therefore treat finally of conjunction with God, as being the very state of heaven, and as brought about by receiving instruction and by living a life according to the truth, or a life of repentance, while still on earth. It may in fact be said 'that heaven and the Lord are the end in every text. The point that interests us here is, that in each of these planes in the text there is a leading idea, any one of which may be chosen as the topic or theme of the sermon. Thus the sermon may treat of the individual man and his regeneration; or of the church and its growth and establishment; or of the Lord, His glorification, redemption, and the last judgment; or other Divine works and attributes. If the sermons of a minister never, or but seldom, treat of the church or of the Lord, but are confined mostly to the regenerate life of the individual, there will be wanting a large and comprehensive view even of regeneration; and the understanding of the Word will be kept under unnecessary limitations. The Writings are again our model, and we find in their expositions a great variety of subjects. Their chief topic is the Lord, and then His kingdom and church, and finally the life of the individual man.

We would now say a word concerning the concluding portion of the sermon. As a general rule the sermon should close with an exposition of the end, aim, or purpose of the text. To find and determine this end is an important part of the preparation. It is usually expressed in the closing words. For instance, the end in the text quoted above from Revelation xxi is contained in its last words, "from God out of heaven." In closing a sermon on this text emphasis should be laid on the truth that the doctrine signified by the holy city New Jerusalem is from the Lord out of the New Heaven, and that this doctrine leads to that heaven all who are signified by John, or those who love the truth of doctrine now revealed and appropriate it in heart and life. In writing the sermon the minister is continually approaching the end and aim, even as the text itself does. For the sermon is, as we have said, an expansion of the text itself; or, it is what is in the text brought forth, accommodated, and applied according to its order and sequence of ideas from general to particular.

Let us illustrate by another example, in a brief examination of Revelation iii: 20. The words are addressed "to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans" as follows, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear nay voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me." In order to be brief we omit a consideration of most of the rules as applied to this passage, simply noting that the preceding verse closes with the idea of repentance. This passes over to verse 20, and qualifies all that is there said. The Lord is present when there is repentance. He stands at the door and knocks. Man hears His voice and opens the door, that is, receives instruction and repents. The Lord then enters by the door, or by the understanding of truth, and conjunction with Him is effected, which is signified by the words, "I will sup with him and he with me" -the supper of the spiritual marriage. Thus the end in view in the verse is heaven as a state of conjunction with God, as expressed in its closing words. A sermon with this as a text should therefore treat finally of conjunction with God, as being the very state of heaven, and as brought about by receiving instruction and by living a life according to the truth, or a life of repentance, while still on earth. It may in fact be said that heaven and the Lord are the end in every text, or that particular heaven with which the text is in communication.

It is not a part of our purpose to enter at large upon the subject of the external form and style of the sermon. The minister by his previous training will have acquired all the necessary instrumentalities for putting his sermon into proper form. These have been taken for granted, and our chief interest has been in the matter of the sermon, or the doctrine that is contained in the text. If there be enough thought and meditation on this, there will be but little difficulty as to the form of the sermon. The form will take care of itself. Fixed rules of construction may become a hindrance rather than a help if too much dependence is placed upon them. Every verse in the Word is like a star whose light scintillates in all directions, and in its light no two individual minds will give the same form and application of the text. Thought from affection will take proper form in expression. Such thought should be free, should not be bound by rigid rules of construction. Loyalty to the doctrine is the prime essential requisite. Under this there is room for great variety in the style and form of the sermon.

It may be remarked in general that the style of the sermon is necessarily didactic, its one aim being instruction in the doctrine of the church, that the truth of doctrine may inspire and lead to the good of life. The poetic sphere is indeed present in the letter of the Word, and dominates in the service previous to the sermon, leading up to it and briefly following it. But the sermon itself is central. It is that for the sake of which the worship is, since by it is opened the internal sense of the Word, and by it is fulfilled the use of the Sabbath since the coming of the Lord-a day of instruction in Divine things (T. C. R. 301).

All that we have said in the preceding pages up to this point, looks to the instruction of the adult mind in the interior or spiritual things of the Word; there is left the immense subject of the literal sense, which has been given to prepare the minds of the young for introduction to the same spiritual things. We propose now to enter into a consideration of this subject.



23



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 24
CHAPTER XXIII

CHILDREN AND THE YOUNG

The internal sense of the Word, given by the Lord in His Second Coming, is a revelation to the rational mind, which is opened or may be opened in adult life; but the literal sense is for the sensual and natural mind, which is opened in childhood and youth. Hence the literal sense of the Word has been given for the religious instruction of children and the young, and for adults who are in states similar to that of childhood and youth.

Let us examine the evidence of the Writings on this important subject. We are taught that the historical portions of the Word especially have been provided for children, in such passages as the following:

"The historical parts are given so that infants and children may be initiated thereby into the reading of the Word; for the historical parts are delightful and gain a place in their minds, whereby communication is thus given them with the heavens, which communication is grateful, because they are in a state of innocence and mutual charity; this is the reason that the historical Word is given." (A. C. 6333.) It may be well to explain that by infants in the Writings are meant little children from birth to about seven years of age, and by children (pueros) are meant the same from seven to about fourteen years of age. From the fourteenth year to manhood is the period of youth.

"These are the arcana contained in this and in the subsequent relation, but historically delivered, that the Word may be read with delight even by children and the simple, to the intent that whilst they are in holy delight arising from the historical sense, their attendant angels may be in the sanctity of the internal sense." (A. C. 3982.) The historical relation referred to in this passage is the story of Laban and Jacob. Such stories as these in the Word delight children; and the view is given us here of a much larger use than that of implanting remains in children-a use to the angels in heaven. This is indeed the prime use performed by means of the historicals of the Word which is clearly brought out in the following number: "All the historicals of the Word are truths more remote from essential Divine doctrinals, but still they are serviceable to infants and children, in order to introduce them into the interior doctrinals of truth and good by degrees, and at length to the essential Divine doctrinals; for within them in their inmost is the Divine. Whilst infants are reading them and are affected by them from innocence, the attendant angels are in a delighted celestial state, being affected from the Lord with the internal sense, consequently with those things which the historicals represent and signify. It is the celestial delight of the angels which flows in and causes the delight of the infants. In order that this first state may be the state of infancy and childhood of those about to be regenerated-the historicals of the Word were given, and so written, that all and single things therein contain in them things Divine." (A. C. 3690.)

We read further: "The knowledges of external or corporeal truth . . . such as are with infant children . . . are in general such as are contained in the historical parts of the Word. . . . When these knowledges are known and thought of by an infant child, the attendant angels think of the Divine things which they represent and signify." (A. C. 3665.) In this number what is said in the Word about paradise and the tabernacle is referred to as illustrating the kind of knowledges meant.

Concerning the statement frequently made in the Old Testament that Jehovah repents, we are told: "It is so said in the Word concerning Jehovah, because the sense of the letter is from such things as appear to man, for it is for the most simple, and for infants, who at first do not go beyond it; but the latter and the former are also in things most external from which they commence, and into which afterwards their interiors close; wherefore the Word in the letter is to be understood otherwise by those who are become wiser." (A. C. 10441.) The indication is given here and in the other numbers quoted, that a life truly religious is to begin in the period of infancy, or as soon as the child is able to hear and be delighted with the stories of the Word, even before he can read the Word for himself or listen to a connected and consecutive reading. For the idea of God should be insinuated into the mind of the child as early as it is possible for it to be done, since love to God precedes even in time love to the neighbor. Esau is the firstborn and not Jacob.

"The sense of the letter of the Word is such that those who are in good see truths in it, and those who are in evil see falsities, for the sense of the letter is adapted to the apprehension of little children, youths, and the simple, and is therefore according to appearance. Yet in that sense truths he hid that are seen by none except those who are in good, those who are in evil not wishing to see them." (A. E. 384.) In this number and elsewhere in the Writings, the simple are spoken of as being in a state similar to that of children. There are many such in the Christian world and vast numbers among the Gentiles. For these, as well as for children, the historicals of the Word have been given, and fables and folk tales have come into existence. For such stories are similar to the stories of the Word, and have a kindred use. They in fact had their rise in the representatives of the ancient Word, (S. S. 20, 21. T. C. R. 693), and seem to have been originally intended as explanations of the representatives.

There is no nation where such stories are not found. They are handed down from father to son, and are in this manner preserved before there is writing or printing. Hence the telling of stories precedes the reading of them. In certain races a story is never, from one generation to another, read aloud from a book, but is given only by oral communication. In this way we are to begin, even though we have the written Word, and story books in great number. The first thing is to tell the stories of the Word to little children, even as we tell them other stories before we read to them. Reading to them comes in naturally and properly at a later period, and later still the reading to themselves of the same stories. Some New Church parents, on account of a reverence for the Word, have thought that the stories in it should be read strictly and literally as they stand, and not told in language of interpretation and exposition. But the Word is to be expounded on all planes, even the historical, and thus accommodated to the states that are to receive it. A function of the parent in the home, as of the priest in the church, is to accommodate the Word according to the capacity of reception with those who are taught.

The number which follows bears directly on this point: After the Word itself is spoken of as having been accommodated to the comprehension of man, we are told that "the case herein is the same as it is with a parent who is teaching his little boys and girls; when he is teaching, he sets forth everything in accordance with their genius, although he himself thinks from what is more interior or higher; otherwise it would be teaching what would not be learnt, or like casting seed upon a rock." (A. C. 2533.) Then we are told that the angels teach the simple in heart in like manner, not speaking to them at first from their angelic wisdom, for then the simple would comprehend nothing at all.

In regard to the simple, we observe that in the Writings they are frequently spoken of without the mention of children, as in the following passage: "The literal sense of the Word is for the simple, for those who are initiated into the exterior truths of faith, and for those who do not comprehend interior things, since it is according to the appearance before the sensual man, thus according to the apprehension." (A. C. 9025.) Although children are not mentioned we may take it for granted that they are understood, on account of the similarity of state; both the simple and children are in the sensual degree, and live on the plane of the literal sense of the Word. Much can be learned concerning the state of children by reading the numerous passages where the simple are treated of. In fact there are three general classes of the simple, children, the simple among adults in the Christian world, and the simple among the Gentiles.

In the passage last quoted the lowest or most ultimate plane of the Word in the literal sense is spoken of as the sensual degree or the Divine sensual of the Word. All things in it, being made up of things that appear to the senses, constitute this sensual degree. That the historical portion especially is the sensual of the Word, is clearly indicated in Arcana Coelestia, number 3507, where it, is said that "angelic ideas are spiritual, and when they go more interiorly, are celestial; but human ideas are natural, and when derived from things historical, are sensual." The Word in this manner is accommodated to the apprehension of the most simple among men, and of little children, all of whom are sensual; but they are in a sensual that is affirmative, because they are in what is called in the Writings simple-good, which is the good of simple obedience. The evil, especially the worst of them, are also in the sensual, but with them it is a sensual that is perverted and altogether negative.

We read also: "Divine truth of the fourth degree is that which comes to the perception of men of the church who are living in the world, and constitutes their intelligence and science; this is called natural Divine truth, and its ultimate is called sensual Divine truth. These Divine truths are in the Word in the order of their degrees; and Divine truth in the ultimate degree, or in the ultimate of order, is such as is Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word, which is for infants, and for the very simple, who are sensual." (A. E. 627.) We shall speak in a later chapter on the distinction between the sensual and the natural truth of the Word.

Since the sensual degree is the only plane as yet opened in little children, they are in appearances of truth, and cannot as yet be in any other. Hence for them, and also for the very simple, it is said: "Many things in the Word are spoken according to appearances, yea, according to the fallacies of the senses; as that the Lord is angry, that He punishes, that He curses, that He kills, and many more things of a like nature; when nevertheless in the internal sense it is quite the contrary, namely, that the Lord cannot possibly be angry and punish, still less can He curse and kill. However, to those who from simplicity of heart believe the Word as they comprehend it in the letter, this is not hurtful, provided they live in charity." (A. C. 1408.)

It is therefore not injurious for little children to believe in appearances, since in this early stage of life they cannot do otherwise; for as was said, the sensual is the only plane as yet opened in them; nor should they be told that appearances in the Word are not true, for this would be hurtful to their simple state of faith. Later in life when the higher planes of the mind are opened, they can be taught the genuine truth. Let us always remember that "appearances are the first things from which the human mind forms its understanding." (D. L. W. 40.) Hence "there is no harm in believing the sense of the letter, although the internal sense teaches otherwise, provided it be done in simplicity of heart." (A. C. 2395, 10028.) The one thing needful, as we learn from Arcana Coelestia, number 1408 quoted above, is for parents to inspire a life of charity both by precept and by example. When this is done appearances do no harm, and they should be allowed to remain until the sensual stage of life is passed.

On account of this state of children and the simple, they are in what is called in the Writings historical faith, a faith founded on the stories of the Word, especially those which treat of the manifestations of Divine Power such as the miracles of the Old and New Testaments; and we learn that "there must always be this historical faith before it becomes saving faith"; and "historical faith becomes saving by learning truths from the Word, and living according to them." We read further that "a miraculous faith is the first faith with those among whom a new church is to be established"; also that the "first faith of all is a historical faith"; and that "this is the reason why the miracles performed by the Lord are described and preached." (A. E. 815.) This faith, having been the beginning of the Christian church-for "the Christians in the primitive church were very simple men" (S. S. 24)-is also the beginning of the New Church with every man in his childhood. It is called persuasive faith, which is the faith of another received and adopted because of confidence in him or obedience to him, as a child to his parent. Such faith, however, becomes hurtful when it is confirmed. Hence the term persuasive faith is used mostly in an evil sense in the Writings. But it is the beginning of faith with children.

The teaching is therefore distinct and clear that the literal sense, or the sensual degree of the Word-in particular its historical portion-has been given for children, and for others like them. This is in order that historical faith may be implanted, which is the first and the beginning of all faith. The literal sense thus serves the use with them of introduction to the internal sense, or to intelligence and wisdom. For in all parts of Scripture - even in the historical portion are simple truths that perform this introductory use.

In order to understand fully the state of children, it is necessary to know that they are associated with the angels of the first or ultimate heaven; for that heaven is the heaven of the simple and children. All the simple good are taken there when they die, also all infants and children. The first heaven is formed by means of the literal sense of the Word, in which the simple and children are. Hence we read that "the Word was given of the Lord to man, and also to the angels, that by it they may be present with Him; for the Word is the medium for uniting the earth with heaven, and by heaven with the Lord; its literal sense is what unites man with the first heaven." (A. C. 3476.) Children are present with the Lord, or are in the first heaven as to their spirits, by means of the Word in its literal sense; and if we study the state of that heaven we shall learn much concerning the interior mental state of children; or if we study the literal sense of the Word we shall learn much concerning both.

It is clear therefore that the literal sense has been provided for all who are in sensual and natural states, thus for all those in whom the rational plane has not yet been opened. This would include all those who have not reached adult age, and very many in adult life among Christians and Gentiles. But our interest here is with the children and the young in the New Church who may be prepared by means of the literal sense to become rational New Churchmen in adult life.

We have seen that the first step in this preparation is made by means of the historical portion of the Word in early childhood. When it is said therefore that the historicals of the Word are for children, young children are meant, those who are as yet in the earlier stages of life. Now since the literal sense of the Word as a whole is for all who are still in sensual and natural states, thus for children and the young, and since the historical portions are for little children, it follows that the rest of the literal sense of the Word is for children as they grow older. And since there are three periods of life previous to adult age, it follows that there must be a threefold division of the literal sense of the Word answering to the three successive periods of child life. That this is so we shall see later. Concerning the three periods of the early life of man we learn that "when man is being regenerated, he is led by the Lord first as an infant, then as a child, afterwards as a youth, and finally as an adult." (A. C. 3665.) These are the four general periods of the life of man in this world. In the age of infancy he is led by the Lord by means of the literal sense of the Word in its sensual degree, especially its historical portion; in the age of childhood he is led by means of the internal historical sense of the Word, or what is essentially the same, by its spiritual moral sense; in the age of youth he is led by means of that portion of the literal sense that is called doctrinal, or the doctrine of genuine truth; and in adult life he is led, by the truth of the internal sense of the Word. This is the order when there is a full development of life in a series from. the innocence of ignorance to the innocence of wisdom.

In order that man in the three periods of his early life may be instructed in forms adapted to his comprehension, there is, as we have intimated, a threefold division of the literal sense of the Word which is distinctly stated as follows: "The literal sense of the Word is threefold namely, historical, prophetical, and doctrinal, each of which is such that it can be apprehended even by those who are in externals." (A. C. 3432.) The internal sense follows for the adult, or for those in whom the rational mind has been opened. In another order the teaching is as follows: "Sensual truths are those in which children are, and scientific truths are those in which the same children are as they grow up; for no, one can be in scientific truths, unless he be first in sensual truths, inasmuch as the ideas of the former are procured from the latter; from these afterwards may be learned and comprehended truths still more interior which are called doctrinal truths." (A. C. 3309, 3310.) The numbers quoted above show therefore that there is a threefold division of the early life of man, and also a threefold division of the literal sense of the Word. That these two agree, or that the natural mind answers to the literal sense of the Word, would follow as a legitimate conclusion. For the literal sense is the Divine Natural of the Lord, and man is made in His image, at first sensual, then natural, and finally rational, preparatory to becoming spiritual and at length celestial.

Thus the mind of man answers to all the planes of the Word; the period of infancy to the historical portion, or to the sensual degree of the Word; the period of childhood answers to the prophetical portion of the Word; and the period of youth, or that period which begins with the age of puberty and extends, to the beginning of adult life, answers to the doctrinal portion of the literal sense of the Word.

Another threefold order which is given in Arcana Coelestia, numbers 3309, 3310, is sensual truth, scientific truth, and doctrinal truth. In these two numbers scientific truth takes the place of the prophetical portion of the literal sense mentioned in Arcana Coelestia, number 3432, and the first and third terms are the same in both series, the sensual and the doctrinal. Scientific truth is thus the same, considered in a general way, as that given in the prophetical portion of the Word. It is what we usually mean by philosophical truth, or moral truth, or spiritual moral truth, and this is the internal truth of all history, for history is on the plane of sensual truth.

We have stated that the historical portion or sensual degree of the Word, is for young children, in whom the sensual plane only is opened. The second portion of the literal sense in the ascending scale is the prophetical, which includes the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Book of Revelation, the latter being the final book of prophecy. These books of the Word answer to the second period, called childhood, in which the scientific or natural plane of the mind is opened, as distinguished from the sensual. In this period children are ready to enter into the internal historical sense of the Word. This sense is veiled in the historical portion but comes out and is expressed manifestly in the Prophets. In, fact it may be said that the Prophets are in general a revelation of the internal historical sense of the Word.

Concerning the internal historical sense we are told that it is "the internal sense determined to the nation which is there named." (A. C. 4279. See also 4280, 4290-4293, 4306-4317, 4430, 4459, 4690, 7245, 8588, 8818.) This sense of the Word is also called the spiritual moral sense (A. E. 1012, 1024), as it is that sense of the Word which is accommodated to the natural heaven-the heaven of children and the young-and which forms that heaven. It is elsewhere in the Writings called the spiritual natural sense (A. C. 4279, 4988, 5008, 9407. A. E. 435, 630, 1061, 1066, 1104), and the proximate sense, (A. C. 2166, 2235, 4690). This sense under its various designations is always spoken of as being the sense of the Word that is accommodated to the natural heaven, and hence to children, to the young and the simple, who are by that sense associated in spirit with the angels of that heaven.

It is the spiritual moral state of the Jewish nation that is specifically treated of in the internal historical sense; but as this sense is in essence the spiritual moral sense of the Word, it includes far more than the state of the Jews in their worship. All who are spiritual moral, angels of the natural heaven, simple good among Christians and Gentiles, children and the young-all are involved in the spiritual moral sense of the Word. This sense is veiled in the historical portion of the Old Testament, but it appears, as was said, in the Prophets and also in the Gospels, in both of which the state of the Jewish and of Gentile nations manifestly appears. In the book of Revelation the internal historical sense treats of the spiritual moral state of the nations of the Christian world.

It is clear that the spiritual moral sense, and that application of it called the internal historical sense, contains much of genuine doctrine, and much concerning the Lord and His coming and the way to conjunction with Him; otherwise it would not be called spiritual, for it is the idea of the Lord and life from Him that makes all truth spiritual, even moral and natural truth. It is for this reason that more of doctrine appears -in the Prophets than in the historical portions of the Word; as we read, "The internal sense appears less in the historical parts than in the prophetical, because the historical parts are written in another style, nevertheless by significatives." (A. C. 6333.) It is said, however, in the same number that the prophetical portion is not understood by man except obscurely, but clearly by the angels when read by man. More of the internal sense appears in the Prophets, than in the historical portions, but less than in the Gospel or doctrinal portions. Hence the above teaching is to be understood in a relative sense. That the historicals of the Word are the farthest removed from Divine doctrinals is clearly shown in Arcana Coelestia, number 3690. The spiritual sense appearing in the Prophets takes the form of teaching that there is one God, that He is the Creator of all things and the Redeemer of mankind, and that all men should acknowledge and worship Him. Much is said of the advent of the Lord, of His love, mercy, and power, of the necessity of obedience to Him, of the need of regeneration and a new life, and many things concerning His kingdom and church.

The doctrinal sense of the letter of the Word-that sense which is provided for the young after the age of puberty, and for all who are in a state of preparation for the opening of the rational- appears obscurely in the Prophets, and very obscurely in the historical portion of the Old Testament; but it comes out and is expressed clearly in the Gospels. Doctrinal truth, however, may be insinuated by means of the literal sense anywhere, even in the historical portions of the Word, and abundant opportunity is afforded for this when the mind of the teacher has been instructed and enlightened by a study of the Writings. In this manner the teaching will be carried into effect concerning the initiation of truth into scientifics (A. C. 6004, 6023). Let us take as an example the statement in the historical narration concerning Adam and his wife (Gen. ii: 18-25), that "a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh." The scientific or natural truth in the last clause is that the two by marriage become one flesh. But since in a broad sense by flesh in the Word is meant man (C. L. 156), the meaning is that by marriage they become one man; and the truth concerning love truly conjugial is still further insinuated when the teaching is presented from the Writings, that a married pair in heaven are not called two but one angel (H. H. 367, 372), and when seen at a distance appear as one. Thus an idea of the eternity of marriage is joined to a natural idea of it in the mind of the child or young person, and doubtless will not be forgotten.

Let us take as another example the statement concerning Abraham when he died. "He was gathered to his people; and his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, buried him in the cave of Machpelah." (Gen. xxv: 8, 9.)* The external or apparent truth, or natural scientific here, is that Abraham was laid in the grave and buried; and the merely natural man thinks of nothing else. But the spiritual idea is that by his people are meant those who went before him into the spiritual world, and that Abraham had now gone to them. Hence the spiritual truth that man continues to live after the death of the body is insinuated into a purely natural scientific of the literal sense. Thus doctrinal truth is present everywhere in the Word, but does not appear plainly in the historical portion. It is seen, however, in the Prophets and still more clearly in the Gospels. But it can be made to appear, and can be joined to a natural idea in the letter, by a teacher who is informed and enlightened. In this manner there can be implanted in the mind of the child a spiritual truth in objective form, that will remain to adult age, and contribute to a renewal of thought when he begins to think for himself.

* A similar thing is said of Isaac (Gen. XXXV: 29) and of Jacob (Gen. xlix: 33).

In considering therefore the religious instruction of 'man in his early life, we have before us three fundamental facts essential to the understanding of the subject: first, that the literal sense of the Word is given for the instruction of children and the young;* second, that the literal sense of the Word is threefold, historical, prophetical, and doctrinal, or sensual, scientific, and doctrinal; third, that there are three general periods of the life of man before adult age, answering to the three divisions of the literal sense of the Word. All this points in the direction of a general course of religious instruction extending from the earliest years to adult age, a course that would include the entire literal sense of the Word, the historical portion in the age of infancy, the prophetical portion in the age of childhood, and the doctrinal portion in the age of youth.** It is the one text book for the religious instruction of the young, given by Divine provision to prepare them for entrance into the spiritual sense in adult life.

* See a collection of numbers on this subject in the first chapter on "The Text."

** The division of the early life of man into three periods of years as indicated in the numbers seven, fourteen, and twenty-one, should not be applied too strictly, as there is much variation in the states of children; for instance, instruction in the historical portion might extend beyond seven years of age.

The literal sense has been given that it may be read and studied, learned and acquired, from first to last; and the time to do the beginning of this work and to go over the ground in general is in early life.

We are aware of Swedenborg's thorough study of the Word in its literal sense through a long period of time, in preparation for his introduction to the spiritual sense in the full maturity of his powers. A similar work should be done in the New Church, beginning with children and the young, who should be taken through the entire letter of the Word before adult age is reached. A more rational study of it in the light of doctrine revealed may follow later in life. There should be men and women, versed in doctrine, and thoroughly trained by an exhaustive study of the literal sense for this work of teaching children. For there should be in the New Church both priest and prophet. The prophets of old were not inaugurated by the laying on of hands, nor is it necessary that all teachers of religion to children should be ordained. But they should receive a complete course of preparation for their work by a thorough study of the literal sense and of genuine doctrine.

The teacher will thus be able to impart a knowledge of the letter in the light of the spiritual sense. But the spiritual sense itself cannot be given to children except in a concrete form. The objective realities of the other world can always be introduced. There is hardly a word or phrase in the literal sense that may not be used to suggest something objective of the other world, something that will appeal to the imagination of children. But the abstract truth of the spiritual sense, the internal or subjective of the other world, cannot be given by the teacher or received by the pupil before the rational mind begins to be opened. Truth in concrete forms is the food of the natural mind in childhood and youth, but abstract truth is reserved for the feeding of the rational or spiritual mind in adult age.

The teacher should always be ready to insinuate into the minds of children the objective idea of God as a Divine Man, and the objective realities of the life to come; the opportunity for doing this is ever at hand in the literal sense of the Word, for these fundamental ideas are everywhere, either expressed or understood. The literal text of Scripture can always be used as a means of introducing from the Writings all that is necessary for children to know, all that is possible for them to imbibe, in the way of spiritual fact and law or interior spiritual truth. For instance, when the word city occurs, it is easy to suggest that the angelic societies appear and are arranged like cities an earth; or when the word house occurs the youthful mind can easily be led to the thought that the angels live in houses similar to those on earth, but more magnificent; or when the words gate and way occur, as in Matthew vii: 13, 14, the thought can be directed to the concrete fact that the world of spirits is the gate and way to heaven, and also to hell (H. H. 534). There is indeed hardly a word in the literal sense that may not suggest some concrete reality of the other world. When this is done the teacher is giving the spiritual sense to children in an ultimate form, and thus is giving all that is necessary for them to know, all that is possible for their young minds as yet to grasp. For at this period the imagination is active and is fed by sensuous images, preparatory for the time when the rational mind can be fed by the interior forms of abstract truth.

What we have just said suggests the use of the memorabilia as a means of conveying to the imagination of children the facts of the other world, and thus as a means of introduction to the spiritual sense of the Word; for there is no place in the literal sense where the memorabilia may not be introduced. The memorabilia have been given as a means of entrance to the spiritual sense, or to the interior abstract truth of the Word. They express in an objective or spiritual historical form not only the phenomena of the other world, but also the general truths of doctrine. They contain the doctrine of genuine truth as taught to newly arrived spirits, who are in ignorance of genuine truths. Hence being in their form spiritual historical they perform a use answering to the use of the historical portion of the literal sense, insinuating in a pictorial manner the afore-mentioned genuine truth. They thus constitute a part of the spiritual natural or internal historical sense of the Word, suitable to the youthful mind, which loves and takes delight in concrete images of truth. They contain as much of the spiritual sense as the mind of the child is able to comprehend and appropriate.*

* The abstract truth frequently present in the memorabilia is of course beyond the comprehension of children. In each case the parent or teacher must decide whether to read it to the child, or tell it in the form of a story, and thus accommodate it.

That the objective phenomena of the spiritual world are in intimate relation with the literal sense of the Word and perform a similar use, is shown by the teaching that the literal sense is for the most part derived from the appearances of the spiritual world (A. E. 503). We are also distinctly taught that it is essential to know what is in the spiritual world in order to understand the internal sense (A. E. 410), and that a knowledge of the memorabilia is necessary to the same end (A. C. 6663). It was also fundamental to the preparation of Swedenborg that as to his spirit he should be introduced into the spiritual world which was done in the course of his studies of the literal sense-before he was ready to enter into the spiritual sense of the Word and become the medium of revealing it to men. He says: That the internal sense was made known to him, which could never have been done "unless the nature of the things in the other world had been made known." (A. C. 67.) That the internal sense could not have been revealed to him unless it had been granted to him "to have consort with angels and to speak spiritually with them." (L. J. 42.) And that "in order that the true Christian religion might be manifested it was necessary that some one should be introduced into the spiritual world and derive from the mouth of the Lord genuine truths from the Word." (Inv. 38 See also Inv. 55 and S. D. 200.) He was also commanded to include the memorabilia in the Writings (Docu. 11, 416),* and this we may be sure is because of their introductory use.

* Documents Concerning the Life and Character of Emanuel Swedenborg, Collected by R. L. Tafel, A.M., Ph.D.

It is not our intention to. outline in particular a course of instruction in the literal sense of the Word for children and young people. This may be left to those actually engaged in the work. We have wished merely to point out that in the three grand divisions of the literal sense-history, prophecy, and doctrine and, in the three corresponding periods of infancy, childhood, and youth, we have a clear indication of a course of religious instruction for the young that will in some way include the entire literal sense of the Word. We might, however, add two or three suggestions of what may be done at the end of such a course. These suggestions may be carried out in the last year of school life in the New Church. The first suggestion is a study of the memorabilia, for they set forth the objective realities of the spiritual world, and contain as we have said, the doctrine of genuine truth, both introductory to the spiritual sense. Some special instruction in the doctrine of genuine truth itself might at the same time be given, making use of such works as The Heavenly Doctrine and The Four Doctrines. At the close of a course in the literal sense of the Word it would indeed seem fitting to take up for systematic study subjects that are introductory to the spiritual sense, such as the two mentioned. It would be both an ending and a beginning, a closing of what has been and a preparation for what is to come.

Another suggestion is an introductory study of correspondences beginning with a comparison of passages.* For, as has been shown, the correspondence or spiritual signification of any word appears as we pass from one passage to another containing it. Anyone will find this confirmed by making the experiment, that is, by taking a word and following it from one passage to another. In so doing he will soon come upon a verse containing the word he is studying that will give some suggestion of the spiritual sense.. This will be of value to young people and will appeal to them; for it presents a view of the spiritual sense in a general and objective form; and it again gives to the teacher opportunity to introduce something from the memorabilia, or to introduce arcana of the spiritual world, in illustration of which we have spoken above.

* We have suggested elsewhere that comparison, precedes correspondence, and is introductory to it.

For example, let us suppose that we have as a lesson Ezekiel xxxvii: 1-4, treating of the dry bones seen in a vision in the midst of the valley, and that we wish to know and to impart what is meant by the bones of these slain. We of course could tell the class direct from the Writings what these things signify, but it would be of use to lead them to see it from the literal sense itself, and then from the Doctrine. The prominent idea in the passage is that they were the bones of certain ones who had been slain. Now let us suppose that in our work of comparison, passing from one parallel passage to another, we finally have come to Revelation vi : 9-11, treating of the opening of the fifth sea], wherein John says, "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held." Now as the Lord told His disciples that they would be slain for His name's sake (Matt. xxiv: 9. John xvi: 2), the reference in Revelation vi:9, in the historical sense, is to the disciples and other early Christian martyrs who suffered death on account of bearing witness to the truth. These after death are said to be under the altar, by which is meant heaven as we see from Revelation xvi: 7, where an angel is said to come out of the altar. The spiritual sense, however, is not confined to the disciples and the martyrs, but includes all who have been persecuted in this world and in the, other on account of faith in the Lord and a life according to His commandments. Thus the scene is transferred to the spiritual world, and under the altar means under heaven. Having gone thus far in the comparison it now becomes necessary for the teacher to introduce from the memorabilia of the other world the teaching concerning the lower earth, which is said to be under the altar, and the teaching concerning those in it who had been kept out of heaven by the evil, but who were elevated and introduced by the Lord into heaven after the last judgment was performed.* These then are the ones meant by the dry bones and by the souls under the altar.

* If the teacher desired it, the subject of the lower earth could be developed from the literal sense of the Word.

It will be observed that in searching for and presenting the spiritual sense of the dry bones and of the slain, we have confined ourselves to the concrete spiritual sense, that is, to the class of persons meant by those terms, withholding the abstract sense. The former and not the latter should be given at first to young people. The abstract spiritual sense of words should follow at a later stage, or when the rational is more fully opened, and not be given at this period except I perhaps in a most general way.

Almost any word or phrase could be treated in the same manner as above, and it would prove a practical way of opening up the subject of correspondences, and of showing that the Word has a spiritual sense. It also would afford opportunity to introduce interesting and valuable particulars concerning the arcana of the spiritual world.

We would call attention to a twofold division of the three grand departments of the literal sense of the Word: first, History and Law; second, the Psalms and the Prophets; third, the Gospels and Revelation. In the first, the law is a part of the history; but it is the history developed and applied and introduces the question of organization. Treated historically the law of Moses can be made interesting to the children. In the second, the Psalms are prophecy but they are also songs, and should receive a distinctive treatment. In the third, a distinction between the Gospel and Revelation is manifest.

It may appear like a great undertaking to include the entire literal sense of the Word in a plan of religious instruction,; but it can be done if the teacher avoids going into particulars as the work proceeds. The literal sense of the Word is like a vast sea to which there is no visible limit or boundary. No one in the course of a lifetime can compass or measure it. Such a thing is not within human reach. But the faculty of generalization is given to men, and it is possible to develop a rational and logical plan-keeping to generals. It is worthy of a serious trial. But there should be thoughtful and serious preparation as in the accomplishment of every great work. A hastily prepared plan might fail, and the teacher become lost in a sea of particulars; but one carefully digested and matured, to which sufficient time has been given, is sure to succeed in the hands of a teacher who loves the work.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 25
CHAPTER XXIV

ANALYSIS OF THE LITERAL SENSE

Since the literal sense has been provided for the sake of the religious instruction of children and the young, and of all in similar states, a thorough analysis of any given chapter of the Word is necessary for an efficient performance of this work. We propose, therefore, to devote a chapter to this analysis, even though it involves a repetition of some things already said.

We have frequently called attention to the need of understanding the literal sense, preparatory to entrance into the internal sense of the Word. It is to meet such a need that the principles of exposition have been given, though the actual entrance itself is effected by the three things quoted in the introductory chapter from De Verbo, number 21, and The Sacred Scripture, numbers 25, 26; namely, the doctrine of genuine truth, a knowledge of correspondences, and a state of illustration from the Lord. 'Die rules are intended for the purpose of clearing the ground and preparing the way by a thorough analysis of the literal sense, for the operation of those three essentials in the opening of the Word. These latter are for the minister in his work of expounding the internal sense of the Word; but the literal sense itself should be analyzed and understood in order that ministers and all teachers of religion to children may be prepared for the work which is given them to do. What we wish now to show is that the rules of exposition have a value for this purpose alone; that they are essential aids in analyzing the literal sense so that lessons from it may be prepared, and imparted to the youthful mind.

The things pointed out by the rules as being in the literal sense are those which are to be kept in mind and emphasized in the lesson. For they are the generals of the literal sense that contain in themselves by correspondence the generals of the internal sense. Now although the law of correspondence is too abstract for children to grasp, as are the things of the internal sense which correspond to those in the letter, still it is essential to teach the things in the letter that are correspondences, especially the generals thereof. We may teach correspondences, or things that correspond, but not yet the things to which they correspond, except those things of the spiritual world which are objective and concrete.*

* In teaching the correspondences of the literal sense, similar representatives that remain to us in mythology and folklore are of value for comparison and illustration.

We propose therefore, in this chapter, to show how the rules may be used in furtherance of the purpose for which the literal sense is given, taking them up, in the order arranged in the preceding pages.

THE GENERAL SENSE OF THE LETTER

The first thing in the analysis of a chapter of the Word is to find the general subject or the leading idea in the literal sense; for that which is the subject of the literal sense contains by correspondence the subject or general idea of the spiritual sense. Thus what is general in the letter is by correspondence a door of entrance into the interiors of the Word. The subject of a chapter is usually indicated in the leading word used; as create in Genesis i, garden in Genesis ii, serpent in Genesis iii, and flood in Genesis vi, vii, viii; but in Genesis xxiv betrothal is the subject although the word itself does not occur. The first step in the preparation of a lesson should be to find this general subject, and it should be kept in mind all through the, preparation and in teaching the class. See the chapter on "The General Sense of the Letter." *
* The summaries placed by the translators at the heads of chapters are of assistance in obtaining the generals of the literal sense.

THE FIRST THING SAID

We learn from Arcana Coelestia, number 8864, that the first thing said by the Lord in any series of the Word reigns in what follows, being universal therein. This law therefore becomes an essential principle of interpretation in the study of the Sacred Scripture, both in its literal sense and in its spiritual sense. For that which is first in the series of the literal sense, reigning thereby throughout in that sense, is also by correspondence first in the series of the internal sense and reigns throughout in that sense. This principle is not always clear at first glance in application to the literal sense of any given chapter, but a close examination will bring it to light. Confusion may arise because sometimes the first thing said, or the universal of the chapter, may appear to be identical with the general subject of the literal sense, but a close and discriminating view will serve to bring out the distinction; for instance, the prime and universal of the first chapter of Genesis, the first thing said, is concerning the creation of heaven and earth, but the series that follows treats of the creation of the earth, and what pertains to the earth. This is the general subject of the chapter, though the idea of the creation of heaven is present as understood and prior in all the verses that follow. The teacher therefore should carefully distinguish between the general of the chapter and its universal, if a complete analysis is desired. See the chapter on "The First Thing Said."

THE LAST THING SAID

The first of a series closes in its last and appears therein, even as "in the seed is concealed the end, intention, and purpose of producing fruits," (T. C. R. 374), the fruits or effects appearing in the close of the series. An example is afforded us in the parable of the sower. At first we are told that the sower goes forth to sow, and at the close we are told that the seed having grown into a plant brings forth fruit, "some an hundred fold, some sixty, and some thirty." The end which is in the seed thus appears in the last which is the fruit. The same law may be seen as operative in every chapter or group in the Word. It is also to be noted that the end passes to its close through means, as the seed through the plant, or as the end which is in the will through truths in the understanding to the actions of the body, closing in them. In this trinal or human form is the Word and every work of creation. The teacher should keep in view the end or purpose of the chapter as revealed in its close. This has been fully shown and illustrated in the fourth chapter of this work.

THE PRECEDING SERIES

The teacher should not fail to note the preceding chapter or group, especially its close; for every series enters into and modifies that which follows, and a knowledge of this modification is essential to a full understanding of any given passage of Scripture. We would here call attention to what was said in Chapter V on the use of the particle and as indicating such a connection between a chapter of the Word and the one that precedes it. It was also shown that both what precedes and what follows is present in the first and leading idea of any given chapter. There is not anything in. the Word, not any passage or verse that does not connect both in its language and sense with what precedes and what follows. It is especially important to observe the application of this law to the beginning of any given series. This is a principle that may be applied also to the interpretation of the laws of nature. It is indeed a law of all progression in a series, applicable to every existing form. See Chapter V on this point, and also the illustrations there given; to which one example of its working may be added here.

Chapter xii of Genesis begins with the call of Abram, and opens with and translated now, manifestly connecting with the preceding chapter, and indicating that chapter xi should be examined in order to see what modification it introduces. An examination of the previous chapter in verses 1-9 gives us the reason for the call of Abram, namely, because the people in consequence of building the tower of Babel were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth; or in the spiritual sense because the ancient church was vastated by the love of dominion and a new representative church became necessary, which was established with Abram and his descendants in the land of Canaan. Hence we find at the close of chapter xi his family moving towards that land. The end or, purpose in chapter xi thus appears at the close and reappears at the opening of chapter xii, exhibiting the reason why Abram was called and commanded to go to the land of Canaan.

THE FOLLOWING SERIES

Not only the chapter which precedes should be read and considered, but also the one which follows. We have previously explained that the Word at any given point looks backward as well as forward, even as historical events cast a light backward upon a given event and also forward upon those which follow. The teacher will find that the application of this principle will often explain difficult passages, or bring suggestions of value to the subject in hand. See Chapter VI on this subject.

THE NAMES OF THE LORD

The attention of children should be called to the proper names in the Word, especially the names of the Lord. Names, and the meanings as given in their roots, appeal especially to children on account of the personality involved; for children are interested in persons. The reason why the names in a chapter chosen for a lesson should be emphasized, is because of their importance as representing leading ideas of the spiritual sense. This is pre-eminently true with respect to the names of the Lord, for such names suggest the idea or image of Him as a Divine Person, an idea of prime importance to children in their early years, and the basis of all their future ideas of Him. The name is indeed the Lord Himself appearing in the series under the image of a Man. It should also be made plain to the children that the Lord has many names, but that all are names of the One only God, our Lord Jesus Christ; and that men receive names because the Lord has names, -suggesting that man is in His image. The fact that there are three kinds of proper names in the Word should also be impressed on the children, the names of the Lord, the names of persons, and the names of places. See the chapters on names in the Word.

THE NAMES OF PERSONS

Next in importance to the names of the Lord in any chapter of the Word are the names of persons. There is hardly a chapter where there is not one or more names of persons, either expressed or understood. There is always one name that is more prominent than the others, and this should be pointed out to the children and the reasons for it given, noting especially that such persons are distinguished above others as leaders of men, and as representatives of the Lord; as Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and others. Call attention to the fact that there must always be such leaders who represent the Lord among men; the good leaders are obedient to the Lord and lead people to Him, but the evil disobey the Lord and lead people away from Him. Mention also that every person receives a name shortly after birth when he is baptized, which he carries through life; and that every man receives a new name after death when he enters an angelic society. Speak of the ancient custom in giving names, as taught in the Writings. Explain that a name is that by which a person is known, and that by which he is distinguished from every other person. Point out to the children that in every chapter there is a person speaking-which is sometimes the Lord, a person or persons spoken to, and a person or thing spoken of. There are also words indicating titles and functions that involve names, as king, priest, prince, governor. Tell them also of a wider sense in which name is used, as a good name, a bad name, etc. Do not pass by a lesson of Scripture without noting the names mentioned in the chapter, especially, the leading names.

THE NAMES OF PLACES

In every chapter of the Word a place is mentioned, or something that suggests place, to which the attention of the children should be called. This gives an opportunity to bring in points both of history and geography, since names such as Egypt, Assyria, Damascus, and other names of places, also the names of rivers, and mountains, carry always the suggestion of historical events or geographical location. In a larger view all things of the three kingdoms of nature, mineral, vegetable, and animal, are involved in place; also a fourth kingdom called the elementary to which belong the wind, air, ether, light, heat, the sun, etc. These should be noted in a chapter as connected with place; for place bears a direct relation to space. Maps should be freely used.

TIME

Place or space suggests time, since the two are inseparable. The time when an event occurs should be noted by the teacher, for time is always present in the literal sense of the Word even when it is not mentioned, and is one of the important indications of the spiritual sense of any passage. While this latter, as we have observed, cannot be given to children, still the idea and mention of time as a vessel containant of the spiritual sense, should frequently be called to their attention as one of the essential scientifics of the literal sense; and where time is not mentioned in a verse or chapter it should be sought for in the context. See the chapter on "Time in the Word" for a fuller statement on this subject.

NUMBER

The idea of number in the Word begins in the conception of the one God. In Him all things are one, but in creation a division appears, first into two and then into three, two in proceeding from God, and three in the ultimates of creation. Out of two and three all other numbers exist. This of course must be made concrete and objective to the child, that it may be grasped by his imagination. For instance, the sun is one, heat and light from it are two, and the third is found in the effects of heat and light in the visible things of nature, causing plants to grow, producing all the forms of motion. For older children abundant illustration can be found in the facts of chemical union.

The teacher should call attention to the number occurring in the lesson. It is there even though not openly expressed. For number is found wherever the idea of time and space is present, and the letter of the Word everywhere is in the appearances of time and space. Hence there is scarcely a word of Scripture that does not have associated with it some idea of number. Let us take the word city in the last two chapters of Revelation. The context shows that the number twelve is inseparably connected with it, even when not mentioned. It is the same with the number seven in the first three chapters; and ten and two are always involved when the commandments are mentioned. The calling forth of these numbers by questions will add an interesting feature to any lesson. See further particulars in the chapter on "Number in the Word."

DUALITY

Since the Word in its spiritual sense is dual, as expressed in the doctrinal terms celestial and spiritual, good and truth, love and wisdom, etc., we may expect it to appear dual in the literal sense, as we have shown in the chapter on "Duality in the Word." The appearance of such duality should occasionally be pointed out to the children as one of the great and essential facts of the Divine Word. It is everywhere, since the two great commandments are everywhere, and the same law is exhibited in all things of nature and in the human body. Children should be made familiar with this important law, which is essential and universal in both worlds. See the collection of numbers from the Writings on this subject in the chapter on "Duality in the Word," and the illustrations there given as drawn from the literal sense, and note that the ultimation of this law gives to the Word a poetical form, especially in the Psalms and the Prophets.

TRINITY

It is a significant fact, frequently expressed in the Writings, that where there is duality there is also trinality in the Word and in the works of nature, in the human body and in the form of the mind. This trinity has its origin in the Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or Love, Wisdom, and Use. There is a Duality in God Himself, and proceeding from Him is the third, which is Use. This Divine Trinity is one in the one Divine Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Trinity in God appears in all things of the Word, and in all things of nature, because nature was created by the Word. It was fully shown in the chapter on "The Trinity in the Word" that where duality is there also is trinality, that in all creation as in the Word there is never a two without a three; for when two are joined together a third is produced as the effect of that conjunction, as offspring in marriage. Draw the attention of the children to the truth that man himself and all nature was created into an image of this Duality and this Trinity in God.

THE COVENANT

The Covenant appears in all parts of the Word even where it is not expressed in terms; for it represents the conjunction of God with man and of man with God. It is expressive of the reaction of man with God: God acts and man reacts, and signs of this action and reaction are found in every chapter and in every verse. It is seen wherever the idea of obedience appears. Call the attention of the children to these signs and requirements of obedience wherever they are seen. Explain fully what a covenant is, and lead the children to see that it is in the lesson, that no man is saved unless he performs his part in the covenant by obedience to the commandments, and that the Lord came into the world for no other purpose than to give man the power to keep the covenant with Him. A history of the covenant may at times be given, and the reasons for it, and at the same time the reasons for the continual renewal of it with the sons of Israel. Make clear that the covenant begins with a promise, constantly renewed in our hearts, to do what the Lord commands, and that the Lord always keeps His part of the covenant. This is more fully treated in the chapter on this subject.

AFFECTION

Affection or love is the prime essential of the Word as it is of the human mind, just as heat or the fire of the sun is the prime essential of nature. There is no word uttered, nor any action of the body, that is not inspired by some affection of the mind, or by some love of the will. The affection of love is the prime motive power of all human society. Affection is not so easily discovered or brought to view as thought. Truth is more readily seen than good. Hence the teacher will frequently find it difficult to determine the ruling affection in any passage; still it can be done when there is time for close scrutiny and reflection; and it ought to be done from time to time especially when it is strikingly apparent in the literal sense, in order that the children may be impressed with the idea that love is the first essential of all things. Affection is sometimes spoken of as the motive or the purpose or end in any given action. Let the teacher search for these in the passages of the Word, and the affection will be revealed; for there is an inspiring motive for what is said in the Word, as in all human speech and action. The Writings frequently call attention to the affection expressed in the words of Scripture. See the numbers adduced in the chapter on "Affection in the Word."

It may be remarked that if affection is the prime thing of the Word, it should be taught so as to inspire affection in children. To accomplish this the teacher should be in a state of affection or delight and thus in a state of inspiration. This will beget a sphere that cannot fail to reach and penetrate the minds of children. Let us also add that the lesson should not be made a burden or a task to them. A lesson in the Word should not be treated as lessons on secular subjects. A sense of freedom and consequent delight in the sacred story and prophecy should be cultivated and preserved. When it is desired that certain passages should be committed to memory, it may be accomplished by frequent recitation together in class, or in a children's service.

COMPARISON

The value of comparison in teaching is well known, and we have endeavored to show in the chapter on this subject that it has a distinguished place in the study and teaching of the Word. This is because it leads the way to the understanding and elucidation of correspondences. Hence we find comparison made use of everywhere in Scripture, but correspondences are reserved for the opening of the internal sense. The Lord spoke to the simple multitudes by comparisons, and so we are to do with children; for they can comprehend comparisons but not as yet correspondences, since the latter introduce us to the realm of abstract truth for which their simple minds are not prepared. Comparison therefore precedes correspondence and introduces to it. There are many examples of comparison in the Word that involve correspondence and prepare the way for it, and much use might be made of them in instructing children, insinuating the idea of correspondence by means of them; as for instance, when it is said "the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel," (Isa. v: 7), and "these bones are the whole house of Israel." (Ezek. xxxvii: 11.)

The use of comparing words and passages as an essential aid in finding the spiritual sense has been fully discussed in the chapter on Comparison, to which the reader is referred. But we would impress here its value for the understanding of the literal sense. For there is no truth, natural or spiritual, which is without relation to other truths, and which may not be brought into a brighter light by comparison. By the aid of a concordance of the literal sense, the word tinder consideration can be found in some other verse or chapter, and much valuable material in this way can be obtained in elucidation of the lesson. For instance if Genesis xiii is the lesson and we come to the expression in verse 10, "the garden of the Lord," read what is said of the garden of Eden in, Genesis ii and iii, of the garden of God in Ezekiel xxviii: 13, xxxi: 8, 9, and other passages where the word garden and the word paradise occur; then read what is said of them in Bible dictionaries and in commentaries; and finally introduce what is said in the Writings of paradises in heaven, speaking to the children of the use of gardens and paradises in this world and in the other. Any word or subject in the letter of Scripture can be treated in this way, and the children can be interested by the concrete images presented.

Children therefore should be taught by comparisons drawn from the letter of the Word, reinforced by those of a concrete character from the Writings, and their minds will thus gradually be prepared for the understanding of correspondences. That there is a direct relation between comparison and correspondence, see the numbers collected in the chapter on Comparison, and the teaching there that comparisons are made for the sake of the simple, who see better by means of them. As the Lord taught the simple in this world by means of parables, which are comparisons, so does He in like manner in the other world by means of angels in the natural heaven. One of the modes of teaching children and the simple there is by parables (S. D. 3356, 3357, 3916, 4006). The word parable in the original signifies to lay by the side of, thus to compare.

THE OPPOSITE SENSE

We learn from the Writings that the words of Scripture have an opposite sense, and that this opposite is always present even though it is not expressed. This has its origin in the fact that to every truth there is an opposite falsity, and to every good an opposite evil, because to every heavenly society there is a society opposed to it in hell. Hence when we read that every verse in the Word communicates with some society of heaven, we can realize the truth of this proposition. The law of opposites is exhibited in nature and in the human body. There is no mineral, or plant, or animal without some enemy seeking its destruction, nor is there any organ or part in the body without some disease threatening its life. So it is in all human life and activity. There is nothing a man thinks or proposes to do that does not meet with opposition, with something that would hinder and destroy if not successfully resisted. The uses of such opposition are many, conducing to human freedom and perfection by establishing a freedom and equilibrium in all things. See the subject of equilibrium in the Writings, and the uses of opposition as presented in the chapter above on this subject.

In addition to the foregoing applications of the rules to the study and analysis of the literal sense, there are other instrumentalities to the same end, some of which we expect to bring forward later in a study of the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis. We shall, however, introduce here a general mode of analysis by certain questions, which teachers may find of use in the preparation of lessons from the letter of the Word, and which also may be used in imparting the lesson to children. The questions to which we refer are, Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? These questions when brought into use will involve some application of certain of the rules of exposition, and will assist both the teacher and the minister in preparing a digest of any chapter in the Word. Let us take for the sake of illustration the story of Abram as related in Genesis xii: 1-5. This group of verses may be analyzed as follows:

Who was Abram? The answer to this question will introduce all that is known of Abram, all that precedes and all that follows concerning him, as the leading person mentioned. The story of what precedes should be told and as much of what follows as the teacher may determine. Who spoke to Abram? This will introduce the Lord or Jehovah as the God of the Ancient and Hebrew Churches, and as many particulars can be 'Brought in about Him as thought best, especially that His purpose in speaking to Abram and commanding him was that the way might be prepared for His coming into the world.

What did the Lord say to Abram? The answer is contained in the first three verses. What did Abram do? He obeyed the command of the Lord. The obedience of Abram is a leading feature here and in what follows.

Where was Abram and where was he commanded to go? He was in Haran and was commanded to leave it and go to the land of Canaan.

When did the Lord speak to Abram? We have no definite knowledge of the time, but it was after the events related in the preceding chapter, and was at the beginning of the establishment of the Israelitish Church.

Why did Jehovah speak to Abram and command him to go to the land of Canaan? Because, as He said to him, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," -namely, in the giving of the Word through the Jewish nation, and in the coming of the Lord to that nation. Why did Abram obey? Because of his fear of the God who spoke to him, and because of the promise of the land to him and his posterity, the promise being given in verses two and three. See also verse seven, and the following chapters.

How did God speak to Abram? He spoke through an angel in vision. This introduces the subject of visions and dreams, in which a human angelic form was seen and a living voice was heard by patriarchs and prophets. But for the youngest children it is best to speak according to the most literal sense and say that it was the Lord who spoke and was seen. How did Abram obey? The mode of travel at that time and now by the Arabs in the East-can be introduced in answer to this question, especially for the instruction of little children.

In this analysis of the verses chosen for illustration, nine of the rules of exposition are brought into use, namely, the rules in respect to noting the preceding and following series; the general sense or subject; the name of the leading person; the name of the Lord; the Lord as the Person speaking; the place where the event occurs; the time when it occurs; the end appearing in the close of the series, as involved in the mention of the land of Canaan. The use of the above questions thus affords a practical and ready mode of applying a number of the rules, and it will be easy to introduce the remaining ones when a thorough and exhaustive analysis of a chapter is desired. Any passage of Scripture can be analyzed in this manner, and the teacher will thus be provided with abundant material for the lesson in view. The minister also on the basis of a thorough knowledge of the literal sense will find himself fully prepared for entering into the doctrine or spiritual sense of the chapter.

The ordinary aids to the study of the literal sense will naturally be brought into use-especially in the development of particulars-such as the Concordance of the Writings, a concordance of the letter of the Word, commentaries, encyclopedias, Bible dictionaries, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin lexicons, and the English dictionary; the last is a vast storehouse of knowledge and thus an invaluable aid in the preparation of lessons.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 26
CHAPTER XXV

ANALYSIS OF GENESIS XXIV

We propose to introduce here an analysis of the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis, in order to illustrate by examples the use of the rules of exposition in the study of the literal sense of the Word. We wish to show first that a thorough study of the literal sense leads easily and naturally to a view of the internal sense, and that as we proceed we are continually receiving suggestions and intimations of it. For, as we have frequently observed, this is the use of the literal sense, and when one is profoundly in the sphere of that use it cannot be otherwise than that the internal sense-interiorly present in the letter-will force itself upon the attention of a mind that is enlightened and thus open and affirmative to its influence. Second, we wish to exhibit by a practical example the value of the rules as applied to the preparation of a lesson for the religious instruction of children and the young. Let us now proceed to examine the aforesaid chapter in the order of the rules as arranged in the preceding pages.

THE GENERAL SUBJECT.

The betrothal of Isaac and Rebekah is the subject of Genesis xxiv in the literal sense (A. C. 3021), and corresponds to the leading idea of the internal sense, which is the initiation that precedes the spiritual marriage (A. C. 3012). As everything in the chapter relates to betrothal, and corresponds to the spiritual betrothal, the teacher should talk to the children of betrothal and what relates to it, introducing nothing else. For, as we have before remarked, a lesson in the literal sense of the Word should adhere closely to that in it which corresponds to its internal sense; and matter that is foreign to the subject should not be introduced.

THE FIRST THING SAID

The first verse or opening of a chapter contains. and introduces the end in view, which latter in this case is the marriage of Isaac; and the intervening verses, as is always the case in the Word, treat of the means to the end, which here is betrothal and the things related thereto. The end begins to appear in the first words which Abraham says to his servant in verses 2, 3, and 4, and what he says exhibits the end that is in the very first verse of the chapter where the old age of Abraham is spoken of. Abraham is old and he must seek a marriage for his son, and thereby provide for the perpetuation of his race in a posterity which is to inherit the land according to the promise that had been given him, and he wishes to see this accomplished while he is still alive. It is frequently the case in the Word-as it is here-that the end which is contained in the opening words of a chapter does not make itself manifest until the first words of the speaker are uttered. The first thing said by Abraham also points to the fact that conjugial love is the chief instrumentality in the building of the church, or in the preparation for the spiritual marriage or the heavenly life. See what is said, and the passages adduced, in Arcana Coelestia, number 3021.

THE LAST THING SAID

Although the end begins at once to reveal itself, and is treated of in all the intermediate verses, it does not fully appear until the closing words of the chapter. The intermediate verses treat of the betrothal, but the last verse speaks openly of the marriage - of the marriage as accomplished, -which was in the end from the beginning. The teacher should keep this end in view in all the course of the lesson.

Abraham is old and although he has been blest in all things, the end for which he has been blest-the permanent occupation and inheritance of the land cannot be fulfilled unless a marriage be arranged for Isaac and a posterity thereby provided. It is for this end that be sends his servant to the land of his fathers. Betrothal with the end of marriage is thus the one idea that is present in all things of the chapter even to its culmination in the marriage itself.

THE PRECEDING CHAPTER

The twenty-third chapter of Genesis, which precedes the one we are considering, treats of the old age and death of Sarah and her burial in the cave of Machpelah, in the land of Canaan where the Hittites dwelt. Now since this chapter immediately precedes and the twenty-fourth chapter opens with the particle and, there is plainly a connection between the two. The old age and death of Sarah suggest the old age of Abraham, and that the great change called death is not far away from him. Hence the chapter opens with the words, "And Abraham was old and well stricken in age," and that his own death is in view is evident from what he says to his servant. The death of Sarah also brings prominently forward the fact that they have only one son. He must therefore provide for the continuation of his race in the land of promise, and he sends his servant to his own land in order to obtain a wife for Isaac. While the connection between the two chapters, or between the old age and death of Sarah and the old age of Abraham, may not seem important in the merely literal sense, yet the signification of the two things and their connection in the internal sense is of importance. For this reason the teacher should emphasize it in imparting the lesson to children. The age of Abraham is spoken of in Genesis xii: 4, xviii: 11, xxi: 5, xxv: 20.

THE FOLLOWING CHAPTER

The mention of Abraham's old age at the beginning of the twenty-fourth chapter, and of his solicitude for the marriage of his son, was a presage of his approaching death, and we find this confirmed in the twenty-fifth chapter, wherein Abraham dies, and the inheritance goes to Isaac, the legitimate son.

THE NAMES OF THE LORD

The Lord is called in this chapter Jehovah - indicated by the small capital letters, -which was the name of the Lord in the ancient church. But this name had been lost, was unknown to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who worshipped God under the name Shaddai. (See Exod. iii: 13-16, vi: 2, 3; also A. C. 7194, and references there.) Yet the name Jehovah was, we are told, inserted in Genesis for the sake of the internal sense.

Let us observe here that the children, especially those who are older, should be told when occasion offers that there is an internal sense, but without making an effort to explain it to them - for the reasons already given. They should be told that the internal sense is for the angels, and for adults who become intelligent and wise. In respect to this chapter it might be said to them that for the sake of the internal sense the Lord is sometimes called Jehovah, sometimes God, and sometimes by other names; and that in the New Testament He is called Jesus, which means Jehovah the Savior, showing that it was Jehovah who came into the world. See the previous chapter on this subject.

THE NAMES OF PERSONS

The teacher should not fail to call attention to the names of the persons mentioned-especially the names of those who are prominent-as here Abraham, his servant, Rebekah, and the other names spoken of, with their meanings in the Hebrew so far as they can be obtained. The name of Abraham's servant was Eliezer of Damascus, as we learn from Genesis xv: 2; he is there called the steward of his house. For, as was said in our former chapter on this subject, names are the signs and expressions in the literal sense of angelic functions. This affords sufficient reason for emphasizing the subject of proper names, even though nothing be said to the children about their signification and representation.

THE PERSON SPEAKING

The person who speaks and acts the leading part should be emphasized, because he represents the active of the series in the internal sense. Note also the person to whom he speaks, and the person or thing spoken of. This may be brought out by questions, which will tend to keep the lesson on those things which are representative in the chapter.*

* We would call attention to the fact that the rules are for the teacher and not for the children. Give the children the results of them and not the means to them. The minister in his sermon might occasionally mention the workings of a rule, but it should be done with reserve.

PLACE AND THE NAMES OF PLACES

Place has a distinguished position in all parts of the Word, and even where the name of a place is not mentioned, still it is understood, or some word will occur which stands for place; as in this chapter the well of water without the city, where the main events happen, verses 11, 13, 14, 16-31, 42-49; house in verses 32-41, 50-60; field in verses 63-65; tent in verse 67. The places named are Canaan in verses 3, 5-8, Aram Naharaim. or Mesopotamia in verse 10, Lahai-roi in verse 62, and the land of the south in verse 62. Abraham also speaks of his land or country in verses 4, 5, 7, 38, 40. These places could be shown upon the map, and other events connected with them could be mentioned, for instance, Jacob's sojourn in Aram Naharaim.

TIME

Like number, time is of frequent mention in the Word and is present in all parts of it, even when not expressed. This establishes time as one of the generals of the letter and gives it an essential significance as respects the spiritual sense. Children should be made aware of its presence by questions or otherwise, especially the leading references to time in the lesson.

The most significant reference to time in Genesis xxiv, occurs in the first verse, since it is the first thing spoken of in, the chapter, and is said of Abraham, the leading personage. He had reached the time or period of old age, and his age could be spoken of to the children. See the next chapter verses 7 and 8. The subject of old age in general could be introduced. It could also be impressed upon the children that the events at the well, and in particular the betrothal covenant entered into there, took place in the evening; and that it was "at the eventide" - literally "towards evening" -when Isaac met Rebekah and the simple marriage ceremonial took place, as described in verses 65-67. See what is said in Arcana Coelestia, number 3207. It was custom the to celebrate marriages in the evening (A. E. 252). Some interesting things in this chapter, which otherwise might be unobserved, are thus suggested by applying the rule as to time. It is the same with the other rules.

NUMBER

Arithmetic is defined to be the science of number, and many sciences have grown out of it. This is because number is universal, and is an essential accompaniment of the idea of space and of objects in space, and of time and the divisions of time. Even a casual reader of the Word must have noticed a remarkable frequency in the use of numbers. A number is present even where it is not expressed, and can be found by examining what goes before or what follows after. On account of the significance of numbers, as we know from the Writings, it is well to call the attention of the children to them when they occur.

In our lesson the number ten has a significant place. There are ten camels, ten shekels, ten days, and in verse 60 the number ten becomes ten thousand, and even that number is increased in multiples of ten. Thousands of millions is literally thousands of ten thousands, or thousands of myriads, -an expression of a wish for the indefinite increase of the posterity of Rebekah. The love of the ancient people for having many children, as indicated here, might be commented upon. There are other numbers in the chapter but ten has the leading place. This is because the beginning of the church is treated of, and this beginning is from remains which ten signifies. Passages from other parts of the Word where the number ten is used may be introduced, as for instance, ten and the multiples of ten in what Abraham says of Sodom in Genesis xviii: 23-33. Young children cannot grasp the spiritual significance of numbers. It is sufficient to impress upon them the importance of the number itself, and references to related passages will accomplish this.

DUALITY

The dual form is everywhere in the Word, and even in portions where it is not apparent at first sight it can be found on close examination. The same form appears in nature and in the human body. Duality in the latter can always be brought forward whenever the teacher may wish to illustrate the subject by striking and familiar examples. We find a dual form of expression in the opening sentence of the chapter before us, "And Abraham was old and well stricken with age," or more literally, "He had come into days." He had reached old age and his days had increased. The latter clause adds emphasis even in the literal sense, and we often speak in this manner when we wish to impress upon another what we are saying. Sometimes we repeat it a third time in order to make a still stronger impression. This is done when we desire to Convey to another not only our thought but our feeling, our will, or our affection. In the Word the purpose is, not only to give ultimate expression to the truth of the internal sense, but also to its good. For this reason it will be useful at times to call the attention of the children to some striking dual or trinal expression that appears in the lesson.

TRINITY

The trinal form appears also in the opening verse. Abraham was not only old and had increased in days, but he had been blessed in all things. In the literal sense this means that he was blessed with worldly goods or had become rich. He was old, he had lived many days or a long life, and had received an abundance of the things of this world. The chapter opens with this threefold idea of Abraham. For the internal sense see Arcana Coelestia, numbers 3016, 3017. We notice also trinality where Abraham addresses his servant concerning his son. The trinal form of the first, second, and third person is never lacking. Other illustrations of this principle may easily be found. See further in the chapter above on this subject.

THE COVENANT

There is first a covenant between Abraham and his servant, confirmed by an oath; and then a covenant between the servant- as representing Isaac-and Rebekah; and finally the covenant between Isaac and Rebekah in their marriage, which is the end in view. The essential idea of the covenant appears wherever there is action and reaction, or action and reception. Two persons meet and are joined together for the sake of bringing into effect some common purpose or use, which could not take place without the union of the two. One proposes and the other agrees or consents and the united performance follows. Thus the teacher will always find in the lesson some form of the covenant expressed, and it will afford opportunity to impress upon the minds of the children an idea of the covenant between God and man.

AFFECTION

In every man affection or love is the chief essential of his life, and the same is true of the Word, in which there is both natural and spiritual affection. But it is the natural affection in the Word that we have in view in the teaching of children. For instance, what is the affection and thus the purpose that governs in what Abraham said, in what his servant said, and in what Rebekah said? What is it that moved Abraham-what love moved him-to send his servant to his own land to select a wife for his son Isaac? What was it that moved the servant to go to fulfil this duty? What was the motive or end that inspired Rebekah to give her consent to the betrothal with Isaac? These questions properly answered will not only be interesting to children, but will give essential correspondences in the literal sense; for, as we have often observed, the one purpose of the teaching should be to give to children those things of the literal sense which have correspondence with the spiritual sense; and there is an exceeding great abundance of such things.

COMPARISON

In the preparation of a lesson for the instruction of children it will be profitable to compare words that represent the leading generals of the chapter with the same words as used elsewhere. In Genesis xxiv the words thigh, camel, well of water, ten, and wife are examples of such leading generals. In our treatment of this subject in the preceding pages we have shown that this will often lead to hints and suggestions of the spiritual sense; and even where it does not, it will give at least a broader basis for the understanding of the letter which is as far as we can go with younger children. For older children or young people, an example of the value of such comparison is afforded in the phrase well of water. By taking the word well or fountain and the word water, a number of passages can be found where the spiritual sense of these words shines through the letter, at least in a general manner. We find, for instance, such expressions as wells of salvation, Isaiah xii: 3; fountain of life, Psalm xxxvi: 9; Jeremiah ii: 13, Revelation vii: 17, and xxi: 6; river of life, Revelation xxii: 1; water of life, John iv: 10-15, vii: 37-39, Revelation xxii: 17. Now in Genesis xxiv the spiritual sense of well of water is completely veiled, but it shines forth when placed in comparison with the above mentioned passages. Even for the word camel there is a suggestion of a spiritual sense in Isaiah lx: 6.

THE OPPOSITE SENSE

There are many reasons why it is permitted that the opposite should be represented in the Word; one is that by means of it there may be revealed to man the opposites that are in himself- evils and falsities from hell. Otherwise he would never know them, nor receive the ability to shun them. In Genesis xxiv that which is not to be sought or cherished but shunned and avoided, is represented by the daughters of the Canaanites, evil affections, evil delights, or evil spirits who destroy in man everything of heaven, If it be desirable to go into this see Arcana Coelestia, numbers 3024, 3025 and elsewhere. In the literal or historical sense, the opposite in the mind of Abraham which was above all things to be avoided was marriage with the daughters of the land. This introduces the teaching that there should be marriage within the church, and that marriage to one who is opposed to the religion we love is to be avoided. The subject of the evil nations in the land of Canaan may also be introduced.

The rules of analysis, as we have so far developed them, apply to the Word in its literal sense, and are intended for finding the general sense of the letter with a view to entering by means of it into the internal sense, As they are not intended primarily for an exhaustive study of the letter itself, the rules do not directly touch many things in it that would be of value in the instruction of children and the young. There seems to be a need of further aids to the teacher, the need so to speak of a still further generalization of the literal sense, in order that such things in the letter as relate to nature and human life, and are at the same time correspondences, may be more easily acquired than can be accomplished by a direct application of the rules, or by a recourse to the ordinary but usually laborious means provided for study and research.

The things spoken of as existing in the immense storehouse of the literal sense of the Word are such as have reference to man in his social, civil, moral, and religious environment, and to his relation with nature, and also to many things of the human body and the human mind. These things are indeed contained and involved in the rules, but, as was said, they cannot always be quickly and readily found by a direct use of them. Hence the apparent need of the further instrumentalities which follow, which are recommended to teachers of religion to children. We shall continue the use of the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis for the illustration of this further mode of analysis of the literal sense. We shall begin with man in his relation to nature in her kingdoms, elementary, mineral, vegetable, and animal, and examine what mention of these kingdoms is to be found in the chapter under consideration.

THE ELEMENTARY KINGDOM

The kingdom of the atmospheres or auras is called by Swedenborg in the Principia the elementary kingdom, a kingdom that is prior and causative to the other kingdoms of nature. To this kingdom belong the wind, air, ether, the sky, light, heat, the sun, moon, and stars. A reference to anything of this elementary kingdom in a chapter should be noted and spoken of, especially if it be prominent and general.*

* The elementary kingdom is treated at large in the Principia, and is often referred to in the Writings; for instance, it is said "that all things of nature except the sun, moon, and the atmospheres, make three kingdoms, the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral." (A. E. 1208. See also H. H. 105.)

In the Scripture in its most literal sense, by heaven is signified the elementary kingdom, and the other kingdoms are included in the term earth. The Lord or Jehovah was acknowledged by the ancients as the Ruler over both; hence Abraham calls Him in this chapter the God of heaven, and the God of the earth (verses 3 and 7). Thus arose the conception that God and the angels dwell above in the sky. This is true when we think of the sky, or heaven, or the elementary kingdom, as extending down to the earth where men are, and that men as to their minds dwell interiorly in it with angels and spirits. See The History of Creation, number 2. We can see therefore that the elementary kingdom is present, as what is prior or interior is present, in every chapter and verse, when we realize that man not only breathes in it, and exercises all the senses by means of it, but that he also thinks and lives in it and from it. The mention of day, night, morning, and evening also involves the elementary kingdom with the natural sun as a center. The spiritual sun, however, is the real or prior center, even as the brain is the real center of the body and not the heart. In the twenty-fourth chapter day is mentioned in verses 12 and 55; night in verses 23, 25, and 54; morning in verse 54; and evening in verses 11 and 63.

THE MINERAL KINGDOM

The mention of the mineral kingdom suggests to the teacher a survey of the chapter in order to see if anything of that kingdom is referred to. The earth or land is spoken of, but this is very general, and is expressed or understood in every chapter, and we pass on to the one thing of special import in this chapter pertaining to the mineral kingdom, namely, the well of water* spoken of in verses 11, 13, 16, 20, 29, 30, 42, 43, 45, 62. The frequent mention of the well gives it a distinguished position, and constitutes it a general of the chapter; as such it should not be passed by in the lesson. As the subject of the well occupies a leading place, the teacher will be moved to acquire all available information concerning the nature and uses of wells in eastern countries, and the customs connected with them. For the youngest children the sand table can be used profitably since they take delight in constructing with their own hands the objects mentioned in the literal sense of the Word, and a vivid impression is made that is not easily forgotten. In searching for other objects of the mineral kingdom, we find gold spoken of in verses 22, 30, 35, 47, and 53, and silver in verse 35. Jewels made of gold are always a subject of interest to children, and as betrothal presents they occupy a leading place in the chapter. It may be remarked that the jewel or ornament of gold (monile) was placed upon the nose (A. C. 3103) and not suspended from the ear.

* According to Swedenborg in his philosophical works, water is intermediate between the elementary and the mineral kingdoms, though usually classed with the latter.

THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM

The next kingdom in order is the vegetable, which is produced from the mineral by means of seeds planted in the earth. The teacher should call attention to things of this kingdom that may be spoken of in any chapter that has been chosen for a lesson-plants, trees, seeds, flowers, leaves, fruits, and especially their uses. The botanical structure of plants, however, might well be reserved for another department. Uses are the essential things in lessons from the literal sense of the Word. For uses are chiefly what correspond, and it is the things which correspond that should be objects for instruction from the Word. There is but little mention of the vegetable kingdom in the chapter before us for analysis. Twice there is the expression "straw and provender" -some kind of food for beasts, similar to hay and fodder. We therefore pass on to the consideration of the next kingdom.

THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

Animals were originally produced from the vegetable kingdom,* and this being their origin they continue to subsist from it, as from a nourishing mother. In the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis the animal kingdom occupies a leading position, especially in what is said of camels. The word occurs in verses 10, 11, 14, 22, 30, 31, 32, 35, 44, 46, 63, and 64. It will be seen therefore that camels represent a general of the chapter (A. C. 3048), and as such should receive special attention. Their characteristics and uses should be noted and the customs connected with them, particularly such as are referred to in the context; as for instance the custom of training them when young to kneel at command, referred to in verse 11. There is also the mention in verse 35 of asses, flocks, and herds. But a special consideration of these could be reserved until a chapter is reached in which they have a prominent place.

* See Swedenborg's work on The Worship and Love of God.

THE HUMAN KINGDOM

There is a fifth kingdom in the series of kingdoms represented in the literal sense of the Word, which may be called the human kingdom, because the activities of man constitute a department distinct from that of animals. All the previous kingdoms are for the sake of the kingdom of man who is last in the order of creation (L. J. 9).

(a) The Human Body

The body, which a man has in common with animals, is the perfection of the animal kingdom, and may be considered intermediate between the animal kingdom and what we are here calling the human kingdom; for what makes the latter kingdom are human loves, and functions and uses from those loves, distinct from animal loves and appetites. The human body is well nigh a kingdom itself, and there is no passage in the Word into which it does not enter in some manner. Thus in the first verse of the chapter the old age of Abraham is the old age of his body but not of his spirit; nor is there a verse in this chapter or in any other in which the body or some part of it is not directly or remotely present. This universality of the human form in the Word should be noted by the teacher, and spoken of when it is sufficiently prominent to be treated as a general of a chapter. Thigh in verse 2 is one of these generals. Hand is also mentioned in verses :2, 10, 18, 22, and 49; shoulder in verse 15; eyes in verse 64; and ear or nose in verse 22; speaking in verses 2, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15; eating and drinking in verses 14, 17, 18, 19, 22, 33, 45 and 54; and hearing is involved everywhere. All these are either organs of the body or introduce certain of the functions thereof.

(b) Manners and Customs

The activities of human loves and the relation of man with his neighbor and with God - customs and modes of speaking and doing - introduce what may be called the human kingdom proper, and form an essential part of the literal sense of the Word. They are found in the historical portion, in the Prophets, in the Gospels, and in Revelation. There is hardly a word of Scripture that does not suggest directly or remotely something of this kind. Because they are of interest to children, and because they are correspondences, the teacher should call attention to such of these customs as are striking and prominent, or to such as form a leading general of any series; as for instance, the custom and mode of betrothals, as exhibited in the chapter we are considering. They are divisible into four general classes, namely, the manners and customs of social life, those of civil life, those of moral life, and those of religious life. With the ancients, however, all customs looked to the life of religion and worship, having their origin in correspondences and representatives. On examining the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis we find it rich in its suggestion of the representative customs of the ancient peoples.

(c) Social Life

Social life and moral life are closely connected, yet each has a distinct place. In this chapter a prime essential of social life, exhibited in the custom and manner of betrothal, occupies the chief place, and is the subject of the entire chapter. Included in this story of a betrothal there are many things of interest concerning the family life of the people of that time, as evinced in the frequent use of terms involving the family, such as master, servant, wife, woman, damsel, virgin, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, nurse,* and seed or offspring. But betrothal with the end of marriage is, as was said, the leading subject, and the rest of the chapter should be treated with a view to this one topic. The subject of betrothal as given in the Writings may be introduced, calling attention to the fact that although the forms of the betrothal ceremony may vary much in different ages and in various parts of the world, the one essential of them all is consent. When Rebekah received the presents it was a sign of consent, and she thereby acknowledged herself to be betrothed, or that she was now a bride looking to marriage, see verses 22, 30, 57, and 58. For acceptance is consent, and is the essential of marriage. There is no real consent without freedom of choice; hence the brother and the mother said, "We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go." Note also that the betrothal was in the evening, and was followed by a feast- eating and drinking together (verse 54).

* Rebekah's nurse is afterward spoken of by name. See Genesis xxxv: 8.

Other customs relating to betrothal and marriage appear in the chapter, such as marriage in the family, and the choice of a wife by a father for his son (verses 3-9, 27, 37-41), and the bride's covering herself with a veil when the bridegroom appears. There are other social customs of interest recorded, as the forms of oaths when marriage was involved (verses 2, 3, 8, 9, 41); the custom of women drawing water (verses 11, 13, 14, 20); the custom of washing the feet, and the custom of hospitality in general (verses 23-25, 30-33, 54); the custom of giving presents (verse 53); and the custom of blessing the bride (verse 60). There are also mentioned forms of use or instrumentalities for social life, as the pitcher or earthen jar (verses 14, 15, 16, 20, 43, 45, 46); the watering trough (verse 20); the shekel and jewels (verses 22, 30, 47, 53) and the tent (verse 67).

(d) Civil Life

The subject of civil life is capable of wide extension in connection with the subject of manners and customs. The teacher should note the forms of government and the laws in use-referred to in the chapter, observing the words which suggest government, such as king, queen, ruler, kingdom, reign, dominion, army, and host, but calling attention to the Lord as King of kings, from whom and for whose sake all kings exercise their powers. The teacher should also note words which suggest laws, as those against murder and other evils forbidden in the commandments. Note in this connection the distinction between civil and moral law, and compare with the laws which now exist. As Abraham's life was patriarchal, civil government and law had not yet extended itself beyond the family. Government was similar to that of an Arab chief at this day, who rules over his family, servants, and retainers. The oath which Abraham caused his servant to swear approaches the domain of civil law, but at that time it was primarily a religious act or rite. Civil government, as we know it, arose out of the necessity of association for common defense (A. C. 10814).

(e) Moral Life

In every chapter something of moral life appears, teaching love to God and the shunning of evil as necessary to salvation. Charity and good will from obedience and love to God is the internal of moral life, and is exhibited in the acts of hospitality and kindness related in the twenty-fourth chapter. When this state arises from the acknowledgment and worship of God, it is spiritual moral and those who are in it are in a salvable state. The love of marriage as from God is the first essential of moral law, and this love constitutes the spiritual moral element of the chapter. Moral law appears also in the loyalty and obedience of Abraham's servant. The teacher should always be on the lookout for evidences of moral law in any chapter chosen for a lesson.

(f) The Religious Life

The life of religion, as set forth in the literal sense of the Word, could be treated as a distinct kingdom; for there is indeed a human spiritual kingdom with men in the world, derived from the Word, a kingdom that is called the church or the Lord's heaven on earth. The Writings treat wholly of this kingdom and its origins; it is called by the Lord in the Gospels the kingdom of heaven. It is important in teaching children, to note the appearings of this kingdom in the letter of the Word.

When a teacher knows what to look for in a chapter the preparation of a lesson is easy. The most essential things to seek are the indications of a spiritual kingdom or of a moral and religious life; the first of these essentials is the idea of God and the acknowledgment and worship of Him, -in general the life of obedience to Him and from Him. The truths of religion, or the truths of the spiritual sense appearing in the letter, are called in the Writings genuine truths, concerning which we have spoken and shall speak more fully in a later chapter. In Genesis xxiv, now under examination, there are several of these genuine truths. Marriage between those of the same religion is clearly indicated in verses 2-6. In verses 3 and 7 'Jehovah is called the God of heaven and the God of earth. This is seen as a genuine truth when compared with what the Lord declares of Himself in Matthew xxviii: 18, wherein He says that to Him is given all power in heaven and on earth. The acknowledgment of God, His mercy and Providence, is plainly manifest in the prayer of Abraham's servant (verses 12-14), and in what Laban and Bethuel said (verse 50). The spiritual world or the life after death is involved in the mention of an angel (verses 7 and 40). We would note also that when the servant asks for a sign (verses 12-21, 26, 27, 42-46, and 50), the custom in all ancient religions of inquiring of Providence by means of a lottery, makes its appearance and deserves attention.

(g) Worship

The worship of God is essential in a life of religion; but as the idea of worship, the forms of worship, and words which suggest worship, -such as altar, tabernacle, temple, sacrifice, incense, priest, also the names of the Lord wherever they occur, -appear throughout the chapter, it would seem well to give it a distinct place in the presentation of the lesson. In the chapter tinder examination the teacher should call attention to the oath which Abraham caused his servant to swear, as a. form of worship, but especially to the prayer of the servant at the well (verses 12-14, 26, 27, 42745, 48, 52). There is no chapter in the Word where something of worship does not appear.

(h) The Mind

The collective mind of man is itself a kingdom or a world. It is the spiritual world interiorly present in the natural. It is in this world that the Lord appears in His Second Coming. The teacher should note the manifestations of this kingdom in any chapter chosen for a lesson. There are not so many of these in the historical as in the prophetical and doctrinal portions of the Word. But we read in the chapter before us of the meditation of Isaac, who was thinking about his marriage (A. C. 3196). The word meditate in the Hebrew signifies literally to talk with oneself, which sometimes one actually does when alone. In verse 45 the servant expresses this idea in the words, "Before I had done speaking in mine heart." We learn also from the Writings that meditation is conversation with spirits. Love-the prime and essential quality of the mind-is spoken of in verse 67.

(i) Uses in General

There is frequent mention in the literal sense of the work performed by men and of the products of human industry, for the provision of food, clothing, and habitation. The teacher while preparing the lesson should scan the chapter in order to see if any of these things are mentioned, especially to see if they are prominent. It is always interesting to know how things were done by the ancient people, what kind of instruments they used in their work, and the various products of their labor, and to compare them with what is done by people of the present day. See what was said above under Social Life.

Any chapter in the Word may be analyzed in the manner we have indicated, and we cannot forbear a final remark that a kind of commentary on the entire literal sense of the Word, prepared somewhat in the way which we have here outlined, would be of use to teachers of religion to children, and also useful to students, and even to ministers in the New Church.*

* The following suggestion is made to those who may wish to analyze a chapter of the literal sense of the Word, or to prepare a lesson from it for the instruction of children and the young: When going over a chapter of this book on exposition read at the same time the summaries placed at the heads of the Table of Contents, the summary added to Chapter XXV in the same table, and the list of questions contained in Chapter XXIV, by way of a reminder of what to look for in the study and analysis of any chapter or portion of the Word.



26



SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 27

CHAPTER XXVI

PLANES OF THE WORD

There are four distinct planes, degrees, or senses of the Word. They are called in the order of descent celestial, spiritual, natural, and sensual. The celestial sense treats of the 'Lord alone; the spiritual, of His universal kingdom; the natural, of the church on earth -and its state; and the sensual is the historical, including all that is historical in form, and expressive of things visible to the senses. We shall see later that each plane, sense, or degree is capable of exposition in doctrinal form.

Concerning these four planes or senses of the Word We have the following teaching: "There are three heavens, the highest, the middle, and the lowest. Me highest heaven makes the celestial kingdom of the Lord; the middle heaven makes His spiritual kingdom, and the lowest heaven makes His natural kingdom. As there are three heavens, so likewise there are three senses of the Word, the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural; with which also those things coincide which were said above, number 210, namely, that the first is in the middle, and by the middle in the last; just as the end is in the cause, and by the cause, in the effect." (T. C. R. 212.) There is thus a sense or degree of the Word for each heaven. There is also a fourth sense or degree, a plane below the heavens, which is the Word in its literal sense for men in the world, as we shall see in the numbers which follow.

"The Word in the sense of the letter appears very simple, but still in it is stored the wisdom of the three heavens; for there are present in the single things therein senses more and more interior; an interior [sense] such as is in the first heaven, [a sense] still more interior such as is in the second heaven, and an inmost [sense] such as is in the third heaven; these senses are present in the sense of the letter, one within another, and one after another is thence unfolded each from its own heaven, when the man who is led by the Lord reads it. These interior senses differ in the degree of light and wisdom, according to the heavens, but nevertheless they make one by influx, and thence by correspondences." (A. E. 1079.)

Removing the idea of space we find, according to the above teaching, that all the planes or senses of the Word are present in the last or lowest which is the sense of the letter. Hence in the literal sense the Word is in its fullness and completeness, and all the senses, one after another, may be unfolded to a man on earth who reads under the guidance and leading of the Lord. If it can be unfolded to him when he reads, he can also think and speak from it, imparting his knowledge to others by exposition and instruction. It may be said that the planes of the Word according to the heavens are human planes, for each sense is a Divine accommodation to a human receptacle in each heaven. For the Lord first creates a human or finite form capable of receiving, and then accommodates Himself to that form. This Divine accommodation is the Word, or the Divine applied and adapted to four successively distinct planes of human receptacles.

Man may have his understanding opened to any of these planes. For a man while on earth is being prepared to enter one of the three interior planes of reception, and he is prepared by that which may be given to him from one or another of those planes. The same in general is understood in the number which follows: "Inasmuch as Divine Truth, which is the Word in its descent into the world from the Lord, passes through the three heavens, it is accommodated to each heaven, and lastly to men also in the world. It is from this that there are in the Word four senses, one outside of another from the highest heaven even to the world, or one within the other from the world even to the highest heaven. These four senses are called the celestial, the spiritual, the natural from the celestial and the spiritual, and the merely natural. This last is for the world, the next for the ultimate heaven, the spiritual for the second heaven, and the celestial for the third." (A. E. 1066.)

The ten commandments illustrate this general doctrine, as may be seen from what follows: "There are in each commandment three interior senses, each sense for its own heaven, for there are three heavens. The first sense is the spiritual moral sense, which is for the first or ultimate heaven; the second sense is the celestial spiritual sense, which is for the second or middle heaven; and the third sense is the Divine celestial, which is for the third or inmost heaven. There are thus three internal senses in every single thing of the Word." (A. E. 1024.) By referring to The True Christian Religion, in the chapter on the commandments we find the three interior senses as contained in their literal sense, set forth and expounded in a form capable of comprehension even by the natural understanding of man.

We read further that the Word in its descent from the Lord through heaven "is accommodated to each heaven; wherefore also the Word is in each heaven, and almost in each angel, in its own sense, and is read by the angels daily; and there are preachings from it as on earth." (A. E. 1024.) Thus each sense of the Word is continually being expounded. In the New Church we may be inspired by association to do the same, for since the last judgment has been performed it is possible for the understanding to enter into and at the same time bring forth the interior arcana of the Word (T. C. R. 508).

The same general doctrine given in the foregoing numbers is also taught in the two following numbers: "In the inmost sense is the Lord alone, for it treats of Him, of His glorifying His Human, reducing the heavens to order, subjugating the hells, and establishing the church; therefore in the inmost sense, each tribe signifies the Lord in respect to some attribute and work of His; in the internal sense heaven and the church are treated of, and doctrine is taught; and the Word in the external sense is such as it is in the sense of the letter. There are three senses in the Word because there are three heavens; the inmost or celestial sense is for the inmost or third heaven; the internal or spiritual sense is for the middle or second heaven; and the external or spiritual natural sense is for the first or ultimate heaven." (A. E. 435.)

"By ultimate truth or truth in the ultimate of order is meant sensual truth such as the truth in the sense of the letter of the Word is to those who are purely sensual. Divine truth in its descent proceeds according to degrees, from the highest or inmost to the lowest or outmost. Divine truth in the highest degree is such as is the Divine that most nearly goes forth from the Lord, thus such as is the Divine truth above the heavens; and as this is infinite, it cannot come to the perception of any angel. But Divine truth of the first degree is that which comes to the perception of angels of the third or inmost heaven, and is called celestial Divine truth. From this is -the wisdom of those, angels. Divine truth of the second degree is that which comes to the perception of angels of the second or middle heaven and constitutes their wisdom and intelligence, and is called spiritual Divine truth. Divine truth, of the third degree is that which comes to the perception of angels of the first or ultimate heaven, -and constitutes their intelligence and science; this is called celestial-natural and spiritual-natural Divine truth. But Divine, truth of the fourth degree is that which comes to the perception of men of the church who are living in the world, and constitutes their intelligence and science; this is called natural Divine truth and its ultimate is called sensual Divine truth. These Divine truths are in the Word in the order of their degrees, and Divine truth in the ultimate degree or in the ultimate of order is such as is the Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word, which is for children and for the very simple who are sensual." (A. E. 627. See also the subject as treated in general in A. C. 3439, 3451, 3712, 6343, 6751, 8943, 9389, 10265, 10370, 10614. A. E. 392, 435.)

That there are four planes of the Word is made evident in Arcana Coelestia where a fourfold sense or signification is given to the sons of Jacob. They are classified according to their mothers, The sons of Leah were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; the sons of Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali; the sons of Zilpah were Gad and Asher.

Their fourfold signification is given or implied in the following order: First in order is the fourfold sense or signification of Reuben and of seeing or sight, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, Providence; in the internal sense, faith; in the interior sense, understanding; in the external sense, sight; here, faith from the Lord." (A. C. 3869. Compare A. C. 4603-4606. A. R. 356. A. E. 443.)

Second in order is the fourfold signification of Simeon and of hearing, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, Providence; in the internal sense, the will; in the interior sense, obedience; in the external sense, hearing; here, faith in the will which is from the Lord alone." (A. C. 3869. Compare A. C. 4603-4606. A. R. 356. A. E. 443.)

Third in order is the fourfold signification of Levi and of adhering, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, love and mercy; in the internal sense, charity; in the external sense, conjunction; here spiritual love. . . . That to adhere in the external sense or proximately interior sense is conjunction appears without explication." (A. C. 3875. Compare A. C. 4603-4606. A. R. 357. A. E. 444.)

Fourth in order is the fourfold signification of Judah and of confession, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, the Lord [the Divine of His love, Arcana Coelestia, number 4606]; in the internal sense, the Word [the Lord's celestial kingdom, number 4606]; in the external sense, doctrine thence [doctrine from the Word which is of the celestial church, number 4606]; here, the Divine of love and His celestial kingdom. . . . That to confess in the external or proximately interior sense signifies doctrine from the Word is manifest, for confession signifies nothing else, even in common speech, than a man's declaration of his faith before the Lord; thus it comprehends in itself those things which a man believes, consequently the things which are doctrine to him." (A. C. 3880. Compare A. C. 4603-4606. A. R. 350. A. E. 433.)

Fifth in order is the fourfold signification of Issachar and of reward, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, the Divine good of truth and truth of good; in the internal sense, celestial conjugial love; in the external sense, mutual love." (A. C. 3956. Compare A. C. 4603-4606. A. R. 358. A. E. 445.)

Sixth in order is the fourfold signification of Zebulun and of cohabitation, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, the Divine of the Lord and the Divine Human; in the internal sense, the celestial marriage; in the external sense, conjugial love." (A. C. 3960. Compare A. C. 4603-4606. A. R. 359. A. E. 447.)

Seventh in order is the fourfold signification of Joseph and of adding, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, the Lord as to the Divine Spiritual; in the internal sense, the spiritual kingdom or the good of faith; in the external sense, salvation, fructification, and multiplication." (A. C. 3969. Compare A. C. 4607. A. R. 360. A. E. 448.)

Eighth in order is the fourfold signification of Benjamin and of the right hand, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, Omnipotence; in the internal sense, spiritual truth which is from celestial good, or the spiritual of the celestial; in general, the intermediate between the spiritual and the celestial." (A. C. 4592. Compare A. C. 4607. A. R. 361. A. E. 449.)

Ninth in order is the fourfold signification of Dan and of judging, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, justice and mercy, in the internal sense, the holy of faith; in the external sense, the good of life." (A. C. 3921. Compare A. C. 4608.)

Tenth in order is the fourfold signification of Naphtali and of wrestling, which is as follows: "In: the supreme sense, proper power; in the internal sense, temptation in which one conquers; in the external sense, resistance from the natural man." (A. C. 3927. Compare A. C. 4608. A. R. 354. A. E. 439.)

Eleventh in order is the fourfold signification of Gad and of a troop, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, Omnipotence and Omniscience; in the internal sense, the good of faith; in the external sense, works." (A. C. 3934. Compare A. C. 4609. A. R. 352. A. E. 435.)

Twelfth in order is the fourfold signification of Asher and of blessedness, which is as follows: "In the supreme sense, eternity; in the internal sense, felicity of eternal life; in the external sense, delight of the affections." (A, C. 3938. Compare A. C. 4609. A. R. 353. A. E. 438.)

It will be seen in the extracts above quoted that a fourfold sense is not given in all the numbers, but where it is not expressed it is understood and can be supplied. It is given in full under Reuben and Simeon, where we find mentioned a supreme sense, an internal sense, an interior sense, and an external sense, or a sense for each heaven and one for the world. This is in agreement with the numbers previously quoted, which speak of a supreme or celestial sense for the inmost or third heaven, an internal or spiritual sense for the middle or second heaven, an interior or spiritual-natural or spiritual-moral sense for the ultimate or first heaven, and an external or literal sense for men in the world. One sense is within another, and all are within the lowest or last; and one sense corresponds to another from the lowest to the highest.

The four planes, celestial, spiritual, natural, and sensual are also represented by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve sons, the last representing the genuine truth of doctrine in the literal sense of the Word. We read that "Jacob in the sense of the letter signifies Jacob himself; in the internal historical sense, his posterity (A. C. 4281); in the internal spiritual sense, the natural man in him who is being regenerated; but in the supreme sense Jacob signifies the Lord as to the Divine natural, as has been often shown. It is the same with all other names." (A. C. 4310.)

Since these planes of the Word are planes of Divine Truth, they are also planes of Divine Doctrine. For doctrine is nothing else than the Divine Truth brought into a form that may be taught and received, that may be understood and by means of understanding applied to life. Since there are planes of doctrine, there are also planes of the understanding; for doctrine is one with the understanding, since it forms it. There is the understanding of the sensual man, the understanding of the natural man, the understanding of the spiritual man, and the understanding of the celestial man. These planes of the understanding must be opened and formed by doctrine, namely, by the doctrine of sensual truth, the doctrine of natural truth, the doctrine of spiritual truth, and the doctrine of celestial truth; and by doctrine all are prepared to enter more and more into the interiors of the Word, through life in this world and after death to eternity.

That there are planes of doctrine is clearly taught as follows: "By doctrine is meant the Word such as it is in its literal sense." (A. C. 7089.) "The true doctrine of the church is what is here called the internal sense." (A. C. 9025.) "The internal sense is doctrine itself." (A. C. 9380.) "The doctrine which should be for a lamp is what the internal sense teaches, thus it is the internal sense itself." (A. C. 10400. See also A. C. 9030, 9424, and H. D. 7.) And in general that "Divine Doctrine is Divine Truth and Divine Truth is all the Word of the Lord; Divine Doctrine itself is the Word in the supreme sense, in which the Lord alone is treated of; and from this, Divine Doctrine is the Word in the internal sense, in which the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and earth is treated of. Divine Doctrine is also the Word in the literal sense, in which the things that are in the world and on earth are treated of. And whereas the literal sense contains within it the internal sense, and this the supreme sense, and as the literal sense altogether corresponds thereto by means of representatives and significatives, therefore also doctrine therefrom is Divine." (A. C. 3712.)

Doctrine on all the planes of the Word is twofold, namely, the doctrine of love to the Lord and the doctrine of love to the neighbor. There is no doctrine that is not from and concerning these two loves. But doctrine is more general on the lower planes, and becomes more interior and more universal as it ascends, and is most universal in the supreme or inmost heaven where the Lord is Doctrine itself. That doctrine is the Lord because it is from the Lord, is taught throughout the Writings.

It will be seen that the supreme essential Divine in the Word is love-Divine Love. But Divine Love takes on the form of Divine Truth, and Divine Truth takes on the form of Divine Doctrine or Divine Teaching. For Divine Love through Divine Truth must take the final form of doctrine or teaching in order to reach the human understanding. Thus doctrine is Divine Truth taking the form of teaching for the purpose mentioned; and Divine Truth is Divine Love taking the form of Divine Truth in order to approach and be received. Its final approach and final form is doctrine, that men by it may be taught and led to conjunction with the Lord as Divine Love. Doctrine is Divine Love appearing and applying itself to the understanding of man. Now Divine Truth from Divine Love is what is called the Word (John i: 1-14); and since doctrine is Divine Truth, but in the form of teaching, doctrine is also the Word, the Word instructing and teaching. Thus love is in all planes of the Word, truth is in all, and doctrine is in all. These planes of the Word, and love' truth, and doctrine in these planes, are Divinely provided and Divinely accommodated, that all men may be approached and may receive that which is to save them and continue to save them to eternity, namely, love, truth, and the doctrine of truth, all from the Lord and all the Lord.

Love in the celestial heaven is love to the Lord, which is love from the Lord returning to Him. Love in the spiritual heaven is love towards the neighbor, which also is love from the Lord returning to Him, but by the neighbor. Love in the natural heaven is also love to the Lord and the neighbor, and also returns to the Lord by the neighbor, but through the means of simple faith and simple obedience in good works. Love in its descent through the heavens and in its reception in them is wisdom or truth. Since the reigning love in the highest heaven is love to the Lord or celestial love, so the truth of that heaven is truth concerning the Lord, or celestial truth; this truth from its good is what is called the celestial sense of the Word. Since the reigning love of the spiritual heaven is love to the neighbor or spiritual love, so the truth of that heaven is truth concerning man or the neighbor, or spiritual truth, the truth that teaches concerning the regeneration of man and the establishment of the church; this truth is what is called the spiritual sense of the Word. And since the reigning love of the natural heaven is the love of obedience in works, so the truth of that heaven is spiritual-natural truth, or spiritual-moral truth, and constitutes the interior natural or moral sense of the Word (D . L. W. 232. A. C. 3240, 4279, 4286, 9407, 9568, 10005, 10604.        S. S. 6. A. E. 375, 449, 834, 1215)

Instead of truth we may say doctrine, since, as we have said, doctrine is truth formulated, and accommodated to the understanding. Hence the celestial sense of the Word is the doctrine of celestial love, or doctrine concerning the Lord; the spiritual sense is the doctrine of spiritual love, or the doctrine of charity towards the neighbor; and the spiritual-natural sense is the doctrine of spiritual-moral good, which also is the doctrine of charity on that plane (H. D. 107. A. C. 7258).

Now since the Word is nothing but love to God and love to the neighbor and treats of nothing else, it is everywhere celestial and spiritual; for these two terms in the Writings are expressive of the two great loves. And as every love takes form in truth, there is a celestial sense and a spiritual sense in all things of the Word, or there is doctrine concerning the Lord and doctrine concerning the neighbor in all things of the Word. But doctrine on the celestial plane of the Word is universal, on its spiritual plane less universal, and on its natural plane still less universal.

The celestial sense treats of the Lord and of love to Him, and the spiritual sense treats of man or the neighbor, and of love to the neighbor. In a larger view the celestial sense treats of the Advent of the Lord, of His Glorification, of Redemption, of Providence, and indeed of all the Divine attributes and works of the Lord; and the spiritual sense treats of the establishment and growth of the church, of repentance, reformation, and regeneration. The celestial sense treats of the Divine Laws by which the Lord, of Himself and by Himself, operates in His universe, and the spiritual sense treats of man as receiving those laws and operating from them and by them. That the celestial sense treats of the Lord alone, see Arcana Coelestia, numbers 6343, 8943, 9389, 10265, 10370, and The Apocalypse Explained, number 435. That the spiritual sense treats of the Lord's kingdom, of the church, and of the regeneration of man, see Arcana Coelestia, numbers 3439, 3451, 8943, 10614, and The Apocalypse Explained, number 392. It is of especial moment to know something of the quality of the celestial sense, for it is in this sense that the Word is in its very sanctity, and this sense is the prime essential of the revelation made by the Lord in His Second Coming. The Writings teach us much concerning this prime essential plane of the Word of God.

It is clear that by the understanding man may enter any or all of these senses, for they have been revealed, and in the Writings of Swedenborg they exist in a summary as Divine doctrine. Any sense of the Word seen and received by the angels of heaven, from the lowest to the highest, may be comprehended and understood by men in the world in a general manner when revealed in the form of doctrine. All the senses of the Word are thus subject to exposition in sermons and doctrinal classes. It is primarily for this that a priesthood is organized and the church established.

The chief point of interest in our present consideration is, that the minister may expound any one of the four senses of the Word according to his judgment of the needs and intelligence of his congregation. If he is addressing children his primary object will be to explain to them the literal sense of the Word-that sense which is given for men on earth who are in worldly or sensual states of mind-insinuating as much of the spiritual sense as can be given in an objective .or concrete form. If he is addressing young people, he will speak to them from the internal historical, spiritual-natural, or spiritual-moral sense of the Word, that sense which has been given for the angels of the natural heaven, and which appears as the doctrine of genuine truth - genuine truth which is the general truth of the spiritual sense appearing in the letter. If he is addressing adults, or those in whom the rational degree of the mind has been opened, and who are able to enter intellectually into the things of faith, he will speak to them from the spiritual sense and also from the celestial or supreme sense of the Word.

There are these four planes or degrees or senses in every text of Scripture, one within another, and each communicating with some society of heaven according to the plane that is opened, For when it is said that every verse of the Word communicates with some society, there is the idea of three societies, one within another, or one in the natural heaven, one in the spiritual heaven, and one in the celestial heaven. There is also a fourth society which is the church, or a church on earth to which the minister speaks, and to which he reads and expounds the text in its literal sense. The minister may expound the general truth of any of these four planes; or he may at times wish to present a comprehensive view of all planes of the text, beginning with the literal sense and leading up to the celestial or to the idea of the Lord that is the inmost in it, and returning again to the letter for confirmation; or he may begin his circuit from the inmost, descend to the literal sense and return again to the inmost, closing his sermon with that from which he began. There is no fixed rule to follow: the minister should know what is in his text, and judgment and experience will dictate the rest.

All laws of the spiritual world, all laws of the internal of the Word are represented in the literal sense, or in written revelation. We have mentioned in the chapter on "Children and the Young," that the literal sense of the Word is threefold, historical, prophetical, and doctrinal (A. C. 3432). Swedenborg says in The Animal Kingdom that wherever there is a threefold order there is also a fourfold order; so it is in the case before us.* We have just seen that there are four planes of the Word consisting of a literal sense containing a threefold internal sense. This nature or quality of the universal Word ultimates itself in the letter or in written revelation. We have in the literal sense, as was said, a threefold order-the historical, the prophetical, and the doctrinal. It is necessary now to add a fourth in the order of literal or written revelation, that which may be called the spiritual, which is the spiritual sense as given in the Writings.

* The same law is exhibited in nature in her three kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal, and in a fourth - which is universal in the other three - called the elementary kingdom.

It may be useful to restate here what we have already said on this subject, especially as a fourth in the order of written revelation is here introduced:

First, the historical is in general the sensual degree of the Word, which is fully expressed in the early books of Scripture, but which is never absent in any of the forms of revelation.

Second, the prophetical is the internal historical degree of the Word, treating of the state of the nations where the church is, but not excluding the state of the nations where the church is not. It is their spiritual-natural or spiritual-moral state that is treated of. This element of the Word is, however, not confined to the Prophets, but is universal in written revelation. It should here be remembered that the primary idea of prophecy is not, as commonly supposed, the mere foretelling of future events, but it is the teaching of the spiritual-moral state of the church, especially of its aspect and relation to the advent of the Lord.

Third, the doctrinal degree is the spiritual appearing in the literal sense in the form of general truths, and is found especially in the New Testament in the teaching of the Lord as addressed to His disciples. As He Himself was the Divine appearing unto men, so was His teaching that Divine in the form of spiritual truth accommodated to His hearers, who were simple men (S. S. 24).

Fourth, the spiritual degree, or the spiritual itself, appears in the teachings of the Lord as given by Him in His Second Coming. It is to be noted also that in this crown of all revelation the doctrinal. degree is also restored, and is there called the doctrine of genuine truth.

Thus the four planes of the Word, one within another, appear in a literal form successively developed in the order of time, beginning with the historical and closing with the revelation of the spiritual sense, gradually ascending from the sensual to the spiritual and to the celestial. But let us remember that the spiritual sense appears to the enlightened mind in all the forms of revelation, that it shines out at times even in the literal statement of the historical portion of the Word.

In the chapter on "Children and the Young" we endeavored to show that the literal sense of the Word in its threefold division has been provided for the states of children and youth, and that the Writings as the revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word, have been given for the instruction of the adult. The minister will therefore speak from any or all of these forms of revelation, accommodating them to the audience that is before him. In the spiritual education of children and the young, doctrine from all four of these planes as they appear in written revelation, is to be drawn forth and presented to them, but in concrete form. But to the adult, doctrine is to be given for the most part in the form of abstract truth; for essential truth is abstracted from sensual appearances, and must be divested of them in order to be interiorly received.

The four planes of the Word exhibit the fact that there are four universal classes of men, or four universal states of mind, first in the spiritual world, then in the natural world as representing the spiritual. To these four states there must be preaching. For there is still another step in the Divine accommodation, namely, preaching-the preaching and teaching of doctrine and truth of doctrine. For this last and final step the priesthood and teachers of religion have been provided.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 28
CHAPTER XXVII

NATURAL TRUTH

It is a fundamental conception that all truth, even natural truth, is in the Word and from the Word. There is not any idea of human thought nor any principle of action contained in science, philosophy, or literature, or expressed in the common intercourse of men, that is not originally in the Word. For the Word is the Divine Mind which is Omniscient and Omnipresent truth, operating, both in the world of spirits and in the world of nature, to create and to preserve; and the Divine Mind in all its planes and degrees has been revealed in the form of a book for the instruction of men, for their education, natural and spiritual, and thus for their eternal salvation. This Divine Book, which is the Word of God, is constituted of four planes or degrees, and in this way includes every phase of human thought that is possible to men, spirits, or angels to all eternity.*

* It is commonly thought that man has discovered natural truth for himself, and that it is necessary that only spiritual truth should be revealed. But a little reflection will show that man at birth is in such total ignorance that he must be taught by the Lord even natural and sensual truth. It was the same in the infancy of the race. But when general truths are once known, whether natural or spiritual, man, in the light of them and through the faculty of perception and mason given to him, can discover new truth - a process that never ends.

We have shown that in order to expound the Word with intelligence, it is necessary to know these planes; what we wish to present in this chapter is that in order to comprehend the subject of religious education it is necessary to understand what is meant by natural truth, as distinguished from sensual truth on the one hand and from spiritual truth on the other. This distinction has to some extent appeared in the previous chapter on "Planes of the Word"; but we wish now to emphasize the fact that one of the four planes of the Word, the plane of interior natural truth, is essential to the formation of the youthful mind as it draws near to adult age-the third period of the early life of man - and that this plane is the final means of approach to the pure spiritual truth of the Word. The minister, and the teacher of religion to the young, should have a clear conception of this plane for the sake of the work that is before them.

The first approach to the spiritual sense is by means of sensual truth, but the second and nearer approach is by that truth or plane or sense of the Word of which we are speaking, and to which various names or designations are given in the Writings, such as natural truth, scientific truth, the spiritual-natural sense, the spiritual-moral sense, and the internal historical sense of the Word. In order to enter into the subject intelligently let us consider more fully than in the last chapter what is meant by sensual truth, and then we shall be prepared to understand what is meant by natural truth.

Before we proceed, however, let us observe that the term natural truth, as well as the term natural sense, is frequently used in the Writings to cover all the truth of the natural mind, or all the truth of the Word that is below the spiritual sense; hence in this view it is external natural truth that is called sensual truth, and internal natural truth that is called specifically natural truth or by the other designations mentioned above. But in this chapter we wish to present a discussion of natural truth as distinguished from sensual truth and from spiritual truth. In many passages, as in the one which now follows, a clearly marked distinction is made between natural and sensual truth.

"It is now evident that fowl signifies spiritual truth, bird natural truth, and winged thing sensual truth; and that truths are distinguished in this way. Sensual truths, such as relate to seeing and hearing, are said to be winged because they are the extremes, which is also the signification of wing in reference to other things." (A. C. 777.) It thus will be seen that sensual truth relates to such things as are visible to the senses of the body; hence it follows that natural truth relates to those things which are still natural but invisible to the external senses. Spiritual truth is still more invisible. Hence, as we read, "Interior truth in the natural is what is called natural truth, but exterior truth there is called sensual truth." (A. C. 3294.) These distinctions will appear more clearly as we proceed.

As to what sensual truth is we are given a plain definition in the following passage: "Sensual truth is the first truth which insinuates itself into a child, for in childhood the judgment does not penetrate deeper. Sensual truth consists in seeing all things of the earth and the world as being created by God, and all and each for some end, and that in all and each is seen a certain image of the kingdom of God. This sensual truth is insinuated only into the celestial man; and because the Lord alone was a celestial man, these and similar sensual truths were insinuated into Him in His earliest years, whereby He was prepared for the reception of celestial things." (A. C. 1434.) It is plain therefore that what appears as sensual truth is not truth unless the objects of nature are seen and acknowledged as created by God, and for an end of use to His kingdom. Nor is the literal or ultimate sense of the Word sensual truth unless the Word is acknowledged as Divine. Nothing on the sensual or any other plane is truth that has not in it the idea of God, even though it may be called truth and be made to appear as such.*

* Not only is the literal sense of the Word sensual truth, but also the objective or visible phenomena of the spiritual world as revealed in the memorabilia of the Writings.

In the following number, that which is spoken of above (A. C. 777) as natural truth is called, scientific truth, and truths in the natural are spoken of as being in a threefold order: "Inasmuch as the truths of the natural man are those which are called scientific truths, and scientific truths are principally of two kinds or of two degrees, namely, sensual and scientific, therefore each is here signified by hunting; sensual truths are those in which children are, and scientific truths are those in which the same children are as they grow up; for no one can be in scientific truths unless he be first in sensual truths, inasmuch as the ideas of the former are procured from the latter; from these afterward may be learned and comprehended truths still more interior which are doctrinal truths, and which are signified by a man of the field, whereof we shall speak presently. That by hunting are signified sensual and scientific truths in which they who are in the good of life are instructed, and by which they are affected, is because bunting, in an external sense, denotes those things which are taken by bunting. . . . In Jeremiah, 'I will bring them back upon their land, which I have given to their fathers; behold I send for many fishers, and they shall fish them; and after this I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them, from above every mountain and from above every hill, and from the holes of the rocks,' (xvi: 15, 16), fishers signify those who teach from sensual truths and hunters those who teach from scientific truths, and also from doctrinals." (A. C. 3309. Concerning natural truth see also A. C. 2577, 2807, 3318, 4988, 5008. A. R. 365a. A. E. 1061. L. J. 38. S. D. 209, 1531, 1967, 1968.)

Since truth in the natural is threefold, sensual, scientific, and doctrinal, the same is true of the literal sense of the Word, for this is in the natural. It is the natural of the Lord. The sensual truth of the Word is that which is most general and simple, and it insinuates itself everywhere in the historical portion, is present there as it were in reserve, but is sufficiently clear to enable the teacher to keep before the minds of the children the idea of a visible God, and the need of obedience to Him. There is no passage of the Word without the appearing in some form of these two fundamentals of salvation.

Scientific or natural truth is that which is less general, and treats of things not so visible to the external senses, of things not concrete but abstracted from sensual appearances, as are all things of the moral world.* The Prophets are an example of this form of truth, and hence we find in them but little connected with external nature, and the doings of men in the visible or physical world such as are found in the historical portion; the prophets speak of the Lord yet to come, and the need of a true spiritual-moral life in order to receive Him when He comes, It is not a physical but a morally imaginative world that is their leading theme - a real though internal world.

* The term philosophy naturally suggests itself here.

Doctrinal truth is still less general, and thus treats of things more interior or more hidden from the senses of the body, and nearer to the genuine spirit and life of the Word, such as are the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels. For that which is less simple and general is also less obscure, or more distinct and clear, because nearer to the source of light. Doctrinal truth therefore is that teaching in the letter of the Word which is the most open, plain, and direct concerning the Lord and His kingdom. See further oil this branch of the subject in the next chapter, where we shall treat of the Doctrine of Genuine Truth.

We notice also in Arcana Coelestia, number 3309, the statement that "fishers signify those who teach from sensual truths, and hunters those who teach from scientific truths, and also from doctrinal truths." We are given here a clear intimation concerning religious instruction to children and the young. There are to be those who are to teach sensual truths to little children, those who are to teach scientific or natural truths to older children, and those who are to teach doctrinal truths to young people. There seems to be involved, not only teaching in classes, but also preaching to children and youths. As there are doctrinal classes and sermons for adults, so should there be the same for children and young people. The preaching of sermons to the young in a sphere of worship, thereby exciting affection, will prove of great use in planting remains and thus preparing them for the conditions of adult life. If children and the young are to be taught religion in a conversational manner in the class rooms, why not do the same in the form of sermons accommodated to their plane of thought, drawing on the immense store of sensual, natural, and doctrinal truth in the literal sense of the Word? Short sermons to children and the young, suitable to their age, in a general setting of music and ritual, would be a decided advance on the old Sunday School methods, being a more efficient means of entering the understanding by stirring the affections.

The subject continues in the Arcana concerning the three classes of truth in the literal sense of the Word, and in the natural of man, sensual truth being first in the order of time, as follows: ". . . This is the case also with spiritual truths, which are called doctrinals, and are still more interior commandments; for doctrinals are the interior truths which pertain to the natural man; the first truths are sensual, the next scientific, the interior are doctrinals; these latter truths are founded upon scientific truths, insomuch that man can form and retain no idea, notion, or conception of them except from scientifics; but scientific truths are founded upon sensual truths, for without sensual truths, scientific truths cannot be comprehended by man; these truths, namely, the sensual and scientific are what are signified by a man skillful in hunting; but doctrinals are what are signified by a man of the field; thus they succeed in order with man; wherefore until man is in adult age, and by sensual and scientific truths is in doctrinals, he cannot be regenerated, for he cannot be confirmed in the truths of doctrinals except by ideas derived from things sensual and scientific; for nothing is ever given man in his thought - even as to the deepest arcanum of faith - which has not with it a natural and sensual idea, although man is in general ignorant of its quality; but in the other life, if he desires it, it is presented to view before his understanding, and even, if he eagerly desires, before his sight; for in that other life, however incredible it appears, such things may really be presented to ocular view." (A. C. 3310.)

There is thus a regular order of succession and at the same time a regular order of ascent, from sensual through scientific and doctrinal truths to the spiritual sense itself. But let us not forget that this ascent is by truth, and that truth is not truth except the Lord be in it; otherwise it is but an outward appearance deficient in the essential life of truth. The first sensual truths, as has been shown, are most general ideas about God as the Creator of the things evident to the senses in nature. Since these are first in order of time the Scripture opens with the creation of the universe by Jehovah God. These are the first of the Word because they contain the first ideas of sensual truth to be taught to children. (See A. C. 1434 quoted above.) The Lord in nature should therefore be taught to little children even before the stories of the Word are given. Show them the sky, the trees, and the hills, and tell them that all these were made by the Lord. Do this at the very dawn of the opening of their little understandings.

It may be remarked that the state of little children is similar to that of idolaters, who are in sensual truths and who are therefore in need of objects to assist their thought about God (A. C. 4211, 9972. C. L. 78. That good with infants is similar to that with Gentiles, see A. C. 9809). No one, however, is wholly removed from this need, which helps to explain why the Lord came into the world and revealed Himself objectively as a Man. (See the numbers just referred to.) For, as is said in number 3310 quoted above, "nothing is ever given man in his thought - even as to the deepest arcanum of faith-which has not with it a natural and sensual idea." It is for this reason that no man is ever removed wholly from the necessity of external worship (A. C. 1618), although - unlike the little child and the simple idolater-he is able to see objects in his imagination and even in his rational or abstract thought, independent of those in the external world, but still under a sensual objective idea. No thought of any human finite being can ever be altogether abstract. The rational mind is both abstract and concrete; but the infantile mind and the mind of the simple gentile idolater, think wholly from the objects of the senses, and thus their thought is sensual thought, and the truth Divinely provided for them is sensual truth.

The child and the idolater, or what is called the primitive man, are not in abstract thought. All the words they use have relation to concrete objects. They think in and from the visible world, or the world of objective appearances. They are not able as yet to enter into the realm of subjective ideas. When they are able to see the truth within the appearance., as for instance when they are ready to learn that the sun does not rise and set, then civilization is at band, this is a period when man "is just beginning to free his thought from the bondage of too concrete language, when he is striving to coin abstract terms," * or when an abstract meaning is added to words already in use. Thus when the mind is prepared to see truths in abstract natural light, the way is opened to see them in abstract spiritual light, which is the way to angelic intelligence and wisdom; for "abstract speech is angelic speech," and "abstract thought can pervade the universal heaven without tarrying anywhere, but thought determined to person or place is fixed and stopped." (A. C. 8985. See also 9407, 9828. D. L. W. 228. A. E. 653.)

* Andrew Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Religion, I. 7.

Abstract truth is philosophical truth as distinguished from what is ordinarily called the truth of science. The truth of science deals with appearances in concrete nature, that is, with sensual truths, but philosophy has to do with rational truths, "which are conclusions from the objects of the external senses, especially of the sight." (A. C. 8861.) Swedenborg was a philosopher before he became a theologian, that is, he was a teacher of natural truth before he became a teacher of spiritual truth (Influx 20). He was not a teacher of sensual truth or a teacher of what is called natural science, except incidentally; hence it is a misnomer to call his early works scientific, since they treat of the truths of invisible nature.

In The History of Creation Swedenborg presents a remarkable illustration of natural truth - the abstract truth of nature - as distinguished from sensual truth or that truth which deals with the physical ox concrete appearances of nature. What is true of the first chapter of Genesis is true of the Word throughout. There is in it a plane of natural truth as intermediate between the physical sense and the pure spiritual sense. Every word of human language has this interior natural or abstract sense, which is usually given in lexicons, and which marks the rise from the savage or primitive state to the conditions of civilized life, preparatory to a further rise into the realm of spiritual truth, or the truth of the spiritual sense of the Word.

The ascent from sensual to spiritual truths or from the world to heaven, followed by the descent from heaven to the world, is treated of as follows: "The truths which are here signified by sons are what are called sensual, as belonging to things of sense, and are the outermost of the natural mind; for the natural of man on one part communicates with the sensual things of the body, and on the other part with the rational things of the rational mind. By these intermediates there is effected a kind of ascent from things sensual, which are of the body and are open towards the world, to things rational which are of the rational mind, and are open towards heaven; thus also a descent from the latter, that is from heaven to the world. This effect exists in man alone. It is this ascent and descent which is treated of in the internal sense of these chapters; that all and single things may be exhibited representatively, the rational is represented by Isaac and Rebekah, the natural by Jacob and his two women, and the sensual by their sons; but whereas in the sensual as the ultimate of order, things prior co-exist, therefore every son represents some general principle in which those prior things are, as has been shown above." (A. C. 4009.)

It has been indicated before that there is genuine truth in each plane, namely in the sensual, in the natural or scientific, and in the doctrinal or rational of the natural. When man is in the sensual his thought is open only to the world, but when he has reached the rational his thought is also open to heaven, and he is then able to view the world from the light of heaven. He is then capable of being in both abstract and concrete thought. Sensual truth comes first in time, and man does not advance to the rational, and cannot until he approaches adult life. We must not therefore expect children to be rational before the time. What we are to expect of them is obedience which prepares the way for all that is to follow. For the sensual plane of the mind is not properly opened and formed except by obedience.

Concerning sensual truths we read further: "Those truths are said to be external which are called sensual truths, namely, which flow in immediately from the world through the bodily senses; but interior truths, which are signified by the sons of Rachel, are truths which are interiorly in the natural and nearer the notice of the rational; fallacies and consequent illusions do not adhere to interior truths as they do to sensual truths, for in proportion as truths have more interior admission, they are the more purified from earthly and worldly things." (A. C. 4342.) Since sensual truths are joined with appearances in the outer world, and since appearances are so often deceiving and therefore lead the mind astray, fallacies adhere to sensual truths more than to others; but fallacies are successively removed in the ascent towards the rational, and thus truths become more and more genuine.

In Arcana Coelestia we are told that by the hoof of a horse is signified sensual truth, which is the ultimate truth of the natural. Hence the ancient Sophi, who had a knowledge of correspondences, "described the origin of intelligence and wisdom by a winged horse which they called Pegasus, in that with his hoof he broke, open a fountain at which were nine virgins, and this upon a hill; for they knew that by a horse was signified the intellectual; by his wings, the spiritual; by hoofs, truths of the ultimate degree where is the origin of intelligence; by virgins, the sciences; by hill, unanimity, and in the spiritual sense charity; so in all other cases. But such things at this day are among those which are lost." (A. C. 7729.) In truths of the ultimate degree, or in sensual truths, is the origin of intelligence, the intelligence of natural and spiritual things; in them is the beginning of all rational thought, whether natural or spiritual, and this beginning should be made in early childhood. Hence the importance of implanting in a little child-as early as it is possible for him to receive them- the truths concerning the visible objects of nature as created by God, and at the same time the truth that the Word is holy and Divine, and other truths which stand in relation to these. If these truths are sown in the infantile mind, and a principle of obedience and charity inculcated by precept and example, we may look with hope to spiritual growth in the later years of life.

From all that has been said, it is clear that there is a marked distinction between sensual truth and scientific or natural truth, and between this latter and the spiritual truth of the Word. For, as we read, "angelic ideas are spiritual and when they penetrate inwardly they are celestial; but human ideas are natural, and when derived from historicals, are sensual." (A. C. 3507. See also A. E. 627.) But as we have before remarked, it is necessary to keep in mind that the terms scientific and natural are not always used in the Writings in this specific sense; for they frequently include in their scope all truth in the natural, even sensual truth. Our purpose however in this chapter is to bring out the signification of the term natural truth as used in the specific sense, and thus its distinction from spiritual truth on the one side and sensual truth on the other, since this distinction when clearly seen will be of use to the minister in his study of the Word, and also to the teacher of religion to children and the young.

Let us now proceed to illustrate more in detail what is meant by natural truth in the Word. We shall make use of the word write, a word of frequent occurrence in Scripture, for the purpose of showing what is meant by this intermediate plane between the mere sense of the letter and the purely spiritual sense.

1. To write, as a sensual truth, or as a literal and physical fact, is to trace or inscribe on a page by the letters of writing things that can be seen and read, that can be received through the sight and communicated to the mind. For the purposes of religious instruction to little children, this physical idea of writing becomes a sensual truth, when the literal page of Scripture is shown and read to them, and they are told that the words were spoken by the Lord, and by His command the things heard or seen were written down by prophet or seer. For instance, the Divine Voice said to John on the isle of Patmos, "What thou seest write in a book and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia," (Rev. i: 11); also, "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter," (Rev. i : 19); and it is said that "Moses wrote all the words of the Lord." (Exod. xxiv: 4.) The things so written are Divine and holy and make the Word a holy book to be treated with sacred regard and reverence. This gives us an example of what a sensual truth is, or a truth about God associated with a visible object, which is, as we have shown, the first truth a child is able to acquire, comprehend, and receive.

2. To write, as a natural truth or as an abstract truth in the natural, describes what is not concretely visible to the senses, but what is present to the imagination and natural thought and reason. Many examples are found in the dictionaries both of a concrete and of an abstract sense of words or of the root meaning and a derivative meaning. The root meaning has reference to the sensual, visible, physical, or objective sense of words, and the derivative meaning to their abstract, natural, or philosophical meaning. The term write is used in this twofold sense. The first idea of the word we have already given; the second is that by writing is signified "to communicate thought by writing," which expresses its essential use. In fact a derivative idea or natural truth of a word for the most part indicates the use of the thing that the word expresses. Thus writing means to communicate thought, not only to those of this generation but also to preserve it for those who come after us in the generations which are to follow. This sense of the word is frequently mentioned in the Writings and also in the letter of Scripture. We read that by writing is signified "that all things which are now revealed may be for the use of posterity," (A. R. 63); also that "it signifies to commit to paper and thus to posterity for remembrance." (A. R. 473.) Hence what is written down is something to be remembered. In this sense we use the word memorandum. As the memory of man is unreliable there is need of an ultimate and fixed memory outside of himself, that truths by it may be preserved for future use, and not forgotten and lost. Every book written is such a memory. The whole field of literature comes under this head, and in an eminent sense the Word of revelation; for the memory of man is wholly inadequate and insufficient to preserve this in its purity and integrity. Hence when the memory and thought of man bad become so perverted that revelation could no longer be preserved by that means, the art of writing and printing was invented; and the Lord provided that what He had to say to men should be preserved in a fixed ultimate memory (A. C. 9353. S. D. 739).

The Doctrine gives similar definitions of writing in the sense of natural truth as signifying "that it may be for remembrance to posterity," (A. R. 639) "that it might be revealed to posterity," (A. R. 39) "that he should commit these things to posterity for remembrance; here, that be should make these known," (A. R. 816); that "they are for recollection, or that they should bear them in mind," (A. R. 886); also "'write this for a memorial in a book,' signifies for perpetual remembrance." (A. C. 8620.) These latter words in their letter indicate clearly an interior natural sense. In the rest of number 8620 it is shown that by a book is meant the memory; and by the book of life, man's memory that goes with him into the other life, We read also in the Psalm (cii: 18) that "this shall be written for the generation to conic," and in Malachi (iii: 16) that "a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His name." All these teachings show that there is an interior natural sense or plane of natural truth in the word write.

3. To write is also expressive of spiritual truth, to which writing in the literal sense corresponds. This sense is given in the Doctrine and shines out in certain passages of the letter of the Word. In The Apocalypse Revealed, number 473, after it is stated that by writing in the natural sense is signified "to commit to paper, and thus to posterity for remembrance," the explanation is added, "In the spiritual sense by writing is signified to commit to the heart for reception." Also that "to write denotes to impress on the life, because the purpose of writing is remembrance to all posterity. So it is with the things impressed on a man's life." (A. C. 9386.) The number then proceeds to treat of the two memories, the one natural or external, and the other spiritual or internal, and teaches that the things impressed on the internal memory remain to eternity. Again, "'And I will write upon him the name of my God,' -signifies Divine Truth implanted in the life, . . . when spoken of the Lord, signifies to implant in the life . . . because to write is to commit to paper anything from the memory, thought, or mind, that is to be preserved; in the spiritual sense therefore it signifies that which is to endure in man's life, inscribed on it and implanted in it. Thus the natural sense of this expression is turned into the spiritual sense; for it is natural to write upon paper or in a book, but it is spiritual to inscribe on the life." (A. E. 222.)

The spiritual sense of writing as signifying to write upon the heart, to inscribe on the life, or to commit to the internal memory for use in the spiritual world, appears in some passages of the letter : in Jeremiah, first as a sensual truth (xxx: 2), "Write thee all the words that I have spoken in a book"; then in the next chapter (ver. 33) the spiritual truth appears, "After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." The same truth appears in the book of Proverbs, "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart," (iii: 3); and following the injunction to keep the commandments it is said, "Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart." (vii: 3.) Paul expresses the same in these words, "Written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Cor. iii: 3.) In the Liturgy of the General Church of the New Jerusalem the same truth is uttered- after the minister reads the commandments-in the prayer of the people, "Lord have mercy upon us, and write Thy law in our hearts."

4. Then follows the celestial sense of write presenting the truth as it is in the inmost plane or supreme sense of the Word, bringing into view the signification of the word as understood by the celestial angels, who see the Lord in all things that are said and done in the Word; for those angels never forget that "what is written in the internal man is written by the Lord and remains to eternity." (A. C. 10505.)

Every word of Scripture and every text may be treated in this way. The minister will therefore find it useful to analyze and exhaust the natural truth contained in his text, even if he does not make a direct use of it in his sermon; for it will add much to his sources of material, and thus to the state of his illustration. For we read that natural truth is a mirror of spiritual truth (A. C. 5201, 6384), and hence when the abstract natural sense of a word is seen, the spiritual idea in it at once suggests itself. Sensual truth is as it were a dull mirror, but natural truth is a mirror brilliantly reflective of spiritual and celestial ideas.

In closing we recall that the sensual truth of the Word is the plane of the appearances of truth, and these appearances are more or less filled with fallacies which lead astray if confirmed or blindly followed, and are intended only for the early formation of the human understanding. It is necessary for an interior opening of the understanding, that the plane of natural or genuine truth should be entered, and thus that the way may be opened for entrance into the pure spiritual truth of the Word. We propose therefore to devote the closing chapter of this work to a consideration of the Doctrine of Genuine Truth.



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SCIENCE OF EXPOSITION p. 29
CHAPTER XXVIII

THE DOCTRINE OF GENUINE TRUTH

Doctrine is teaching, and Divine Doctrine is Divine teaching. It is the Lord teaching the truth concerning Himself and the way to Him. Hence we read that "inasmuch as the Lord is the Word, He is also doctrine," (A. C. 2533, 2859); and that "the Lord is doctrine itself, for the all of doctrine proceeds from Him, and the all of doctrine treats of Him," (A. C. 5321); also that "the Lord is doctrine itself and therefore in the Word He is called the Word, the Truth, the Light, the Way, the Door." (A. C. 2516, 2531, 3364, 3393.)

Since the Word is that which is given to teach men and lead them in the way to heaven, and thus to the Lord, the Word also is doctrine; for, as we read, "Divine Doctrine is Divine Truth, and Divine Truth is all the Word of the Lord. Divine Doctrine itself is the Word in the supreme sense, which treats of the Lord alone; and from this, Divine Doctrine is the Word in the internal sense, which treats of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth. Divine Doctrine is also the Word in the literal sense, which treats of the things that are in the world and upon earth. And whereas the literal sense contains within it the internal sense, and this the supreme sense, and as the literal sense altogether corresponds thereto by means of representatives and significatives, therefore also the doctrine therefrom is Divine." (A. C. 3712.)

That the internal sense is doctrine we are taught further in the following passages: "The internal sense is doctrine itself." (A. C. 9380.) "The internal sense of the Word contains the genuine doctrine of the church." (A. C. 9424.) "The doctrine which should be for a lamp is what the internal sense teaches, thus it is the internal sense itself." (A. C. 10400.) "The true doctrine of the church is what is here called the internal sense." (A. C. 9025.) "The doctrine of faith of the church is the doctrine of the internal sense." (A. C. 9030.) The doctrine [of the New Church] is from heaven, being from the spiritual sense of the Word, which is the same as the doctrine that is in heaven." (H. D. 7.) It is also said, as in number 3712 quoted above, that "by doctrine is meant the Word as it is in its literal sense." (A. C. 7089.)

It is clear therefore that the term doctrine is used in more than one sense in the Writings, but we are here interested in the doctrine which is called the doctrine of genuine truth, because it is this doctrine that is specifically meant when it is said that the Word is not understood without doctrine (A. C. 10582. S. S. 50, 51, 52. W. H. 8. A. R. 320. A. E. 356). It is also said of this doctrine that it is to be drawn from the literal sense of the Word (A. C. 3447, 3464, 10763. S. S. 53-56, 59. T. C. R. 229, 230); and that it does not appear in the sense of the letter of the Word to any but those who are in illustration from the Lord (A. C. 9424. S. S. 57-61. T. C. R. 231-233); also that by, the genuine truths of the literal sense of the Word which are at the same time general truths, there is introduction to the internal sense. (See the numbers cited in the second chapter of this work).

It seems appropriate to say a word here as to the necessity of doctrine. That doctrine does indeed have a most essential place in the church is apparent from what has been said and quoted above from the Writings, but there is still further teaching on this subject -teaching that directly asserts the use and necessity of doctrine, as for instance this: "That without doctrine from the Word no one within the church, where the Word is, can become spiritual, may be seen from what has now been said, namely, that without doctrine the Word is not understood, that without doctrine from the Word no one can fight against evils and falsities; for a man becomes spiritual by a life according to Divine truths, which he is ignorant of without doctrine, and by removing evils and falsities, which cannot be done without doctrine, as was said above. Without these two man is not reformed, thus does not become spiritual, but remains natural, and confirms his natural life by the sense of the letter of the Word, which is natural, by wrongly interpreting and applying it." (A. E. 356.) Also the following: "Those who read the Word without doctrine are like those who walk in the dark without a lantern." (A. C. 10582.) "The Word in the sense of the letter cannot be comprehended without doctrine derived from the Word." (A. C. 10324.) "They who read the Word without doctrine, or who do not acquire to themselves doctrine from the Word are in obscurity as to all truth, and their minds are wavering and uncertain, prone to errors and liable to heresies, which they also embrace if inclination or authority favors and their reputation be not endangered. For to them the Word is like a candlestick without a light, and they see many things as it were in the shade, and yet they scarcely see anything;, for doctrine alone is the lamp." (S. S. 50, 51, 52.)

How necessary doctrine is to the life of the church will especially appear from the teaching noted above, that the Lord is doctrine itself, and that when in the Gospel the Lord is called the Door, the Way, and the Truth, it is meant that He is Doctrine. When the Lord thus speaks of Himself, it means that the Doctrine which is from Him and is Himself, is the only way to conjunction with Him, and thus the only means of salvation. Doctrine is as necessary to spiritual growth and progress as streets and ways to a city, as paths and roads in country places, as doors and windows to a house, and nerves and muscles to the body. It is the Lord in the church pointing out the way to Himself.

There is still another sense in which the term doctrine is used in the Writings. Besides the Divine Doctrine in its various forms revealed for the instruction of men, there is doctrine drawn from revelation and confirmed by it for the use of the church by those who are in illustration from the Lord. Every church or body of the church must have its doctrine so formulated and embodied that it may become its working creed. Divine revelation, although it is Divine Doctrine or teaching Divinely given to men, is like a sea or immense collection of waters surrounding continents and islands, that needs to be explored and surveyed, before that which it contains can be made of use in the organized work of men. It is necessary therefore that great masses or collections of truth, even the truths of nature, should be reduced to doctrine and thus made ready for use. A church or organic body of men cannot hold together, cannot even exist, without its own doctrine or creed, formulated from the immense mass of revelation which the Lord has given to mankind. Hence we have the teaching that "the case is the same in general with the church when it is being established anew - the doctrinals of good and truth must be gathered into one, for it is upon these that the church is built." (A. C. 3786.)

Let us now proceed to consider the value of knowing and understanding the doctrine of genuine truth, when anyone undertakes to study the Word for the sake of expounding its internal sense. The reader will have noticed the frequent mention of this subject in the preceding pages, and it has been necessary to, bring it forward from time to time because of what was stated in our introductory chapter, namely, that the doctrine of genuine truth is one of the three essentials by which the Word is opened and understood. It is because of the distinguished place which this doctrine occupies that it is now proposed to devote an entire chapter to an elucidation of it, in order that its essential nature may more fully appear.

We would here repeat what was shown above from the Writings, that the Word cannot be understood without doctrine, that doctrine must be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word and confirmed thereby, and that this can be done only by those who are in illustration from the Lord. This is also shown in the following passage: "They said that the Christian world had taken such a faith respecting, those in heaven and those in bell from some passages in the Word understood only according to the sense of the letter, and not illustrated and explained by genuine doctrine from the Word; when yet the sense of the letter of the Word, unless genuine doctrine enlightens, distracts the mind into various things, from which come ignorance, heresies, and errors" (H. H. 311.) The same is taught in Arcana Coelestia, number 10763, and elsewhere. In fact wherever it is said in the Writings that doctrine is to be drawn from the Word and confirmed by it, and that by this doctrine the Word is to be understood, the doctrine appearing in the literal sense of the Word which is called the doctrine of genuine truth, is meant. The same doctrine is also called the doctrine of the New Church (A. R. 898, 902, 904, 911, 914). We shall see that the Lord has now revealed the presence of this doctrine in the letter of the Word.

The opposite or antonym of genuine is spurious, and the latter word suggests the reason why the term genuine is used in the Writings to express what it does. When it is said that a thing is spurious, the meaning is that it appears to be what it is not; but when it is said that a thing is genuine the meaning is that it appears to be what it is. Now in respect to the literal sense of the Word, those things which not only appear to be true but really are so, are said to be genuine, and constitute the doctrine of genuine truth: but those things which are not in themselves true but appear so, are called appearances of truth, and contain fallacies which become falsities when confirmed; that is, they become spurious by sinister and false interpretation, for appearances are not in themselves spurious. Both genuine truth and appearances that become spurious by confirmation appear in the literal sense of the Word, and in the common thought and speech of the world. But, as was said, in the Word inherently considered there is nothing but what is true, and the appearance there of fallacy and error is only with those who are as yet uninstructed, or who are confirmed in falsity of doctrine and of faith. To the mind which is affected by truth for its own sake, and which is at the same time instructed and enlightened in the genuine truths of the Word, all things in the Word are true, and if fallacy appears it is but little regarded, or is laid aside until light is given.

It does not belong to this place to explain why there are things in the Word which are not true, but which appear to be so to the simple and to the ignorant. The reasons are fully given in the Writings and also the reasons why men are permitted to believe in those appearances of truth. We merely accept here as a fact that appearances in the Word have been received and confirmed as true, and have been made use of to falsify and pervert the pure and genuine truth of the Word; so that the truth itself has been hidden from the sight of men, bringing about a state of blindness and thick darkness in all things of theology, and making a new revelation necessary in order that spiritual light may again be restored and salvation effected thereby. Let us now examine the teachings on this subject.

FIRST, THAT THERE ARE GENUINE TRUTHS IN THE LITERAL SENSE OF THE WORD, AND THAT THEY ARE THE SPIRITUAL SENSE APPEARING IN THE LETTER.

"In the literal sense the internal sense is open in many passages, as in the Old Testament where in the Prophets it is, said that the Lord would come for the salvation of the human race; that all the law and the prophets are to love God and the neighbor; that to hate is to kill, for he who hates kills every moment; . . . these and many more are of the internal sense in the literal sense." (A. C. 3440.) This "internal sense in the literal sense" is what is called the doctrine of genuine truth, and "in it the internal sense is open." It is indeed the Lord Himself appearing in the letter of His Word and teaching there the truths that lead the way to the internal sense and prepare for introduction to it.

The suggestion may here be made that the teacher of religion to children should be continually on the lookout for genuine truths in the literal sense of any chapter chosen for a lesson, especially for the appearings of the Lord there, and should call the attention of the children to them. Even in the historical portions of the Word, if there are not statements of genuine truth, there are at least intimations of it, which a teacher who is alert will see. Concerning intimations of truth in the literal sense, Arcana Coelestia, number 2143 may be profitably read.

Again: "The sense of the letter here is similar to the internal sense, as is sometimes the case, especially when it is treating concerning the essentials of faith, which, because they are necessary to salvation, are expressed in the letter such as they are in the internal sense; as this in Moses, 'Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God from thy whole heart, and from thy whole soul, and from all thy strength; and these words shall be on thy heart,' (Deut. vi: 4, 5, 6); besides other passages of a similar kind. (A. C. 2225.) This number teaches plainly that the genuine truths of the letter being "similar to the internal sense," are "the essentials of faith," and "are necessary to salvation." Hence they "are expressed in the letter such as they are in the internal sense." There is thus in the literal sense of the Word not anything that is wanting to salvation.

We are again told that "most things in the natural sense of the Word, or the sense of the letter, are goods and truths clothed, and some only are bare, as they are in its spiritual sense; the goods and truths that are clothed are called appearances of truth. For the Word in its ultimates is like a man clothed with a garment, but with his face and hands bare; and where the Word is thus bare, there its goods and truths are bare as they are in heaven, thus as they are in the spiritual sense." (A. E. 778.) In what follows in this number, the goods and truths that are bare are called the genuine goods and truths of the Word. The same teaching is given in The Apocalypse Explained, numbers 816, 1033.

We are further informed: "The truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are in part not naked truths, but appearances of truth, and are as it were likenesses and comparisons taken from things that exist in nature, and thus accommodated and adapted to the apprehension of the simple and of little children. But being correspondences they are receptacles and abodes of genuine truths; and are like enclosing and containing vessels, as a crystal cup encloses noble wine, and as a silver plate holds palatable food. They are also like garments which clothe, as swathings do an infant, and as a pretty dress clothes a maiden. They are also like the scientifics of the natural man which contain within them the perceptions and affections of truth of the spiritual man. The naked truths themselves which are enclosed, held, clothed, and contained, are in the spiritual sense of the Word; and the naked goods are in its celestial sense." (S. S. 40.) From this passage we learn that the appearances of truth, or truths covered and clothed, are provided for the sake "of the simple and of little children." Concerning this we have spoken in the chapter on "Children and the Young," to which the reader is referred. We would, however, call attention to the teaching in the above number that the naked truths are in reality the truths of the spiritual sense of the Word. Hence these truths of the letter are nothing else than the spiritual sense appearing on that plane, for the sake of the uses of salvation.

On this subject we read further: "The doctrine of genuine truth can also be drawn in full from the sense of the letter of the Word, because in this sense the Word is like a man clothed, whose face and hands are bare. All things that concern man's life and consequently his salvation are bare; but the other things are clothed. In many places also where they are clothed they shine through their clothing, like a face through a thin veil of silk. The truths of the Word also appear and shine through their clothing more and more clearly in proportion as they are multiplied by a love for them, and are ranged in order by this love. But this also is by means of doctrine." (S. S. 55. See also S. S. 51. T. C. R. 215, 229. De Verbo 10.) Thus we are taught that "the doctrine of genuine truth can be drawn in full from the sense of the letter" because in the literal sense the Word is like a man whose face and bands are bare. The bare hands and face represent the genuine truths of the Word, which are "all things that concern man's life and consequently his salvation. . . ." But the other things which are clothed represent appearances of truth. For example, there are the teachings in the letter of the Word that there is one God, that the Lord Jesus Christ is that God, that evil is to be shunned as sin, that there is a life after death for which man must prepare by obedience to God, and there are other genuine truths there in the midst of a mass of appearances which are like the clothing which conceals the body.

These genuine truths which, as we are told, are laid bare in the literal sense, are also variously represented in the Word, as by princes, kings, generals, prophets, the elders of Israel, the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes, and the twelve apostles, also by the number twelve. For instance, we read that princes signify the primary precepts of the Word, which are acquired in childhood (A. C. 1482, 2089, 5044); that princes signify primaries for interpretation, which are those which primarily conduce to the interpretation of the Word (A. C. 4790, 4966, 5082, 5084); that the primaries of the doctrine of faith, which are from the literal sense of the Word, are signified by Abimelech, Ahusath, and Phicol the captain of his army (A. C. 3447, 3448, 3452); that the twelve princes, the sons of Ishmael, signify the primary precepts which are of charity, and that kings and princes named throughout the Word signify those things which are primary (A. C. 2089); that the same is signified by the twelve sons of Jacob and the twelve disciples of the Lord, each of whom represents some essential and primary of faith (ibid); that by the apostles, by the tribes of Israel, and by twelve, are signified the primary things of faith (A. C. :2129); that by the twelve sons of Jacob are signified the twelve general or cardinal things by which man is initiated into spiritual and celestial things (A. C. 3913); that the elders of Israel signify primary truth (A. C. 6524, 7912, 8578, 8585, 8681); and in treating further of the elders of Israel it is said that "they who are in good not yet formed by truths, are first formed by the Lord by means of primary truths, that is, by general truths, in which and from which the rest are; primary truths are, that there is one God, that the Lord was born a man that He might save the human race, that there is a heaven and a hell, that they come into heaven who have lived well and into hell who have lived ill, also that love to God and love towards the neighbor are the precepts upon which the rest depend, and that this love cannot be given except by faith-these and the like are primary truths, which are first insinuated by the Lord into the good with the man who is being regenerated." (A. C. 8773. See also 10632, 10637, 10638, 10682, 10699, 10728.)

Sometimes it is said that the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles signify the generals and sometimes the universals of the church and of the Word. This shows that the signification of the tribes, of the apostles, and of twelve is not confined to the general truths in the literal sense, but includes also all things of the internal sense, which is the reason why it is frequently said they signify the universals of the Word. A general truth in the literal sense is a universal truth in the internal, sense. The two are essentially one. They are at first general to us, but they appear as universal when the spiritual rational is opened. The universals of the internal sense, becoming general in the letter, are not only called general truths, cardinal truths, primary truths, or truths primary for interpretation, but when formulated for instruction are called the doctrine of genuine truth, as has been shown in the numbers previously quoted. There is never a general without particulars, which are applications of the general. Hence the general truths of the literal sense contain innumerable particulars, and the same is true of every general in the Writings. These particulars contained in the general are the truth of the internal sense, and are also called the truth of doctrine, or the truth that is within the doctrine (A. C. 4642).

SECOND, THAT BECAUSE OF THE UNIVERSAL FALSIFICATION OF THE WORD IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, IT WAS NECESSARY THAT THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD SHOULD BE REVEALED, AND THAT THE DOCTRINE OF GENUINE TRUTH SHOULD BE AT THE SAME TIME MADE KNOWN.*

* In addition to the spiritual sense of the Word, and the doctrine of genuine truth, the Lord has also revealed the arcana of heaven (H. H. 1).

"The reason why the spiritual sense of the Word has been at this day disclosed by the Lord is that the doctrine of genuine truth has now been revealed; and this doctrine and no other is in accord with the spiritual sense of the Word. . . . That for a long time the spiritual sense will not be acknowledged, and that this is entirely owing to those who are in falsities of doctrine, especially concerning the Lord, and who therefore do not admit truths, is meant in Revelation by the beast, and by the kings of the earth, who should make war with him who sat upon the white horse (xix: 19)." (S. S. 25.)

It is clear therefore that the genuine truths which are in the literal sense of the Word have now been made known by the Lord, because of the ignorance of men in the Christian world arising from falsification of the Word; an ignorance so dense that no truth, no genuine light concerning the Lord and the way to Him, could be seen in the letter of the Word-with the exception of some faint gleams for those who have lived a. life of charity. These latter are they that are called the simple and the simple-good in the Writings. By virtue of this good they are in a few genuine truths, but these are mingled with fallacies and appearances; nor can the genuine be separated from the spurious in their minds until the judgment comes and a new revelation is given.

In the passages quoted above, and in those which now follow, the spiritual sense is spoken of as one thing and the doctrine of genuine truth as another. If it can be seen distinctly what the one is and what the other is, and that both have been disclosed, the way will be opened for a clear comprehension of the revelation which the Lord has made in His Second Coming.*

* The two indeed are interiorly and essentially one, but that they appear as two is practically what we are endeavoring to show in this chapter.

The teaching about the distinction between the spiritual sense and the doctrine of genuine truth continues, as follows: "Henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be imparted solely to him who from the Lord is in genuine truths. The reason of this is that no one can see the spiritual sense except from the Lord alone, and unless from Him he is in genuine truths. For the spiritual sense of the Word treats solely of the Lord and His kingdom; and this is the sense in which are His angels in heaven, for it is His Divine truth there. To this sense a man can do violence if he has a knowledge of correspondences, and wishes by means of it and from self-intelligence to investigate the spiritual sense of the Word. For through some correspondences with which he is acquainted he may pervert the meaning of it, and may even force it to confirm what is false, and this would be doing violence to Divine truth and also to heaven. And therefore if anyone purposes to open that sense from himself and not from the Lord, heaven is closed; and then the man either sees nothing or else becomes spiritually insane. Another reason is that the Lord teaches every one by means of the Word, and He teaches from those truths which the man already has, and not without a medium does He pour new truths in, so that unless a man is in Divine truths, or if he is only in a few truths and at the same time in falsities, he may from these falsify the truths, as it is well known is done by every heretic in regard to the sense of the letter of the Word. Therefore in order to prevent anyone from entering into the spiritual sense of the Word, or from perverting the genuine truth that belongs to that sense, guards have been set by the Lord, which in the Word are meant by cherubim." (S. S. 26. T. C. R. 208.)

A knowledge of correspondences is necessary for entering into the spiritual sense; but not correspondences alone, for the mind must be informed in the doctrine of genuine truth, and must be in a state of illustration from the Lord, as has been previously shown. Correspondences are of no use for opening the Word if the mind be in false doctrine. This is made clear in the following passage: "No one can see the spiritual sense except from the doctrine of genuine truth; from this doctrine the spiritual sense can be seen when there is some knowledge of correspondences. He who is in false doctrine cannot see anything of the spiritual sense." (De Verbo 21.)

That a man will falsify the Word by means of a knowledge of correspondences if he is in false doctrine - the opposite of the doctrine of genuine truth is taught as follows: "It might be believed that the doctrine of genuine truth could be procured by means of the spiritual sense of the Word which is furnished through a knowledge of correspondences. But doctrine is not procured by means of that sense, it is only lighted up and corroborated. For, as said before (n. 26), no one comes into the spiritual sense of the Word by means of correspondences unless he is first in genuine truths from doctrine. If a man is not first in genuine truths he may falsify the Word by means of some correspondences with which he is acquainted, by connecting them together and interpreting them so as to confirm that which cleaves to his mind from some principle previously received. Moreover the spiritual sense of the Word is not given any one except by the Lord alone, and it is guarded by Him as heaven is guarded, for heaven is in it. It is better therefore for man to study the Word in the sense of the letter; from this alone is doctrine furnished." (S. S. 56. Cf. T. C. R. 230. See also De Verbo 21.) It is thus made clear that men, being in ignorance or in confirmed falsity, cannot draw the doctrine of genuine truth from the spiritual sense of the Word by means of correspondences. Hence the Lord placed the doctrine of genuine truth in the literal sense, and has now revealed its presence there. "It is better therefore for man to study the Word in the sense of the letter; from this alone is doctrine furnished." The doctrine meant here is the doctrine of genuine truth in the letter as distinguished from the spiritual sense.*

* It is in accordance with this teaching that the prime effort of the New Church missionary is to impress upon the minds of his hearers that the leading doctrines of the New Church are taught in the literal sense of the Word. The doctrine of genuine truth is also the first doctrine with children.

THIRD, THE DOCTRINE OF GENUINE TRUTH, AND AT THE SAME TIME THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD COULD NOT BE REVEALED UNTIL THE LAST JUDGMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED.

The conditions of human life in the world cannot be profoundly comprehended without a knowledge of the last judgment, that it has been effected, and of what has been accomplished by it. This is eminently true of the doctrines of the church, and of the Word itself. No spiritual law can be interiorly seen, or seen in universal light, without a knowledge of what has been revealed concerning the judgment. Hence without this knowledge it cannot be understood why the doctrine of genuine truth could not be seen in the Word, and from the Word made known to men. Thus no consideration of this question would be complete unless the teaching concerning the judgment in relation to it be brought forward, which we shall now proceed to do. In the numbers which follow, the main point that is set forth is the reason why the revelation could not be made previous to the last judgment.

"Genuine truths, of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists, were not revealed by the Lord until after the last judgment was accomplished, and the New Church, which is meant by the Holy Jerusalem, was about to be established by the Lord. It is foretold by the Lord in Revelation that after the last judgment is accomplished, genuine truths are to be revealed, a new church established, and the spiritual sense of the Word disclosed. That the final judgment is now accomplished is shown in the small work The Last Judgment, and in A Continuation Concerning the Last Judgment; also that this is meant by the heaven and earth which are to pass away, mentioned in Revelation xxi: 1. That genuine truths are then to be revealed, is foretold by these words in the Revelation: 'He that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new,' (verse 5, also xix: 17,18; xxi: 18-21; xxii: 1, 2)." (D. P. 264.)

The establishment of the New Church on earth is the one grand result of the last judgment. For this end the doctrine of genuine truth has been given, and by means of that doctrine men are able to enter into the spiritual sense of the Word, which also has been revealed. This could not have been done before, because if it had been revealed previous to the restoration of spiritual liberty to men through the last judgment, profanation would have taken place (L. J. 73).

We read further: "The reason why these truths relative to the Lord are now for the first time made known publicly, is that it has been foretold in Revelation (xxi and xxii) that a New Church, in which this doctrine will hold the chief place, is to be instituted by the Lord at the end of the former church. . . . The reason why it has not been previously seen from the Word [that the Lord alone is God] is that if it had been previously seen it would not have been received, because the last judgment had not been effected. Before that event the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and as man is in the midst between the two, had this doctrine been seen before, it is evident that the devil, which is hell, would have plucked it out of men's hearts, and would also have profaned it. But this state of power on the part of hell was completely broken by the last judgment, which has now been executed." (L. 61.)

Although it is taught in the literal sense of the Word that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only God of heaven and earth, this supreme truth of all truths was not seen by men, and could not be seen until after the judgment, for the reasons given in the foregoing number, and in the one which now follows: "This doctrine did not exist in the former church, the reason of which is, that if it had it would not have been received because the last judgment had not then been executed, and previous to that judgment the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, so that if the doctrine had been given before, even from the Lord's mouth, it would not have remained with men; nor does it at this day remain except with those who approach the Lord alone, and acknowledge Him as the God of heaven and earth. This same doctrine had indeed been given in the Word; but as not long after its setting up anew the church was turned into Babylon, and afterwards with others into Philistia, that doctrine could not be seen from the Word, for the church sees the Word from the principles of its religion and from its doctrine, and in no other way." (L. 65.)

The reason why neither the doctrine concerning the Lord nor any genuine doctrine of the Word could be seen and received previous to the judgment is fully set forth in what follows: "That before the last judgment was effected. . . . much of the communication between heaven and the world, therefore between the Lord and the church, was intercepted. All illustration comes to man from the Lord through heaven, and enters by an internal way. So long as there were congregations of such spirits between heaven and the world, or between the Lord and the church, man was unable to be enlightened. It was as when a sunbeam is cut off by a black interposing cloud, or as when the sun is eclipsed and its light arrested by the interjacent moon. Wherefore if anything had been then revealed by the Lord, either it would not have been understood or if understood it would not have been received, or if received it would afterward have been suffocated. Now since all these interposing congregations were dissipated by the last judgment, it is plain that the communication between heaven and the world, or between the Lord and the church, has been restored." (C. L. J. 11.)

For a complete comprehension of the reason that the new revelation could not be made previous to the last judgment, it is necessary to understand clearly the intimate relation of the two worlds, and that man is an inhabitant of both and associated with those who dwell in both worlds. Without such association, especially without association with spirits in the spiritual world, no man can live. All his interior life and activity is inspired by those in the other world with whom he habitually dwells, nor can he inwardly in himself think a single thought, be affected by anything, or receive anything into his interior mind, that is not in agreement with their life. When therefore the whole world of spirits and the lower heavens are occupied by the evil, association with angels and influx from them is cut off from men in the world; and unless man can be interiorly separated from evil spirits and come into association with the angels of heaven, it is not possible for him to receive in his heart any pure and genuine truth of the Word. But since the judgment has been effected it is possible for any man who lives the life of repentance from sin, to be separated from evil spirits and introduced as to his spirit into the company of the good in the other world. Revelation is therefore not made until the judgment is accomplished. We read, "that after the last judgment, and not sooner, revelations were made for the New Church. For since communication has been restored by the last judgment, man is able to be enlightened and reformed; that is, to understand the Divine Truth of the Word, to receive it when understood, and to retain it when received, for the interposing obstacles have been removed." (C. L. J. 12.)

FOURTH, THAT THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD WILL BE GIVEN TO NONE BUT THOSE WHO ARE IN GENUINE TRUTHS, AND WHO ARE IN ILLUSTRATION FROM THE LORD.

It was shown above that the spiritual sense has been disclosed at this day because the doctrine of genuine truth has been revealed (S. S. 25); that henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be imparted solely to him who is in genuine truths from the Lord (S. S. 26); and that no one can see the spiritual sense except from the doctrine of genuine truth, and when there is some knowledge of correspondences (De Verbo 21).

The teaching that the spiritual sense of the Word can be given to none but to those who are in genuine truths, needs special attention in order to understand its significance and bearing on the conditions existing when the New Church is established. It is plain from the teaching given that the reception of the doctrine of genuine truth is a condition precedent to the entering into the spiritual sense of the Word, and that the spiritual sense cannot be approached or even seen without knowledge and information concerning the doctrine of genuine truth, and a more or less clear understanding of it. This calls for three things; first, a thorough training and preparation of ministers and teachers in the letter of the Word, and in the Writings of the Church; second, the instruction of children and the young in the genuine truths of the literal sense, beginning early in life; third, the proclamation of the genuine truths of the Word in the work of general evangelization.

As to the first, it goes without saying that a New Church minister should have gone through a course of thorough instruction in the literal sense of the Word and in the Writings in order to be able to perform the use of his function faithfully and well. This branch of our subject therefore needs no further comment. But in addition to this there should be the training of teachers for the religious instruction of children and the young, and of evangelists or lecturers for the general missionary field.

The second proposition is that there should be instruction of children and the young in the genuine truths of the literal sense, beginning early in life. The spiritual sense of the Word can be given only to those who are in genuine truths because these latter are the only means of introduction to the spiritual sense. It follows that a commencement should be made in imparting such genuine truths as soon as the understanding begins to be opened. This opening is also the opening of the rational faculty, which is the faculty of discriminating between the true and the false, and also between good and evil. It cannot be doubted that the training of this faculty of discrimination should begin at an early period of child life. For the exercise of this faculty is to be perpetual - the faculty of discriminating the true from the false, the genuine from the spurious. When children begin to think and discriminate, instruction in genuine truths should be given at first in their most simple form and adapted according to the judgment of the teacher. This should be done in order to present to children from the Lord the material for the opening, growth, and development of the rational.

As we have intimated, teachers who are not priests or ordained ministers should be prepared for this work; and because of little children and girls some of these teachers should be of the female sex. Ordained ministers may also do this work, especially the instruction of boys and youths, but as their proper function is instructing the adult rational mind, it seems wise that there should be teachers especially prepared, whose function would be instructing the youthful mind in the genuine truths of the literal sense.

The third proposition is concerning the proclamation of the genuine truths of the literal sense of the Word in the work of general evangelization. This is indeed primarily a function of the priesthood, but as the chief work of a regularly ordained minister is the building up of societies by instruction in the spiritual truths of the Word, there seems to be no reason why some of the work of external evangelization may not be done by authorized evangelists or lecturers, who are not ordained and thus not authorized to administer the sacraments of the church, but who are thoroughly instructed in the genuine truths of the literal sense of the Word, and who are provided with other gifts necessary for such work. They should be, however, under the general direction and authorization of the priesthood of the church, as represented in the episcopal function.

It would thus appear that instruction in the doctrine of genuine truth as preparatory to introduction into the spiritual sense of the Word, and thus into the more interior life of the church, can be treated as a special department of the church's activity, and handed over to those whom the church has prepared for the work of instructing the young and for the general missionary field.

Let us now enter a little more fully into the teaching concerning the necessity of illustration from the Lord in order to understand and receive the spiritual sense of the Word, which the Lord in His second coming has revealed to mankind. The teaching is as follows: "The genuine truth which must be of doctrine appears in the sense of the letter to none but those who are in illustration from the Lord. Illustration is from the Lord alone, and exists with those who love truths because they are truths and who make them of use for life. With others there is no illustration in the Word. The reason why illustration is from the Lord alone is that the Lord is in all things of the Word. The reason why illustration exists with those who love truths because they are truths and who make them of use for life, is that such are in the Lord and the Lord is in them. For the Lord is His own Divine truth, and when this is loved because it is Divine truth - it is loved when it is made of use- the Lord is in it with man. This the Lord teaches in John, 'In that day ye shall know that ye are in Me and I in you. He that hath my commandments and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him; and I will come unto him, and make My abode with him.' (xiv: 20, 21, 23.) And in Matthew, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' (v : 8.) These are they who are enlightened when they are reading the Word, and to whom the Word shines and is translucent." (S. S. 57. Cf. T. C. R. 231.)

Not only the spiritual sense, but even the genuine truths which are in the literal sense of the Word, cannot appear to any one so as to be interiorly seen and acknowledged, unless there is a state of illustration from the Lord. For "illustration is from the Lord alone," and unless the Lord as the only God be acknowledged in heart, the gift of illustration cannot be imparted so as to be received. Those who are in such acknowledgment of the Lord "love truths because they are truths and make them of use for life; with others there is no illustration in the Word." There is no interior light in their minds, and their thought is not thought from perception but from memory. On this subject see also Arcana Coelestia, number 9424, and elsewhere in the Writings.

A man may be informed thoroughly in genuine truths, but he at the same time may not be in a state of illustration. False doctrine cannot introduce to the interiors of the Word, cannot enlighten, and the man who is in it stands as yet on the outside, and does not see even the gates of the holy city; neither does genuine doctrine introduce unless there be in the mind the interior light of illustration. This interior spiritual state is established in none but those who live the life of repentance, or of shunning evil as sin against God. In such as these there is kindled a spiritual fire in the interiors of the mind, so that when the doctrine of genuine truth is given, the fire smouldering there begins to blaze and burn, in the light of which they are able to see light (Ps. xxxvi: 9), and they can be led ever more interiorly into the truths of the spiritual sense of the Word. So that if a man be in these two essentials of introduction, the way is open to an ever more increasing understanding of the Word, to a continually progressive entrance into its spiritual sense.

For truth is not truth to a man - is not his however true it may be in itself, until he has a perception of it. Hence the teaching that perception is revelation (A. C. 1786, 2513, 5097, 5111, 8694, 8780). The knowledge of truth enters the memory from without, but it goes no further, nor does it enter the mind itself until there is a perception of it, which is immediate revelation from heaven. This explains why it is sometimes said that the doctrine of genuine truth is from the literal sense of the Word, and sometimes that it is a revelation from God out of heaven (A. R. 879. L. 63. H. D. 1, 7). It should be remembered that the knowledge of a thing precedes the perception of it. A man cannot perceive what he does not know. Perception in the New Church is to be perception of the truth of doctrine given in written revelation.

It was said and shown above that there are genuine truths in the literal sense of the Word, and that they are the spiritual sense appearing in the letter. Now although the literal sense abounds in such truths, and they exist there as instrumental to spiritual enlightenment and as the means of introduction to the spiritual sense, still they have been so covered and buried in the heaps of a false theology, based upon appearances, that they could be seen by no man in the world. Even the simple and well-disposed have not been able to sift the true from the false, and thus draw anything of true doctrine from the Word. Hence it became necessary that true doctrine should be revealed by the Lord, and the presence of genuine truth in the letter of the Word made known by Him, as the means of salvation to men. This could not be done, however, until the last judgment was performed, for until then there could not be any illustration from the Lord (C. L. J. 11, 12). Now it is possible for the understanding to enter into the interiors of the Word by means of the genuine truth of doctrine, and to expound that truth in enlightened discourse to men in the world (T. C. R. 508).

As has been said, the genuine or pure spiritual truths in the literal sense of the Word are the spiritual sense appearing in the letter. They are the universals of the spiritual sense appearing and taking form in the letter as general truths. Some examples of spiritual truths taught in the literal sense are presented in the following list of doctrines:* The Unity of God; His Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence; the Divine Love; the Divine Mercy; Creation; Providence; the Advent of the Lord; His Glorification; Redemption by Him; the Last judgment; His combat with the hells; His temptations; the Conjunction of the Lord with the human race; the Divine Human; the Divine Trinity; the Holy Spirit; the Word; Doctrine; the Second Coming; the Old Church; the New Church; Evangelization; Faith; Charity; Repentance; Regeneration; the Resurrection; the Life after Death; Heaven and Hell. These doctrines will be found expressed in various forms in the literal sense of the Word, and they constitute there what is called in the Writings the doctrine of genuine truth, as distinguished from those things that are mere appearances of truth, and which become spurious by falsification and perversion. Additions may be made to the list, but there is not anything genuine in the literal sense that may not be included under one of the above heads.

* It may be remarked that in the Liturgy for the General Church of the New Jerusalem the Antiphons and the Doctrine are arranged under heads according to the doctrine of genuine truth, in agreement with the principles herein presented.

In the opening of this chapter we stated that doctrine is teaching, and we called attention to the various senses in which the term doctrine is used in the Writings. The Lord Himself is doctrine because He is the Divine Teacher of men; hence He is called in the Gospels, Master and also Christ. The spiritual sense of the Word as revealed in the Writings is also doctrine or teaching; and it is the teaching of genuine truth, for nothing spurious or erroneous, or false is there; hence we read of "the genuine truths of which the spiritual sense consists." (D. P. 264.) The literal sense is also doctrine, doctrine which is accommodated there to simple minds and to children. But specifically the literal sense is doctrine where the pure truths of the spiritual sense appear and shine forth in the form of the doctrine, of genuine truth. In this the minister must be versed if he would enter into the interiors of the Word and expound its spiritual sense to men. This he will be able to do thoroughly and well if he at the same time has some knowledge of correspondences, and is in a state of illustration from the Lord (De Verbo 21). In such a state the work of the minister will be constructive, and a society which he serves will grow in the understanding of the Word, and the way will be opened to all spiritual intelligence.

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