BY
EDWARD S. HYATT
's-GRAVENHAGE
SWEDENBORG GENOOTSCHAP
NASSAUPLEIN 29
1935

TO MRS. EDWARD HYATT

NOTE BY THE EDITOR

The publication of these Sermons by the late Reverend Edward S. Hyatt is made at the suggestion of the Reverend Theodore Pitcairn who for several years on different occasions has pointed to their great significance in the history of the Doctrine of the Church. It is made possible by the kind permission of Mrs. Hyatt to whom the publishers wish to express their indebtedness.

EDWARD SUMNER HYATT was born July 27th 1854 in Liverpool, England; he passed into the Spiritual World on the 21st of March 1906 at Toronto, Canada. He was ordained into the priesthood on the 10th of June 1888, and after a stay of three months in Erie, Pa., accepted a call to the pastorate of the Toronto Society. For more details of his life and work, the influence he had and the appreciation he found, the beautiful Memorial Address by the Rev. F. E. Waelchli, printed in NEW CHURCH LIFE 1906:305-307, and the Memorial Resolution drawn up by the Revs. Alfred Acton and F. E. Waelchli, printed in the same magazine pp. 759-760, may be consulted.

The present publication contains two series of Sermons on the Word; the first series being of the year 1891, the second series covering the period from November 17th 1895 to August 9th 1896. The first series here begins with n. 14, the first 13 sermons having already been printed in NEW CHURCH TIDINGS, of which Mr. Hyatt, during the years 1891 to July 1894, was the editor.

The photograph of the portrait which is found at the beginning of the book was taken by Mr. Gill at Colchester, England, sometime in the summer of 1893 or 1894.

Acknowledgment is due to Mr. Horace Howard for his much appreciated services in reading the proofs.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 2        SERMONS ON THE WORD

FIRST SERIES. Nr. 14.

September 13th 1891. Reference: H. D. 260.

JOHN 1:8. [Greek.]

E. 272. Non erat ille Lux, sed ut testaretur de Luce.

JOHN 1:8. He (John the Baptist) was not the Light, but that he might testify concerning the Light.

"John (the Baptist) represented the Word, and by his food, as also by his clothing ... the Word in the external sense was represented", A. C. 7643.

Therefore the Word when only seen in the external sense is not the Light which enlightens every man coming into the world. Not the external sense, but "the internal sense is the very Doctrine of the Church", H. D. 260. "It is to be known that the true doctrine of the Church is what is here called the internal sense, for in that sense are truths such as the angels in heaven have. Among the priests and among the men of the Church there are those who teach and learn truths from the literal sense of the Word and there are those who teach and learn from Doctrine from the Word which is called the doctrine of the faith of the Church. The latter differ exceedingly from the former in perception, but they cannot be distinguished by the vulgar, because the latter and the former speak almost similarly from the Word. But those who teach and learn the literal sense of the Word alone without the regulating doctrine of the Church, do not grasp any but those things which are of the natural or external man; but they who teach and learn from the true doctrine from the Word also understand those things which are of the spiritual or internal man. The reason is because the Word in the external or literal sense is natural; but in the internal it is spiritual", A. C. 3025. Hence that sense is not the light, but testifies concerning the light.

"Of what quality John the Baptist taught is signified by that 'the lesser in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he'", A. C. 9372. Therefore "when he spake concerning the Lord Himself, Who was the Divine Truth Itself or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, since the shade is separated when the Light Itself appears", A. C. 9372. Hence we are taught that "in the internal sense is the soul and life of the Word, which does not appear unless the sense of the letter as it were vanishes away", A. C. 1405. For "The things which the sense of the letter has are for the most part worldly, corporeal, and earthly, which can never make the Word of the Lord", A. C. 1540.

Such is the character of that sense of the Word which John the Baptist represents, and it is really that sense which he said was not the Light. Still John the Baptist, or rather, that which he represented, is necessary to testify concerning the Light. Which necessity is thus expressed in the Writings: "Still the sense of the letter represents truths and presents the appearances of truth in which man can be while he is not in the light of truth", A. C. 1984.

Such is the case when the Word is first presented to us. Such is the use which the literal forms of each Divine Revelation perform with regard to those truths which we do not as yet know, of which there are always an infinity. At first we only see John the Baptist, not the true Light, not the Lord Himself. Thus it is with regard to the Revelation in which the Lord has effected His New Advent. At first in the literal forms thereof we only see a man speaking about the Lord. While we are in this state we do not see the Light of the Lord's New Advent, but at most only testimony concerning that Light. We come into the Light Itself only when we see that the Lord Himself in The Divine Human is there present with us. In the text--"'Light' signifies Divine Truth; wherefore the Lord is there called 'the Light which enlightens every man'; and 'to testify concerning the Light' signifies acknowledgment of His Divine Human, from which Divine Truth proceeds", A. E. 27.

Mere testification concerning the Light cannot establish the New Church. If the New Church is to be really formed sense with us, it must be from the Light Itself, proceeding from the Lord's Divine Human. We must see that that Human is presented to us in the Evangel of the Lord's New Advent if we would really dwell in the Light thereof. Without, there can only be the merely external appearance of a Church, because "the internal of the Word is also the internal of the Church, as also the internal of Worship", H. D. 260.

"For he who averts himself from the internal of the Word, he also averts himself from the internal of the Church, and also from the internal of worship; since the internal of the Church, and the internal of worship are from the internal of the Word", A. C. 10460.

"For the Word teaches of what quality the man of the Church must be, or of what quality the Church with man must be, and also of what quality worship with man must be. For the goods and truths of love and faith are what make the internal Church, and also internal worship; those the Word teaches, and those are the internals of the Word", A. C. 10460. Those make the very teaching of the Church, and they are the particulars which belong to the laws of love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbor, without which, indeed, those laws can only be understood in a merely natural manner.

The Light of the Word as distinguished from the external sense thereof is also called the glory with which it was prophesied that the Lord would come in His New Advent--That prophesy has now been fulfilled--that glory has been revealed in the Writings. The New Church is to live in that Light and not in the clouds of the Old and New Testament--the clouds in which He made His First Advent and which relatively only testified concerning the Light which was about to come in the consummation of the age. The Light Itself is now presented to us which is the glory of the Lord's New Advent. But though, for the New Church the former clouds no longer obscure, yet neither has the Lord come now without clouds, although relatively so. In His New Advent, effected in the Writings, He has manifested Himself in rational statements, literally presented, that is, presented in written form--hence we call them the Writings. These literal, written, and printed forms, so far cloud over the spiritual sense which they convey, that that sense is not really revealed therein to any but those who are enlightened by the Lord and thus enabled to receive them rationally, so as to be able to see the glory therein, the Lord Himself in His Divine Human with the Light proceeding therefrom. This is by no means nakedly apparent to everyone who glances at the literal forms of the Writings, nor yet to anyone who studies them merely in the light of self-intelligence; but only appears to those who study them in their own light, really desiring to be taught things which are above and contrary to anything self-intelligence could devise. Only when we come thus to see that the Lord's Divine Human is there presented to us, and rejoice in the Light which can proceed from nowhere but His Divine Human, only then can we begin to realize that John the Baptist, that is the external form of the Word which he represents, is not the Light, but only testifies concerning the Light. No Divine Revelation can do more than testify concerning the Light until we see the Lord Himself in such Revelation--then only do we begin to come into the Light Itself.

The things which are in the literal sense are compared in the Writings to the little bits of colored glass which are placed without any order in an optical cylinder, such as we call a kaleidoscope, but which when viewed through the cylinder represent a beautiful form. So is it with the letter of the Word, especially with the Prophetical Word of the Old Testament, when viewed by the light of the spiritual sense. Another illustration is given from the spiritual world:

"There are spirits who are willing to hear nothing concerning the interiors of the Word, yea however much they can understand still they are unwilling. These are especially they who have placed merit in works, and who therefore have done goods from the love of self and of the world, or for the sake of dignity or opulence to be acquired to themselves, and fame thence, thus not for the sake of the Lord's Kingdom. Such in the other life will more than others to enter into heaven, but they remain outside, for they are unwilling to be imbued with knowledges of truth and thus to be affected with good, by interpreting the sense of the Word from the letter according to their own phantasies, and by producing whatever by assent favors their cupidities. Such were represented by a little old woman of unsightly face, but still pallidly snowy, in which were inordinate (features) by which she was deformed. But in truth, they who admit and love the interiors of the Word were represented by a girl in her first virgin age or in the flower of youth, becomingly clothed, with wreaths and heavenly ornaments", A. C. 1774.

Such is the difference between those who cling to the external of the Word which is not the light; and those who love to come to the Light Itself which is revealed in the internal sense of the Word.

"The Word in the whole complex is an image of heaven, because the Word is the Divine Truth, and Divine Truth makes heaven; and because heaven refers to one man, the Word is in that respect like the image of a man", H. D. 260. In that image and by it "is represented Heaven in its complex, not of such quality as it is, but of such quality as the Lord wills that it may be, namely that it may be the likeness of Himself", A. C. 1871.

The quality which the Lord wills that heaven may be is that of His Divine Human. It is therefore in respect to that that the Word in its whole complex is like the image of a man.

"The Word of the Lord when it is read by a man who loves the Word and lives in charity, even by a man who from a simple heart believes what is written, and neither has formed principles against the truth of faith which is in the internal sense, it is presented by the Lord before the angels, in such beauty, and in such pleasantness, also with representatives, and this with inexpressible variety according to every state of those in whom they then are, that the single things are perceived as it were to have life, which is the life which is in the Word, and from which the Word is born when it is let down from heaven. On account of this cause the Word of the Lord is such that although it appears rude in the letter, still within it conceals spiritual and celestial things, which appear before good spirits and angels when it is read by man", A. C. 1767.

"Within in the single things of the Word is the spiritual sense, which treats concerning the Lord's kingdom, and within in that sense is the Divine, for the Word in its inmost sense treats concerning the Lord alone. Hence is the sanctity and life of the Word, and from no other source", A. C. 8943.

From this passage we can see, not only that there is an inmost sense within the spiritual, here called the Divine, but sometimes called the celestial sense, but that both those senses are given in the Writings, and that not only where they specifically give the celestial, spiritual, and natural senses of the Decalogue, but everywhere they can be understood either in application to the Lord's Kingdom, or in application to the Lord Himself in the glorification of His Human. The one is the spiritual, the other the celestial sense. Thus the celestial sense is not only everywhere within the spiritual sense as given in the Writings, but it is opened there to all who come into any rational understanding of them. Thus is the Light Itself opened to the New Church.

"The Word of the Lord is like a Divine Man, the literal sense is as it were its body, but the internal sense is as it were its soul; hence it is evident that the literal sense lives by the internal sense. It appears as if the literal sense vanishes away or dies", A. C. 8943. As we have already seen it always must so appear as the spiritual sense is really received, "but it is the contrary, it does not vanish away, still less does it die, but by the internal sense it lives", A. C. 8943. "The spiritual sense lives in the literal sense as the spirit of man in his body, also the spiritual sense similarly survives when the literal sense passes away, hence the spiritual sense can be called the soul of the Word", A. C. 4857.

We are taught "that the Word is pure in the internal sense and that it does not so appear in the sense of the letter", H. D. 260. That it often appears impure in the sense of the letter of the Old Testament is evident from many places which may be recalled. That such teaching also has application to the literal forms of the Writings may also be evident from the way that the Second Part of CONJUGIAL LOVE appears to those who have not rationally grasped the spiritual sense which underlies the laws there given. That the Light Itself comes from what is pure there, thus from the internal sense, must be evident, and even those things in the Word which appear impure to those who view them only in the light of the world, are yet holy from the internal things which they involve, and from the Divine Light which is seen by those who are made spiritually rational thereby to shine through. Hence the life, the holiness, and the Light of the Word are from its internal sense, for the sake of which we must be willing to continually recede from the external sense and thus to pass from John the Baptist to the Lord Himself. It is only in this way that we can approach nearer to the Lord and thus to the Light Itself. It is sufficient if, before we recede from John, we accept his testimony concerning the Light and obey his call to repentance. We must ever remember the declaration concerning him, which is concerning the external of the Word which he represented, that he was not the Light, but that he might testify concerning the Light. Each Divine Revelation appears at first only to testify concerning the Light, but if we approach the internal we will learn that every Divine Revelation is a manifestation of the Light Itself, thus of the Lord Himself. Therefore it was that John was enabled to prophesy "He must increase but I decrease", John III, 30.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 3        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 15.

September 27th 1891. Reference: H. D. 2611.

JOHN 3:12. [Greek.]

CORONIS 54. Si terrena dixi vobis nec creditis, quomodo si dicerem vobis supracoelestia credetis?

JOHN 3:12. If I have said to you earthly things and ye believe not, how will you believe if I shall tell you heavenly things?

"Divine Truth is not received by anyone unless it be accommodated to his grasp, wherefore, unless it appear in a natural form and appearance", A. C. 8783.

"For human minds do not at first grasp anything but earthly and worldly things, and not at all spiritual and celestial things; wherefore if spiritual and celestial things were nakedly exposed, they would be rejected as nothing; according to the Lord's words in John 'If I have said to you earthly things and ye believe not, how if I should tell you heavenly things'", A. C. 8783.

Hence it is evident that all Divine Revelation given in the world must "appear in a natural form and appearance" The Writings can be no exception to the operation of this law. The words in which they are written are in themselves earthly and worldly, capable of being understood in a merely earthly and worldly manner. The expressions thereof, when regarded in a merely external manner, appear only to treat about the spiritual sense of the Word, and only when we have learned to regard them in their own light can we recognize that they form the receptacles which enable us to consciously receive the spiritual sense of the Word on the rational plane of our minds, and moreover they provide the only receptacles which can enable us thus to receive it in the rational mind. This form of the Word, like every form of the Word, has within it the infinite spiritual sense; but this alone can so introduce that sense that it may be rationally received. The other forms of the Word which we have provide the means for forming the necessary foundation in the lower planes of the mind and for enabling us to come into such conscious reception of the Word as is possible on those planes. They are the earthly things which it is necessary to believe before we can believe the heavenly, revealed in the Writings. Also before we learn to see that the Writings are the spiritual sense of the Word, we can only see what is there taught as of the earth, as of a mere man, treating about the spiritual sense of the Word, about the Lord's New Advent. In order to come out of this state and be able to see that they are the Word in its internal sense, that they are the very manifestation of the Lord in His New Advent, we must first be ready to give our implicit belief to what is there said about the Word, about the nature of the internal sense, about the Lord's New Advent being in the revelation of that sense--in short we must accept the testification which the Writings give of themselves. For unless we thus first believe the testimony there given as if by a man of the earth, we can never come to believe that it is the Lord Himself speaking to us therein concerning the heavenly things of His Kingdom. Before that we may appear to ourselves to be reading of heaven, but the only conception we can then form Is an earthly one, in indeed that of the former heavens within us which must pass away before the Lord can establish within us the new heavens which alone are genuine. The Writings will enable us to come to this position if we really allow ourselves to be instructed by them, if we are ready to put away whatever in thought and act is opposed to their teaching. Then, though they may at first appear to us to have an earthly origin, we will certainly learn that they originate from the Lord through heaven. We will find that it has been the Lord in them leading us from the earthly conception to the heavenly conception of their nature. But if we do not allow ourselves to be taught by them as they first come to us, the Lord can only say to us If I have said to you earthly things and ye believe not, how will ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?

The earthly things which are in the external of each Divine Revelation in the world correspond to the spiritual things which Revelation is intended to convey. As they thus correspond they bear the relation to those spiritual things of effects to their causes. As they are effects they are necessarily passive. When the various books of the Word of the Old Testament were dictated by angels to the Prophets, neither the angels nor the prophets gave the necessary external forms; but the Word Itself passing through their minds took on those forms. So when the Word in the internal sense was revealed through the instrumentality of Swedenborg as far as appearances go, it would seem to us, as it doubtless seemed to himself, as if he gave the necessary external forms to what he received from the Lord, but in reality the Word Itself took from his mind the rational appearances in which it was necessary for it to be clothed. As an instrument for this work Swedenborg was especially led by the Lord; but the more fully anyone is led by the Lord, the more fully he comes into a state of real freedom, the more fully he appears to act as if from himself. If we keep this law in mind, a law incomprehensible to the merely natural mind, we will not be misled by the appearance that Swedenborg acted as from himself in putting into ultimate form what he received from the Lord, but from the internal Doctrine revealed rye will learn the real state of the case--namely that whenever the Word is ultimated in a new literal or written form it takes on from some human instrument corresponding earthly things, and thus is written by correspondences. It may be correspondences from the corporeal plane, or from the sensual, or from the rational plane, but still it is in each case written by correspondences. Therefore "There can be no little word written in the Word, that has not been let down from heaven, and consequently, in which the angels do not see heavenly things", A. C. 1658.

"The Lord, when He was in the world spoke ... as everywhere in the Word of the Old Testament, at the same time for the angels in heaven, and at the same time for men in the world, for His speech was in itself Divine and heavenly, because from the Divine, and through heaven; but the things which He spake were presented by such things as correspond in the world: those things which correspond the internal sense teaches", A. C. 9048.

That the same is true of what the Lord has spoken in His New Advent is evident from the fact that the Evangel of His New Advent was preached throughout the spiritual world, and from the fact that the Writings exist there as well as in the world. Hence we see that in the Word of the Old Testament, in the Word of the New Testament, and in the Evangel of the Lord's New Advent, the Lord has spoken for angels in heaven and for men on earth, and that the external forms of the latter, in each case, respond to what is given to the former. Thus even the more perfectly expressive language in which the angels have them. When it is said that they are in more perfect form in heaven than on earth, we must not forget that each is altogether perfect in its place--yea every form of the Word is perfect in adaptation to the plane of life for which it is given, and we must believe the Word in the forms given upon earth if ever we are to believe the Word in the forms given in heaven. "If I have said to you earthly things and ye believe not, ho will ye believe if I shall tell you heavenly things?

"What is spiritual and celestial (of the internal sense) diffuses itself everywhere through the heavens like light and flame; this sense is altogether elevated from the sense of the letter", A. C. 4637.

It is altogether elevated from the sense of the letter, even from the literal forms in which the Writings are given, for those written or literal forms could not infill the universal heaven as do the things which the Lord speaks, H. D. 261. Nor could the sense of what is there written infill the universal heaven as long as we derive that sense therefrom in a merely external manner as it appears in the light of the world. Only when we begin to see and receive the infinite things contained therein in their own light, that is in spiritual light, do the heavens within us become infilled therefrom to the utmost capacity of their reception, and continue to do so even through the eternal increase of their capacity of reception. Words are only signs; the earthly things of which the words used on earth are the signs, represent and correspond to spiritual things. This is true of all words whatever: all words are signs of earthly things which correspond to and represent spiritual things. In Divine Revelation as given in the world, the very words are used which men have used for earthly purposes, but they are disposed into heavenly order and connection. By virtue of that order and connection they shed upon each other a light which is the light of heaven. From this we can see how absolutely necessary it is to view the words of Divine Revelation from their own light in their own connection, if ever we are to see what is heavenly therein; and also how impossible it is to gather anything but earthly ideas from them if they are not viewed from their own light and in their own connection. If we read the word "charity" apart from the light which genuine study of the Writings throws upon it, it can give us no idea but a merely earthly idea of charity. So with every word used in Divine Revelation. Nevertheless we have to begin from such earthly ideas. Divine Revelation is written so that it may externally present such ideas. Otherwise Divine Revelation could not reach down to where every man naturally is. But if on the other hand we do not allow Divine Revelation to gradually raise us up from earthly ideas to spiritual ideas, it will have reached down to us in vain, so far as leading us to heaven is concerned. Thus necessarily the external of every Divine Revelation consists of earthly things; the internal, of heavenly things.

The Word could not be written in another style, so that by it there might be communication and conjunction with the heavens. H. D. 261.

There must be both the earthly external and the heavenly internal. There must be teaching therein which leads from the former to the latter. There must be light to guide men on the way from the earthly to the heavenly. This light, as said, flows from the order and connection in which the words of Divine Revelation are disposed, which order is from the Lord alone, Who is Order Itself. Therefore "They exceedingly err who contemn the Word on account of its rude and simple style as to appearance, and who think that they would receive the Word if it had been written in another style", H. D. 261.

And yet the professed New Church is over-run with books which are so many attempts to present the Evangel of the Lord's New Advent in a different style from that in which the Lord has caused it to be written, in the vain expectation that men will thus receive it, who would not receive it as presented in its own style, the only style by means of which there can be communication and conjunction with the heavens. The only teaching that can actually form the genuine New Church is that teaching which appeals directly to the Writings, that teaching which leads men to study them in their own light and in the very style in which they are written. For only in the Lord's own Revelation are earthly and heavenly things so conjoined that man may be led from the one to the other. If we change the style, the order, or the connection, we put away what is heavenly and retain only what is earthly. For then we only have words which are for the most part the same as we have in common use--words which then only convey the ideas which we naturally have in common with the Old Church. The style of each form of the Word is indeed different; but then each alike has been determined by the Lord. We are taught that the style of the Word of the Old Testament was changed on account of the Jewish nation and that it would have been different if it had been written with another nation. Still it was not changed or determined by the Jews, but was accommodated by the Lord to the Jewish character, and would have been the Lord's accommodation with whatsoever nation it might have been written. Otherwise it could not be the Lord's Word. Thus in the Writings the Lord has Himself accommodated His Word to the rational state which in one form or another prevails at this day, in order that those who are willing to be led thereby may be saved. Man can indeed write in accommodation to the prevailing rational state--and indeed most acceptably. But only the Lord can give us such Writing as can at the same time reach down to those in that state who can be saved, and at the same time convey spiritual or heavenly rationality internally in infinite abundance.

The Word as given in the Word of the Old and New Testaments had been so perverted at the time of the Lord's New Advent, that we are told that the world would have been destroyed if the Lord had not come again in a new form of the Word especially adapted by Himself to the present needs. Therefore at this day the very possibility of our obtaining communication and conjunction with heaven depends upon the Writings being with us. They alone can expose and remove the human traditions which entirely conceal all the truth which can appear in the Word of the Old and New Testaments. Not only, therefore, are the Writings necessary to provide vessels for the reception of the Word on the rational plane of the mind; but they are also necessary in order to restore to us the use for which the previous forms of the Word were given, and which for us would be otherwise lost. Our very salvation therefore, depends upon the presence of the Lord in the Evangel of His New advent; let us never lose sight of His presence then, nor forget it as we study the Writings, but be at all times ready to receive whatever we find there as His teaching. Our understanding of what is there taught, will necessarily be earthly at first, will in this world continue to be earthly in comparison to the understanding thereof which the angels have; but if we are tempted to make our imperfect understanding of the Doctrines an excuse for not believing and receiving into life what we intellectually learn there, an excuse which is often made, let us recall the Lord's question "If I have said to you earthly things and ye believe not, how will ye believe if I shall tell you heavenly things"?



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 4        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 16.

October 11th 1891. Reference: H. D. 2612

[Hebrew.] Ex. 32:16.

A. 10453. Et tabulae opus Dei illae, et scriptura scriptura Dei illa.

Ex. 32:16. And the tables they were the work of God, and the writing it was the writing of God.

"The 'tables'... here are the external of the Word the ... 'work of God' is from the Divine ... 'Writing' is the internal of the Word ... the 'Writing of God' is the internal of the Word from the Divine", A. C. 10453.

Such is the description of a Revelation of the Word when it is spiritual even In its external form. Here both the external and the internal are from the Divine. It represents such a Revelation of the Word as would, we may infer, have been given to the Jews had they been capable of having a spiritual Church established among them. It prefigures the quality of that Revelation of the Word which was to be ultimately given for that final spiritual Church which was to be the crown of all Churches, namely the quality of the Writings, in which the internal and the external are in comparative agreement--for the external of the Writings, when they are understood in their own light, conveys to us a sense which is in approximate agreement with the very internal of it--thus they are spiritual or rational in the external form as well as internally. The tables they are the work of God and the writing it is the writing of God. But these tables of the Decalogue do not represent the Word as it was given to the Jews, that is the Word of the Old Testament of which revelation the Decalogue was the beginning. For the tables here described were not given to the Jews; for "The Tables which were the work of God were broken by Moses when he saw the calf and the dances, and by command of the Lord other tables were hewn by Moses and then the same words were inscribed upon them", A. C. 10453.

Now we have seen that the writing upon them represents the internal of the Word, while the tables represent the external. Therefore by the changing of the tables, while the writing thereon remains the same, is represented the fact that internally regarded every form of the Word, every Divine Revelation, is one and the same. Internally the Word of the Old Testament, the Word of the New Testament, and the Writings, are oneeach is a manifestation of the Lord--each internally is the Lord. The external forms, the tables, are different; but the same Divine Truth is internally written upon each of them. Such a form of the Word as openly manifested, the Lord in the external of it, could not be received by the Jews; therefore the Word was given to them in a form which externally agreed with their character, which form is the Word of the Old Testament, of which the Decalogue was the first portion given.

"Thus the tables were not any more the work of God, but the work of Moses; but the writing was still the writing of God", A. C. 10453.

As "writing" in the Word signifies the internal of the Word, must it not be of the Divine Providence that we call the Revelation of the internal sense of the Word now given to the New Church emphatically THE WRITINGS in our mother tongue, while we reserve the Latin word for "writing", namely "Scripture", for the books of the Old and New Testaments? Thus what is necessarily to us a relatively obscure name, though meaning exactly the same, for those forms of the Word, in which the internal sense is only very obscurely revealed? It will help us to remove some obscurity of thought if we bear in mind that "writing" and "scripture" mean the same thing, that "scripture" is only the regular Latin equivalent for "writing". The Internal or Writing in the Old Testament only appears very obscurely: the Internal or Writing in the Evangel of the Lord's New Advent is most manifestly clear to all who have eyes to see it in spiritual light. The relative obscurity and clearness of each belongs in each case to the external alone. What is written internally upon the externals of each is exactly the same--the Divine Truth.

We have seen that the external of each form of the Word must correspond to the internal in order to express it perfectly. These external correspondences manifest obscurely or clearly that to which they internally correspond according as they are taken from the grossest or corporeal plane of the natural mind, or from the highest or rational plane of the natural mind. The externals of the one, although they correspond to, yet they nevertheless often appear to be contrary to their internal. The externals of the other, however, are rational correspondences which approximately agree with their internal, in proportion as they are regarded in their own light. Let us then keep in mind that there are correspondential appearances on each plane of the mind, and that so when the Word is revealed for a different plane of the mind, externals or tables may be changed, and yet the internal be still the same. "The writing still be the writing of God".

All correspondences represent, that, is, they re-present, or present again, on a lower plane, that which exists on a higher. Thus the Word as it is in heaven is re-presented, or presented again, on each of the lower planes of the world, that is, on each of the planes of the natural mind: and each presentation internally presents the same Divine Truth, but externally it presents that Truth in perfect accommodation to the particular plane on which it is presented or re-presented, in the correspondences which belong to that plane. In order that man may be regenerated the Lord in the Word has to operate on each plane of man's mind. For each plane, therefore, externals or tables have to be specially provided; but the internal, the writing, of each is ever the same, ever the writing of God.

These things can only be understood as we learn to understand the science of correspondences and representations, which was the principal science with the ancients, especially with the orientals, and in Egypt more than elsewhere. It was also known among the Gentiles as in Greece and elsewhere.

"But at this day it (the science of correspondence) is among the lost sciences, especially in Europe", H. D. 261.

And yet people, from their very ignorance, are often apt to conclude that they know all about it: as soon as they receive the most superficial idea concerning it. Hence they commonly remain in the idea that nothing else is meant by it than what we commonly understand by analogues and figures of speech.

But when we know that external correspondences exist wherever external effects exist on an exterior plane from internal causes on an interior plane, then we can see that they exist everywhere from the highest plane of the heavens down to the lowest plane in the world. On every plane where spiritual causes operate they become ultimated in corresponding externals taken from that plane. The same Divine Good or Truth is represented in one form on the rational plane of the mind, is presented again in another form on the sensual plane of the mind and it is presented yet again on the corporeal plane of the mind; just as, on the physical plane, it is re-presented in one form in the animal kingdom, in another form in the vegetable kingdom, and in yet another form in the mineral kingdom. Thus correspondences and representatives are not of one kind only. Each of the goods and truths proceeding from the Lord is presented again and again and again, as it enters each of all the planes of life. Thus in the forms of the Word, the same Divine Truth is represented in one form in the word of the Old Testament, it is re-presented or presented again in another form in the Word of the New Testament, and it is re-presented or presented again in the Writings. Thus the same Divine Truths which are presented in the Decalogue are re-presented in the two great commandments of the New Testament, and are again re-presented in the spiritual sense of those commandments as given in the Writings. In all three cases, they are internally the same Truths, but the form or correspondential external in which they are presented is different, being accommodated for so many planes of the mind. Again, not only is thus distinct provision, special accommodation, made for each plane of the mind; but the various books of the Old Testament, of the New Testament, and of the Writings, respectively provide for the various divisions of the mind upon each plane, and thus also provide truth specially accommodated to the persons with whom any of those divisions of the mind predominate. Every truth that is truth expresses something of the Lord's Divine Good. As the Lord is one, there cannot be two Words, except in the sense of two manifestations or presentations of the Word. In this sense, the Word of the Old Testament and the Word of the New Testament are spoken of as two Words; but internally they are one. There is not really one set of truths revealed in the Word of the Old Testament and another set in the Word of the New Testament. The same truths are presented in each. Those which are presented in the Old Testament are simply re-presented in a different form in the New Testament. Likewise in that form of the Word which we call the Writings, the very same truths are again re-presented in yet a different form. In the latter case, as in each, the tables are different, the writing the same. The tables which are different, are the rational correspondences in which those truths are there ultimated. They are thus ultimated in order that the Lord may thereby operate on the rational plane of man s mind, for which purpose neither the Word of the Old Testament nor the Word of the New Testament was adapted. Therefore it was that until the Writings were given, the heavens could not be established in their full and final trinal form; until the Writings were given the crown of all Churches could not be established upon the earth, for that Church is to be distinguished by rational reception of Divine Truth, which kind of reception could not take place until the Lord Himself gave the Word ultimated in rational correspondences for that purpose in the Word written upon tables which the rational mind could receive wherever it is willing to do so.

From this it will be seen that the science of correspondences enters into every inter-dependence which exists between heaven and earth, between mind and matter; and therefore also into every inter-relation which exists in each. It is therefore absolutely necessary, in order to come into a really rational understanding of anything. For we are rational only as we understand the true ratio which exists between various things, and view all effects from their spiritual causes, as from their genuine reason, and thus as we gradually see all things more as they stand in relation to the Lord. Such rationality we can receive through no other means than through the Writings from the Lord. There alone can we learn the science of correspondence. That science is not simply one of many subjects which is there treated, which can be extracted therefrom and studied separately. It could no more be separated from the Writings than could the nervous system be separated intact from the human body. Our knowledge of the Science of Correspondences can never be more than co-extensive with our knowledge of the Writings as a whole. It is involved everywhere in them, whether reference to it be actually expressed or not. Hence it is that we are warned against the error of thinking that by means of that science, we, apart from direct study of the Writings, can open the Word and unlock the mysteries thereof. This warning is thus given in the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE or SACRED WRITING:

"It is believed that the doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by means of the spiritual sense of the Word which is given by the science of correspondences; but doctrine is not acquired by that, but is only illustrated and corroborated.... If he is not first in genuine truths, man can falsify the Word by some known correspondences", S. S. 56.

By some known correspondences: we can never know them all, nor know any of them perfectly until we know all things in the Writings perfectly, which is infinitely beyond what the highest angel can ever do. Only the Writings themselves can disclose to us the mysteries of the Word and gradually lead us at the same time into a knowledge of those mysteries and into a knowledge of the science of correspondences. From the Writings themselves we must learn all that we know of the ratio which exists between the various forms of the Word, of the reason and purpose for which each is given. Only from the Writings can we learn anything of what is understood by the breaking of the tables which Moses first brought down from Mount Sinai, and why other tables were then given which were not, like the first, the work of God, but were the work of Moses.

As we begin to know these things we can begin to realize how it is that the Science of Correspondences "excels all sciences", how it is that "without it the Word is not understood, neither what the rites in the Jewish Church signify, concerning which in the Word, neither is the quality of heaven known, nor what the spiritual is, nor how it has itself with the influx of the spiritual into the natural, and many other things", H. D. 261. Did New Church men have even a clear general idea concerning the science of correspondences, and thence concerning "how it has itself with the influx of the spiritual into the natural", they would never fall into the error into which so many of them have fallen that there is at this day a special influx gradually making people New Church men, unaware to themselves. Neither would they in that case fall into that other common error, that all representatives but two have been abolished. For we are taught "that all things which appear with angels and spirits are representative according to the correspondences of such things as are of love and faith", H. D. 261.

"The heavens are full with representatives", H. D. 261.

"Representatives exist the more beautiful and perfect the more interiorly they are in the heavens. Representatives there are real appearances, because from the light o heaven which is Divine Truth: and this is the very essential of the existence of all things", H. D. 261. The only representatives abolished are those which are merely such, those which are not correspondences. All things in earth and in heaven have correspondences, for correspondence is their relation to their cause, therefore each and every thing re-presents its spiritual cause. Whatever anyone writes represents, more or less imperfectly, something in the mind of the writer. But whatever the Lord reveals and causes to be written as from Him corresponds to and re-presents the things of His Kingdom, and these correspond to and represent Himself. The Lord cannot reveal anything but Divine Truth, but the Divine Truths which compose any Divine Revelation, collectively and singly re-present to us the Lord Himself. It is His quality, His Name, which is internally written therein, and His quality, His Name, is unchangeable. That which is internally written in every Divine Revelation is ever the same, it is only the tables that are changed. By the tables is meant the signs, and external correspondences by means of which the internal is presented and which need to be variously accommodated for operation on each plane of the mind. The external form of the Word of the Old Testament is such as it is because no otherwise could the Word be accommodated to the hardness of heart which prevails in the lowest plane of the Writings, is such as it is, because no otherwise could the Word be perfectly accommodated to the rational plane of the mind, that plan, which in its natural state so predominates in human character at this day.

With regard to the tables given to the Jews, the change was from clearer revelation to more obscure revelation, as was the case with each succeeding Church until the Lord's Advent, when the change was to the clearer revelation of the New Testament. Again in the Lord's New Advent He has revealed Himself still more clearly, so that the tables upon which He has now written His Word are as it were of precious stone, clear and transparent, through which the very light of heaven beautifully shines for all who have eyes to see it. This light falls upon and is reflected by the tables upon which His former revelations of the Word are written, by which we can if we will, clearly perceive that they are all one, that the Lord Himself is in each and has Himself written thereon what is internally taught there. We learn that it is He Himself in each, though in one teaching Divine Truth to the childish state, in another to the rational state, perfectly accommodated to each state. We learn that it is He Himself in each, though in one teaching Divine Truth to the childish state, in another to the rational state, perfectly accommodated to each state. We can learn the reason for the tables being changed, and how nevertheless the writing is ever the writing of God upon each. Finally we can learn in what sense the tables are the work of man and in what sense they are the work of God, and how in every sense the internal is the writing of God. And the tables they are the work of God, and the writing it is the writing of God.



4



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 5        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 17.

October 18th 1891. Reference: H. D. 261.

[Hebrew.] GEN. 15:2.

A. 1795. Et filius procurator domus meae, is Damascenus Eliezer. GEN. 15:2. And the son, the steward of my house, he is the Damascene, Eliezer.

"'And the son the steward of my house', signifies the External Church ... for all stewardship pertains to the External of the Church, as the administration of rituals, and of many things which are of the Temple and of the Church itself, that is, of the House of Jehovah or the Lord". A. C. 1795.

In the Word of the Old Testament, much is said concerning the rituals of the Jewish Church. But as that Church was not even a representative Church, but only the representative of a Church, that is, because it was merely external, therefore those merely representative rituals were abolished. In the New Church therefore those rituals are not to he adopted as they are there literally set forth. But we have instead in the Revealed Internal Sense the principles which underlie those rituals and which teach the use which rituals serve in worship. We are left to adopt them as we learn the use of doing so. When we speak of being guided by use, we should not allow ourselves to think of what we would naturally regard as useful, but of what the Writings teach us to regard as useful. The more we study them the more will we have to change our ideas as to what is useful and what is not. In regard to the rituals of worship we find from the Writings that the power they exercise is exerted according to the same law, as is the power which is manifested in the externals of the Word, namely the law of correspondences. Rituals, when they are adopted according to the teaching of the Writings, perform a use similar to that of the letter of the Word. With the difference, of course, that the letter of the Word is perfectly adapted to its purpose, while such rituals as we may adopt will he adapted to their purpose only in proportion as we learn to understand the true principles which should guide us in the adoption of them. So far as they depend upon that, they will necessarily be imperfect; but still they will help to ultimate and confirm such understanding as we may have been able to attain, and so help us to advance to a better understanding.

The Letter of the Word provides us with receptacles for receiving the internal sense thereof. By rituals an external plane is provided corresponding to that attitude of mind in which we ought to place ourselves before the Lord, so that we may be taught and led by Him. Thus in kneeling--the external attitude, as it corresponds to the attitude of mind in which we ought to approach the Lord, affords a plane or basis upon which such attitude of mind may best rest. Rituals are also a means of teaching and of constantly impressing what has been taught. Thus our rising and showing reverence at the opening of the Word, serves to keep impressed upon us the manner in which we should approach its contents. These matters of ritual however, serve this use well only in proportion as they are in correspondence with the internal things which we ought to seek in worship--only in that proportion can they act as steward in the house of the Lord. Therefore in order to adopt them wisely, it must be done from some understanding of the relation which exists between internal and external things. We can come into such an understanding by studying from the Writings the relation which exists between the internals and externals of the Word.

"The externals of the Church without the internals are nothing. This has itself like man: his external or corporeal is in itself nothing, unless there be an internal that animates and vivifies, there such as is the quality of the internal, such is the quality of the external; or such as is the quality of the mind, such is the estimation of all things which exist through the external or corporeal. The things which are of the heart make man, not the things which are of the mouth or gesture. Thus also the internals of the Church. But still the externals of the Church have themselves like the externals of man, that they attend to and administer; or what is the same, the external or corporeal men similarly can be called the steward or administrator of the house, when the house is said of the interiors", A. C. 1795.

Thus as the genuine Church is altogether formed from the Word, or rather from genuine understanding of the Word, we find that the same law applies to the relation between the internals and externals of the Church and the internals and externals of the Word, as indeed to all created things also. The external is nothing: apart from the true internal. The Letter of the Word is of no value, of no holiness, apart from the internal sense thereof. Man is not really a man, except so far as he receives a genuine internal by regeneration. So also with the rituals of the Church, they are things of no value except they proceed from internal things--and in the New Church they must proceed from a rational understanding of the internal knowledge revealed in the Writings.

"'He is the Damascene, Eliezer', that it is the external Church now therefore, appears, also from the signification of Damascene. Damascus was the principal city of Syria, where was the remains of the worship of the Ancient Church, and whence was Heber, or the Hebrew nation, with which there was nothing but the external of a Church ... thus there was nothing but the stewardship of the house", A. C. 1796.

Notice that in Damascus we are told that there were remains both of the worship of the Ancient Church and of that of the Hebrew Church. These two differed from each other in this important respect that that of the Ancient Church was the external with the internal therein, which that of the Hebrews was only external without the internal. Therefore that of the New Church will be similar to that of the Ancient Church, and in many respects not at all like that of the Hebrew Church even externally, although some of the externals of the Hebrew Church were like those of the Ancient Church except in respect to the absence of anything internal in them.

"The internal and external are indeed distinct from each other; but in the natural where they are together, the internal is in it its own form adequate to itself, which form acts nothing from itself but from the internal which is therein, thus only is it acted.... Similarly it has itself with good and truth in the natural with man, which are born from the internal, for the internal clothes itself with such things as are natural, in order that it can be there and act its life there; but those things with which it clothes itself, are no other than coverings which altogether and nothing from themselves", A. C. 6275.

Thus is it with the external of the Word. Thus is it with external rites in worship--they can do altogether nothing from themselves, but only from the internal therein. But how important the external nevertheless is, appears from this:

"Internal good and truth must be in external good and truth, in order that the latter may be good and truth ... the external is nothing but a something formed, such that the internal can be there and according to influx into itself act life there from the Lord", A. C. 6284.

"In order that the internal may be the internal of the Church, it must necessarily be in its external, for the external is the place of foundation upon which the internal stands, and is the receptacle into which the internal inflows", A. C. 6299.

Therefore in worship it is not enough that we seek to be in the right internal states, but we should also seek to provide such external forms as they can rest upon. True we can pray and worship the Lord anywhere, but nowhere so fully as where the external surroundings are in agreement with the states which should enter into prayer and worship. We should never lose sight of the fact that the Lord does not command us to worship Him for His own satisfaction, but solely for our sake. Therefore it is our duty to do whatever helps us to come into receptive states before Him. Rites and ceremonies are for the sake of their effect upon us, not at all for the sake of having any effect upon the Lord. We are so naturally inclined that we cannot afford to do without any assistance that will help us to come out of our merely natural states in worship, in order that we may then receive such influx as will enable us to retain less of the merely natural afterwards.

"The cause that all and single things which are in the spiritual world are represented in the natural is because the internal clothes itself with things which agree in the natural, by which they visibly present themselves and appear", H. D. 261.

Therefore, having the revealed internal sense and the laws of correspondence therein, we can learn and know what are the things of the natural world is which the desired spiritual states clothe themselves.

"For whatever in universal nature does not have correspondence with the spiritual world, that does not exist", A. C. 5711.

"These things are illustrated by the influx of the soul into the body, that, namely, the soul clothes itself with such things in the body, by which all things which it thinks and wills man appear and be visibly presented; wherefore thought when it flows down into the body, is represented by such gestures end affections as correspond", H. D. 261.

This can be clearly seen by the manifestation of the various states of the affections in the face. A happy state of mind cannot contentedly rest under a frowning face, nor can a state of fierce anger contentedly rest under a cheerful smile. Anger may indeed hide itself under a smile, but it is under constraint while doing so. Just so it is with the externals of worship, if they do not correspond with the internal states which we are seeking to come into, we cannot but be affected with constraint by the discord which exists between the internal and external. All and single things in nature are, like the expressions of the face, effects from the interior causes, which are in the mind, or spiritual world, since in nature as in the face, there are only ultimate effects.

In ancient times there were Churches in which all the externals which were rituals were representative--the Damascence, Eliezer, was the steward of the House. The rituals served as clothing for internals. With the Jewish Church these degenerated into mere externals and they had merely representative rites like burnt offerings and sacrifices which were unknown in the ancient Church. All mere representatives were abolished at the Lord's advent--all representations which were not at the same time correspondential. The latter could not he abolished without abolishing everything that is external, both in the spiritual and in the natural world. The laws which govern all these things have been revealed to the New Church. The fact that they have been so revealed is itself proof that they are for the use of the New Church, or else they would not have been revealed. We are taught that the Church must have an external, even external rituals; but we are not, except in regard to Baptism and the Holy Supper, commanded to adopt any particular forms. Yet the House of God requires the Damascene, Eliezer, as a steward and it therefore behooves us to proceed rationally in the light of the Writings to make use of such a steward.

In the letter of the Word there is in connection with the text, expression of complaint from a, fear on the part of Abram lest, being childless, his steward should inherit his house. By this is understood a temptation even to something of desperation, which came to the Lord and which comes to the regenerating man. The temptation to let merely external things take possession of the Church, whether as to rituals, or as to the letter of the Word separated from its spirit. The way to meet this temptation is not by renouncing all rituals, or even being afraid of them in their proper place, any more than the danger of idolatry with the mere letter of the Word, should cause us to reject it; but in each case our duty is to learn from Revelation what the true use of the external is, and then do our best to make it subservient to that use. Eliezer, the Damascene, would ruin the Church as her master, but yet is absolutely necessary as her steward.

Just as the spiritual sense of the Word could not exist with us, without the letter, neither could the visible Church without external rituals. Rituals in themselves have no more power than has the letter of the Word if separated from the spirit which alone vivifies it. In neither case therefore must we endeavor to put apart what the Lord has made to be conjoined together. Instead, we ought to seek that knowledge from the Writings which will enable us to make the rituals of worship serve the internals of worship as approximately as possible like the letter of the Word serves its spiritual sense. But while we must guard against the danger of Eliezer inheriting the house, we must at the same time seek to have as the steward of the House of God, the Dsmascene, Eliezer.



5



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 6        FIRST SERIES

October 25th 1891. Reference: H. D. 262.

[Hebrew.] ISA. 4:5.

S. S. 33. Quod Jehovah creet super omni gloria obtegumentum.

Isa. 4:5. The Lord will create ... upon all the glory a covering.

"The Word without the sense of its letter would be like a palace without a foundation, thus like a palace in the air and not upon the earth, which would only be its shadow, which would vanish away. Also the Word without the sense of its letter would be like a. temple, in which are many holy things, and in its midst the sanctuary, without roof and wall which are its containants, which if they were absent or if they were taken sway, its holy things would be seized by thieves or they would be violated by the beasts of the earth and by the birds of heaven, and thus he dissipated. Similarly it would be like the tabernacle (in its inmost was the ark of the covenant, and in the middle of it the golden candelabrum, the golden altar upon which was the incense, also the table upon which were the breads of faces, which were its holy things) without its ultimates which were curtains and veils. Yea, the Word, without the sense of its letter would be like a human body without the coverings which are called skins, and without the supports which are called bones, without these and those all its interiors would flow apart. And it would be like the heart and lungs in the thorax without their covering which is called the pleura, and their supports which are called ribs. Or like the cerebrum without its covering which is called the dura mater, and its common covering, containant, and firmament which is called the skull. It would be similar with the Word without the sense of its letter; wherefore it is said in Isaiah that 'Jehovah creates upon all the glory a cover'", 4:5, S. S. 33.

"Protection lest (the Church) be injured by too much light, and by too much shade is signified by the 'cloud by day', and by 'the smoke and the shining of a flame of fire by night', wherefore it is said that 'upon all the glory is a covering'", A. E. 504.

"Glory" here is the spiritual sense of the Word, A. E. 294. Mark that the covering is said to be upon all the glory. The glory of the spiritual is never given to man nor to angel uncovered, though in one Revelation of the Word it may be regarded as comparatively uncovered in respect to other Revelations of the Word. Each Revelation has its own covering, denser or thinner, as the case may be. Thus in the verse from which the text is taken there are two other words used for covering--cloud and smoke--the one a comparatively light covering, the other a dark one. The most dense covering is that of the Word in the Old Testament--that of the Word in the New is less dense--that of the Word in the Writings is still less. On all the glory there is a covering. In written Revelations of the Word, the covering consists of the words of the human language in which it is impressed together with the sense which we naturally learn to associate with those words. That sense of the words is the literal sense. Every Revelation therefore is of necessity clothed or covered with a literal sense, which protects the spiritual sense within it and prevents more of the light thereof from being seen than the reader is prepared to receive. But though each Revelation has a literal sense, they have not the same literal sense. But the literal sense of one, such as that of the Word of the Old Testament, is relatively far removed from the spiritual sense, while that of the Writings is relatively near to the spiritual sense. Still even the latter cannot convey the spiritual sense so long as the words thereof are understood only according to their merely natural meaning. Each Revelation needs to be studied in its own light before we can get beyond the merely literal sense thereof. And moreover when once a Revelation has been perverted by a consummated Church, it can only be rightly understood in the light of a new Revelation. Thus, at this day, before we can see beneath the literal sense of the Word in the Old and New Testaments, we must first study the Writings in their own light and then view the Word of the Old and New Testaments in the light thence derived. But if we only study the Writings in the light of the world, the glory of the spiritual sense remains entirely covered from us, and the literal forms thereof, as well as of those of the Old and New Testaments, are filled, in our minds, with the perverted understanding of the Word which we have derived from the Old Church. Lest the true and the false understanding of the Word should in every case be hopelessly mixed, there is upon all the glory a covering, which cannot be penetrated until we have renounced that perverted understanding of the Word to which we all naturally incline.

Man's mind when he first enters this world is a blank. The natural mind is formed from the appearances which enter through the senses. As the natural mind is thus formed wholly of appearances, the Lord could not come to save man in freedom, unless He came clothed in such appearances as form man's natural mind, and thus accommodated His speech or Word to man. For otherwise the Word would be altogether incomprehensible to man. These appearances are what form the literal sense of the Word. But as the natural mind has three degrees, the Lord in order to accommodate Himself so as to operate on each of them, had to appear clothed in three kinds of appearances. In His New Advent He has come clothed in the kind of appearances which compose the rational degree of the natural mind, and those appearances therefore are the literal sense of His New Revelation. For the spiritual sense itself comes from the Lord through Heaven, and is composed of the spiritual appearances in which Divine Truth is clothed in the heavens. These spiritual appearances, can be spiritually discerned in the Writings, if we distrust natural light, and try to see them in their own light, but otherwise, even where the appearances of heaven are openly described, they only convey worldly appearances to our minds. Then, instead of teaching us concerning heavenly order, they only afford us means of confirming ourselves in natural rationalism--a state which is constantly infesting the Church and is apt to take possession of all who do not allow themselves to be defended against it by that spiritual rationality which a study of the Writings in their own light gradually forms in us. We must receive their teaching in states of simplicity and with something of that innocence which makes us really teachable. It is necessary that we begin from the appearances of the letter, but if we remain in them we remain natural, because we shut out the teaching which would lend us to become spiritual. Hence:

"The Word as to the letter is for man, as to the internal sense it is for angels, and also for those men, to whom, from the Divine Mercy of the Lord it is given, while they live in the world, to be like angels", A. C. 2242.

We are not like angels, merely by having the books of the Writings with us, but by coming into an understanding of their contents similar to that which the angels have, with the end of living according thereto. Until me do that we only see the literal sense of the Word which is for men.

The external written forms in which Revelation is given are the means whereby we can, if we will, receive such an means as the end, or mistake the covering for the glory within it. The necessity of such means is thus expressed:

"Man without an idea from worldly things, can never think anything; therefore if truths from a Divine origin were nakedly set forth, they would never be received but would exceed all his grasp", A. C. 2520.

This makes it evident that Divine truths can never be set forth nakedly, because in that case they would never be received. It also necessarily follows that Divine truths are not nakedly set forth in the Writings, but that there too upon all the glory is a covering--a literal sense such as outwardly regards what is natural and inwardly what is spiritual.

The things of the material world are the ultimates of creation. They form as it were points and lines which limit the operations of the Divine efflux and present the effects thereof in finite forms. Upon those finite forms as a basis end foundation, everything in the mind of a finite being must ultimately rest. Nothing can he perceptibly or consciously received by a finite being except it rest upon such a basis. That which is not to some extent finited must ever be incomprehensible to us. Hence also the very Word of the Lord comes to us in the human language by which we express those finite things and the relations between them which we have observed. That is the human side of the Word--the literal sense. As long as we regard it from the mere external, such worldly things and human reasoning thereon is all we can see there--we only see the covering, which however necessary, is of no value apart from what it is intended to cover. Its value consists in its providing the necessary basis, the starting point from which we must begin our search for the things of eternal life. It is not merely a foundation, but a perfect foundation which can receive and support all the spiritual knowledge that we can ever receive, that is, it is perfectly fitted for that purpose, if we do not cover it over with the rubbish of our own intelligence. By reason of our Old Church hereditary that is just what we have done; and our first business therefore is to diligently remove that rubbish which hides the foundation and makes it useless in our minds. Not only is the literal sense of the Old and New Testaments thus apt to he overlaid with rubbish in our minds; but also the literal sense of that Revelation of the Word which is given to form the foundation for the reception of the Word on the rational plane of our minds. The literal sense of this Revelation as well as that of the Old Testament is such that it can be turned hither and thither, and made to mean altogether opposite and conflicting things. It is a foundation upon which heaven can be built in our rational minds; but we can also cover up that foundation with the natural rationalism which is so popular at this day. However perfect a foundation is, we cannot build truly upon it, if it be covered with sand and rubbish. We might as well try to build on the sand itself. Let us then clearly recognize and rationally face the fact that it can be understood in a worldly way or in a heavenly; and that our natural tendency all the time is to understand it in a merely worldly way, in a way which harmonizes with the way the Old Church would understand it. It needs our constant attention to keep the foundation reasonably clear in our minds, of the worldly wisdom and prudence that infest, the dust and sand of self-intelligence which fill the air about us. We must keep this cleared away if we would see anything of the plan upon which the foundation is laid. From that plan itself we must learn how to build thereon; for so perfect is the foundation, that if only we keep it clear from self intelligence, we can from it learn the plan of the heavenly house which it is intended to support in us. That is, we can do so, when we have established on the three planes of the natural mind the complete foundation as provided in the literal sense of the three forms of the Word given to us. The foundation thus necessarily has the plan of the whole house involved in it. This is how the literal sense of the Word, which is for the foundation of heaven with us, contains the spiritual sense which teaches the order of heaven, all the particulars of the heavenly house which each of us must build upon it in our minds, if we would really receive heaven with us. The foundation is given to us, the directions are given to us, but the house itself is not given to us ready made; that can be built in each of us only by our own individual co-operation, by applying, as of ourselves, the truths of Revelation to our own life. Hence we can see how the literal sense is at once the foundation and the containant of the spiritual sense, how it is at once that which conceals and that which reveals the spiritual sense.

"From the cause that the natural is the ultimate, upon which spiritual and celestial things end, and upon which like a house upon its foundation they subsist, and that otherwise the internal sense without the external would be like a house without a foundation. The Word because it is such is the containant of the spiritual and celestial sense", H. D. 262.

The literal sense contains it, like a perfect foundation contains the plan of a house; but as concerns our reception of it there is practically no house but only a foundation until we build by acting out the truths thereof, which teach all the details of the plan according to which heaven must be built in us.

Thus how far the literal sense conceals this to us, and how far it reveals it, depends upon ourselves; but it is always to some extent covers the spiritual sense, otherwise the infinite details of the plan of heaven would be entirely beyond our power to grasp, and even if they were uncovered more than the Lord in His Providence sees fit, we would be confused. But the literal sense of each Divine Revelation only reveals its contents to us gradually as we study it and build upon it a foundationthus as we are prepared to use it. This is true even of the Word in heaven and will be true to eternity, for no finite being can ever look upon the Infinite nakedly presented. The Lord creates upon all the glory a covering.

The New Church having a Divine Revelation of the Word, in which the covering is more transparent than that of the two preceding forms of the Word, it follows that with us all three Revelations should be viewed and studied in the light of the latter. For only thence can we learn to know wherein the value of the literal sense of either of them lies, or where the literal sense is to be obeyed as such and where it is not. We are taught, for instance:

"That of the laws, judgments, and statutes for the Israelitish and Jewish Church, which was a representative Church, there are those which are still valid in each sense, external and internal, there are those which are altogether to be kept according to the external sense, there, are those which can be of use if one chooses, and there are those which are altogether abrogated. The Word is Divine even as to those things which are abrogated", H. D. 262.

For although those things are taken by man, they are taken by the Lord and so selected and arranged as to make the necessary foundation, or covering, perfect in its adaptation to its purpose. But this we can know nothing of apart from the internal sense; and the internal sense we cannot really know unless we study the Writings in their own light and with the end of use. For:

"All those are in externals without internals who are in the loves of self and of the world, for with them the internal man is closed and only the external opened; and what the external man, when he reads the Word, sees without the internal, he sees in thick darkness, for natural lumen without light from heaven, is in spiritual things mere thick darkness; and light from heaven enters through the internal man into the external end enlightens this. Hence it is that so many heresies have existed and that the Word is called by some a book of heresies, and that it is altogether unknown that there is anything internal in the Word; and they who think that nevertheless there is, they still do not know where it is", A. C. 10400.

The natural tendency is either to reject the Word altogether or to idolize the mere literal sense thereof; in order to guard against and combat these tendencies we should be careful to learn what it is that makes the Word holy--namely that which is within the external covering, and on account of which only is the covering holy. Let us beware therefore of confirming ourselves in regard for the externals of the Word without respect to the internals:

"For they who are in the external without the internal cannot bear the interiors of the Word", H. D. 262.

For the external when regarded separately only reflects the light of the world, whereas the internal reveals the light of heaven. Those lights are opposite and, therefore cannot bear one another A. C. 10694. Moreover "when the light of heaven inflows into the light of the world, it induces thick darkness and thence stupor; hence it is that the external without the internal cannot bear the external when the internal is in it", A. C. 10694.

"Because the Jewish nation was such therefore they could not bear to hear concerning the Lord, concerning love and faith in Him, which are the interiors of the Word, of the Church, and of Worship", A. C. 10694.

So far as corporeal and sensual states prevail in us, we are Jews and act like them. So far as we are such we are unwilling even to hear that it is the Lord Himself who speaks to us in His New Advent through the Writings. So far as we are such, we, like the Jews, may pay superstitious regard to the literal sense of the Word, at the same time that we, like them, reject the Word Itself. It is not sufficient that we externally receive the Revelation given to the New Church; we must receive the Lord as He has revealed Himself therein in His glory remembering that the Lord creates upon all the glory a covering.



6



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 7        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 19.

November 2nd 1891. Reference: H. D. 263.

JOHN. 1:1. [Greek.]

H. D. 263. Et Deus erat Verbum.

JOHN 1:1. And God was the Word.

"'Jehovah God' is the Lord: 'Jehovah' the Lord as to Divine Good; 'God' the Lord as to Divine Truth", A. C. 7311.

Hence, whether we say, the Word, or Divine Truth, or God, it means the same. Each expression means the Lord manifesting Himself as Divine Truth. In the authorized version the order in which the statement is made is reversed so as to read "the Word was God". This reversal expresses the common impression received in the professed New Church, namely that the Word is Divine Truth, or rather that certain books of the Word are regarded as the Divine Truth. This is a perfectly right position, if it is not held to the exclusion of the statement as actually made in the text, namely that "God", that is, Divine Truth, "was the Word". As time does not enter into the spiritual sense, that means that Divine Truth, wherever and whenever the Lord reveals it, is His Word. Therefore to hold the idea that certain books of what is called the Bible are the Word which alone is Divine Truth, to the confirmed exclusion of the Divine teaching that all Divine Truth is the Word, is to close ourselves to the reception of the Lord in the interior Divine Truth in which He has effected His New Advent. From eternity, A. R. 256, before any of the now existing forms of the Word were ever given God was the Word.

"'Gold' in the supreme sense is the Divine which is above the heavens, but 'God' in the internal sense is the Divine which is in the heavens; the Divine which is above the heavens is Divine Good, but the Divine in the heavens is Divine Truth", A. C. 7268.

It was therefore Divine Truth in the heavens which was the Word in the beginning of creation, and which is the Word as to its internal sense. Divine Truth in the heavens is Our Father in the heavens, to whom alone we are taught to pray, for the Divine Good above the heavens thus beyond all finite comprehension, appears as Divine Truth in the heaven for:

"What is properly called heaven, is nothing but the Divine there formed", A. C. 7268.

Unless therefore we pray to Our Father in the heavens, that is, seek the Divine Good in Divine Truth, we worship an unknown God, an unformed something, and capable, therefore, of being imagined to be in any form we may naturally choose. If we wish to be led out of what is merely natural into what is spiritual, we must suffer ourselves to be led by Divine Truth--and acknowledge that all Divine Truth is the Word--is the Lord appearing to us for the purpose of teaching and leading us if we will.

From man's tendency to reverse the order of the words of the text, we can see the manifestation of the natural course of his thought, which is always to think from what is external concerning what is internal, here to think from certain forms of the Word concerning the Word Itself, instead of thinking from the Word Itself, the Divine Truth, concerning all forms in which it may be presented. Thus we must learn not only that the Word is Divine Truth, but wise that Divine Truth is the Word, not only that the Word is God, but also that God is the Word.

That the internal sense of the Word is the Divine Truth as it is in the heavens and that that Divine Truth is the Word is clear. Note therefore that whatever is taught in the Doctrine of the New Church concerning the internal sense, always has evident application to the Writings. Thus:

"In the inmost sense of the Word it is treated solely concerning the Lord, and all the states of the glorification of His Human are described, and also all the states of the subjugation of the hells, and of the ordering of all things there and in the heavens", H. D. 263.

That this inmost sense is in the Writings as well as in other forms of the Word, can be plainly seen by those who study them in their own light, for it is then found that there is nothing there that is not inmostly concerning the Lord.

"Thus that in that sense all the life of the Lord in the world is described, and by it there is the continual presence of the Lord with the angels", H. D. 263.

That the Word of the Old Testament treated concerning the Lord's life was altogether unknown to the Jews. In the New Testament the Lord points out in a general way that it does treat concerning Him, but only from the Writings can we learn to see that it does so in each particular thereof. In the Word of the New Testament, the first Christian Church only saw there the treatment of the external life of the Lord in the world. Only from the Writings do we learn that there too all the particulars of the Lord's internal life are involved. But the actual description of the Lord's inner life, while in the world, of all the changes and operations whereby His assumed Human was glorified, this is given for the first time in the Writings and could otherwise never have been known. But who could possibly tell us anything but mere surmises and guesses concerning the Lord's internal life except the Lord Himself. No truth but Divine Truth could convey such knowledge to us, and Divine Truth is God, is the Word, is the Lord Himself. And because, from the Writings, we learn that the same Divine Truths openly revealed there are also involved in the Word of the Old and New Testaments, from thence and from thence only is it that we can rationally see that each of those forms of the Word are also manifestations of the Lord Himself--that He Himself is inmostly in every form of the Word, however the form is varied.

"Therefore the Lord is in the inmost of the Word and thence is what is Divine and holy of the Word", H. D. 263.

Each form of the Word is the presence of the Lord, an accommodation of His Presence to the needs of recipients. One form was His Presence adapted to the states of the Jewish Church, another adapted to the states of the first Christian Church, and now that form of the Word, which is given in the Writings, is His Presence adapted to the states that will be in the New Church. The New Church, the crown of all previous Churches because formed by the most excellent of all Revelations, will also know from the interior truth thereof, how to use each form of the Word in its proper place. For as the study of the Lord's interior life is opened to us, we can, as we progress in that study, receive the life of the new birth according to that example and also guide the lives of our children according to the same.

In the Word of the New Testament the Lord is presented to us as He externally appeared, but in the Writings it is His Divine Human mind that is presented to us. That Presence and not a personal presence, is what the angels continually enjoy. For:

"In the internal sense of the Word, the whole life of the Lord, such as it would be in the world, is described, even as to perceptions and thoughts, for these have been foreseen and provided, because from the Divine even on account of the cause, that that presence might be set before the angels who perceive the Word according to the internal sense, and that the Lord might he before them and at the same time how He successively put off the human and put; on the Divine", A. C. 2523.

Such is the presence of the Lord which is before us in the Writings, and such are the things which the Lord fulfilled when in the world.

"That the Lord frequently says that in Him are to be consummated and have been consummated all things which are in the Scripture, they involve those things which are in the internal sense of the Word, for there it is treated solely concerning the Kingdom of the Lord, and in the supreme sense concerning the Lord Himself; as the things which are in Luke: 'Jesus said to the disciples, these are the words which I have spoken to you while I am still with you, that all things which are written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me, it behooves to be fulfilled: then He opened their minds that they might understand the Scriptures', Luke 24:44, 45. In the same: 'Behold we ascend into Jerusalem, where all things which are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of man must be perfected", Luke 18:31. And in Matthew: 'Think not that I have come for loosing the Law and the Prophets; I have not come for loosing but for fulfilling: amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass, one iota or little horn shall not pass from the Law until all things are done", 5: 7, 18. These and the things which the Lord elsewhere says concerning the fulfilling of the Law or of the Scripture, involve, as was said, those things which were predicted concerning Him in the internal sense. In that sense all and single things even to each iota, or to each least, point, treat concerning the Lord; wherefore it is said that one iota, or one little horn shall not pass away in the Law until all things are done. And in Luke: 'It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than one point of the Law to fall', 16:17. He who does not know that the single things, even to the least of all, in the internal sense treat concerning the Lord and concerning His Kingdom, and that hence the Word is most holy, he never can comprehend what this is, that not one point shall fall, nor one iota or little horn pass away, and that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, for those things which stand forth in the external sense do not appear to be so many, but the internal text is so containing that not even a little word could be omitted without interruption of the series", A. C. 7933.

As the Lord is Divine Good itself and Divine Truth itself, Divine Good is everywhere in the Divine Truth of the Word, and also is frequently expressed by a distinct expression. The heavenly marriage is thus expressed, by Good and Truth being presented as outwardly two, though internally one and the same.

"In the Word everything is holy. Hence it is that heaven is in the Word, consequently the Lord Who is the all in all things of heaven, to that degree that the Lord is the Word. The two names of the Lord, namely, Jesus Christ, involve the same, the name 'Jesus' Divine Good and the name 'Christ' Divine Truth. Hence also it is evident that the Lord is in all things of the Word to that degree that He is the Word Itself", A. C. 5502.

"The Divine Esse cannot communicate itself to anyone except through the Divine Existere, that is, the Divine Itself cannot except through the Divine Human, and the Divine Human cannot except through the Divine Truth which is the Holy Spirit. This is understood by that all things were made by the Word, John 1:3. It appears to man as if the Divine Truth is not such that anything can exist by it, for it is believed that it is like a word which emitted from the mouth, is dissipated. But it has itself altogether otherwise: Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is: the verimost reality and is such that all things exist thence, and hence all things subsist. For whatever proceeds from the Lord is the verimost reality in the universe. Such is the Divine Truth, which is called the Word, by which all things were made", A. C. 6880.

"They who regard the causes of things from external and earthly things, cannot otherwise perceive than that the Truth from the Divine is only a cogitative something of no real essence, but it is the verimost Essential, from which are all the essences of things in each world, namely, in the spiritual and natural worlds", A. C. 8200.

Since the Writings are a Revelation of Divine Truth, and Divine Truth is "the verimost reality in the universe", "the verimost Essential, from which are all essences of things ", it must be evident that they must be a revelation of the Lord and thus of His Word, for He alone could be called "the verimost Reality in the universe, or the verimost Essential from which are all essences of things"

"And because Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is light in heaven, and Divine Good is bent in heaven, and because From those all things there exist, and because through heaven or through the spiritual world the natural world exists, it is evident that all things which are created, are created from Divine Truth thus from the Word, according to these words in John: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word.... And by it all things were made which were made.... And the Word was made flesh', 1:1-3, 14", H. D. 263.

As to be created signifies to be regenerated, we see that regeneration is always effected by means of Divine Truth, and that it is for that purpose that Divine Truth is revealed. It is for no other purpose that Divine Truths have been revealed to the New Church. The Lord in the Writings has come as Divine Truth to regenerate or create those who will be of the New Church. To come as Divine Truth is to come as God and it is thus that we must acknowledge the Lord to be the only God, by receiving Divine Truth from no other source, and by receiving all Divine Truth as the Lord Himself or His Word. for we must acknowledge that the Lord is God and that God is the Word.

How can we acknowledge the Lord to be the only God, that is, to be the only Divine Truth, if we acknowledge a Revelation of Truth which we do not regard as the Lord?

By regenerating or creating man? the Lord conjoins him to heaven. The Word does not conjoin us to heaven otherwise. The Lord is present with us in each form of His Word, but we are not thereby conjoined to heaven, unless we receive the contents of the Word into our lives, and the contents therefore the things of the spiritual sense. Hence we are taught:

"That conjunction of the Lord with man is through the Word, by means of the internal sense", H. D. 263.

For the internal sense is relatively the Divine Truth, while the external sense is relatively only the covering thereof. Thus the internal sense is preeminently Divine Truth, and Divine Truth is God, and God is the Word.

"The Lord speaks with the man of the Church no otherwise than through the Word", A. C. 10290

Conjunction of the Lord and man being effected, as we have seen, by means of the internal sense, therefore it must be by the same means that the Lord speaks to the man of the Church, for the man of the Church is one who is being regenerated. As long as man only sees the mere external of the Word he cannot be regenerated. In proportion as man progresses in regeneration the more fully does the Lord speak to him by means of the internal sense, and the less is the merely external sense attended to.

Thus we learn that it is God, thus Divine Truth, which is the Word; that it is therefore that which is interiorly in the forms of the Word which is really the Word and which gives all the holiness and power to those forms. Let us look therefore to the Word as God within the form of the Word, for God or the Divine Truth there is the Word; and let us try to remember something of what is involved in the doctrine that the Lord is the only God of heaven and of earth.



7



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 8        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 20

November 8th 1891. Reference: H. D. 264.

[Hebrew.] GEN. 43:32.

A. 5683. Non possunt Aegyptii comedere cum Hebraeis panem, quia abominatio id Aegyptiis.

GEN. 43:32. The Egyptians cannot eat bread with the Hebrews, because that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

"The Egyptians (here represent) those who are in inverse order ... the Hebrews those who are in genuine order", A. C. 5701.

The Lord Himself is the bread of life, which bread is offered to us in His Word. To eat is to appropriate. To appropriate, by application to our own lives, that which the Lord teaches, is the only means of coming into genuine order. Until we do that we are in inverse order. Those who study what the Lord teaches in order that they may be led into genuine order, and those who do not study what He teaches for that end, cannot effectively study together, they cannot cooperate in the endeavour to appropriate what the Lord teaches, they cannot eat bread together. For to eat with those who are seeking to be led into genuine order is an abomination to those who are not so seeking. Both may indeed appear to be seeking the appropriation of the same thing--both may diligently read what the Lord has revealed; but while the first seeks to appropriate instruction in the altogether new things of the Lord's Kingdom, the others seek only to appropriate confirmation of those things which they naturally believe to be good and true. Hence the latter are seeking to confirm and to hold fast to that which the former are seeking to be led away from.

"Thus this opposition between them, hence the aversion and at length abomination", A. C. 5702.

Thus the aversion to the Word does not necessarily appear to be aversion, until it comes to the question of carrying out what is there taught. The aversion is to being really led by the Word. This aversion is often in this world associated with great apparent regard for the Word. It is only in the other world that the external attitude always manifests what the internal attitude really is. There, all those who have opposed the reception of the genuine teaching of the Word into their own lives, openly oppose the Word, contemn it and even blaspheme it. Sometimes this stale is manifested in the life of the body; but often it is not, although it is really there, unrecognized perhaps even by themselves. Of the different classes of these in the World of Spirits the Writings thus speak:

"There are those who in the life of the body contemned the Word; and there are those who have abused the things which are in the Word as ridiculous formula; there are those who have considered the Word to be nothing, but to be able to serve for the vulgar that they may be held in a certain bond; there are those who have blasphemed the Word; there are those who have profaned it. The lot of these in the other life is miserable--the lot of each is according to the quality and degree of their contempt, ridicule, blasphemy and profanation; for, as has been said, the Word is so holy in the heavens, that to them the Word, is at it were, heaven, wherefore, because there is given communion of all thoughts, they can never be together but are separated", A. C. 1878.

Hence in the other world we cannot be together with those who regard the Word as holy, if we confirm ourselves in opposition to the things which are in the Word, which are the things of the internal sense. It is by our attitude to the substance of the Word that we will be judged. In the professed New Church, when anything of the substance of the Word is opposed, it is generally at the same time denied that it is in the form of the Word which they profess to revere. But to revere the forms, while the substance is opposed will count for nothing in the spiritual world, where the realities of our states are manifested. It will be wise for us therefore to continually bear in mind that our professed acknowledgment of the Word as it has come to us in the New Church, will in no wise save us, if we have practically rejected the reception of the substance thereof into our minds--if the things taught in the Writings when regarded as matter for application to life, have been regarded as of no importance in that respect. To regard their application as of no importance, is really to contemn the Word and so far to reject it, and thereby to make it impossible for us to be together with the angels, impossible for us to eat bread with them, for we thus treat the kind of eating bread which takes place with them as an abomination. This takes place so far as we are averse to appropriating into the practice of our own lives the new things taught in the Writings. The root of the aversion is always because we love our present practices better and are unwilling to give them up.

That they reject and blaspheme the Word who refuse to receive its teaching into their will is thus shown:

"It is allowed to say in a few words how it has itself with blasphemy of Truth Divine. Truth Divine is the Word, and it is Doctrine from the Word. They who deny these in heart, they blaspheme, even if they praise and preach it with the mouth. Blasphemy lies hidden in the denial (namely the denial of the heart which is rejection by the will) which also breaks forth, when, left to themselves they think, especially in the other life, for there, externals being removed, hearts speak. They who blaspheme or deny the Word, they can receive nothing of the truth and good of faith, for the Word teaches that the Lord is, that heaven and hell are, that the life after death is, that faith and charity are, and many other things, which would altogether be not known without the Word or Revelation. Wherefore they who deny the Word cannot receive anything that the Word teaches, for when they read it, or hear it, what is negative occurs, which either extinguishes the truth or turns it into what is false. Wherefore the first of all things with the man of the Church is to believe the Word, and this is the primary with him who is in the truth of faith and in the good of charity; but with those who are in the evils of the loves of self and the world the primary thing is not to believe the Word, for they immediately reject it when they think concerning it and also blaspheme it. If men saw how many end of what quality were the blasphemies against the Word with those who are in the evils of those loves, they would be horrified. The man himself while he is in the world does not know it, because they are hidden behind the ideas of the active thought which goes into his speech with men, but still they are revealed in the other life and appear horrible", A. C. 9222.

As "the first of all things with the man of the Church is to believe the Word", it must be of the greatest importance to know what books constitute and contain the Word and what hooks do not, for it is impossible to reject any part of the Word without rejecting the whole. Anyone who confirms himself in the rejection of the Writings, rejects the Word Itself, whatever may appear even to himself to he his attitude towards other forms of the Word. As the Writings set forth and teach the internal truths of the Word and constitute as it were, the table at which the Lord in His New Advent invites us to sup, and there eat of the Bread of Life which is Himself, it is evident that those who are satisfied to cling to the inverse order in which they naturally are, cannot eat bread there together with those who are endeavouring thereby to receive genuine order--The Egyptians cannot eat bread with the Hebrews, because that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

"They who condemn and deride the Word in the letter, and more the things which are there in the higher sense, consequently also the Doctrinals which are from the Word, and at the same time are in no love toward the neighbour, but in the love of self, they refer to the corrupt things of the blood which pervade all the veins and arteries, and contaminate the whole mass. Lest they should introduce any such thing into man by their presence, they are held separated from others in their own hell, and only communicate with those who are such, for these cast themselves into the breath and sphere of that hell", A. C. 5719.

From this we see that those who contemn the Word, especially the things which are in its higher sense, thereby cast themselves into the sphere of devils who are held in their own evil separate from other devils so that they can injure no one but those who by taking such an attitude towards the Word descend to them. It is as necessary that they should be separated from others, as it is that corrupt things should be separated from the blood--for otherwise the whole mass would be contaminated. If they remain there they turn all the nourishments received to promoting their own growth; and thus that part which is in an orderly condition is starved and weakened and thus soon overcome. So must it be with those who are seeking to have the practice of their lives formed from the Writings; their study, in order to be effective must be pursued separately from those who have no interest in the application of the teaching thereof to their own lives, otherwise it will become corrupted as everything does that is withdrawn from its proper use. The blood that circulates in the body of the Church must have such constituents separated from it. If the blood is in a healthy condition such constituents do get separated. Indeed it will not stop where there is nothing congenial to it. So neither will those who practically reject the Word as it is given to the New Church, remain with those who try to study them for the sake of application to their own lives, so that their naturally inverse order may be turned into genuine order. This proceeding is necessarily altogether regarded with aversion by those who cling to their inverse order as the very good of life. The Egyptians cannot eat bread with the Hebrews, because that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

That there is this antipathy to eating together is of benefit to those represented by the Egyptians as well as to those represented by the Hebrews. For while the Hebrews are thus relieved from infestation, the Egyptians are less liable to commit profanation, for in case they associated with the Hebrews they would be likely to learn more truths than they otherwise would, and use these truths to confirm their old principles.

"He who confirms false principles, he grasps the prior principle, from which he is never willing to recede, or to remit the least thing, but he rakes together and accumulates confirming things wherever he can, thus also from the Word, even until he so persuades himself that he cannot any more see the truth", A. C. 589.

It is therefore better that they should be allowed to neglect the study of the Word, than that they should make such use of it. It is therefore for the best to both sides that they have such aversion for those who study the Word for the sake of life according to it, and even hold their principles in abomination.

"As concerns this abomination it is to be known that: they who are in inverse order, that is, in evil and thence the false, are at length so averse to the good and truth of the Church, that when they hear it, and more when they hear the interiors of them, they abominate them to that degree, that they feel with themselves as it were nausea and vomiting. This has been said and shown to me, when I wondered that the Christian world does not receive these interiors of the Word. There appeared spirits from the Christian world, and they were compelled to hear the interiors of the Word, they were seized with such nausea that they said they felt as it were an itching and vomiting in themselves. And it was said that such is the Christian world at this day almost everywhere", A. C. 5702.

"That it is such, the cause is that they are in no affection of truth for the sake of truth, still less in the affection of good from good. That they think and speak anything from the Word or from their doctrinal is from habit from infancy and from instituted usage, thus it is the external without the internal", A. C. 5702.

It is no wonder that the: plain presentation of the interior teachings of the Word invariably leads to opposition and division. The Egyptians cannot eat bread with the Hebrew. The Lord has to keep the Hebrews separate from the Egyptians in order that He may ultimately lead them out of Egypt to the land of Canaan.

"That all things which were of the Hebrew Church which was afterwards instituted with the posterity of Jacob were abomination to the Egyptians, is evident not only from this, that they were not willing even to eat with them, but also that the sacrifices in which the Hebrew Church placed their principal worship were abomination to them, as is evident in Moses: 'Pharaoh said, Go, sacrifice in the land, but Moses said, It is not well considered to do so, because we will sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our Gold; behold if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians in their eyes, will they not stone us?', Ex. 8:21, 22, [26]. Also that feeding cattle and a shepherd, were abomination to them, as also is evident in Moses: 'An abomination of the Egyptians is every shepherd of a, flock', Gen. 46:34. Thus whatsoever things were of that Church the Egyptians abominated. The cause was that at first the Egyptians were also among those who constituted the Representative Ancient Church; but afterwards they rejected the God of the Ancient Church, that is Jehovah or the Lord, and served idols, especially calves; also the very representatives and significatives of celestial and spiritual things, which they derived when they were of that Church, they turned into magical things. Hence they had inverse order, and abomination for al the things which are of the Church", A. C. 5702.

Here we see that both the Egyptians and the Hebrews were descended from the Ancient Church, which was then the prior or Old Church, but the Egyptians represented those who were led by their own intelligence; the Hebrews those who were Led by the Lord. In this world there are always two classes, and there can never be anything but opposition between them. Those who are led by themselves cannot eat bread with those who are really trying in a practical way to be led by the Lord, for that is an abomination to them.

Swedenborg as the instrument by means of which the interiors of the Word have been revealed was allowed to experience the hostility of such spirits to the interiors of the Word, with which his mind was stored, and his experience has been recorded for our instruction thus:

"When I was in bed, it was said to me, that evil spirits conspired against me, With the mind of suffocating me, but because I was safe and secure from the Lord I diffused those threats and went to sleep, but in the middle of the night I awoke, I felt that I did not respire from myself but from heaven, for there was nothing of my respiration, which I manifestly perceived. It was then said that the conspiracy was present, and it was said that they were those who have the interiors of the Word in hatred, that is, the very truths of faith, for these are the interiors of the Word, and this because they are against their fallacies, persuasions, and cupidities, with which they could defend the sense of the letter. Afterwards the leaders when their endeavor was vainly made, tried to enter into the viscera of my body, and to penetrate even to the heart, to which also they were admitted which was always perceived with manifest sense for he to whom the interiors which are of the spirit are opened, also receives at the same time a sensitive perception of such things. But then I was admitted into a certain heavenly stale, which was, that I endeavored nothing to repel those strangers, still less to revenge the injury; they said then that it was pacific; but immediately they were as if deprived of the rationality, breathing revenge, and endeavoring to perfect their endeavors, but in vain. Afterwards they were dissipated by themselves", A. C. 1879.

Such is the end of all attacks upon the interiors of the Word. Such is the result that can always be looked for by those who confidently stand by the interior truths of the Word, their opponents will attack, will, at their non-success, become deprived of even that rationality which they have, and finally will dissipate themselves. In the meantime all we have to do is to stand firm in our trust in the Lord as He is manifested in the interior truths given to the New Church--those who are averse to those principles, those who are unable to eat bread with us, and even hold it in abomination, will always dissipate themselves as soon as it is best they should do so. If we would be of those who suffer themselves to be led into genuine order by the Lord, we must accept such division as a necessity of that order, just as we have to accept the eternal division between heaven and hell. The Egyptians cannot eat bread with the Hebrews, because that is an abomination to the Egyptians.



8



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 9        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 21.

November 15th 1891. Reference: H. D. 2651

[Hebrew.] ISA. 40:8.

A. 9553. E. 507. Exaruit gramen, decidit flos, sed Verbum Dei nostri consistet in aeternum.

ISA. 40:8. The grass hath withered, the flower hath fallen, but the Word of our God will stand into eternity.

"'Word' in a general sense signifies an enunciation of the mouth or speech; and because speech is the thought of the mind enunciated by sounds, therefore, 'Word' signifies the thing which is thought; hence everything which really exists and is anything, in the original language is called a word; but in an eminent sense the Word is Divine Truth, from the cause that everything which really exists and that is anything is from the Divine Truth, therefore it is said in David: 'By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and by the breath of His mouth all t heir hosts", Ps. 33:6, where the Word of Jehovah is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord; the breath of the month of Jehovah is life thence; the heavens thence made, and all their hosts are the angels so far as they are receptions of the Divine Truth. That the heavens are angels is because they constitute heaven; and because angels are receptions of Divine Truth, therefore by angels in an abstract sense are signified the Divine Truths which are from the Lord; and the hosts of the heavens in the same sense are Divine Truths. Hence it can appear what is signified by the Word in John: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was with the Word; all things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made and the Word was made flesh and dwelt in us, and we saw His glory', 1:1, 3, 14. That the Lord is here understood by the Word is evident, for it is said that the Word was made flesh. That the Lord is the Word is because the Lord when He was in the world, was the Divine Truth Itself, and when He went from the world Divine Truth proceeded from Himself. That the Word in the supreme sense is the Lord as to Divine Truth, or what is the same, that the Word is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, appears from many places, as in David: 'They cried to Jehovah, and He sent His Word and healed them', Ps. 107:20. In John: 'The Word of the Father ye have not remaining in you, because ye believe not in Him whom He sent, neither will ye come to me that ye may have life', 5:38, 40. In the same: 'I have given them Thy Word, therefore the world hath them in hatred: sanctify them in Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth', 17:14, 17. And in the Apocalypse: 'He sitting upon the White Horse was clothed with a vesture tinged with blood, and His Name is called the Word of God, and He had upon His vestment and upon His thigh a Name written King of kings and Lord of lords', 19:13, 16. From these and other places it appears that Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is the Word, and in the supreme sense the Lord as to Divine Truth, for it is said that the name of the One sitting upon the white horse is the Word of God, and that He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords; and because the Word is the Divine Truth therefore it is said that He was clothed with a vesture tinged with blood, for by 'vesture' is signified truth, and by 'blood' truth from good. Hence it is that every Truth which is from the Divine is called the Word", A. C. 9987.

In this passage there is brought before us what the expression "the Word" means in three senses, in a general sense, in an eminent sense, and in the supreme sense.

In a general sense it signifies "Everything which really exists", especially a "thing which is thought" and enunciated by the mouth or speech.

In the eminent sense it signifies Divine Truth, namely, "every Truth which is from the Divine".

In the supreme sense it signifies "the Lord as to Divine Truth".

In confirmation of what is taught concerning the signification of the expression "the Word" in a general sense that it is everything which really exists it may be noted that the Hebrew expression [scanner unable to insert word] occurs 1335 times in the Old Testament and that it is translated in about ninety different ways in the authorized version. In 770 cases it is translated "word" thus rather more than half of the times it occurs. In 212 cases it is translated "thing" which as we have seen from the Writings is a general meaning of the expression. From its being somewhat equivalent to our word "thing", we can see what a very wide application it has, and we will see that this breadth of application in a certain way enters into each of the higher senses of the expression. For in the eminent sense it signifies "every Truth which is from the Divine", and in the supreme sense "the Lord as to Divine Truth" who is the All of all things in heaven. Again we read:

"That 'words' in the original language also signify things, is because 'words' in the internal sense signify truths of doctrine, wherefore every Divine Truth in general is called the Word", A. C. 5075.

"And the Lord Himself, from whom is every Divine Truth, is, in the supreme sense, the Word; and because nothing that exists in the universe, is anything, that is, is a thing, unless it is from the Divine Good by the Divine Truth, therefore 'words' in the Hebrew language are also things" A. C. 5075.

Some make a wide distinction between the Word and Doctrine from the Word; but the expression translated "Word" also signifies doctrine or what is the same, teaching, as is shown in the following passage:

"That 'the Word' signifies all doctrine concerning charity and faith thence, and that 'words' signify those things which are of doctrine appears in David: 'I will confess to Thee in rectitude of heart in my learning the judgments of Thy justice; I will keep Thy statutes: in what shall a young man render his path pure, in guarding according to Thy Word: in my whole heart I have sought Thee, make me not to wander from Thy precepts: in my heart I have hidden Thy Word, that I may not sin to Thee: Blessed art thou Jehovah, teach me Thy statutes, with my lips I have declared all the judgments of Thy mouth: in the way of Thy testimonies I have rejoiced: in Thy commandments I meditate; and I will regard Thy ways; in Thy statutes I am delighted, I do not forget Thy Word', Ps. 1196--17. The Word for doctrine in general; that there are distinguished there, precepts, judgments, testimonies, commandments, statutes, way, lips, is evident, all which things are of the Word or of Doctrine, also elsewhere in the Word those things everywhere signify distinct things", A. C. 1288.

From this it is evident that every Doctrine from the Divine is called the Word, just as every Truth from the Divine is.

Again the Ten Commandments are called the ten words, because those commandments are the Word in complex--a summary presentation of the whole.

"'Ten words' that it signifies all the Divine Truths therein, appears from the signification of ten, that they are all, and from the signification of 'words', that they are Divine Truths, hence it is that the precepts on those tables were ten in number", A. C. 10688.

All the truths therein, are all the truths of the spiritual sense, these are the particulars of the Word, which particulars taken together are necessarily the Word.

The signification of words as things and of the Word as Revelation is strikingly shown in the explanation of the statement concerning Abraham, that after these words the Word of Jehovah was made to Abraham in a vision, which, we are taught, "signifies that after combats in childhood there was revelation, appears from the signification of words, also of the Word of Jehovah to Abraham, as also from the signification of a vision. By 'words' in the Hebrew language are signified things, here things accomplished which are combats of the Lord's temptations. The Word of Jehovah to Abraham, is no other than the Word of the Lord with him; but in childhood, and in the combats of temptations, when the Essences were not yet united as one, it could not otherwise appear than as a revelation", A. C. 1785.

Here the Word made to Abraham is Revelation made to Him or rather to the Lord's Human as it was being glorified. It therefore also applies in a similar way to man's regeneration, the Word made to the regenerating man, is the Revelation from the Lord by means of which man is regenerated. That this revelation with us is the Writings is evident from this, that unless the Lord had come in the Divine Truths there revealed no one of us could have been saved. If we are saved therefore it must be by means of them. But no one can be saved, that is regenerated, that is created, except by the Word, for without the Word, nothing was ever made that was made, nor ever can be.

"As concerns the Word, in the original language thing is expressed by Word; hence also Divine Revelation is called the Word and also the Lord in a supreme sense", A. C. 5272.

"And by the Word when it is predicated concerning the Lord, and also concerning Revelation from Him, in the proximate sense is signified Divine Truth, from which all things which are things exist. That all things which are things, have existed and exist by the Divine Truth which is from the Lord, thus by the Word, is an arcanum which has not yet been disclosed. It is believed that by that is understood that all things were created by that God said and commanded like a king in his kingdom; but this is not understood by that all things were made and created by the Word, but it is the Divine Truth which proceeds from the Divine Good, that is, which proceeds from the Lord from whom all things have existed and exist, Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is the verimost reality and the verimost essential that is in the universe, this makes and creates. Concerning the Divine Truth scarcely anyone has other idea than as concerning a word which flows from the mouth of one speaking and is dissipated in the air. This idea, concerning Divine Truth produces that opinion that by the Word is understood only n mandate, and then all things were made only from what was commanded, thus not from anything real which has proceeded from the Divine of the Lord. But, as said: Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is the verimost reality and essential from which all things are--forms of good and truth are from that", A. C. 5272.

The Divine Truth is not some vague and mysterious thing supposed to be floating in the atmosphere; but it is revealed to us in visible and definite forms, from which we can, if we will, learn to recognize it as the verimost reality in the universe. It is in a revelation of Divine Truth that the Lord has come to save all who will receive Him. That Revelation, because the Lord has come in it, is a most real manifestation of Divine Truth. It is not merely something about the Word, but is the very fulness of the Word, whereby the previous forms of the Word may be infilled in our minds. Only by means of that Revelation can any Teal or permanent Church be formed, thus no otherwise can the New Church be formed, for no other Church has been permanent.

"The glory of Jehovah will be revealed and they will see.... A voice saith: cry; and he said: what shall I cry? All flesh is grass and all its holiness as the flower of the field, the grass hath withered and the flower fallen, because the wind of Jehovah bloweth upon it: truly the people is grass. The grass hath withered, the flower hath fallen; but the Word of our God will stand into eternity. These words are concerning the Advent of the Lord, and then concerning revelation of Divine Truth from Him which is understood by the glory of Jehovah will be revealed and they will see. That then there will not be with men any scientific truth nor any spiritual truth, is signified by that all flesh is grass, all holiness as the flower of the field. Grass is scientific truth, the flower of the field is spiritual truth. That man is such is understood by all flesh is grass, and by truly the people is grass, the grass hath withered; all flesh is every man, people are they who were in truths, now in falses", A. E. 507.

Such was the state of the world at the Lord's Advent; such is the state of the world, except so far as the Word has been acknowledged and received as it has now come--scientific truth as well as spiritual truth has been falsified--as have all the truths of previous Revelations, and therefore the Churches formed from them have each in turn perished. The grass hath withered: the flower hath fallen. Now first is there being established a Church which will last for ever, because now the Word has been revealed in the fulness of its glory. Never again will there cease to be a Church receiving it in its integrity. The Word of our God will stand for ever.

"By 'green grass' in the Word is signified that good and truth of the Church or of faith is first born in the natural man", A. R. 401.

In regeneration certain preparatory and transient states precede the permanent states resulting from regeneration, just as various transient Churches had to precede the New Church, just as the natural Christian Church such as was Christian in name only, had to precede the establishment of the spiritual or true Christian Church; and just as in the New Church itself, it too is comparatively natural ill its beginning, and appears in a form which is transient and has to be succeeded by that which is genuine. The good and truth of the Church first implanted in the natural man is as the green grass which has withered. Green grass is indeed scientific truth; but it is truth from a spiritual origin; even as was the truth of the previous Christian Church; even as has been the truth in the early states of the New Church. But because it ceased to be conjoined to life according to it, it has withered. When there is faith without charity there is no grass, but only sand, and foolish is the man who builds thereon. But grass prepares the ground for higher forms of vegetation If the knowledges of truth which we have received, comparatively meagre as they may be, are conjoined to life according to them, we will have receptacles in our mind for the truth and good which come from heaven. But from that purpose the scientifics in our mind must have a spiritual origin, and they must be conjoined to life. Nothing of the Church can be built upon a merely natural foundation--such as alone exists in the Old Church, except with the remnant there. If we would receive into ourselves: the Church which will last for ever, we must from first to last rely only upon truths from a spiritual origin--only upon truths of revelation, and life according to them. We are taught that at the Lord's Advent: all flesh is grass--the grass hath withered. The truths of the previous revelations of the Word, though spiritual in their origin are lifeless, they have become as to the falsified understanding of them truth of merely natural origin. If these dead scientifics are to become living again in us, if the truths of the previous revelations are to become genuine with us, and if we are to receive the glory of Divine Truth, which will form the Church which is to last for ever, we must look for the means in the Evangel of the Lord's New Advent for this completes the revelation of the Word with us, and thereby alone can the Word stand for ever Church that will never fall. Let us therefore put no trust in the previous forms of the Word separated from this their Spirit, still less in truths of merely human origin, and in any truths except for the sake of life according to them. If we would receive the Word at all we must receive it in the fulness in which the Lord has given it to us. The grass hath withered, the flower hath faded; but the Word of our God will stand for ever.



9



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 10        FIRST SERIES. Nr. 22.

December 7th 1891. Reference: H. D. 2652-266.

[Hebrew.] MICAH 4:2.

E. 22011. Nam a Zione exibit doctrina, et Verbum (Jehovae) ex Hierosolyma.

MICAH 4:2. For from Zion shall go forth doctrine, and the Word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem.

"It is to he known that in the Word, especially in the Prophets, one thing is doubly described, as in Isaiah: 'He has passed in peace the way He did not go with His feet: who hath operated and done?', 41:3, 4, where nevertheless the one regards good, but the other truth, or one the things which are of the will, the other the things which are of the understanding; thus to pass in peace involves the things which are of the will, not to go the way with the feet, the things which or, of the understanding, similarly to operate and to do: thus are conjoined in the Word those things which are of the will and of the understanding, or which are of love and of faith, or, what is the same, celestial and spiritual things, in order that in the single things there may be the resemblance of marriage, and they may refer themselves to the heavenly marriage", A. C. 683.

"He who does not know the internal sense of the Word, can never otherwise think than that there is only repetition of the same thing. Similar things occur elsewhere in the Word, especially with the Prophets, where the same thing is expressed with different words; and sometimes also it is taken up again, and again described; but the cause is, as has been said before, that there are two faculties with man most distinct from each other, the understanding and the will, and that it is treated in the Word distinctly concerning each--this is the cause of the repetitions", A. C. 707.

Thus is it in the text with regard to Zion and Jerusalem for we read that:

"When Zion and Jerusalem are named together, then the celestial Church is signified by them, by Zion its internal, and by Jerusalem its external;... but when Jerusalem is named without Zion, then for the most part the spiritual Church is signified", A. C. 6545.

Doctrine is said to go forth from Zion because it is spiritual from a celestial origin, thus:

"In order that it may be further known how it has itself with the Doctrine of Faith, that it is spiritual from a celestial origin, it is to be known that it is Truth Divine from Good Divine thus wholly Divine. What is Divine is incomprehensible because above all understanding, even the angelic; but still this Divine which in itself is incomprehensible can inflow through the Divine Human of the Lord into man's rational, and when it inflows into his rational, it is received there according to the truths which are there, thus diversely and otherwise with one than with another. So far therefore as the truths which are with man are more genuine, so far also the Divine which inflows is more perfectly received, and so far man's intellectual is enlightened. In the Word of the Lord are the truths themselves; but in its literal sense are truths which are accommodated to the grasp of those who are in external worship; but in its internal sense are truths accommodated to those who are internal men, who, namely, as to doctrine and at the same time life are angelic; their rational is thence enlightened so far, that the enlightenment is compared to the splendor of the stars and the sun, Dan. 12:3. Matt. 13:43; hence it is evident how important it is that interior truth should be known and received", A. C. 2531.

"These truths can indeed be known but never received except by those who are in love or in faith into the Lord. For the Lord as He is Divine Good, so He is Divine Truth, therefore He is Doctrine itself", A. C. 2531.

"For whatever is in the Doctrine of the truth of faith, regards the Lord, it also regards the heavenly kingdom and the Church, and the things which are of the heavenly kingdom and the Church; but those things are all His, and are intermediate ends through which the ultimate is regarded, that is, the Lord. That the Lord is Doctrine itself as to truth and good, thus who alone is regarded in Doctrine, He Himself teaches in John: Jesus said, am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, 14:6, 7, where Way is doctrine, Truth all that which is of Doctrine, Life good itself which is the life of truth", A. C. 2531.

From this we see that Doctrine is the Lord Himself. As Doctrine means teaching, it means the Lord as our Teacher. No teaching can benefit the Church but the teaching which the Lord gives from Himself. Hence Doctrine is interior to truth. Doctrine is intermediate between truth and good, it is the Way from truth to good. Hence it is that in the test Doctrine is said to go forth from Zion, the internal of the Church, and the Divine Truth, or the Word of the Lord, from Jerusalem, the external of the Church.

As long as any Truth which we see in written forms, whether in the Old and New Testaments, or in the Writings, is not allowed to teach us the way to attain something of spiritual good, it is mere truth to us, the truth which condemns all to hell. Again, as long as any of the Doctrines which we have in written forms in the Writings, are not regarded with the end and purpose of carrying them into the life, they are then to us the mere Doctrine which cannot make the Church. The trine Truth, Doctrine, and Life cannot be separated in the true Church; for the Church cannot live without receiving the Lord as Doctrine, the Lord as Truth and the Lord as the only source of life, thus the Lord as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In order to receive spiritual life there must be Doctrine out of Zion and the Word out of Jerusalem.

Thus we see something of the force of the expression "Doctrine from the Word" when we remember that Doctrine is Teaching. To draw Doctrine from the Word is to allow the Word or Divine Truth to teach us. In the Writings the Word, that is, the Lord, manifests Himself for the express purpose of teaching those who will be of His New Church, therefore the Writings may be called the doctrinal form of the Word. Not but that the Word as given in the Old and New Testaments also teaches. They convey the teaching that is absolutely necessary for the foundation planes of the mind; but the Writings are emphatically for teaching as they are addressed to the rational plane of the mind where alone teaching can be continued in fulness. Only from the Word as ultimated in the Writings can the rational mind draw the teaching it needs. Each of the three planes of the mind can draw the teaching or doctrine which it needs from one of the three forms of the Ward which we possess. And from each farm of the Word doctrine or teaching is drawn in the same way, by viewing one part in the light of the others and then by viewing that derived from the more external forms of the Word in the light of that derived from the internal forms thereof. Thus if we wish the Writings to teach us we must study each of the teachings there given in the light of the rest of what is there taught. The Writings are the Word which goes forth out of Jerusalem, but unless we so receive them as to be taught by them, that is, unless we receive their teaching or doctrine into our lives, the Doctrine does not go forth out of Zion to us. The Doctrine from Zion being the teaching conveyed by each form of the Word, but especially that conveyed in the Writings, whereby we are led from Truth to Good, whereby we penetrate to the mount of Zion within Jerusalem.

"That most things also have an opposite sense, is because before the land of Canaan was made the heritage of the sons of Jacob, it was possessed by the nations, by whom were signified falses and evils; and also afterwards when the sons of Jacob went into what was contrary; for the lands put on the representation of the nations and peoples who are there, according to their quality", A. C. 4816.

Thus, therefore, Zion and Jerusalem have also an opposite sense, when they signify the internal and external of what is opposed to the Church. The doctrine which goes forth from Zion in the opposite sense is therefore teaching from evil. Each form of the Word is so written that we can draw therefrom whatever teaching me choose. We can take the letter thereof to confirm any notion whatever. The Writings are no exception to this rule. Diametrically opposite teaching can he derived from them to all appearance. We can collect statements therefrom in such a way as to make them confirm any idea we may have. In order to avoid doing this we have to take care to study them in their own light. We must not be satisfied to understand the words therein with just the meanings which the world attaches to them; but if we would advance at all in the study of what they really contain, He must learn from them to attach a new meaning to the words and still ever new meaning as we advance. For instance the words "Charity", "Christian", "Priest", "Freedom", "Rule", each convey to us quite different ideas in proportion as we learn their New Church signification from what they convey as understood in the world. It is because there is unlimited possibility for us to advance if we will in the understanding of the expression of truth of which the Writings consist, that there is no limitation to what they can convey to us. All the causes of limitation are in ourselves, but the Writings are so written that they are the infinite source of the teaching of Divine Truth for the Church which is to last for ever. Our reception therefrom must ever be limited, of course, even that of the highest angel is limited; but our reception like that of the angels can for ever become less and less limited. Only let us avoid that attitude which does not merely limit but shuts out genuine teaching from our mind, and opens us only to the teaching which confirms our old ideas. Let us ever endeavor to put what is old in our understanding of the Word aside, so that we may be able to be taught more of what is new from the Word. As the doctrine from Zion in the opposite sense is evil teaching, that is, teaching which is merely natural, so the Word from Jerusalem in the opposite sense is everything which proceeds from self-intelligence.

We are taught that "the internal sense follows its own subject as predicated", H. D. 265. The subject of this chapter from which the text is taken is concerning the New Church to be established by the Lord at His Coming. Therefore all the particulars of the text are prophetical of what the state of the genuine New Church will be. It is in the New Church that Doctrine must go forth out of Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The Church consists of those who delight in learning and doing what the Word teaches. The New Church consists of those who delight in learning and doing according to the teaching which the Lord has provided for their rational minds in the Evangel of His New Advent.

"Spirits who in the life of the body were delighted with the Word of the Lord, they in the other life have a certain delightful heavenly heat, which also it has been given me to feel. They who were somewhat delighted, their heat, communicated to me, was like vernal heat beginning from the region of the lips, and diffusing itself round the cheeks, and thence even to the ears, and ascending also to the eyes, descending also toward the middle region of the breast. They who were still more affected with the delight of the Word of the Lord and with its interiors, which the Lord Himself had taught, their heat communicated with me, was interior, beginning from the breast and ascending toward the chin, and descending toward the loins. They who were still more delighted and affected, their heat was still more interiorly delightful, and was more vernal, and indeed from the loins upwards toward the breast and thence through the left arm to the hand. I was instructed by the angels that the matter has itself thus, and that the approach of those presents such heats although they do not feel them, because they are in them; as infants, boys, and youths are wont not to feel their heat which they have above adults and old people, because they are in it. The heat also was felt of those who indeed were delighted with the Word, but were not solicitous concerning the understanding of it, it was only in the right arm. As concerns heat, evil spirits can also produce heat by their artifices, which feigns delight, and they can communicate it to others, but it is only external heat without origin from the internals. Such heat it is which putrifies, and goes into excrement, like the heat of       adulterers and of those who are immersed in foul pleasures", A. C. 1773.

Thus is described in the correspondential appearances of the other world, the various degrees of love for the Word and also the spurious love which the evil may have for it. According to our love of the Word will be the doctrine or teaching which we will be able to receive from it. Indeed love for the Word and still more for the interiors of it, enables us to recognize genuine teaching and to reject the spurious teaching of those whose ideas are merely natural. If ye will to do the will of God, ye shall know of the Doctrine whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.

At the end of the chapter on the Word in THE HEAVENLY DOCTRINE, we are taught:

"That the books of the Word are all those which have the internal sense but those which do not have it are not the Word", H. D. 266.

That is, all books that have the internal sense of the Word, are books of the Word, and no others. In every Divine Revelation from the Lord there is of necessity the infinite internal sense including the supreme sense, for what is from the Lord cannot be other, internally regarded, but infinite; however, it may be clothed externally in limited forms for the sake of accommodation to finite beings. Let us not be deceived by the fact that every form of the Word is to all external appearance limited--it would be useless to finite beings if it were otherwise. It is in regard to the internal that we must recognize that it has infinite extension. In the light of this doctrine therefore, we may ask: do the Writings have the internal sense of the Word? If they have then they are hooks of the Word. If they do not present to us the Internal sense of the Word in a form Divinely accommodated to teach our rational minds, then the New Church has nothing but the shifting sands of human interpretation for its foundation, like that upon which 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. 7:27. But the Lord has come, as the Word ultimated in a form perfectly because Divinely adapted to form the New Church in us if only we will really consent to be taught thereby, and thus found the New Church upon the: rock of faith in Him as He has manifested Himself in His New Advent.

Lastly we are told which books in the Old and New Testaments are books of the Word. For our knowledge as to which of those books are the Word and which are not, even for our rational knowledge that any of them are the Word we are indebted solely to the Writings. There are no indications whereby we could have distinguished them. Some of them like the book of Job are written in correspondences, and therefore have an internal sense, but it is not the internal sense of the Word. Correspondences do not cause a book to be a book of the Word, for all the books of the times of the Ancient Church were so written and they are not entirely absent from some modern books. The fact of having a sense internal to that of the surface does not make a book to be a hook of the Word, for most books have that more or less. The one thing that determines it is have they the internal sense of the Word? If they have they are hooks of the Word. if they have not they are not. Each of the three forms of the Word which is with us, has the internal sense, the difference being in its being more or less openly manifested in the one than in the other, and differently accommodated. The Word of the Old Testament has the internal sense of the Word; but in forms adapting it to the lowest plane of the mind. The Word of the New Testament has the internal sense of the Word; but in forms accommodated to a comparatively interior plane of the mind. The Writings have the internal sense of the Word, for in them it is most openly revealed; but it is in forms accommodated to the rational plane of the mind. Only the Word as presented in the Writings can teach the Word to our rational minds. Each form is absolutely necessary, and the three forms together make but one Word, one full accommodation of the Word to each and every plane of the mind that can be active in this world. It is because in the New Church the Word thus exists in accommodation to all the planes of our mind, therefore in a fulness of accommodation such as never before, that it is prophesied that the Word will go forth from Jerusalem. For only in the Church of the New Jerusalem has the Word really a full abiding place. Only there is the Word received as it is accommodated for each plane of the mind. The New Church cannot possibly exist when those books of the Word which have been given to teach the rational plane of our minds are rejected or their Divine authorship denied. They are the Word because they are of and from and the Lord Himself, and in them He Himself, teaches us how to rationally receive Him, how to rationally understand the special end and purpose of each form of the Word that has been given. Only by truly receiving this rational form of the Word can we be saved from a perverted reception of every form of the Word. The Word has never been with any Church in such fulness of accommodation as now with the New Church, in the three forms which make the accommodation complete for all planes, nor could it have been until the Lord had glorified His Human and effected His New Advent therein. Therefore for ever in the genuine New Church from Zion shall go forth doctrine and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.



10



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 11        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 1.

November 17th 1895. Reference: T. 189-192.

JOHN 1:1. [Greek.]

T. 190. Et Deus erat Verbum.

JOHN 1:1. And God was the Word.

The presentation of the Doctrine of the Word is, with some modifications and additions, the same as that given in the FOUR PRIMARY DOCTRINES, but is arranged in quite a different series from that given in THE NEW JERUSALEM AND ITS HEAVENLY DOCTRINE, the consideration of which was brought before you in a series of Sermons some four years ago. It can be expected therefore that the subject will appear in clearer light now and that from a new consideration of it as here presented, further particulars of knowledge will be received and the general doctrine be more fully confirmed and impressed. It is a subject which cannot be too well known by members of the Church, for it concerns the very means by which the Lord is present with us to teach and lend us, and shows us where alone we can practically look to the Lord for guidance.

"Sacred Scripture or the Word is Divine Truth Itself", T. C. R. 189.

There is no difference between the words Scripture and Writing except that one is Latin and the other English--they are respectively the Latin and English expressions for the same thing. Therefore that some books of the Word are referred to as the Scriptures and some as the Writings, may serve a purpose as to convenience of reference; but it obscures the thought, if those terms are regarded as implying any essential difference. Sacred Scripture is simply Sacred Writing. But Sacred Scripture is here used as synonymous with the Lord's Word, which is Divine Truth Itself. The expressions used by the Lord in accommodating His teaching to His finite creatures, are always the simplest possible. Human ingenuity has sometimes been misapplied to obscure such expressions and leave them only a most vague and mysterious meaning. This has been especially the case in regard to the Greek expression for the Word, the Logos, which has thus been reduced to a vagueness which has taken away its practical application to man. This is but one of the innumerable ways in which the Word has been rejected and made of none effect by the Old Church. But, allowing for the distinction between the Infinite and the finite, the Word when used in regard to the Lord means jest the same as when it is used in regard to a man. A man's word is what he himself says or writes; and there is nothing more mysterious about the expression the Lord's Word--it means simply what the Lord Himself says or writes. Again the Word of the Lord is Divine Truth Itself. Strictly speaking there is no Truth, certainly nothing can properly be called Divine Truth, but what the Lord Himself has said. Whatever else we call truth or true is so-called only in a merely natural sense of the expressions. There is but one final test of Truth--has the Lord so said? Hence whether anything be called Sacred Scripture or Sacred Writing, or the Word, or Divine Truth Itself, it comes to the same--they are interchangeable terms. To that to which one of those terms can be rightly applied, the others can be rightly applied too. The same teaching is implied in the text God was the Word. God, means the Lord as to Divine Truth, the Word means the Divine Truth which the Lord has revealed. Whatever is really Divine Truth is the Word, holds equally with the converse that the Word is Divine Truth Itself. The Word is God: God is the Word.

In order to receive a clear idea of this subject, the first ignorance which must be dispersed is ignorance as to where in the Word the Divine is. In this matter, as in all others, thought should be from the internal concerning the external--not as all natural thought is, from the external concerning the internal. When this latter kind of thought is applied to the Word so that it is regarded as to its external only, there is apt to be contempt for it. For the external, merely as such, does not recommend itself to the natural man, nearly as much as do the writings of many of the standard authors of the world. Nevertheless the external of the Word is to some extent extolled and magnified by the Old Church. But this is because it has been used so largely to confirm the inventions of man s own intelligence and because with some it gives those inventions more authority. Man is ready to extol anything that will serve his own purposes in this way. But whether they thus extol the external of the Word or openly reject it, it remains true that those who regard it from its external only, easily fall into contempt for it, and do so whenever it is not reverenced because it is from the Lord, and indeed is the Lord speaking to man. When this is known and acknowledged on the one hand,--when it is recognized on the other hand that the external is what is necessary to accommodate Infinite Truth to man's finite reception, then it can be seen that the Divine in the Word is in its internal, and only in the external from that. Then it can be seen that the internal is the very Word which the Lord has spoken, and the external the clothing which is of necessity assumed for its manifestation in this world. The externals may be varied as they are in the different forms of the Word, still because they are from the Lord, they are internally the same Divine Truth. This is comparatively as a sensible man clothes himself suitably to whatever occupation he may be about to engage in, so the Lord clothes Himself in one way to operate in the externals of man's mind and in another way to operate in the rational plane of man's mind, each way perfectly adapted to the work undertaken. Crude as the style of the Word appears when regarded merely as to its external, yet when it is thus learned how perfectly the external is adapted to the work of accommodating the Infinite to finite reception, the truth can be seen that even:

"The style of the Word is the very Divine Style, with which no other style however sublime and excellent it may appear can be compared", T. C. R. 191.

This can be still more clearly recognized when it is learned how the Lord has varied the style in which He has presented Himself as the Word, and how those variations each con-tribute to the perfection of their accommodation. It cannot be said of the various forms of the Word that the style of any one is more or less perfect than that of the others. Not only is each internally the same Divine Truth, but also each is externally a perfect accommodation thereof to man. In the New Church this teaching has been readily seen and accepted as applying to the older forms of the Word, but there has been, and with many there still is, hesitation, and even refusal to recognize it as applying to the form of the Word which the Lord has given in His New Advent. It has been received more as agreeing with the Word, than as being the Word--as containing Divine Truth rather than as being Divine Truth. Yet when the Lord gives a Revelation of Truth to man, He cannot do otherwise than do it perfectly--if it were less than perfect it could not be His. And it would be less than perfect, were it not perfect externally as well as internally. But the perfection of the internal is of one kind and that of the external is another. The perfection of the internal is its Truth--the perfection of the external is the wisdom of its accommodation. In the Writings the Lord has accommodated His Divine Truth for man's rational reception just as perfectly as He has accommodated the same Divine Truth in the Old and New Testaments for reception in the other planes of man's mind. Hence the very external style of the Writings is the very Divine Style, for it is the Lord's own means, and therefore a perfect means of accommodating Divine Truth to man's rational reception. Thus the Writings Divine in form as well as in essence, and contempt for their form should be shunned as evidence of the thought being from the proprium rather than from the Lord. Only in the degree in which this is fully recognized can a translation be made to approximate that perfection of form, or the fact of the Lord's New Advent be actually seen. The Lord has come as God, the one only God, as Divine Truth; and Divine Truth is form itself--the very form of the Divine Good the form in which Divine Good is present with man. All sacred Writing by which the Lord has revealed Himself is His Word and is Divine Truth. Divine Truth is Divine Truth because the Lord has spoken it. His Word is God with us. It was doubtless of Divine Providence and significative of much, that the human instrument by which the Lord has revealed Himself more fully than ever before, should have been named Emanuel, for now that the Lord has come as Divine Truth accommodated to the rational as well as the other planes of the human mind, it can be said with a fuller meaning than ever before that God is with us--Emanuel.

The Lord has come as the Word to give life to man. In His New Advent He has provided for the life of the rational mind, in order that through the rational He may rule the whole man.

"But it is to be well known that they alone have life from the Word who read it for the sake of the end that they may derive Divine Truths from it as from their fountain, and at the same time for the sake of the end that they may apply the Divine Truths thence derived to life; and that the contrary takes place with those who read the Word only for the sake of the end that they may acquire honours and gain the world", T. C. R. 191.

The only acknowledgment of the Lord as God that is real is the acknowledgment of obedience. The Lord has effected His New Advent for the sake of man s salvation, and without it no one could have been saved, but the salvation is received from Him only by such as read what He has now revealed for the sake of application to their own life--it is thus only that they really make Him their God, and realize that the Word which reveals Him is God with us. Unwillingness to render such obedience is the real cause why men cannot be convinced of this Truth. Hence this morning's lesson concludes with this declaration:

"Lest man should he in doubt that the: Word is Divine and most Holy, there has been revealed to me by the Lord its internal sense which in its essence is spiritual, which is in the external sense which is natural, as the soul is in the body; that sense is the spirit which vivifies the letter; wherefore that sense can testify concerning the Divinity and Sanctity of the Word, and convince even the natural man if he be willing to he convinced", T. C. R. 192.

That so few are convinced therefore is not in any wise because the Writings need to be better accommodated to men's reception as some seem to think, but because so few are willing to be convinced. That the Lord in His First Advent claimed to be God was blasphemy to the Jews, similarly in His New Advent the claim that the Revelation in which He has come is His own Word, is the God to which the New Church must render implicit obedience, is regarded as blasphemy and as derogatory to the forms of the Word before acknowledged. Instead of being derogatory to them this new Revelation testifies concerning their Divinity and Sanctity with a rational clearness before unknown and makes it evident how absolutely necessary each of them is in its place. The relation between the internal and external of the Word, is similar to that between the Lord and His Human, and both are similar to that between the soul and body of each man. Even the finite soul of man is above the plane of his consciousness, much more is God, as He is in Himself, above and beyond human comprehension. But as we know man's soul through its manifestation in the body, so can we know God as He is revealed to us in the forms of the Word, especially now that God is with us even as to the revealing of the rational life of His Human by which all who are willing may enter intellectually into the mysteries of faith, and render rational service to the God whose every word is Divine Truth Itself.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 12        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 2.

November 24th 1895. Reference: T. 193-195.

JOHN 6:63. [Greek.]

T. 190. Verba quae Ego loquor vobis, Spiritus sunt et Vita sunt.

JOHN 6:63. The words which I speak to you are Spirit and are Life.

Whatever the Lord speaks is spirit and is life. As was pointed out last week--there is no final test of Truth but: Has the Lord so said? What He says is Truth and strictly speaking nothing else is. The section to be considered this morning shows moreover that all truth from the Lord has in it His own Spirit and Life. Not only is whatever the Lord says of necessity Truth--but it is also of necessity infinite--the spirit thereof is infinite however it may he presented in limited formsand also is equally infinite however the ultimate forms he varied. Hitherto, until revealed by the Lord in His New Advent it has been unknown that there is a spiritual sense in the Word--there has been no knowledge either as to what the spiritual sense is or where in the Word it is.

"That the Word in its bosom is spiritual is because it has descended from Jehovah the Lord, and passed through the Angelic Heavens; and the Divine Itself which in itself is ineffable and imperceptible, in its descent was made adequate to the perception of angels and at last to the perception of men, hence is the spiritual sense which is within in the natural sense, just as the soul in man, the thought of the understanding in the speech and the affection of the will in action; also if it be allowed compared with such things as appear before the eyes in the natural world the spiritual sense is in the natural sense as the universal brain is in its meninges and maters, or like the branches of a tree within its barks, yes as all things of the generation of a chick are within the shell of an egg, and so forth", T. C. R. 193.

The Divine Itself is ineffable and imperceptible--it is high above the heavens, where the sphere first proceeding from it appears as a Sun distant from the angels comparatively as the sun of the world is from us. It seems as if the light and heat of the sun are perceptible by us; but in reality we only perceive them as they are received in the gross atmospheres immediately around ourselves. Hence when we ascend into a less dense atmosphere it feels colder not because the heat is really less, but because it is less perceptible by us from not being sufficiently accommodated. From this it can be seen how it is with the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord. If it be not sufficiently tempered it would not be perceptible--indeed it needs many successive temperings and lastly to be ultimated in natural receptacles before it can be perceptible by man. Just as neither the heat nor the light of the sun are perceptible by man before they are ultimated in the natural atmospheres of this earth. It is the Divine Itself of the Word which is thus imperceptible not only to man but also to the angels. The spiritual sense is the Divine Truth as it is tempered for the Heavens--and is what is meant by Our Father in the Heavens in the Lord's Prayer, which thus teaches that it is that sense which we are to look to and strive to attain, for it is in that sense that we can find the Lord as He is known by angels and as we must learn to know Him as we become prepared to be angels. This sense is in the natural sense as a soul in its body. Nothing can appear in this world to the natural eyesight unless it be clothed in a natural body, therefore of necessity all Divine Revelation is presented to men here in a natural body, which is called its letter. The letter in itself is dead, just as much as is a human body without a soul. The spirit is the life, as the Lord declared in the text The Words which I speak unto you are Spirit and are Life, and it is only as we receive that spirit that we receive spiritual life.

"The Spiritual Sense is not that which shines forth from the sense of the letter of the Word when anyone scrutinizes and explains the Word to confirm some dogma of the Church, this sense can be called the literal and ecclesiastical sense", T. C. R. 194.

Now it can be readily seen that any Divine Revelation can be used in this way, that therefore each has a literal and ecclesiastical sense. Have not the Writings frequently been scrutinized and explained in order to confirm some dogma of the Church? The expression "some dogma of the Church" like most expressions in the Word, is used both in a bad sense and a good sense, here evidently in a bad sense. A dogma, of the Church ought to be her belief as formed by the Lord's teaching. But a corrupt and a dead Church forms her dogmas from self-intelligence, and only goes to the Word to find confirmation thereof. When this is the end in view it is only the literal and ecclesiastical sense that call he reached. Even if the Writings be the form of the Word thus used, or rather abused, it is only the literal and ecclesiastical sense thereof that is seen. What is really the spiritual sense--the life of the Word--could not confirm such dogmas or do other than expose their falsity. Hence all should hear in mind that they cannot see what is really the spiritual sense, unless they go to Divine Revelation to be taught the evils and falses which they should shun, only so can anyone become receptive of the spirit and life of what the Lord reveals.

"But the spiritual sense does not appear in the sense of the letter, it is within in it, as a soul in its body, as the thought of understanding in the eyes, and as the affection of love in the face", T. C. R. 194.

This evidently means that it does not appear in the mere sense of the letter, for it does appear there as the soul in the body, or as affection appears in the face. The Word is as it were the Lord's face and expresses both His Love and His Wisdom. But even as devils can only see Him as an angry and revengeful God, so are all whose attitude causes them to be connected with hell unable to see the Lord's face except as appearing opposite to what He really is. When the Lord says that His words are spirit and are life, He teaches men that they should look to the spirit and life of His Word rather than to the mere letter. Now men look to the spirit of His Word when they are really and sincerely seeking to learn what the Lord intends to convey to them. The spirit of any law is that which the maker of the law really intends to effect by it. So the Spirit of the Lord's Word is simply the teaching which He intends to give to men and which He desires them to receive, but which no one can receive except they seek it. It is impossible for those who are perfectly satisfied with their own notions as to what is good or what is evil, and who only desire to confirm those notions to even see the spirit of the Lord's teaching, even when it is expressed rationally as in the Writings. Such either reject the Writings as being the Lord's Word or, worse still, they scrutinize and explain them to confirm their own notions, in a more internal and more plausible manner than they otherwise could. Remember then that the Spiritual Sense of the Lord's Word is seen only in the degree in which you learn to see what the Lord Himself really means to convey, and that to do so the Writings or Scripture in which it is ultimated must be searched with that object--otherwise only a merely literal sense is perceived. The Spirit of the Lord's teaching, that is, what He really intends to convey to those who would he of His Church as distinguished from what He appears to others to say, is the Spiritual Sense.

"That sense principally causes that the Word is spiritual not only for men, but also for angels; wherefore the Word by that sense communicates with the heavens", T. C. R. 194.

The letter in itself does not communicate with the heavens, but only because and when it is receptive of the spiritual sense. Hence when it is filled instead in men's minds with their own false notions, that communication is cut off, and in place thereof communication is opened through those falses with the hells. The spiritual sense cannot indeed be received except on the literal basis, and hence there cannot be communication with heaven without the letter, nevertheless that communication is effected through the spiritual sense, through what is really the spirit of what the Lord says, and never without that. The Word is presented to the angels in literal forms as well as to men, hence the spiritual sense principally causes the Word to be spiritual not only for men but also for angels. Angels too must look to the spirit of what is written. If even they were only to seek to confirm their present ideas of truth, advance would be impossible to them, therefore the angelic state itself would be impossible to them for that state is essentially one of perpetual advance. Thus even the angels have to suffer their understandings to be elevated above their present state so that they may see more of the spirit of the Lord's teaching than they have before, and thus they too are continually looking more to the spiritual sense, which is the spirit and intention of the Lord's teaching and therefore is inexhaustible to eternity.

"Since the Word interiorly is spiritual, therefore it is written by pure correspondences, and what is written by correspondences, this in the ultimate sense is written in such a style as in the Prophets, Evangelists and in the Apocalypse, which although it appears common still it hides in itself Divine Wisdom and all angelic wisdom T. C. R. 194.

All correspondence is produced by the changes of form which the Divine Truth of itself assumes as it flows down from one plane of life to a lower. Therefore to write by pure correspondences is to write exactly according to the Divine law of influx. Hence it is the only perfect way of writing, and because it is the only perfect way it is the only way in which the Lord could speak to man. Only the Infinite Divine Wisdom Itself could cause Truth to be written by pure correspondence. Pure correspondences perfectly express the Truth on every plane of life, from the lowest to the highest. The Word in the celestial heaven as well as that on earth is written by pure correspondences, for that means according to the law of influx on that plane, exactly according to the forms which the Divine Truth Itself takes on as it inflows into that heaven. No revelation could be the Lord's Word unless it were written by pure correspondences, for otherwise it would not be a perfect expression of the Truth. The Writings are written by pure correspondence, that is, exactly according to the law of influx into man's rational mind, thus exactly according to the forms which the Divine Truth Itself takes on when it inflows into man's rational mind, as it has taken on when it inflowed into the rational mind of the Lord's assumed Human. Thus the Word being written by pure correspondence involves that its appearances on any given plane are the appearances common to that plane, and therefore the Word to all who judge it from its external only, appears to be in a common style; only when the spirit of its teaching: is perceived can it be realized that it hides within it the Divine Wisdom and all angelic wisdom.

Divine Truth as it proceeds from the Lord takes on discretely different appearances, as it passes through the various planes of finite life, not only as to the written Word but also as to all the created things of each plane. In the highest heaven it appears as the Divine Celestial, and in the middle as the Divine Spiritual, and in the lowest heaven as the Divine Natural. In the world it appears as Nature in created things, in expressions taken from Nature in the written Word. Nothing appears in the world except in natural forms. Hence each form of the Word given in the world, is externally a natural form, though on the natural plane they represent the three forms in which the Word respectively appears in the three heavens.

"Of such quality as heaven is such also is the Word of the Lord--in its ultimate sense it is natural, in its interior it is spiritual, and in its inmost celestial, and in each it is Divine; where it is accommodated to the angels of the three heavens and also to men", T. C. R. 195.

Thus the question what is the spiritual sense of the Word? may be answered as meaning universally the real spirit, and intention of what the Lord has revealed. This is given as the universal meaning, because it applies to every written form of the Word both in the heavens and on earth; in this respect each and every one of them has a spiritual sense, interior to the letter in which it is ultimated. The Writings given to the New Church are no exception to this rule, and therefore if you would really receive the Spiritual Sense of the Word therefrom, you must sincerely search therein for the very Spirit and intention of the Lord's teaching, expecting to find it different from and even contrary to all your preconceived ideas, and remembering that it is by so doing that advance is possible to the angels, much more therefore is it necessary to make man's reformation and regeneration possible. The Lord calls upon you to search for the very spirit of the teaching which He gives in His New Advent, for His declaration is true of all that is revealed from Him. In His New Advent as well as in His First, He declares: the Words which I speak to you are spirit and are life.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 13        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 3.

December 1st 1895. Reference: T. 196-199.

MATT. 13:34. [Greek.]

MATT. 13:34. And without a parable spake He not unto them.

The word parable is generally used only in a restricted sense as referring to certain portions of the letter of the Word which take the form of short stories. But it also has an extended meaning by which the text is literally true. The Lord never speaks to His finite creatures except under the veil of appearances. If He were to do otherwise His words would be altogether above the comprehension of even the highest angel; for no finite being can receive the absolute Truth itself. Absolute Truth is in the Lord alone; and all finite beings are more or less as children who need to have the Truth accommodated to their apprehension. The appearances are indeed of different kinds and vary from each other exceedingly, even to opposition: yet even those which are most removed from being mere appearances are still infinitely removed from being absolute Truth. Thus:

"It is to be known that never are any truths with man, nor even with all angel, pure, that is, without appearances: they are all and single appearances of truth, but still they are received by the Lord for truths if there be good in them; the Lord alone has pure truths because Divine, for as the Lord is Good Itself, so He is Truth Itself. But what appearances are can manifestly appear from those things in the Word where it is spoken according to appearances; but there are degrees of the appearances of truth--natural appearances of truth are full of fallacies, but when they are with those who are in good, then they are not to be called fallacies but appearances, also in some respect they are true, for the good which is in them, in which is the Divine, causes them to have another essence; but rational appearances of truth are more and more interior; in them are the heavens, namely the angels who are in the heavens", A. C. 3207.

Thus there are rational appearances of Truth as well as sensual appearances, although relatively to sensual appearances, rational appearances are spoken of as genuine truths. Therefore although the Lord has now revealed the internal sense of the Word, He still in His New Advent speaks to men only in parables, inasmuch as the Revelation now given is clothed in appearances. Indeed the Internal Sense means Divine Truth clothed in rational appearances--for rational appearances are internal to the sensual and corporeal appearances in which the Word of the Old and New Testaments is clothed. Rational appearances of truth prevail throughout the heavens, for in A. C. 2576 it is revealed that in the third heaven are inmost appearances of the good and truth of the rational, in the second heaven middle appearances of the good and truth of the rational, and in the ultimate heavens the lowest ones of the rational. Thus rational appearances are the heavenly clothing of truth. Yet in them the Lord is still in a degree speaking in parables, in all and single things of which there is a spiritual sense.

"No one can see the spiritual sense except from the science of correspondences", T. C. R. 196.

From the science of correspondences we learn the relation between things which exist on different planes of life. There is nothing on any given plane but what corresponds to something on an interior plane. This applies not only to the relation of all things in this world to their respective causes in the other world, but also to a similar relation between the discrete planes of the other world. There is nothing in the ultimate heaven but what corresponds to some cause in the second heaven. There is nothing in the second heaven but what corresponds to some cause in the highest heaven. And even in the highest heaven all things there too are correspondences to some cause on the Divine plane. Now in order to accommodate Divine Truth to any given plane it must be written according to the appearances of that plane, but such appearances always correspond to appearances on a yet more interior plane and ultimately to the Divine. Therefore that which is written according to appearances must correspond to what is interior to them, and have an internal meaning distinct from its external meaning. This is so in a degree in reference to all language. Hence no mans writing or speech can be justly interpreted if it be taken entirely according to the letter. Man in a blind and imperfect way endeavors to make his speech correspond to the thoughts of his mind--he uses words taken from the appearances about him to express thoughts which are on the spiritual plane. The more successful he is in finding correspondential terms with which to express himself, the more expressive his language is. This will the more readily be seen if it be kept in mind that there are correspondences on the rational plane as well as on the sensual plane. Unconsciously man seeks correspondences wherewith to express himself--hence it is that he uses analogies and makes comparisons; but the only perfect analogies or comparisons are those which are also correspondences. Therefore the Lord in His Word never makes any comparison but what is correspondential, whereas what man makes are largely mere comparisons. When it is thus recognized that our own mere human language must not always be taken exactly according to the letter--that the spirit of it sometimes differs considerably therefrom--that it is to some small extent the language of correspondences, and emulates that language to a large extent, it removes the idea that the language of correspondence is arbitrarily artificial kind of writing, as the first impression about it is apt to be. Man can and does to a small extent spank correspondentially, but even if he could speak by pure correspondences, his writing would still be altogether differentiated from that of the Word by the fact that the thoughts which he expresses, so far as they are his own are all fallacies. The Word is Divine Truth perfectly expressed, or what is the same, expressed in pure correspondences--the correspondence of each plane on which it appears perfectly accommodating it to reception on that plane. Man's own word is nothing but fallacy in its conception; and even that in its presentation of it is but imperfectly expressed. Still there is in all human speech and writing, something distinct from the mere letter, in a finite measure, emulative of an internal sense, which must be sought if we would interpret any human speech justly. What is thus finitely the case with man s speech is infinitely the case with the Lord's Word, in all and single things of which there is a spiritual sense, not only in the Word as given on Sinai, but also in His Word as revealed in His New Advent, yea also in His Word as it is accommodated to the angels of the highest heaven. Without a parable He speaks not even to them.

This morning's lesson gives several full examples of the internal sense and after explaining the parable of the ten virgins according to that sense concludes:

"From these things it is evident that the Lord spoke by pure correspondences and this because He spoke from the Divine which was in Him and was His.... It is similar in the rest of the parables and in all the words which the Lord has spoken", T. C. R. 199.

Note--the Lord spoke from correspondence because He spoke from the Divine, which implies that speech from the Divine cannot be otherwise than purely according to correspondence, therefore it is similar in all the Words which the Lord has spoken. This must therefore be accepted as applying to the Writings by all who believe they are a Revelation from the Divine. It is a. universal law of order that all influx of life from the Divine both in Revelation and in creation, is into pure correspondences, correspondences being nothing but the appearances which that life causes on each plane that it presents itself, and which it puts on as the perfect means of presenting itself there. The Writings externally are composed of the appearances, or what is the same, the correspondences, which the Divine Truth itself causes when it presents itself on the rational plane of the human mind, and which it has put on as the only means of presenting itself in a way perfectly accommodated to reception by the rational mind. But in all and single things of what is spoken from the Divine there is a spiritual sense. Everything which the Lord has spoken is as a parable, adapting Infinite Truth to reception on some finite plane of life.

The human mind is formed in the first case by mere appearances of facts, such as are received by the external through the senses. As man reflects upon those appearances, and to some extent corrects their fallacies by comparison of the various appearances with each other, he becomes rational in his own estimation, or according to the worldly standard. Such is the natural rational; which may thus be said to be composed of appearances of facts which in the Writings are called scientifics enlightened by man's own intelligence. But not until those appearances become enlightened by Divine Revelation do they become really appearances of truth or really rational. Thus:

"The angelic and human rational is called rational from appearances of truth enlightened by the Divine--without them it is not rational; thus the rational things are those appearances", A. C. 3368.

Namely, appearances of truth enlightened by the Divine.

"All appearances of truth in which the Divine is are of the rational, even to that degree that rational truths and appearances of truth are the same;... rational truths or appearances of truth can never be and exist except from influx of the Divine into the rational", A. C. 3368.

From which it is evident, that so far is it from being the case that when men come to the Writings, they meet what is no longer appearances of truth, no longer what is correspondential that the real fact is that it is then that they are first fully introduced to genuine appearances of truth, and even then only if they permit the appearances there to be enlightened by the Divine. Before that they are more or less in the fallacies of the senses--the mere appearances of facts, which men indeed call truths but which even when they have corrected them to the best of their natural ability, express only the effects which appear and not even the appearance of the spiritual truth which causes those effects. Appearances of Truth enlightened by the Divine, are what make the rational of an angel, thus the truly human rational. Such appearances of Truth are the highest to which finite beings can attain, although they may receive more and more enlightenment in them to all eternity; and by means of such enlightenment may see more of the infinite Divine Truth of the Spiritual Sense which is in all and single things of whatever the Lord has spoken. Because men can be raised only to the appearances of truth, therefore it is a necessity of accommodation, that the Lord never speaks to angels or men except in appearances, which all and singly correspond to the Divine Truth--Himself, even as on earth He spake unto the multitude in parables, and without a parable spake He not unto them.



13



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 14        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 4.

December 8th 1895. Reference: T. 200.

[Hebrew.] ISA 19:24.

E. 31310. T. 200. In die illo erit Israel trina (tertia) Aegypto et Aschuri, benedictio in medio terrae.

ISA. 19:24. In that day Israel shall be a trine with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing in the midst of the earth.

"In that day Israel shall be a. trine with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, signifies influx into both from spiritual light; Israel is the spiritual man who has light from heaven, Egypt is the natural man who has light from the world, and Ashur is the rational man who is mediate and receives light from the spiritual and transmits ii into the natural and enlightens it", A. E. 65410.

"Hence it can appear what is signified by that Israel shall be a third with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, that namely all there must be spiritual, as well the rational as the cognitive and scientific, for when the inmost is spiritual, which is truth from good, then also the rational which is thence, is also spiritual, as also the cognitive and scientific, for each is formed from the inmost which is truth from good or the spiritual", A. E. 31310.

"The spiritual is what regenerates, that is the Lord by spiritual influx: in a word, the rational is the medium between the spiritual and the natural, and the latter is thus regenerated", A. E. 58513.

The terms used in the Writings vary in their meaning according to the series in which they occur. In the Writings the Lord addresses the rational faculty, and the understanding of them therefore necessitates the use of that faculty. Human language is far too limited to provide a separate term to express every variation of meaning. Nor would it add to the perfection of the Word if it did. For even as human capacity for growth follows from the state of ignorance into which man is born, and as the incapacity of an animal for such growth is connected with the perfection of instinct into which they are born, so is the human and apparent imperfection of the externals of the Word just what fits it for conveying to man an ever increasing degree of the knowledge of the Lord, which it could not do if each term could be fully defined apart from its rational connection with the Word as a whole. Hence it is that most terms have both a restricted and an extended meaning and may also be used with various intermediate meanings. Take away the rational connection, and detached passages may be selected such as would confirm any notion a man chooses to take up; and all wise students of the Word must therefore be ever on their guard against their innate tendency thus to find therein confirmations of their own ideas. Thus the term "soul" is sometimes used in a restricted sense as meaning only the inmost receptacle of man's life which is entirely above the plane of all human consciousness; and again it is sometimes used as applying to the whole man; and also with meanings intermediate between those two. It is therefore necessary to look not merely to what is said in the Word; but for what is really the spirit of what is there taught; only so can it be realized that the Word is an inexhaustible fountain of living waters, from which we can for ever draw more end more deeply. This infinite spirit and life has been breathed into the expressions of His Word by the Lord. That is the Divine Inspiration which gives holiness to the Word and which alone can enlighten the appearances of its external and cause them to be really appearances of truth. As shown last Sunday, unless man is open to the reception of something of the spirit of truth, those appearances are not appearances of truth, but falsified appearances thereof.

In this morning's lesson it is taught:

"That it is from the Spiritual Sense that the Word is Divinely inspired and is holy in every expression", T. C. R. 200.

And towards the conclusion it distinguishes between the spiritual and the rational, a distinction which is not always definitely expressed, for in their more extended sense the meanings of both expressions overlap each other. Here however the distinction is necessary to the understanding of the subject presented. The rational as well as the scientific or natural must be made subservient to the spiritual. Or conversely it is the spiritual that gives life both to the rational and the natural. Or as it is again stated, the rational is the medium which receives life from the spiritual and transmits it into the natural and enlightens it. All expressing the same truth that in man the spiritual must regenerate both the rational and the natural; and in the Word the spiritual sense is what alone can give true light to either the rational or the more natural forms in which the Word is externally expressed. That the Word will be thus presented and thus regarded by the Church established by the Lord in His New Advent is what is prophesied in the text--then both the rational and the natural will be subservient to the spiritual. In that day Israel shall be a trine with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing in the midst of the earth.

The Word is in the Human Form, the Divine Human form. Hence all that is revealed concerning the form of man's mind applies also to the form of the Word. Of man's natural mind the rational is the inmost. Hence the inmost form of the Word as revealed in the natural world is the rational form thereof presented in the Writings. The use of the Writings as a distinct form of the Word, is the same as the use of the rational faculty in man. This use is thus taught:

"The rational is the means for the uniting of the internal man with the external, and thus for apperceiving from the Lord what is accomplished in the external, and for reducing the external to obsequiousness and obedience, yea, for elevating it from the corporeal and earthly things in which it immerses itself and effecting that man may be man, that he may look to heaven, of which he is a native, and not, as brute animals do, only to the earth, in which he only sojourns, still less to hell; these are the offices of the rational; wherefore unless a man is such that he can think this, it cannot be said that he has a rational", A. C. 1944.

Such then is the use of the Writings as a distinct form of the Word, for uniting the externals of the Word to their internal in men's minds, to enable the internal man to understand those externals and what is accomplished by them, and to reduce those externals to subservience to the internal, that is to the spirit of the Lord's Word, its spiritual sense, and thus fulfil the prophecy of the text. But in order to do this it is necessary that the rational itself should be subordinated to the spiritual. that the rational form of the Word presented in the Writings be studied with the end of learning there the very spirit of truth by means of which the Lord has come to invert the natural form of mind for all who are really willing thus to he reformed and regenerated. This inverted form obtains in the really spiritual mind, for there the rational is no longer the inmost, but is the external altogether subordinated to the spiritual. If the rational faculty and the rational form of the Word are not used for this end, they are abused and then they separate man from the internal. This is the abuse to which the Writings are especially liable, and which takes place when men use them as a means of confirming the supremacy of the rational, and when they therefore refuse to receive spiritual truth except on the authority of their own rational recognition and approval of it. All forms of the Word, the rational as well as the natural, are given for the purpose of leading men to the source from which they are inspired, to the spirit and life which the Lord has breathed into them, and which is altogether contrary to the spirit and life which man himself puts into those forms when he subordinates them to his own natural and makes that the supreme authority for all reception of truth. The Old Church is in this state: but still none there are able to commit this abuse so fully and interiorly as those do who externally receive the Writings, but use them only to confirm the worship of their own rational. The rational faculty is indeed given to man by the Lord and is therefore good in itself, but if it is not used for the purpose for which the Lord has given it, it becomes as great an evil as it was intended to be a good. The true rational is able to see that to be led by the Lord is the only wise course; and that to think finite creatures can be: a law of good and evil to themselves is simply insanity. The Writings plainly teach this throughout, and yet so perverse is the natural man that many seem to use the Writings as a means of justifying themselves in acknowledging their rationality as their only guide and their only authority for the reception of Truth.

How differently the Writings themselves teach to all who are really teachable. As declared in the lesson read therefrom:

"The Word is Holy ... because Jehovah the Lord has spoken it", T. C. R. 200.

Not because it is approved by man's rational or any suchlike reason at all, but simply because the Lord Himself has spoken it, and the holiness is entirely from the spirit which He intends to convey thereby.

"But because its holiness does not appear in the mere sense of the letter, therefore they who on that account once doubt concerning its holiness, he afterwards, when he reads the Word, confirms himself by many things there, for he says with himself--Whether can this be holy? Whether can this be Divine?" T. C. R. 200.

Evidence that this is done abounds on all hands--many things in the Word are not only regarded as not Divine and Holy, but as being vile. Not a few appear to have received the Writings as a means of explaining away whatever in the Word is repugnant to their own rationality. Having been taught in childhood to attach holiness to the Word, they welcome a means which enables them to avoid doing violence either to their own rationality or to the impressions which were implanted in childhood, but if they stop there and only confirm the supremacy of their rationality, the Writings cannot be the means of their regeneration. That they may be such a means it is necessary to see that their holiness is not from what appears rational to man there, but altogether from the spirit of Him whose thoughts are not as man's thoughts. Man must learn to submit his own rational to the Divine Truth that it may be formed anew thereby and become the external of spiritual truth; altogether subordinate thereto, humbly receiving all light therefrom to transmit to the external, so that Egypt with Ashur may both serve Israel.

Learn therefore to distinguish between the spiritual and the rational of the Word, and that it is from the Spiritual Sense that the Word is Divinely inspired and is holy in every expression. The Writings are a rational presentation of the spiritual sense of the Word. But if man in reading thinks most of what appears to him to be rational therein, and receives teaching therefrom only on the ground of that appearance, he will not receive the spirit and life of the Lord therefrom. Instead of approaching them in this way, you should always bear in mind that the Lord has come therein as the Spirit of Truth to teach an order of life which is the very inversion of ally order which man can construct from his own intelligence or rationality, that you can only open yourselves to the reception of that Spirit of Truth, so far as you are willing to have Sour natural rationality contradicted by the Lord, and a new and different rationality implanted in you, such as will be subordinate to the Spirit of Truth, and be content humbly to transmit its light to the external. If a man begins from the idea that the Writings are Divine from and because of their rationality, he will necessarily mean from and because of their appearing rational to him, and yet in spiritual things what appears rational to the merely natural man is never truly rational, but is the opposite thereto. Beware therefore of remaining in any such idea. Instead search the Writings for that Spirit of Truth which will open your eyes to your own spiritual evils, which will lead you away from the pride of self-intelligence, which will expose the worthlessness of mere natural rationality in spiritual things, until it has been reformed and subordinated to the spirit of Divine Revelation, which in all things will humble self and magnify the Lord's Providence, which will lead you not to thank God that you are not as other men are, but to recognize that if you are saved it will be entirely of the Lord's mercy in withholding you from your own way. Thus must both the rational and the natural be subordinated to the spiritual, in order to be a blessing is the midst of the Church. Such is the fruit by which the teaching of the Spiritual Sun of the Lord's Word may be known, that Spiritual Sun from which the Word is Divinely inspired and is holy in every expression, such is the fruit which will more or less distinguish all who really become of the Church of the Lord's New advent concerning which the prophecy was made: "In that day Israel shall be a trine with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing in the midst of the earth."



14



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 15        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 5.

December 15th 1895. Reference: T. 201-203.

[Hebrew.] GEN. 5:24.

A. 520. Et ambulavit sibi Chanoch cum Deo, et non amplius, quia sumsit illum Deus.

GEN. 5:24. And Chanoch walked with God, and he was not anymore for God took him.

"There were at that time those who made Doctrine from the perceptives of the Most Ancient and following Churches, that it might serve for a. rule, and that it might be known thence what good and truth are; those who were such were called Chanoch; which is signified by these words And Chanoch walked with God; so also they called that doctrine; which is also signified by the name Chanoch, which is to instruct: it can also appear from the signification of the word to walk, and from this that he is said to have walked with God, not with Jehovah; to walk with God is to teach and live according to the doctrine of faith, and to walk with Jehovah is to live the life of Jehovah; to walk is a customary formula signifying to live, as to walk in the law, to walk in the statutes, to walk in truth: to walk properly regards the way which is of truth, therefore which is of faith or of the doctrine of faith", A. C. 519.

"That he was not any more, because God took him, signifies that that doctrine was preserved for the use of posterity", A. C. 521.

In the brief account of Enoch or Chanoch is the record of how the Lord's Word was first reduced to written form--to that form known as the Ancient Word. Those meant by Chanoch who were instrumental in doing this work lived during the decline of the Most Ancient Church. The celestial genius of that Church was entirely different from that of any Church which the Lord has established since then. For it, such a form of the Word was of no use, but it was necessary for posterity, and was therefore provided by the Lord beforehand and preserved for the use of the Church which was established after the consummation of the Most Ancient Church.

"The men of the Most Ancient Church were of such a celestial genius that they spoke with the angels of heaven and that they could speak with them by correspondences; hence the state of their wisdom was made such that whatever they saw on earth they not only thought concerning it naturally, but also at the same time spiritually, thus also conjointly with the angels of heaven", T. C. R. 202.

Thus they both thought and spoke according to correspondences, and by means thereof had open communication with the angels. But this state was such that once it was abused, it led to the most direful evils, and indeed to such that men could not be saved from them except by a miraculous change being made in them, whereby the understanding was made capable of acting to some extent independently of the will, which before was not possible. It was for this new state that the Ancient Word was prepared and the knowledge of correspondences transmitted by means of those called Chanoch, concerning which this morning's lesson declares:

"Moreover I have been instructed that Chanoch concerning whom it is mentioned in Genesis 5:21-24, with his companions, collected correspondence from their month and propagated the knowledge of them to posterity; from which it was effected that the knowledge of correspondence was not only known in many kingdoms of Asia but was also cultivated especially in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, Arabia, in Tyre, Sidon, Nineveh, and that it was transferred thence into Greece, but then it was turned into fabulous stories, as can appear from the writings of the oldest authors there", T. C. R. 202.

Now although man cannot merely by a knowledge of correspondences, discover the spiritual sense of the Word; yet a knowledge of correspondences is inseparably connected with all revelation of the internal sense, since that alone explains the relation of the expressions used to the life which the Lord would convey by them. Thus to the New Church so also to the Ancient Church knowledge of correspondences was revealed together with doctrine of the internal sense of the Word. But this internal sense (always a relative term) was not the distinctively spiritual sense concerning which it is declared:

"That the spiritual sense of the Word has hitherto been unknown", T. C. R. 201.

A little reflection in the light of the following passage will make this evident:

"The doctrinals which the man of the Ancient Church had were preserved from the revelations and perceptions of the Most Ancient Church, in which they had faith, as we at this day in the Word; those doctrinals were their Word", A. C. 1068.

For the revelations and perceptions of the Most Ancient Church were celestial in their character, and those preserved from them for the Ancient Church must necessarily have been of the same character. The only difference being that in the latter Church they mere addressed to understandings capable of being elevated above the will. Thus the sense of the Word revealed to them would be celestial relatively to the spiritual sense revealed to the New Church, which had hitherto been unknown.

As already seen, the men of the Most Ancient Church had open communication with heaven, and that by means of their intimate knowledge of correspondences. It was thus that Chanoch walked with God. But the Word is given that we may come, though not openly at once yet really, into communion with the angels as well as into conjunction with the Lord, and the means are the same: it must he by a revival of the knowledge of correspondences,--not a mere knowledge of what particular things correspond to, learned in dictionary fashion, but a rational understanding of what correspondence means and what it involves, such as will aid in the reception of an increasingly interior understanding of what is revealed.

"In most ancient times it was well known, for with those who lived then the science of correspondence was the science of sciences, and so universal that all their manuscripts and books were written by correspondences: the book of Job which is a book of the Ancient Church is full with correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians and also the fabulous stories of the oldest authors were no other", T. C. R. 201.

Being written in correspondences involves having an internal sense. It is evident therefore that having a corresponding internal sense does not cause books or writings to be Divine, thus of the Word. For the book of Job is not from the Word, neither are the fabulous stories alluded to. This is the more evident when it is remembered that everything which exists has a correspondence; to exist is indeed to present a correspondence. Any man having a knowledge of correspondence could use correspondence in his writing; but even if his knowledge thereof were perfect, what he expressed by correspondence could after all only be the ideas which he entertained, and which would be at least imperfect if they were not false. Nevertheless, given Divine Truth, then correspondence is the only means which can perfectly express it. If Divine Truth is expressed other wise than in correspondence it ceases to be perfectly expressed, and therefore so far the expression of it ceases to be Divine. For:

"Because Divine things present themselves in the world In correspondences, therefore the Word is written by pure correspondences; wherefore the Lord because He spoke from the Divine, He spoke by correspondences, for what is from the Divine, that in nature falls into such things as correspond to Divine things, and which then store up in their bosom the Divine things which are called Celestial and Spiritual", T. C. R. 201.

From this it is clear that we cannot in thought get too far away from the idea that correspondences are only illustrations by analogies; although they are sometimes presented as illustrations, and are indeed the only perfect illustrations. If any of the illustrations given in the Writings were not pure correspondences, they would be imperfect illustrations, and therefore could not be immediate revelation from the Lord as they claim to be. All knowledge of correspondence has come from Divine Revelation, it is not a knowledge which man could acquire for himself apart from Revelation. The Ancients could have known nothing of it, had it not been for the work of Enoch, who as the Lord's instrument preserved in written form the knowledge of that subject which was revealed to the Most Ancient Church. Not only is it a knowledge which man cannot acquire for himself, but also having it he cannot by means of it penetrate from external things to internal, although correspondence is the connection which links external things to internal, and all ultimately to their one source and cause, the Lord. The knowledge is revealed in order that men may be able to receive understanding of internal things in the external things which present them, and this more and more.

In the concluding number of this morning s lesson an illustration is given from the book of Samuel, which shows that the Philistines not only possessed knowledge of correspondences, but were able to make practical application of the knowledge in getting rid of the plague which had smitten them. The Lord through Chanoch preserved the knowledge of correspondences not merely that they might be known by posterity, but that they might be applied to use. So now the Lord has again revealed that knowledge not merely that we may know it but that we may apply it in the work of shunning evils as sins. We are apt to look only at the external effects of evil, and to be satisfied with attempting to remove them. Thus men do with regard to external drunkenness, giving no heed to the internal evil which corresponds to it, and therefore causes it. Real evils ale not those which appear, but are what correspond thereto in the internal. It is that we may know and shun these that correspondences have been revealed, that thus the root of evil may he combated and not merely the effects. All evils correspond to some form of the love of leading one's self, to trust in one's own prudence and intelligence, and such like, and so far as these internal evils really are combated and removed, the external effect will pass away. The knowledge of correspondences like all things of Divine Revelation, is given for the one purpose, to be so applied that evils may be shunned as sins and the way be thus opened for the reception of heavenly life. Derivatively the knowledge of correspondence will also apply to the true way of removing bodily diseases also, for the laws by which these are cured must correspond to the laws by which spiritual diseases are cured.

"Because disease and sickness signify the infirmity of the internal man; his infirmity is when he sickens as to his life which is spiritual life, thus when he turns aside from truth to what is false, and from goad to evil; when this is done that life sickens and when he altogether averts himself from truth and good then that life dies, but its death is called spiritual death which is damnation. Because it has itself thus with the life of the internal man, therefore such things as are of diseases and death in the natural world are said in the Word concerning the diseases of spiritual life and concerning its death", A. C. 90313.

"Therefore by the diseases which the Lord healed, is signified deliverance from the various kinds of evil and false which infested the Church and the human race, and which would have induced spiritual death: for Divine miracles are distinguished from other miracles by this that they involve and regard states of the Church and the heavenly kingdom: wherefore the Lord's miracles were especially healing of diseases", A. C. 8364:6.

The knowledge of correspondence is to help men to cooperate with the Lord in such healings of their own spiritual diseases. It is for such as are willing to use it thus that it has been preserved and revealed. From such as are unwilling so to do the Lord takes away the ability of seeing what it internally involves, lest its use for others should be destroyed. Such is the teaching involved in the text And Chanoch walked with God, and he was not any more because God took him.



15



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 16        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 6.

December 29th 1895. Reference: T 204-207.

[Hebrew.] ISA. 31:7.

E. 5859. In die illo rejicient quisque idola argenti sui et idola auri sui quae fecerunt vobis manus vestrae, peccatum.

ISA. 31:7. For in that day they shall cast away each man the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold what your hands have made for you a sin.

"This is concerning the establishment of the Church; and by the idols of silver and the idols of gold which they shall reject in that day are signified the falses and evils of religion and worship which they call truths and goods; and because the falses and evils of religion and worship are from their own intelligence, therefore it is said, which your hands have made for you", A. E. 585:9.

The idols which the man of the New Church is thus called upon to reject are the falses and evils of religion and worship which men call truths and goods. Such constitute the objects of internal idolatry, idolatry which is a much more serious evil than that of external idolatry, from which it is thus distinguished:

"Idolatrous worships are internal and external; internal idolatries are those which condemn man, but external idolatries not so. In the degree in which idolatrous worship is more interior in that degree it condemns the more, but in the degree in which it is more exterior, in that degree it condemns the less. Internal idolators do not acknowledge God, but adore themselves and the world, and for idols have all cupidities: but external idolators can acknowledge God although they are ignorant who the God of the universe is. Internal idolators are known from the life which they have acquired to themselves, which life recedes from the life of charity set far as they are interior idolators. External idolators are known solely from their worship, who although they are idolators are still able to have the life of charity. Internal idolators can profane holy things, but external idolators cannot. Wherefore lest holy things should be profaned external idolatry is tolerated", A. C. 1363.

Man cannot receive genuine goods and truths so long as he regards the cupidities of his own love as goods and the notions of his own intelligence as truths. He must first reject the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold. He must shun internal idolatry before he can offer any sincere worship to the Lord. It is this internal idolatry which is meant in the Word whenever external idolatry is spoken of.

Idolatry began from a perversion of the rites of the Most Ancient Church. These rites were all representative and correspondential, as were also their thought and speech, but in course of time they were turned into idolatry--that is the external of such worship was continued after the internal was rejected and at length forgotten. With the Israelitish and Jewish nation indeed the knowledge of the correspondence of external things with internal was altogether obliterated. For although the worship instituted with that nation by the instrumentality of Moses consisted purely of correspondences they were entirely ignorant thereof, and did not know the correspondence of a single particular therein, but regarded those externals as themselves constituting Divine Worship. Thus that worship on their part was idolatrous, although in itself it altogether represented heavenly worship. They being altogether natural did not wish to know anything spiritual, and therefore were not able. They had regard to natural things only and knew nothing of the spiritual things which they represented. Thus they were opposite in character to the men of the Most Ancient Church; but for that very reason they were fitted to have a merely representative Church established with them, to which they could be made to conform by punishments. Being idolators it was only thus that they could be kept from rushing into the indiscriminate idolatries such as prevailed with the surrounding nations, and which were largely without any heavenly representations, it was only thus that they were brought to cast away idols of silver and idols of gold--thus only externally and not internally.

Idols were originally only images placed by the Ancients both in their Temples and in their houses for the sake of recalling to their minds the heavenly things to which they corresponded. When the knowledge of correspondences was obliterated they began to worship them as holy in themselves and at length as deities, because they were placed in or near Temples. Still some knowledge of correspondences remained with many Orientals even until the Advent of the Lord and it was from their knowledge of correspondence that the wise men from the east offered to the infant Lord gold, frankincense, and myrrh to represent their ascription to Him of all worship, celestial, spiritual, and natural.

All who are idolators in heart reject, the Lord if not openly still practically; and really no others do reject Him. Like the Jews they reject; Him because He does not offer the kind of salvation that they want.

The Jews "rejected Him solely on account of the cause that He taught them concerning a heavenly kingdom nod not concerning an earthly kingdom, for they wished for a Messiah who would exalt them over all nations in the universal world and not for any Messiah who would consult their eternal salvation", T. C. R. 206.

In like manner it is because the Old Church is internally idolatrous, worshiping idols of silver and idols of gold, and is unwilling to give up that worship, that it rejects the Lord in His New Advent.

It is only from a knowledge of correspondence that it can be known what idolatry really is, and yet such knowledge was not revealed to the primitive Christian Church because the members of that Church were so simple that it; would not have been of any use to them, nor could they have understood it. Neither can it be of any use to such as retain the faith of the Old Church. All things of the Word are used for confirming that faith, and correspondences would be used for the same purpose if they were known, and thus the internal as well as the external of the Word would be profaned. Hence unless men are willing to reject the false faith of the Old Church it is better for them to be ignorant of the correspondences of the Word. It is a mistake to think that a knowledge of correspondences will itself deliver them from their essential errors. It, would only enable them to hold them more plausibly, and to confirm them more interiorly, and thus to enter more deeply into the worship of idols of silver and gold. There have been many examples of those ostensibly in the New Church using the knowledge of correspondences to confirm such false notions of the Old Church as agree with their own love and intelligence.

But in that day, that is, in the state of the New Church, that is, with those who are really open to the reception of the Lord in His New Advent, there will be rejection by each man of the idols of his silver, and of the idols of his gold. By the idols of his silver which each man must reject, are meant the ideas of his own intelligence by which he suffers himself to be guided, and which he thus practically worships. By the idols of his gold which each man must reject are meant the desires of his own will by which he suffers his mind to be ruled. It is the spiritual sense of the Word which exposes the nature of these idols, and calls upon men to reject them. And that sense is revealed at this day solely for the sake of those who are willing to reject them, as also is the knowledge of correspondences, which knowledge is of use only when genuine spiritual truths have been received by revelation, for it is necessary to the understanding of them and furnishes abundant means of confirming them.

"That the knowledge of correspondences, by which the spiritual sense is given, is at this day revealed, the cause is, that now Divine Truths of the Church go forth into light and these are those of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists: and when these are in man the sense of the letter of the Word cannot be perverted; for the sense of the letter of the Word can be bent hither and thither, but if it be bent to what is false, then its internal sanctity perishes and with it the external sanctity, but if it be bent to the Truth it remains", T. C. R. 207.

All men have a natural tendency to confirm whatever they like to believe by whatever comes in their way, especially by experience and by the letter of the Word. By confirmation they make their belief's more fuller their own and more inseparable from their life. Hence the danger of confirming false beliefs and the necessity of seeing that a thing is true before confirming it. Now a knowledge of correspondences furnishes a means of confirmation more full and interior than can be otherwise effected. Hence while its use is exceedingly great, its abuse is exceedingly hurtful. Woe therefore to those who receive it without at the same time receiving the genuine truths which have been revealed together with it and which alone can prevent a man from abusing it to confirm the falses and evils of religion and worship which he calls truths and goods, but which are really and internally opposite thereto. When genuine truths are really received the letter of the Word cannot he perverted, for it is lawful to confirm genuine truth by all means. But when genuine truths are not received as the guide of life, then the false principles which self-love favors, form the centre which everything else is made to surround and confirm. Hence when the doctrines of the New Church come to men they judge themselves according as they confirm or reject, each man, the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold. How common it is to hear of those who receive the Writings declaring that it is because they teach what they have always thought. In the present state of men's heredity something of such an idea, is almost inevitable at first; but if a receiver remains in that idea he only the more deeply confirms his worship of the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold. Before he can be really of the New Church, he must come into an opposite state and recognize that until he has suffered the Writings to lead him to reject them, he has altogether been in the worship of those internals, idols which dwell in his own intelligence and in his own will.

All internal idols are formed in man s own intelligence, as prompted by his love, therefore it is said which your own hands have made for you. It is not to be thought that a man on entering the New Church can have rejected his idols once for all. He must indeed have begun to do so before he can really be of the New Church at all. But until he has become fully regenerated his will will continue to prompt his own intelligence to form and set up idols of silver and gold. Hence there is continuous necessity to apply Divine Truth to the exposing and rejecting of these idols. It is said further which your hands have made a sin. Evil is not sin until it is known or believed to be contrary to the Divine command. But even in man's own intelligence there is stored some idea of what is forbidden by the Divine, and in forming ideas contrary thereto from the prompting of the will, it is not only making idols, but making them a sin. All have some idea, however dim or however erroneous, of what they believe to be Divinely commanded or forbidden, and according to their attitude to that idea they determine the beginning of their own condemnation or their own justification. In the New Church such idea of the Divine commands is neither dim nor erroneous, but in all essentials is full and clear to all who walk in its light. But this privilege carries with it the danger of the greater condemnation if evils be not shunned as sins. In the light of the New Church there can be little evil which man by his intellectual reception of the doctrines has not caused to be sin for him to commit. He cannot worship the idols of his own will and understanding without sinning against the light revealed to him and thus against the Lord from whom that light is. He diligent therefore in rejecting the conceits of your own prudence and intelligence, and also the promptings of your own will, which will otherwise become the idols of your worship. Only thus can you have year part with those concerning whom it is prophesied: In that day they shall cast away each man the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold, which your hands have made for you a sin.



16



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 17        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 7.

January 12th 1896. Reference: T. 208.

[Hebrew.] GEN. 3:24.

A. 306. Et habitare fecit ab oriente ad hortum Edenis Cherubos; et flammam gladii vertentis se, ad custodiendam viam arboris vitarum.

GEN. 3:24. And He caused to dwell from the east towards the garden of Eden, Cherubim, and the flame of a sword turning itself to guard the way of the tree of lives.

"To cause to dwell from the east Cherubim, is to provide lest he (man) he able to enter into any arcanum of faith, for the east toward the garden of Eden is the celestial from which is intelligence; by the Cherubim is signified the Lord's Providence lest man should enter into those things, which are of faith: by the flame of a sword turning itself is signified self-love with its insane cupidities and thence persuasions which are such that he indeed wills to enter but is borne away to corporeal and earthly things, and this for guarding the way of the tree of lives, which is lest he be able to profane holy things" A. C. 306.

"Lest anyone should enter into the spiritual sense and pervert the genuine truth which is of that sense, guards have been placed which are meant in the by Cherubim", T. C. R. 209.

The spiritual sense of the Word is the Word understood in its application to spiritual things. In the letter the Word appears to treat of natural things. These are all that the natural man sees when he reads the Word. Yea even when he reads the Word as set forth in the Writings, although they directly treat of spiritual things and are thus a revelation of the spiritual sense the natural man only sees a natural view of those things. Thus when the understanding is referred to he thinks only of the natural understanding formed from the world--when the rational is mentioned he thinks only of the natural rationality formed from his own observation and reflection. And this notwithstanding the distinctions there drawn between the spiritual and the natural rational, for man's thought always tends to follow his affection and to dwell only upon the objects thereof. This is of the Divine Providence--the law which so determines the matter is meant by the placing of the Cherubim to guard the way of the tree of lives.

When the merely natural man reads the Word, whether in the Writings or in its more ultimate forms, he dwells upon those appearances there which favor his own ideas, confirming these as the centre of his thought, and either rejects the rest, or altogether subordinates the understanding of them to that centre. Thus he makes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the centre of the garden which corresponds to his own intelligence or rationality. That is, he determines for himself from his own affections what is good and what is evil. Such a garden is altogether outside of the garden of Eden which signifies heavenly intelligence formed round the tree of lives, which is instruction in genuine truths from Divine Revelation. That the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is also in the garden of Eden, is to give man free determination, that tree being always in his reach if he will to take it, but; the penalty of doing so is death to his spiritual intelligence. But in all gardens which man forms for himself, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the very centre and is the principal source of the food by which his intelligence is nourished. Man can and does confirm the central position of that tree in the garden of his intelligence by the letter of the Word; but if he were permitted to do so by the spiritual sense also his state would be still worse for he would thus put it out of his reach ever to he saved. Hence the law which heads this morning's lesson:

"That hereafter the spiritual sense of the Word is not given to anyone except to him who is in genuine truth from the Lord", T. C. R. 208.

Man can never return into just that state of intelligence which existed in the Most Ancient Church and which is meant by the garden of Eden; but by means of genuine truths from the Lord he may return into a state of heavenly intelligence. For the tree of lives is also in the midst of the New Jerusalem. Genuine truths do indeed stand forth in every form of the Word; but in the Old Church they have been so perverted by having been subordinated to those appearances of the letter which favour self-intelligence, that they are practically non-existent there except for the simple few. In the Writings genuine truths are revealed still more evidently and fully; but even there they are together with many appearances of truth such as can be made to favour man's love of his own natural rationality. These appearances are the Cherubim which guard the may of the tree of lives, to all except those who really desire to be instructed and led by the Lord. Only these latter give genuine truths the central place in their minds and subordinate all the appearance of truth thereto. The rest place, this appearance in the centre of their minds according to this agreement with self love, rejecting genuine truths or falsifying them before receiving them. Thus such are unable to see the spiritual sense itself, even though they read the very words which convey it to those minds open to its reception.

"The reason is because no one can see the spiritual sense except from the Lord alone, and unless he be in genuine truths from the Lord; for the spiritual sense treats concerning the Lord alone and His Kingdom, and it is that sense in which the angels of heaven are, for it is His Divine Truth there", T. C. R. 208.

Man must be in an attitude of innocence towards the Lord before he can really see the spiritual sense. Some think that if they as it were translate the expressions of the Word according to their knowledge of correspondences, they are thereby able to draw the spiritual sense therefrom. But it is to be borne in mind that the word spiritual is used with discrimination. Every man is a spiritual being according to one use of the term; but only the regenerated man is spiritual according to the heavenly use of that term. There is a like discrimination in speaking of the spiritual sense of the Word. According to the first use of the term anyone can see the spiritual sense who reads the Writings; but in the higher use of the Word no one really sees the spiritual sense of the Word but he who sees it in its application to his own spiritual regeneration and who by striving for that opens himself to communication with heaven and to conjunction with the Lord. The spiritual sense is His Divine Truth in heaven, which is the Divine Truth which has been used and is being used for regeneration.

"Man can violate this if he be in the knowledge of correspondences, and by it wills to explore the spiritual sense of the Word from his own intelligence. for from some correspondences known to himself he is able to pervert that sense and draw it to the confirming of even what is false and this would be doing violence to Divine Truth and thus also to heaven in which it dwells", T. C. R. 208.

In order to be in genuine truths man must depose self-intelligence from the central position in his mind, and be willing so to learn and receive genuine truths that they may he the centre of his thought and altogether subordinate other ideas. If man does not do this and still wills to use a knowledge of correspondences to explore the spiritual sense from his own intelligence, he does indeed come into a spiritual sense, but it is a perverted spiritual sense. If, being in such perverted spiritual sense, heaven were open to him he would thereby disturb, yea do violence to, the states in which the angels are.

"Wherefore if anyone wills to open that sense from himself and not from the Lord, heaven is closed, which being closed the man either sees nothing of truth or is spiritually insane", T. C. R. 208.

Thus man cannot really of himself pass the Cherubim set to guard the spiritual sense; but he may and does try to evade them, and even seems to himself to succeed in doing so, but that seeming is only a part of the spiritual insanity which he thus induces upon himself. In reality heaven is more fully closed to those who thus receive a perverted spiritual sense than to those who only recognize the natural sense. To these latter, while in this life, it is always possible by repentance for heaven to be opened to them; but those who receive a perverted spiritual sense, thereby confirm in themselves their own perverted spiritual states and so far as they do this they put away from themselves the very possibility of heaven being opened to them. Against the Old Church the Cherubim effectively guard the spiritual sense; but to the New Church the means of opening heaven have been revealed anew and with those new means, the liability to new abuse. For the more fully man becomes acquainted with the means of opening heaven, the more fully he closes heaven to himself if he abuse those means, that is, the deeper he enters into states opposite to those of heaven. Beware therefore of abusing the knowledge of correspondence to making it a means of exploring the spiritual sense from self-intelligence, and of thereby seeming to evade the Cherubim which the Lord has placed to guard it, whereby no one can receive that sense unless he be first in genuine truths from the Lord and from them explore it.

"The reason also is because the Lord teaches everyone by the Word and He teaches from those knowledges which are with man, and does not immediately infuse new knowledge", T. C. R. 908.

It is not uncommon for men to deceive themselves with the notion that the ideas of their own intelligence have been taught them by the Lord by internal influx; and that therefore to explore the spiritual sense from them is not to explore it from their own intelligence but from the Lord. It is necessary therefore to know that the Lord never gives man any knowledge of truth in this way. If he would acquire genuine truth it must be from the written Revelation which the Lord has given and which alone furnishes the legitimate means of passing the Cherubim who guard the spiritual sense.

"Wherefore unless man be in Divine Truth, or if he be only in a few truths and at the same time in falses, he is able to falsify truths; as also is done by every heretic as to the very sense of the letter of the Word", T. C. R. 208.

Here the warning is given that it is also dangerous to be only in a few truths and at the same time in falses. Yet this is about the position we are all more or less in; but the danger lies not so much in the position itself as in being satisfied with it. As long as essential falses are in our minds the few truths we have received are in danger of being falsified by them, and will be unless we keep clearly before us the distinction between what we have received from the genuine truth of Divine Revelation and what we have received from self and the world or from the mere appearances of the letter of Divine Revelation; and also diligently strive to remove the latter by the means which the Lord has placed within our reach, always remembering that more interior and therefore more spiritually injurious falsification of truth is possible in the New Church than elsewhere.

Lest therefore anyone should enter into the spiritual sense and pervert the genuine truth which is of that sense, guards have been placed by the Lord which are meant in the Word by Cherubim.

And He caused to dwell from the east towards the garden of Eden, Cherubim and the flame of a sword turning itself to guard the way of the tree of lives.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 18        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 8.

January 19th 1896. Reference: T. 300.

[Hebrew.] PS. 119:18

A. 3382. Revela oculos meos ut videam mirabilia e Lege tua.

Ps. 119:18. Unveil my eyes that I may see the wonderful things out of Thy Law.

In this world the Word which contains the Law of the Lord appears externally like an ordinary book. There is nothing wonderful about it to compel belief. It is the same in regard to the Word revealed by the Lord in His New Advent. The natural man is inclined to think that it should he otherwise, that if God had revealed His will He should have done so in such a wonderful manner that none might be able to doubt it. The Wisdom of Divine Providence has however ordained that what is wonderful therein should be carefully concealed from all but those who approach the Word in an affirmative spirit and really seek to have their eyes opened to its wonders. And even to these the unveiling of the eyes is a gradual process whereby the internal becomes visible little by little, as man becomes prepared to receive the wonderful things of the spiritual sense.

"In the natural world there do not exist any wonderful things from the Word, because the spiritual sense does not appear there", T. C. R. 209.

Not only does it not appear in the external world; but also it does not appear in man's natural mind and cannot be seen even in the mind unless man suffers his understanding to be lifted above the merely natural plane of thought.

"Neither is it received within by man of such quality as it is in itself", T. C. R. 209.

While man is in this world his reception of the spiritual sense is always more or less obscured by ideas of time and space, and other fallacies not yet altogether rejected. These veil his eves, thickly at first, but always to some extent, so that his reception is at best but an approximation to the quality of reception which the angels enjoy. Still that approximation will prepare us to receive the spiritual sense as it is in itself, if it be appropriated to the life, and the attainment of that approximation is comparatively an unveiling of the eyes to those who have as yet only seen the Word naturally.

"But in the spiritual world wonderful things appear from the Word, because all thin there are spiritual, and spiritual things affect the spiritual man as natural things affect the natural man", T. C. R. 209.

Moreover they not only appear in their minds; but as also projected outwardly before them, thus making the effect upon their minds manifest and objective. The description of such objective effects given in the Old and New Testaments and the further ones given in the Writings, will, if considered, illustrate and make clear the teaching given about the effect of the Word upon the mind.

"The wonderful things which exist in the spiritual world from the Word are many, from which I will here mention a few. The Word Itself in the repositories of the Temples there shines before the eyes of the angels like a great star. sometimes like the sun, and also from the radiance round about there appear as it were most beautiful rainbows; this takes place as soon as the repository is opened", T. C. R. 209.

This shining is simply the correspondence of the effect which the Word has upon their minds when they approach it. This external correspondence is never manifest in the natural world. Nevertheless we must learn to take such an attitude towards the Word that it may have an effect upon our minds approximating to that which it has upon the minds of the angels and which this correspondential appearance makes evident. Has the Word such an effect upon our minds? Does it as soon as it is opened shed light there like a great star or a sun? On the contrary is not the Word often dark to us; or affording only a glimmering light here and there, such as sheds upon the objects of thought in the mind only that vague light which leaves us free to imagine them pretty much what we will? It is well if you realize that such is really the case, that realizing the need you will seek and obtain more light. But too often men fail to recognize their own spiritual darkness because they accept natural light as light and are satisfied to a large extent to think even about spiritual things from that light. This point indicates what is the first thing necessary in order to make our minds more open to reception of spiritual light, to unveil our eyes to the wonderful things of the spiritual sense of the Word. It is that we shun thinking of spiritual things from natural light, whether that light be called the light of experience or the light of rationality. Natural things and natural thought therefrom can teach nothing whatever concerning spiritual things, but what is altogether false and misleading. Yea even of natural things themselves if we would have any real understanding of them we must think of them too from spiritual light in the first place and from natural light only in the second place. Just as we really shun thinking of spiritual thin from natural light will our eyes become unveiled to the spiritual light of the Word.

"That all and single truths of the Word shine, this has been able to appear to me from this that when any little verse from the Word is written out upon paper and the paper cast into the air, the paper itself shines in such a form as it has been cut into, wherefore spirits can from the Word produce various shining forms, and also of birds and fishes", T. C. R. 209.

What this implies may be inferred "from the signification of 'writing', that it is for reminding what is to be done", A. C. 10682. Also "from the signification of writing, that it is to impress upon the life. That to write is to impress upon the life is because writings are for reminding to all posterity; similarly the things which are impressed upon man's life: Man has as it were two books, upon which are written all his thoughts and acts; those books are his two memories, the exterior and the interior; the things which are written upon his interior memory, they remain into all eternity, neither can they ever be wiped out; they are principally those things which have been made of the will, that is, which have been made of the love, for the things which are of the love are of the will: that memory it is which is meant by each one's book of life", A. C. 9386. Hence when spirits write verses from the Word upon paper, it corresponds to impressing them upon the interior memory. When this is done whatever forms are in the memory, and are thus impressed by the Word, become shining--the thoughts there as shining birds, and even the scientific facts them as shining fishes. So is it with us internally if the Word be really impressed upon the interior memory where only those things which have been loved have a place--even the facts there will then reflect the light of the Word. Thus this wonderful thing may take place interiorly with us, and can be seen if the eyes of our understanding be unveiled, although it is only in the spiritual world that that wonderful thing becomes objective also.

"Also what is still more wonderful, when anyone rubs the face, or the hands, or the garments with which he is clothed with the opened Word, by applying its writing to them, the very face, hands, and garments shine as if he stood in a star surrounded by its light; this I have very often seen and wondered at; hence it appeared to me whence is was that Moses face shone when he carried down the Tables of the Covenant from Mount Sinai", T. C. R. 209.

The face represents the affection, the hands the power of truth, and garments the truths which clothe goods, all of which shine when they are impressed by the Word. By Moses was represented the external of the Word; the shining of his face represented the internal of the Word, that it was veiled represented that the internal of the Word could not appear to the Israelitish people. It is of Divine Providence that the internal of the Word is always veiled from the natural man. In order to become able to look upon the internal of the Word, he must first apply what of the Word he knows to his life, to his affection, to his work end to his thought--which is meant by applying the writing of the Word to the face, to the hands, and to the garments. Then he becomes receptive of the internal of the Word and only then does he become able to look upon the light thereof, hence only then does the Lord unveil his eyes to it.

"Besides these there are given many other wonderful things there which are from the Word, as that if anyone who is in falses looks towards the Word lying in a holy place, thick darkness arises to his eyes, and hence the Word appears black to him, and sometimes as if revered with soot; but if the same one touches the Word an explosion takes place with a crash and he is cast to a corner of the chamber and for an hour lies there as if dead", T. C. R. 209.

The thick darkness which arises to the eyes of such a one is his own intelligence. When he looks at the external of the Word, he sees nothing but his own intelligence there; but if he looks towards the Word itself in its holy place it appears black to him. But if he touch the Word--that is if the Word and his own affection come into contact--there is a sudden repulsion, because the life of his self-love feels itself threatened, which causes him to hate any approach of the Word Itself, other than the mere letter.

"If anything from the Word be written out upon paper by someone who is in falses and the paper thrown towards heaven, then in the air between his eye and heaven a similar explosion takes place, and the paper is torn into bits and vanishes away, a, similar thing takes place if the paper be thrown towards an angel who stands near. This I have often seen", T. C. R. 209.

Thus not only does thick darkness envelop his mind, but an explosion intervenes between his understanding and heaven, showing how completely his view of the spiritual sense which makes heaven is shut off, for there is not a mere shutting off but violent resistance when there is any attempt to impress genuine truth upon his life.

"From hence it was evident to me that there is no communication with heaven through the Word for those who are in falses of doctrine, but that their reading flows apart in the way, and perishes like gunpowder wrapped in paper when it is kindled and cast into the air", T. C. R. 209.

Some think of the Word as being a means of giving communication with heaven, without attending to the limitation to the use of that means, and hence they suppose that because the Word is read in the Old Church, that therefore there must be communication with heaven there. It is through the internal of the Word that communication with heaven is given; so that if that be altogether veiled by falses of doctrine, the external by itself is ineffective.

"The contrary takes place with those who are in truths of doctrine through the Word from the Lord; the reading of the Word by them penetrates even into heaven and makes conjunction with the angels there. The angels themselves when they descend from heaven to perform any office below appear surrounded by small stars, especially around the head which is a sign that Divine Truths from the Word are in them", T. C. R. 209.

It is when we descend into ultimates to perform actual uses according to the teaching of the Word, that we receive illustration or enlightenment. We are then surrounded by just the truths that will give the necessary light to the work in hand, which if the spiritual sight were opened would be seen as little stars about our heads, but which still are none the less there because they are not externally visible as they are in the spiritual world. Even here however, the eyes of our minds are unveiled to their light if we are really endeavoring to ultimate them in application to our own lives.

From all these illustrations there can be seen the infinite power of the Word, both to lift up to heaven and to thrust back to hell such as have not chosen to prepare themselves for heaven. In the spiritual world it has been seen to overturn mountains and hills, transfer them to a distance and cast them into the sea. It must do the same in the spiritual world of our minds, if we would be regenerated and have our eyes unveiled to the glory of heaven, by overturning and casting out the mountain of self love which is so prominent there. The power to do this lies in the very ultimates of the Word but it is from the internal as is also all its heavenly light. Whether that power and that light descend from the internal into the ultimates of the Word in our mind to remove our evils and to guide us to heaven depends upon our attitude thereto. In view of the terrible way in which the power of the Word is manifested towards those who have trusted in the, guidance of their own intelligence, it is only when we are really willing to deny ourselves in order to be lad by the Lord that it is wise to pray with David: Unveil my eyes that I may see the wonderful things out of Thy Law.



18



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 19        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 9.

January 26th 1896. Reference: T. 210-213.

JOHN 19:36. [Greek.]

T. 262. A. 9163. Facta sunt (enim) haec ut Scriptura impleretur, Os non confringetis.

JOHN 19:36. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled--a bone of Him shall not be broken.

"To break bones is to destroy truths from the Divine which are ultimate in order upon which interior truths and goods rest and by which they are supported, which if they are destroyed, those that are erected thereon also fall. Truths ultimate in order are truths of the sense of the letter of the Word in which the truths of the internal sense rest like pillars on their pedestals.... From these things it is evident what is represented and signified by those words concerning the Lord in John 'They came to Jesus, when they saw Him dead, they did not break His legs, which was done that the Scripture might be fulfilled: Ye shall not break a bone of Him'. The reason was because He was the Divine Truth Itself both in the first and in the last of order", A. C. 9163.

There are many things by which the ultimate truths of the sense of the letter are represented in the Word--such as clouds, stones, curtains, veils, pillars, foundations, walls, etc., each variously bringing into prominence some special feature of those ultimate truths. All are necessary to any full illustration of the subject and to base the thought upon only one of these representatives would tend to limit the thought principally to one view only of the uses which the letter of the Word performs. Thus that ultimate truths are like the foundation of a house, clearly illustrates the use they perform as the basis upon which interior truths are built; but if the thought dwell upon that illustration alone, the use they perform as the containants of interior truths and of good, would be apt to be lost sight of. The illustrations which convey the fullest idea of these varied uses are those taken from the human body, which is indeed the ultimate complex of all that the Lord has created. But these are more full because they are more complex, and are therefore less easy to grasp. The foundation of a house gives a simple idea of a basis, such as the simplest mind can grasp; but when the bones are regarded as the foundation of the human form, and as a representation of ultimate truths of the Word, a variety of features connected therewith tend to complicate the consideration of them. Thus the bones are the last of the infant body that is developed, and not the first that appears, as does the foundation of a house. Again the bones sometimes take a more external position, as in the head, and sometimes an internal position as in the limbs. All of which illustrates that there is quite a variety of features which need to be taken up in any full consideration of what is meant by the letter of the Word and that it is a mistake to limit the idea to one feature of the subject which, however necessary it may be to give the first idea and however true it may be as far as it goes, is yet very far from expressing any full or complete idea of the subject. Not only is the use and position of hone in the body varied; but even in the body there are two other ultimates which also represent the letter of the Word, and which also must be considered in connection with any full presentation of the subject--namely the skin and the hair. Each of these three makes prominent an aspect of the truth regarding the letter of the Word, without which only an essentially partial view is possible. The hair will be specially treated of in the section of the chapter which treats of the Nazarites. The skin also will be specially treated in a future section. Here it will only be necessary to refer to it incidentally as making prominent the idea of the letter as being the containant of interior broods and truths. In the present section, and further in that which next follows, hones will be considered as making prominent the idea of ultimate truth as being the basis and support of interior truths and goods.

"That the sense of the letter of the Word is the basis, containant and support of its spiritual and celestial senses. In everything Divine there is a First, Mediate, and an Ultimate, and the First goes through the Mediate to the Ultimate and thus exists and subsists; hence the ultimate is the basis", T. C. R. 210.

In the human body bone is the last part that is developed. At first the bones are merely soft cartilage and the skull merely skin or membrane. They harden gradually and it is not until towards adult age, that they attain their full degree of hardness. In the history of the human race, the period before the bones harden corresponds to the time of the Most Ancient Church before a written Word was given. The gradual hardening of the bones has been accomplished by the successive written Revelations which have been given, beginning from the Ancient Word and concluding with the Writings. In these successive Revelations the Word has been clothed first in most remote correspondences, and then in less remote correspondences, until in the Writings it is clothed in the most approximate correspondences giveable in this world. In proportion as the correspondences were remote as in the earlier written Revelations the truths revealed were general in their character, and therefore for the most part vague and capable of great diversity of interpretation; but as the correspondence became approximate more particulars of truth were revealed, giving more definiteness to the understanding of them. In the Writings this is most; fully the case, where full particulars not only make that Revelation itself definite, but which also give a like definiteness to our understanding of the previous Revelation. Thus have the bones of the Lord's Word gradually received the adult degree of hardness, which fits them to be most fully and perfectly the basis for the spiritual and celestial sense.

"Also the first is in the Mediate, and through the Mediate in the Ultimates, thus the Ultimate is the Containant", T. C. R. 210.

The skin illustrates this feature of the letter of the Word mast generally and prominently, but still in the head the bones of the skull are seen to form the containant also. The head corresponds to the celestial heaven, where there is the dearest perception of all that pertains to the Word not only as to its interiors but also as to its externals; for it is ultimated in literal form there also; but the sense of the letter is then most fully relegated to its rightful position as the external basis and containant to guard and protect the Word itself. This function of the skull is thus described in Swedenborg's work on the Brain:

"The animal microcosm is a kingdom by itself, separated from all similar ones with which it is associated. Its viscera are so many provinces and the parts of the viscera, are municipalities. The palace however where the ruling queen resides is the brain, there also is the court and the tribunal. The kingdom itself is engirded by a certain membranous fence or skin, but the palace or the brain is fortified by a double and triple rampart, i.e. by the skull and the dura mater. By these walls it repels all hostile assaults, no matter how many may be made against it from without; by their means also it accomplishes its vital motions secure from internal woes" BRAIN 190.

As the head corresponds to what is celestial, the trunk to what is spiritual and the limbs to what is natural, in the fact that the brain and the principal organs of the trunk are protected externally by the skull and the ribs, but the limbs by skin only, we can see confirmed, that the celestial and spiritual senses are more fully guarded by the ultimates of the letter than the natural sense is, indeed that the more internal the sense is the more fully is ii protected by ultimates, even as no part of the body is so fully clothed with ultimate protection as the brain. Further in the position of the bones of the various parts of the body it can be seen illustrated that what in the higher degrees is but the outer containant and protection becomes in the natural the central principle of action like the bones in the limbs.

"And because the ultimate is the containant and basis, it is also the support. By the learned it is comprehended that those three can be named End, Cause, and Effect, also Esse, Fieri, and Existere, and that the End is the Esse (or being), the Cause the Fieri (or becoming), the Effect the Existere (that which stands out); consequently that in every complete thing there is a trine which is called First, Mediate, and Ultimate, also End, Cause, and Effect. When these are comprehended it is also comprehended that every Divine Work in the Ultimate is complete and perfect; and also that in the Ultimate is the all, because in it the prior things are together", T. C. R. 210.

The End is the Divine Love, the Cause is Divine Truth, and the Effect is the Word in literal forms. The sense of the letter is but the ultimate effect of Divine Truth flowing into any given plane, even as bones are simply the last effect of the life inflowing into the body when it reaches most nearly to the mineral plane. For all kingdoms of nature are collated in the human body--the bones are the mineral kingdom there--the organs that act independently of any direction of the will are as it were: the vegetable kingdom, those that are under the direction of the will are specifically the animal kingdom, while the faculty of lifting the understanding above the will is the distinctively human. The bones then are the most ultimate effect of life--if it be said the most ultimate correspondences of life it is the same, for correspondences are nothing but effects. And as there are bones in the head as well as in the limbs, so the Divine Truth flowing into the rational or highest plane of the mind causes the effects which are presented to us as the literal form of the Writings. Thus there is a sense of the letter formed there, as well as one for each of the lower planers of the mind. Yea it is similar in the heavens also, the Divine Truth inflowing there cannot but cause an ultimate effect in each of them, which ultimate effect is presented as a sense of the letter accommodated to each. These effects wherever they are, whether in the highest heaven or in the most ultimate form of the Word on earth, contain the same end and cause which they result from--the Divine Good and the Divine Truth.

"There are three heavens, the supreme, the middle, and the lowest. The supreme heaven makes the Lord's celestial kingdom, the middle heaven makes His spiritual kingdom and the lowest heaven His natural kingdom; just as there are three heavens so also there are three senses of the Word, celestial, spiritual, and natural", T. C. R. 212.

These three heavens form respectively the head, trunk, and limbs of the Grand Man, in each of which a support of bone is necessary, thus a sense of the Letter. In one view a spirit has not flesh and bones like men in the world; but still the Lord declares that He has in this respect what a spirit has not, which means that Himself as the Word in the heavens has what corresponds to bone, that is, has a literal sense. In this world there is strictly only one discrete degree, the natural, but still it emulates the three discrete degrees of the spiritual, which emulations are called the rational, sensual, and corporeal, in which are the three natural forms of the Word. These would not emulate the three discrete degrees of the Word in the heavens, if they did not each have their own bones, their own sense of the letter. To acknowledge the letter of the Old Testament as the letter of the Word and deny the letter of the Writings as also being: the letter of the Word is like acknowledging the bones of the legs as the basis and support of the human body, but denying that the bones of the skull and chest are equally necessary as the basis and support of the full human form. Nor is the importance of the bones of the feet to be magnified above all the rest simply because they are undeniably the lowest ultimate, for like the rest of the body the bones all depend upon each other mutually and reciprocally. To again quote from the work on the Brain:

"Besides the whole bony system of the animal body is so connected that one sustains the other, and as it were feels whatever happens to the other; and thus that it receives in part the force brought to bear upon the other; especially if any casualty happens to the skull. This is perceived sensibly by the vibrations and tremors arising from any blow and concussion; and likewise by means of membranes, muscles, tendons, vessels, and fibres. For the skull rests upon and is conjoined with the bones of the spinal marrow; from the bones of the spinal column, that is the vertebrae, are continued the ribs, the sternum, the os sacrum, the coccyx and finally the ulnae, the arms, the loins, and the feat. Whenever therefore an injury is inflicted on the skull everything bony in the whole body claims its share, or receives some part of the injury in itself, and thus in a certain manner comes forward and proffers its help. The harmony also which begins from the head is such that there is no particular which is not carried toward a general, and no general which does not redound into its parts. Hence an immense strength accrues to the skull for the purpose of protecting the brain", BRAIN 194.

From all these things it is evident how important it is to see that in our reception of the Lord as the Word no bone of Him be broken, and the Lord in His Providence has preserved the letter of His Word from all injury and will ever do so. But still in our individual reception thereof such injury may be done, and it may be done not only to the lowest ultimate of the Word but also by breaking the connection which should exist between the various literal forms of the Word, all of which are essential each in its own place and order as the basis and support of the Divine Human form. This do, that in you also the Scripture may be fulfilled. Ye shall not break a bone of Him.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 20        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 10.

February 2nd 1896. Reference: T. 214-215.

MATT. 28:18. [Greek.]

L. 46. Data est Mihi omnis potestas in caelo et in terra.

MATT. 28:18. All power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

The power in heaven and on earth is the power of saving men. The Divine operation for saving men is from firsts through ultimates. Thus the effects of His power are seen in ultimates, although the source of that power is the Divine Itself. The Lord has manifested Himself in ultimates in this world solely for the sake of saving men. It is for this alone that He has become the Word in ultimate form. As He Himself declares: I am come not to judge the world but to save the world. Since then His power of saving us is exercised solely through the ultimates of His Word it is of the greatest importance that we should clearly understand just what is meant by the ultimates which have received all power and that our idea thereof should not be limited further than the teaching of Divine Revelation warrants. Whatever the Lord declares about Himself He declares about His Word which is Himself as He is now manifested to us. This is evident from the following passage:

"It is to be known that after the Word has been given the Lord manifests Himself by it alone, for the Word is the Lord Himself in heaven and the church, from this it can first appear that the manifestation there predicted signifies the manifestation of Rim in the Word and His manifestation in the Word has been effected by that He has opened and revealed the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, for in this sense is the Divine Truth itself of such quality as it is in heaven, and the Divine Truth in heaven is the Lord Himself there", A. E. 5943 .

Thus for us there is no other manifestation of the Lord, but as the Word, and especially the Word in its spiritual sense. The New Church has to some extent failed to receive the power of His New Advent, because it has failed to recognize that the Lord's Divine power is in the ultimates of the Revelation by which He has effected His New Advent, and that being there at all it is infinitely present there. Indeed it is only through this new Revelation that the power of the previous Revelations is restored, which would otherwise have been altogether lost. The Lord in His New Advent as in His First declares: All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth.

As has just been quoted, in the spiritual sense is the Divine Truth Itself of such quality as it is in heaven. The idea that Divine Truth of such quality and as it is in heaven does not have infinite power, has only to be mentioned in order to make its absurdity evident in the light of such passages as the following:

"In the heavens all power is from the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine Good; hence the angels have power, because they are receptives of Divine Truth from the Lord", A. C. 10182:2.

"In heaven Divine Truth has all power and without it there is none at all. All angels are called powers from the Divine Truth and also so far as they are receptions or receptacles of it so far they are powers. By it they prevail over the hells and over all who oppose themselves--a thousand enemies there cannot bear one ray of the light of heaven which is Divine Truth.... That there is such great power in Divine Truth they cannot believe who have no other idea concerning truth than as concerning thought or speech ... ; but in Divine Truth there is power in itself and such power, that by it heaven was created and the world was created with all things which are in them", H. H. 137.

If such be the power of Divine Truth as it is in heaven, how can it be absent from the Truth of similar quality which the Lord has revealed in His New Advent. All difficulty vanishes when once it is clearly recognized that every Divine Revelation is the Lord's Word, and that a Revelation which was not His Word could not be Divine at all; and also that the Word is given in literal forms in the heavens as well as on the earth. Then it becomes evident that the teaching of this morning's lesson: "That, this Divine Truth in the sense of the letter of the Word, is in its fulness, in its holiness, and in its power , T. C. R. 214, has application to the literal form of every Divine Revelation. More or less cannot be predicated of Infinite Power, therefore one form of Divine Revelation cannot be said to have more or less power than another, each one has all power in regard to the plane to which it belongs. The Word in Heaven has all Power in its letter there; the Word on earth has all power in its letter here. Wherever the Lord comes as the Word He comes declaring that all power is given to Him. Thus also in His New Advent, in which He manifests Himself in accommodation to man's rational mind, He has all power in the letter of that Revelation in which He appeals to man's rational understanding, and which we call the Writings. As far as man's rational reception of the Word is concerned, no other form has that power, although the other forms of the Word have likewise all power for affecting the lower planes of the human mind.

At the same time all senses of the Word rest upon the most ultimate sense for the final reaction of that Infinite Power which flows from the Lord. The most ultimate sense is like the fulcrum necessary for the manifestation of power by a lever--like the fulcrum also it is ill no wise the source of the power. The Divine Truth as it flows from the Lord is ultimated on each plane through which it passes, and each of those ultimations is all powerful on its own plane -- for by those ultimations the Word is made definite on each plane. In considering these successive ultimations it should be remembered that all things of successive order are accommodations to more and less finite reception, which are together in simultaneous order. As presented to man in each order they are various, but in relation to the Lord they are all the same. On each plane of accommodation the Lord as Divine Truth has infinite power, and cannot be rightly said to have more or less on any plane. He has all power infinitely on the highest plane--He has all power infinitely on the lowest plane. That there appear variations in the power depends upon the recipient. For the recipient, what is the ultimate letter of the Word for him is alone all powerful. For man in the world the natural forms of the Word as given in the world are alone all powerful. Remember all forms of Divine Revelation giveable in the world are necessarily natural in their literal forms--thus the Writings as well as the Old Testament. But here again the Lord not only accommodates Himself to the natural man, but also to the different planes of the natural man's mind, in regard to which planes the same principle holds, by which therefore for the rational plane of the mind the Word is all powerful only in the letter of the Writings. For that specific plane of life neither the higher forms of the Word which actually exists in the heavens nor yet the lower forms of the Old and New Testaments have Divine Power. Wherever the Lord comes, just as He comes there and in no other way is He all powerful there.

"From these things it can appear that the Word is the Word Itself in its sense of the letter, for within in this is spirit and life, this is what the Lord says: The Words which I speak to you are spirit and life, for the Lord spoke His words in the natural sense", T. C. R. 214.

The spirit and life of the Lord can come to us no other wise than in natural forms. Without natural forms they could have no definiteness for us, would therefore be without practical application in which alone power can be manifested. Thus unless the Writings as literally given be acknowledged and used for giving definiteness to the rational reception of truth--all forms of the Word now become subordinated to man's natural rational, that is, to man's rational as not reformed and defined by the Truth revealed by the Lord for that special purpose. When this is the case not only is the power of the Lord in His New Advent not received but the power of the previous forms of the Word is also destroyed in the minds of such recipients. In this way both the restoration of power to the more ultimate forms of the Word and the new power prepared by the Lord for man's rational mind are alike rejected.

"The celestial and spiritual senses are not the Word without the natural sense, for they are like spirit and life without a body", T. C. R. 214.

But just as the word body here cannot properly be limited to material bodies, so the natural sense in which the Word must always be ultimated in order to be the Word, does not mean only what is natural to this world. Certainly for us while in this world the Word, thus every Divine Revelation, must appear to be clothed in a natural sense as to its external form, just as man cannot appear in this world except in a material body. But on the other hand just as every man has a body in the spiritual world, as perfectly fitted and as perfectly ultimated for that world as his material body is for this, so is the Word in each heaven clothed in a sense which is the natural ultimate of that heaven, and therefore relatively to those there is a natural sense as well as a literal sense, within which each has what is relatively spiritual and celestial. Thus it is a truth applying not only to this world but of universal application, that the Word is never given except in a, natural sense, a sense perfectly accommodated to the nature of those for whom it is given and in which it has all power for them.

Similarly in the Writings the Lord has revealed His Word in a natural sense, that is in a sense accommodated to the nature of the human rational and in which He Himself comes knocking at the door of the rational mind and declaring: All power is given to Me in Heaven and on earth.

"Since the Word in the sense of its letter is such it follows that those who are in Divine Truth and in the faith that the Word within in its bosom is Holy Divine, and more those who are in the faith that the Word is such from its celestial and spiritual senses, when they read the Word in enlightenment from the Lord, they see Divine Truths in natural light; for the light of heaven in which is the spiritual sense of the Word inflows into the natural light in which is the sense of the letter of the Word and illuminates man's intellectual which is called the rational, and causes that he sees and acknowledges Divine Truths where they stand forth and where they lie hidden", T. C. R. 215.

Mark the sense of the letter is in natural light, and man cannot see Divine Truths except in natural light. A literal Revelation could not appear in this world without appearing in the natural light of this world, and as it is only in such literal ultimations that men can see Divine Truths, it follows that whatever they see thereof must be in a natural sense, and must he in natural light. What is spiritual, still less what is Divine, cannot be given in this world unclothed with what is natural to this world--even spiritual light cannot come to man's mind here unclothed with something of natural light. No power can be exerted in this world except through something natural, for without that nothing could ever appear. Hence when the Writings speak of men seeing truths in spiritual light, they mean strictly, seeing truth in natural light into which spiritual light has been admitted.

This teaching should protect men of the New Church from those false Christs who come as internal Revelation only. The Lord always manifests Himself as Divine Truth in definite form, and externally always in a form natural to the plane on which He appears. Yet however these forms vary in accommodation to the various capabilities of finite reception, wherever the Lord appears the ultimates in which He appears are all powerful there. That is, the letter of every Divine Revelation is all powerful for the purpose for which it has been given. Wherever and whenever the Lord comes He can only come with infinite power, and it is of each ultimate appearance of Himself that He declares: all power is given to Me in heaven and on earth.



20



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 21        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 11.

February 9th 1896. Reference: T. 216-219.

APOC. 21:19, 20. [Greek.]

R. 914, 915. Et fundamenta muri urbis omni lapide pretioso exornata. Fundamentum primum jaspis, secundum sapphirus, tertium chalcedonius, quartum sardonyx, sextum sardius, septimum chrysolithus, octavum beryllus, nonum topazius, decimum chrysoprasus, undecimum hyacinthus, duodecimum amethystus.

APOC. 21:19. And the foundations of the wall of the city garnished with every precious stone. The first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topas, the tenth chrysoprasus, the eleventh hyacinth, the twelfth an amethyst.

"And the foundation of the wall of the city garnished with every precious stone, signifies that all things of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem taken from the sense of the letter of the Word with those who are there, will appear in light according to reception. By the twelve foundations are signified all things of doctrine; by the wall is signified the Word in the sense of the letter; by the holy city Jerusalem is signified the Lord's New Church; by precious stone is signified the Word in the sense of the letter pellucid from its spiritual sense; and because this takes place according to reception therefore it is signified that all things of doctrine from the Word with them will appear in light according to reception", A. R. 914.

Precious stones beautifully illustrate the quality of the letter of the Word when it is pellucid from its spiritual sense. Of these the ruby and the diamond may be taken as setting forth in general what the rest do more particularly. The ruby reflects light in a celestial manner; the diamond in a spiritual manner.

"There are two colours in general which are pellucid in precious stones--the red colour and the white colour. The remaining colours as green, yellow, blue, and many others are composed from them with black intervening, and by the red colour is signified the good of love, and by the white colour is signified the truth of wisdom. That the red colour signifies the good of love is because it derives its origin from the. fire of the sun, and the fire of the sun of the spiritual world is the good of love; and that white colour signifies the truth of wisdom is because it derives its origin from the light which proceeds from the fire of that sun and that light proceeding is in its essence the Divine Wisdom, thus the truth of wisdom; and black derives its origin from their shade, which is ignorance", A. R. 915.

The letter of the Word in itself is black, but has the colours of the various precious stones when it becomes transparent to the spiritual sense. The letter of the Word is black in itself because it is composed of what is taken from man's proprium. It is the black of the proprium also which gives the variety to receptions, and causes the various combinations of red and white to assume innumerable colours and shades. How far variety depends upon black from man's proprium is shown in the following:

"That it is according to order that the first should proceed to its ultimate in general and in particular, is that variety of all things may exist, and by variety every quality, for quality is perfected by relative differences to more and less opposites. Who cannot see that truth receives its quality by the false being given? Similarly good by evil being given? Similarly as light by thick darkness being given, and heat by cold being given What would colour be if there were only given white and not black--the quality of intermediate colours is from no other source except it be imperfect. What is sense without relation, and what is relation except to opposites. Is not the: sight of the eye obscured from white alone, and is vivified from colour which within derives something from black such as is the colour green? does not the ear grow deaf from one tone continuously striking its organ, and it is excited from modulation which is varied by relations. What is beauty without relation to what is unbeautiful, wherefore that the beauty of any virgin may be presented to the life, in some pictures there is placed an image of a deformed person at the side. What is delight and fortune without relation to what is undelightful and unfortunate. Who is not delirious from one constant idea unless variety from such things as to opposites interrupt it? It is similar in the spiritual things of the Church of which the opposites refer themselves to the evil end false, which nevertheless are not from the Lord but from man who has free determination which is able to bend them to good use and to evil use. It is comparatively as with darkness and cold, these are not from the sun but from the earth which by
circumvolutions successively withdraws and turns itself, and nevertheless without the turning and withdrawing of it, there would not be days and years, and hence not anything nor anyone upon the earth", T. C. R. 763.

It is therefore an essential part of the Lord's accommodation of Himself to man that He should appear in externals which derive their finite quality from man, for it is only in these that man could at all perceive what comes from the Infinite, or be able to receive any idea of its quality. The Lord therefore builds His Word upon stones, but upon stones capable of receiving and reflecting heavenly light with the greatest variety. We are not taught the particular correspondence of each of the twelve stones named; but only that they indicate a. similar complex of qualities as do the names of the twelve apostles whose names were written therein, and as the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel which were written upon a similar collection of precious stones which were placed upon the Ephod of Aaron. In the latter case they
are classified.

"That there were four rows and in each row three stones, the cause was that the conjunction of all truths from one good might be represented and thus perfection, for by four is signified conjunction and by three perfection, for when there is one good from which they all proceed, consequently which they all regard, then there is conjunction of them all", A. C. 9864.

The first row, ruby, topaz, and carbuncle were of a red flamy colour and signified the celestial love of good.

The second row, the chrysoprasus, the sapphire, and the diamond, were of blue from red and signified the celestial love of truth.

The third row, the ligure, the agate, and the amethyst were of blue from white and signified the spiritual love of good.

The fourth row, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper were of a colour which approaches white from blue, and signified the spiritual love of truth.

Thus there is represented the letter of the Word as it is in the heavens. The first two rows represent the letter as it is respectively in the internal and the external of the celestial kingdom, and the last two rows the letter as it is respectively in the internal and the external of the spiritual kingdom; but in each of them it appears in trinal form, and variously according to the various receptions of the angels. Thus everywhere the Divine Truth itself is presented in ultimate forms, in which it is protected itself and in which it is able to afford protection to all who trust in it. Although the variety of its presentation is so great, never is there any indication that it is ever presented otherwise than in definite written forms. No part of the foundation of the heavens is without precious stones as the support and ultimate basis. Nor can any part of the foundation of the New Church be upon any other basis. Unless the Revelation by means of which the Lord has come to establish the New Church were as to its ultimates composed of precious stones, it could not convey the doctrine which is alone to give light in the New Jerusalem. Unless we learn to recognize the ultimates of that Revelation as precious stones, our eyes will remain blind to the light which the Lord has revealed for the New Church. This light is not from the sense of the letter, but can be seen beautifully reflected therein by those who suffer themselves to be taught genuine truths. But it is in their literal expression that their power is realized. The power of truth is the power of opening heaven, and also the power of combating evils and falses. In the presence of genuine truth, the real nature of evil first becomes evident. To know its real nature is to be protected against it, for it is only by its appearance of being brood that it has hold upon us. It should be our aim so to surround our minds with a wall of truths, that nothing false and evil could continue therein without its real quality becoming manifest. Such a wall would consist of precious stones all pellucid from spiritual light within which only heavenly things could flourish, and against which all infernal attacks would be in vain.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 22        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 12.

February 16th 1896. Reference: T. 220-221.

[Hebrew.] EX. 26:1.

A. 9593. Et Habitaculum facies, decem aulaea, byssino contexto, et hyacinthino, et purpura et coccinea debapho, cherubis, opere excogitatoris (artificis) facies illa.

Ex. 26:1. And thou shalt make a habitation with ten curtains of twined byssus and hyacinth and purple and scarlet double dyed, with cherubim, the work of a contriver thou shalt make them.

Both the Tabernacle erected by Moses in the wilderness and the Temple built in Jerusalem by Solomon represent the Lord's kingdom wherever that kingdom obtains--thus in heaven, in the church, and in the individual mind of a regenerating man. Wherever the Lord's kingdom extends, there the Lord Himself as the Word is the inmost thereof, which was represented by the Word in the Ark, kept in the inmost part of the Tabernacle and of the Temple, which was called the Holy of Holies. Hence the Tabernacle was called the Lord's Habitation, even as Heaven is. The Holy of Holies represented the Celestial Heaven, the Holy Place the Spiritual Heaven, and the Court the Ultimate Heaven. Similarly they represented the three senses of the Word and all the externals of the Tabernacle represented the externals of the Word--its sense of the letter. It will be readily seen hence that as each part of the Tabernacle had its own veils or curtains, so each form of the Word has its own sense of the letter. This is distinctly taught thus:

There were three veils there, first that which made the division between the Holy and the Holy of Holies, the second which was called the covering for the door of the Tabernacle, the third which was the covering for the gates of the court. The first veil ... represented the proximate and inmost appearances of rational truth in which the angels of the third heaven are.... The second or covering of the door of the Tabernacle ... represented the appearances of good and truth which are inferior or exterior to the prior and in which the angels of the second heaven are.... The third or the covering of the gate of the court ... represented the appearances of good and truth still more inferior and exterior which are the lowest of the rational and in which the angels of the first heaven are", A. C. 2576.

Thus the various entrances to the Tabernacle, one within the other, were covered by veils which represented appearances of truth on so many planes, after entrance has been obtained to the ultimate truths of heaven, the spiritual truths within these are still veiled off by their own literal ultimates and even when these have been penetrated there are still literal appearances veiling off truths as accommodated to the inmost heaven. Each portion had its own veils and curtains.

The text has special reference to the Holy Place, which is there called a habitation. This is taken for special consideration because it corresponds to the plane on which the spiritual sense of the Word is given, on the one hand divided by a veil from the Holy of Holies where the Word Itself was placed, and on the other hand divided by a veil from the external court, which represented the more ultimate forms of the Word. This middle part is specifically called the Lord's Habitation rather than the Holy of Holies because Truth is the habitation of Good and thus of the Lord.

"Heaven is called the habitation of God from this that the Divine of the Lord dwells there; for it is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good of the Lord which makes heaven, it indeed gives the life of the angels there; and because the Lord dwells with the angels in that which is from Himself, therefore Heaven is called the habitation of God, and the Divine Truths themselves from the Divine Good, of which the angels or angelic societies are receptions, are called habitations", A. C. 9354.

Hence the curtains of the holy place represented the ultimate of spiritual truth.

"The spiritual and celestial things of the Word are comparatively like the Holy things of the Tabernacle, which were the table upon which were the breads of proposition, the golden altar upon which was frankincense, and the censer, also the candelabrum with the lamps, and more interiorly still the cherubim, the propitiatory and the ark--all these were the holy things of the Jewish and Israelitish Church; but still they could not be called holy and a sanctuary before they were covered with curtains and veils. Without those coverings they mould have been exposed to the naked heaven, to rains and storms, to the birds of heaven and the wild beasts of the earth which would have violated, torn and dispersed them. Thus also would it be with Divine Truths in the heavens, which are called spiritual and celestial, unless they are enclosed with natural truths of quality as are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word", A. C. 1088.

But there were also three coverings external to the curtains of byssus, made respectively from she goat's hair, from the skins of rams, and from the skins of badgers. Hence relatively to these the curtains of byssus represent interior truths, and indeed it will be found always, that the truths by which the Lord teaches angels and men, whether they be relatively internal or external are always in ultimate forms. Here:

"Ten curtains signify all the truths from which (is the second heaven) and they are the interior truths of faith which are of the new intellectual;... that they are interior truths is because exterior truths are signified by the curtain from she goats", A. C. 9595.

"Of twined byssus, and hyacinth, and purple, and scarlet double dyed, that it signifies the spiritual and celestial things from which those truths are, appears from the signification of hyacinth that it is the celestial love of truth, and from the signification of purple that it is the celestial love of good; and from the signification of scarlet double dyed that it is spiritual good or spiritual truth. In such order do spiritual and celestial things or truths and goods follow with the man or angel who is in the middle or second heaven; for first there is truth from a heavenly origin, which is signified by byssus, afterwards there is the love or affection of truth which is the hyacinth, afterwards the love or affection of good thence which is the purple, and at length there is spiritual good which is the scarlet double dyed", A. C. 9596.

Such is the order which must be followed before anyone receives the living spiritual sense of the Word. The spiritual sense is not living until it has become spiritual good in man, which it does when it really enters his affection, and he loves to do what it teaches. Still spiritual truth always remains intellectual in form. For:

"By byssus is properly signified the intellectual such as it is within the spiritual man, or with the angel who is in the Lord's spiritual kingdom; the cause that the intellectual is signified by twined byssus is because within the spiritual man the new voluntary is implanted by the Lord in his intellectual part, and because the intellectual of the spiritual man is signified by twined byssus therefore spiritual truth is also, for all truth pertains to the intellectual part", A. C. 9596.

Thus by the inner curtains described in the text is meant the ultimates of distinctively spiritual truth that is of the spiritual sense of the Word. But these curtains were also covered by curtains include from the wool of she goats.

"That the curtains upon the habitation of the tent were to be made of the wool of the goats for a sign that all the holy things which were therein represented derived their essence from innocence; by the wool of the goats is signified the ultimate or outermost of innocence which is in ignorance", A. C. 35l9.

This represents that no one can get to the genuine proximate expression of spiritual truth signified by the curtain of twined byssus except through innocence, that is, unless he seek it in the spirit of innocence. The ultimate expressions of truth do not convey the same meaning to       everyone who reads them and their genuine meaning appears only in proportion as they are approached in innocence, in the real desire to be led by the Lord and not by self-intelligence.

For there were still two coverings external to this, made respectively of the skins of rams and of the skills of badgers. By the skins of rams are signified external truths from good, and by the skill of badgers external good. These external truths and broods are all that are seen expressed in Divine Revelation when ii is approached without innocence--when instead there is only desire to find confirmation of h external good of life as self-intelligence approves of.

Lastly, upon the inner covering of byssus cherubim were interwoven, by which are signified guards lest interior truths should be profaned. Note that these cherubim were on the inner covering, the covering which is the proximate ultimate of the spiritual sense. It is not necessary to guard the external sense which is so easily made to agree with man's own idea of good and truth, but the internal is always guarded by such appearances as only reveal their genuine meaning to those who approach them in innocence. Similarly upon all the walls of Solomon's Temple cherubim were engraved. They still more prominent if we approach the Word itself in the Holy of Holies where two figures of Cherubim made of gold stretch their wings over the ark itself wherein the Lord's Testimony was placed.

The whole is called the work of a contriver, by which is signified the intellectual. For the spiritual man the forms of the Word appeal to his intellectual or rational faculties and it is by the use of those faculties that he must try to learn what the Lord's message to him is. Not however subordinating the teaching of Revelation to his rational. rut from innocence seeking to receive a reformed rational from the Lord, such as will enable him to understand what the Lord would have him do, in order that the spiritual interior of his mind may he regenerated. It is essential to any rational understanding of the Lord's Word to have some knowledge of the human form end thence of the human mind, for the Lord's Word is such as it is in externals, by reason of its perfect accommodation to the form of the human mind and to the varied requirements of the different planes thereof. Hence it is that:

"Similar things occur in the Tabernacle as with man, since representatives in nature refer themselves to the human form, and signify according to their relation to it. In the externals with man there are four coverings which envelop and enclose all his interiors, which coverings are called skins and cuticles ... (and correspond to the internal coverings of his mind). Similar things were represented in the coverings which constituted the expanse of the Tabernacle. Hence the understanding can be furnished with some light concerning the form of heaven; but still that light will be extinguished with all those who have no distinct knowledge concerning those things which are in the human body and who have not at the same time a distinct knowledge concerning the spiritual things which are of faith and concerning the celestial things which are of love to which they correspond", A. C. 9632.

For how can the Lord's dealings with man be rationally understood, unless the nature of man himself be rightly understood. Only then can man begin to understand the wonderful perfection of the various accommodations of Divine Truth which the Lord has provided, and how each and all of them are essential for the complete reformation and regeneration of the human mind. As soon as any genuine understanding of this matter is attained, men of the Church will cease considering one ultimation of Divine Revelation as either more or less important than another, and will recognize and acknowledge that each is perfect and all powerful in its own place and for its own purpose. The man of the New Church thus recognizing the essential use of each form of the Word, will use that given in the Lord's New Advent to make a habitation for the Lord in the intellectual part of his mind, in obedience to the Lord's command as he is taught to spiritually understand it. Thou shalt make a habitation with ten curtains of twined byssus, and hyacinth, and purple, and scarlet double dyed, with cherubim, the work of a contriver thou shalt make them.



22



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 23        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 13.

February 23rd 1896. Reference: T. 222.

MATT. 17:1, 2. [Greek.]

E. 64. (Et post dies sex) assumpsit Jesus Petrum, (et) Jacobum, et Johannem (fratrem ejus, et subducit illos) in montem altum valde (seorsim). Et transformatus est coram illis.

MATT. 17:1, 2. And after six days Jesus took Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up into la very high mountain, apart. And was transformed before them.

"The Lord in this transformation represented the Divine Truth which is the Word; for the Lord when He was in the world made His Human Divine Truth, and when He went forth out of the world He made His Human Divine Good by unition with the Divine Itself which was in Him from conception. Hence it is that the single things which were seen when He was transformed signify the Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good of the Lord", A. E. 594.

When the Lord was in the world He appeared like another man and except for His teaching and works there was nothing to show that He was discretely different from all other men. Hence those who only judged by appearances, and preferred the ideas of their own intelligence to His teaching, could only see in Him an ordinary man. It is the same with regard to the Lord in His New Advent now. The Revelation in which He has now come to the natural mind only appears like a common book, and when it is read by a man who is in the conceit of his own intelligence, and who therefore cannot admit the superiority of any teaching that differs from his own ideas, it necessarily appears to him to be more or less faulty, and therefore in no wise Divine. In fact such a man sees nothing of what is Divine therein, what he approves therein is only such as he is able to understand in such a way that it agrees with his own intelligence, what he cannot make agree thereto he rejects. Thus to be able to see the Lord in His New Revelation of Himself is possible only to those who are able to see that the teaching therein is of a quality discretely above that of any teaching that could be hatched by any ordinary human intelligence, however cultivated. Hence the first requisite to enable a man to see the Lord in His glory, as He really is, that is, as He appears to the angels, is the humble acknowledgment that his own intelligence is useless in regard to spiritual things, that the ideas thereof are as to their essence opposite to all genuine understanding of Divine Truth such as can be obtained solely from Divine Revelation by such as approach it in an attitude of innocence.

To those who are satisfied with their own notions of what is good and what is evil, the glory of Divine Truth for ever remains invisible, if they see the Lord at all it is only as to the natural external in which He manifests Himself, and there is nothing that can prove to them that there is more than that external to see. But even where a man chooses to seek for Divine leading such as will be altogether higher and even opposite to self-intelligence, the essential glory of the Lord's Word does not appear at once, nor until after a full state of preparation. This is meant by that it was after six days that Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a high mountain apart and was transformed before them. The Lord does not expect anyone to be able to pass at once from a state of self-intelligence to the opposite state of spiritual intelligence. Hence the Lord has variously accommodated Himself as the Word, so that even the most simple are provided with teaching adequate to their comprehension, and which if received in an affirmative spirit prepares them for a further understanding of truth a little more interior to what they have before grasped, and so little by little such are led on by the Lord until He sees that they are able to bear the sight of His glory, which is never until after six days.

In all who approach the Word with the principle established in their minds that they need to be led by a Divine Intelligence altogether superior to their own, faith, charity and the brood of charity are gradually developed, and these in man are what at length enable him to see the distinctive glory of the Lord's Word. The reason is because they are not man's own, but are entirely of the Lord with him, being formed from the reception of such Divine Truth as he has been able to receive into his understanding, his will, and his life. In order to reveal His glory, the Lord calls these apart and leads them up onto a high mountain, for they are meant by Peter, James, and John. This means that the initiament of the new understanding, together with the charity and its good within it, must be separated from the rest of men's mind, and must be elevated quite shove all the ideas he has formed for himself, before the distinctively spiritual sense of the Word can be seen, which is the Lord's glory. This elevation of the understanding is not only above the will, but above and apart from the old understanding which agrees with the will. The new, that is all received from Revelation, must be elevated and apart from the old, that is, from all that has been derived from any other source. When after due preparation we suffer the Lord to lead us thus far, then we are able to view the Lord's Word transformed before us and see something of its distinctively spiritual application for which our previous external application of its teaching only prepared the way. It is then that Peter, James, and John are led up into a high mountain apart and see the Lord transformed.

"By the face which shone as a sun was represented the Divine Good of His Divine Love", T. C. R. 222.

Or as it is elsewhere more fully expressed:

"The Divine Good of the Divine Love which was in Him, from which the Divine Truth was in the very Human, was represented by that His face shone like the sun; for the face represents the interiors, wherefore these interiors shone forth through the face; and the sun signifies the Divine Love", A. E. 594.

The first thing realized when the spiritual sight of the understanding is opened to see something of the genuine spiritual sense of the Word, is the love which that sense of the Word always expresses. Even in the case of the Writings when only the literal sense is seen, statements may often appear harsh and strange; but once the understanding grasps something of the genuine truth which the doctrine is intended to convey it is invariably found to be an expression of the Lord's love. And further the more approximately to Truth Itself it is understood, the more fully it is found to express that love. This is seeing the Lord's face in His Word. But that genuine Truth which is internal. Even to the letter of the Writings is only seen when it is sought for the sake of application to life, for really genuine Truth does not exist apart from good, and therefore cannot be really grasped unless the principle represented by John is present in the sight of our understanding. Peter could not have seen the transformation of the Lord unless he had been accompanied also by James and John. This must be borne in mind if we would have the Lord's Word transformed before us, and see His face therein shining like the Sun with the affection of love for us, as for all His creatures.

"Divine Truth was represented by His garments which were made like light. Garments in the Word signify Truths and the Lord's garments Divine Truth, wherefore also they appeared like light, for Divine Truth makes the light in the angelic heaven and hence light in the Word signifies that Truth", A. E. 594.

The Lord's garments signify Divine Truth as to the externals in which it is presented--here the externals in which the spiritual sense is presented as they appear when the glory thereof is seen. But however the externals in which Divine Truth is manifested are varied the Truth Itself in them is the same--even as the Lord Himself was ever the same however He varied the garments--yea whether those garments were seen by men to be like light or only as ordinary garments. That here the garments of the Lord which were made like light specifically represent the externals in which the spiritual sense is manifested, appears evidently from the context, for:

"Since the Word which is Divine Truth was represented, therefore also Moses and Elias were seen speaking with Him; by Moses and Elias are signified the Word", A. E. 594.

"By Moses the Word that was written by him, and in general the historical Word, and by Elias all the prophetical Word", T. C. R. 222.

Here, as is so frequently the case, the threefold form of the Word is made evident--as historical, prophetical, and spiritual forms. By Moses is represented the historical Word in general--thus the historical portion of both Testaments. By Elias cell the Prophetical Word thus the prophetical books of both Testaments and by the Lord as He here appeared is represented the spiritual sense of the Word in which He makes His New Advent. The three are together, and in communication and still are distinct.

"But the Word in the letter was represented by the cloud which overshadowed the disciples and into which the disciples entered; for by the disciples in the Word the Church is represented which at that time and afterwards had only been in truth from the sense of the letter; and because revelations and answers are made by Divine Truth in ultimates, and thus truth is of such quality as is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, therefore it was caused that a voice was heard from the cloud saying: This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him; that is that He Himself is the Divine Truth or the Word", A. E. 594.

The letter of every Divine Revelation constitutes the clouds in which it is given, and there is nothing more prominent in the very letter of every Divine Revelation than that the Lord is, and all salvation is from obedience to Him. Whether we regard the letter of the Old Testament, the letter of the New or the letter of the Writings, thus whether we regard the clouds in which the Lord manifested Himself formerly or the clouds in which He now manifests Himself in His New Advent, from all that voice is heard saying: This is my beloved Son hear ye Him. To hear means to give heed to and obey. This command is reiterated throughout each form of the Word--In each man is exhorted again and again to obey the Divine Truth there revealed in order that he may live, and is as often warned that failure or refusal to obey it will result in eternal death. This command is not peculiar to any one form of the Word, it is common to them all and in all it is most plainly set forth in the very letter so that all who will can hear that voice out of the clouds. Hence it is externally heard by all who even with their external ears hear the letter of Divine Revelation read; and yet few hear it in the sense of giving heed and obeying. Those that do thus really hearken to this voice heard from the letter cloud, do not remain able to see the letter only; they also see the Lord Himself as to genuine spiritual truth, yea, they also see His face shining with the affection of Divine Love and each form of the Word as communicating therewith. That is he who heeds and obeys the call from the letter of each form of the Word to obey the Lord as Divine Truth, he also hears, that is heeds and obeys what the spirit saith to the Churches. In reality no others do. It is obedience to the Word in the letter, because it is the Lord's, that prepares Peter, James, and John in the regenerating man to be able to see the Lord in His glory, which ability then comes to the rational sight of the understanding, and enables him to understand better and better what the letter is intended to teach him. Man never becomes independent of the letter of Divine Revelation for his reception of genuine Truth. Like the disciples He is overshadowed by the cloud even when he is permitted to behold the glory of the Lord as He reveals Himself in the spiritual sense. All answers from heaven are given through the letter of the Word--that is the letter of Divine Revelation--and all advance in the understanding of genuine truth is simply an advance in the understanding of what the letter really contains. Moreover the preparation for every such advance is the same, it is readiness to obey the Word as it is understood at any given time. The voice out of the clouds is continually heard by those who are in innocence, calling upon them to obey the Truth as the Lord has given them ability to understand it now. The command comes to each man of the Church, in respect to his present understanding of the Word. "This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him". When we have been led to see the genuine spiritual sense, which is the Lord as He appeared transformed before His disciples--the necessity of obeying this command is only made more rationally clear--this is the Lord Himself in Divine Truth or the Word--to obey is life, to disobey is death. This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him.



23



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 24        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 14.

March 1st 1896. Reference: T. 223.

A. 3301. Omnibus diebus naziraeatus eorum novacula non transiret super caput eorum.

NUM. 6:5. All the days of the vow of his Nazariteship a razor shall not pass upon his head.

The subject of today's lesson is:

"That the power of the Word in ultimates was represented by the Nazarites", T. C. R. 223.

"The power of the Lord from the ultimates of truth was represented by the Nazarites in the Jewish Church, and by Samson, concerning whom it is said that he was a Nazarite from his mother's womb and that his power consisted in his hair; by Nazarite and Nazariteship also is signified hair", S. S. 49. (Meaning that in the Hebrew language) S. S. 35.

The representation of power by the hair is not as easily understood as some other representations of power, as by the hand or by a staff. It is easy to see why the hand should represent power for it is the direct instrument by which the power of the body is exerted. But to understand that strength should consist in the hair requires deeper consideration.

"No one can understand why Nazariteship, by which the hair is signified, was instituted and whence it is that Samson had strength from his hair, unless it be known what is signified in the Word by the head. By the head is signified the intelligence which angels and men have from the Lord through Divine Truth--hence by hair is signified intelligence in ultimates or extremes from Divine Truth". T. C. R. 223.

This makes it evident that spiritual strength depends upon the intelligence being ultimated on the most external plane of life represented by the hair, for the hair is the external even of the natural. Further:

"By the hair the natural things are signified into which spiritual things operate and in which they cease, wherefore by hair in the Word is signified the ultimates of wisdom and intelligence, by the hair of the head the ultimates of wisdom, by the beard the ultimates of intelligence", A. C. 569.

Thus the hair of the head corresponds to the ultimation of wisdom and rationality on the natural plane. Such ultimation exists primarily in the letter of Divine Revelation--hence the hair represents the letter of the Word; and because all wisdom and rationality that are really such are derived from the Word, the hair also represents the ultimation of that wisdom and rationality in the external life. All spiritual strength depends upon there being such ultimation, and can never be received apart from them. Thus it is written:

"Unless there are the ultimates of intelligence which are signified by the hair of the head ... intelligence perishes, for when ultimates are taken away it is as if the base of a pillar were taken away or the foundation of a house; hence it is that in the Jewish Church which was a representative Church it was wicked to shave the hair of the head and induce baldness, similarly the beard; wherefore also those who are without intelligence, in the spiritual world appear bald", A. E. 577.

"Because this was signified by the hair therefore it was a statute for the Nazarites that they should not shave the hair of their head because it was the Nazariteship of God upon their head, and also therefore it was a statute that the High Priest and his sons should not shave their head lest they should die and the universal house of Israel be angry. Since hair on account of that signification which is from correspondence was so holy, therefore the Son of Man which is the Lord as to the Word, is described even as to the hair that it was white like wool, like snow--similarly the Ancient of Days", T. C. R. 223.

Hence this representative of the hair is the most important to consider and the one that needs to be kept most prominently before the mind--namely that hair represents the ultimates of the Lord as to the Word, which means the letter of the written Revelation which He has given. The hair of the Son of Man is said to be white because white signifies to be pure. The very ultimate letter of the Word is pure, inasmuch as there is not the least thing therein which does not contribute to the perfection of its accommodation for the regeneration of man. It is purely the Lord's own means of bringing Divine Truth down to the level of man's intelligence--and apart from that means man cannot attain any knowledge whatever of genuine truth--end so cannot have any power against his spiritual foes. Nay man cannot from himself even recognize that truth is truth or the false false, which is meant by that he cannot make one hair white or black--from himself he can understand nothing. Moreover it is necessary for him to come into the acknowledgment that this is so before he can approach the letter of Divine Revelation, so as to receive therefrom genuine truth.

Since hair signifies truth in ultimates thus the sense of the letter of the Word, therefore those who despise the Word in the spiritual world become bald, and contrariwise those who have magnified the Word and had it Holy appear in becoming hair", T. C. R. 223.

In the world however externals are so largely at variance with internals that we can form no conclusion from the external state of the individual concerning his internal state which may be the opposite thereto. Nevertheless so far as those externals are of voluntary choice, they do indicate the general state. Hence there can be no doubt that the shaving of the head by the Priest in the Roman Catholic Church, is an ultimation of their general state towards the letter of the Word which is different from that of the Protestant Church, although both alike have rejected the essential Word Itself--that is the genuine Truth of the Word. Also it is as great an evil to regard the letter altogether separated from its spirit as it is to reject the letter. The mere letter serves only to confirm external natural states, whence the natural grows beyond bounds and assumes altogether undue prominence. Therefore rough unkempt hair corresponds to the opposite evil to
which voluntary baldness of the head and face does. Thus it is written:

"Men who in the life of the body have been merely natural, when they are presented to be seen in the other life according to that state, appear hairy as to almost all the face, and moreover the natural of man is represented by hair; when it is from good by hair becomingly and neatly arranged, but when not from good by unbecoming and disordered hair", A. C. 3301.

"Therefore the angels have their hair decently and orderly disposed, for their hair represents their natural life and its correspondence with their spiritual life--to clip the hair is to accommodate natural things that they may he decent, thus becoming", A. C. 5569.

By this is represented that on the one hand they do not reject the letter of the Word--nor do they on the other allow it a prominence that does not belong to it--they neither reject the natural external of their life thence nor do they allow ii; to grow unchecked and unrestrained.

"On account of this correspondence it was caused that the 42 boys, because they called Elisha, bald, were torn in pieces by two bears, for Elisha, represented the Church as to Doctrine from the Word and bears signify the power of truth in ultimates", T. C. R. 223.

That they called Elisha bald was denying the letter of the Word as represented by him, therefore denying the letter of the Doctrine which is from the Word. It is important in the New Church to see that the expression letter of the Word has relation to every Divine Revelation which has been given in written form. The law of the Nazarite affords a remarkable confirmation of the teaching that this is so. The Nazarite represented the celestial man who is regenerated by the good of love and not by the truth of faith like the spiritual men, and hence he was forbidden to drink wine or partake of anything from the vine until the end of the days of his Nazariteship. Then he was sanctified and could eat grapes and drink wine; it is indeed declared that after he was sanctified wine could not inebriate the Nazarite. After he was sanctified means when he is regenerated. The celestial man does not receive rational truth during his regeneration but only after it, even as in each step thereof he receives truth directly into his will before he receives into his understanding. This therefore does not apply to the case of the spiritual man who is regenerated by means of the truth of faith. Yet the teaching has a bearing upon how to deal with the comparatively celestial states of little children as long as they are still in innocence. But there is another point which has universal application connected with the law that at their sanctification they should do another thing which previously is expressly forbidden them--namely shave their heads.

"That in the end of the days of the fulfilling he should shave his head and put the hair of his head upon the fire which was under the sacrifice of peace-offerings, represented the sensual then new from the Divine Celestial, for new hair afterwards grew on the Nazarite; and also it represented that the Lord from ultimate Divine Truth which is the sense of the letter entered into Divine Truth interiorly which is the Word in the internal sense, even to the highest there; for the Lord when He was in the world was the Word, because Divine Truth, and that more interiorly by degrees as he grew up, even to its highest which is purely Divine, altogether above the perceptions of angels", A. E. 918.

Thus at that stage which represented his entrance into a. higher plane of life, the Nazarite shaved his head and afterwards new hair grew thereon. Is not this what takes place with every man who enters heaven--he then puts off as far as it can be consciously present with him the letter of the Word as it is in the world, and the letter of the Word as it is ultimated in heaven takes its place--the old hair is shaved off and new takes its place. This indeed only takes place fully when a man is prepared to fully enter heaven, but a change analogous thereto takes place when after due preparation he passes from the natural sense of the Word to the spiritual sense--then one sense of the letter is comparatively put away, and another new one is received. Man at one period was such that the sense of the letter of the Word of the Old Testament was the accommodation of Divine Truth best fitted for him; but in due time he entered a state when the sense of the letter as it is in the Word of the New Testament became the more fitting form of accommodation for him, and then the prior was put away to the extent that the understanding of it was subordinated to the new form of Divine Truth. Again in the fulness of time he entered into a state when still another form of accommodation was necessary to him and the Writings were given, which being received, the understanding of both previous forms of the Word becomes subordinated to that understanding of Truth which the man of the New Church receives by means of the sense of the letter of that new Revelation. The change in these cases is only analogous to that which takes place on fully entering heaven, because those three forms of the Word as to their externals are all natural, and therefore passing from the sense of the letter of one to the sense of the letter of the other, is only analogous to passing the discrete degrees between the natural and the spiritual, but still it demands an approximate carrying out of this same law as to the sanctifying of the Nazarite--that then the head is to be shaved that new hair may take the place of the old. Neither must the other law be disregarded that until preparation for the change of state is made--the hair must not be shaved off,--that is, each must cling to the sense of the letter which is appropriate to his state. For example we should be careful not to remove from a child the sense of the letter which teaches that the Lord is angry with the wicked and even hates them, until it has come into the ability to understand the sense of the letter which teaches that the Lord is good to all and sendeth His rain upon the just and upon the unjust; nor must this latter sense of the letter be removed from him until the rational faculty is sufficiently developed to receive that sense of the letter which teaches how fully the Lord discriminates as to the way in which He expresses His love to reach each and every individual, doing good to the devils in quite an opposite way to that in which he does good to the angels, though always as is really best for each one. Thus there are times when we must heed the law not to shave the head, and there are times when we must attend to the law that the head is to be shaved that new hair take its place. While we are in this life, however, the application of the prior law holds in regard to all Divine Revelation which has been ultimated for us in the natural forms of this world--the sense of the letter of each is necessary in its place. Let the man of the Church therefore take heed that all the days of his Nazariteship, a razor may not pass upon his head.



24



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 25        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 15.

March 8th 1896. Reference: T. 221.

MATT. 16:18. [Greek.]

A. 43683. (Et) Ego tibi dice, quod tu sis Petrus, et super hac petra aedificabo meam Ecclesiam, et portae inferni non praevalebunt ei.

MATT. 16:18. And I, I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

In addressing those who have any knowledge of New Church Doctrine, it is not necessary to show that these words have no reference to Peter as a man nor to his descendants; but to the ultimate forms of the Word which are what are signified by "this rock". The word Peter means rock. Indeed there is no difference either in the Greek or the Latin, between the word translated Peter and that translated rock, except that one is a masculine form "Petros", "Petrus", and the other a feminine form "petra".

By the rock is signified Divine Truth as revealed in fixed ultimates, and by Peter faith or trust in the Divine Truth so revealed, and acknowledgment that such Truth is the Lord, which acknowledgment had just been expressed by Peter in the words: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The power of the Word is manifested in its fixed ultimates, and cannot be received by man except as it is founded upon the ultimate basis of literal Revelation. But the Truth itself as it proceeds from the Lord is power, yea, it has all power, so that nothing else has any power except as to appearance. Hence its power is ineffable, that is, it is beyond the power of human language to express it. But that power is not evident to finite perception except so far as it reacts from ultimates. Hence the power of truth so far as it can be manifested to us is in ultimates and therefore our voluntary appropriation of that power can be effected from nowhere else but from the ultimate forms of truth. The Church cannot exist either in general or in the individual recipient except it be built upon that rock. The ultimate forms of revealed Truth are therefore practically the proximate source of Divine Truth for finite recipients; but in reality the source of Divine Truth and all its power is the Lord Himself as He is in the Sun of the spiritual world and goes forth thence in all the Truth which proceeds from Him, and the various ultimate forms which it has taken on in the various planes of heaven and the world, are but the Divinely appointed means whereby Divine Truth is made definitely evident to human beings and whereby its power may be realized by Finite recipients. Thus ineffable power is inherent in all truth that proceeds from the Lord.

"Scarcely anyone knows that there is any power in Truths, for it is supposed, that it is only a word said by someone who is in power, that truth is only a breath from the mouth and a sound in the ear", T. C. R. 224.

That is, they suppose that God's Word has power, simply because He has power to enforce what He commands and to punish disobedience thereto, just in the way that the arbitrary commands of any powerful ruler may be said to have power.

"When nevertheless Truth and Good are the principals (or beginnings) of all things in each world, the spiritual and the natural, and that they are what the universe was created by, and by which the universe is conserved; and also by which man was made; wherefore those two are the all in all things", T. C. R. 224.

Truth is the very form of what proceeds from the Lord and is Himself. By form is not meant merely shape, but everything that gives or expresses quality. Thus truth is the quality of good, and as it proceeds from the Lord is absolutely one therewith. Hence it is not a mere word, neither is it a mere command, but it is the form or quality of that Good which is substance itself, the sole source of every substantiality, and without which nothing is substantial. The form of the all powerful love of doing good by making others happy from itself, cannot do otherwise as it proceeds than create objects for that love such as may be made happy by voluntarily reciprocating that love. In doing this it is all-powerful and irresistible. But because voluntary reciprocation is absolutely essential to the reception of such happiness as the Lord would give to all His creatures, it necessarily involves that those whom He has created to be web objects of His love, must have the freedom either to reciprocate or not to reciprocate that love, as they choose, otherwise it could not be voluntary, and could not give satisfaction to any human being; hence, in that case, it could not make heaven in man. Now because man is thus suffered to refuse to reciprocate the Lord's love if he choose, there is an appearance of being able to resist the power which clothes what proceeds from the Lord--an appearance that so far Divine Truth is not all-powerful. But Divine Truth being the form or quality of the Divine Love the power of Divine Truth is nothing else but the power of doing good and it is such that it does good to every individual, to every devil as well as to every angel; each being such as he is and having chosen the attitude he has, the Divine Truth is all-powerful not only to do good to each, but the very best good to each and everyone. In doing this the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is absolutely all-powerful and irresistible. The very gates of hell cannot prevail against it in the least degree. And in thus doing good to all, the Divine Truth is always infinitely present everywhere in all space without space and in all time without time. Thus in this was the best good possible is done to each one of us, even in spite of ourselves.

But that good which the Lord wishes to give to each of us and which also makes heaven, but which can only be received where there is reciprocal love to the Lord, is what the Lord reveals and teaches in the ultimate forms of His written Word. All power to teach and effect the reception of that good by all who are willing has been given to the ultimate forms of Truth by which the Lord manifests Himself for that purpose. It is concerning Himself thus ultimately manifested that He declared: All power is given to Me in Heaven and on earth. It is a first essential of salvation that we acknowledge that therein our Divine Saviour has Himself come to save us, for this is the acknowledgment upon which the Church in us must be founded. If it is built in us at all it must he upon that rock. If the Church in us is built upon that rock and if our faith and trust continues to be placed only in the Divine Truth which the Lord has revealed, nothing can prevail against it. Though all the hells attack it they will be powerless to injure it.

Peter in the Word represents faith in Divine Truth, as it exists in the Church--the faith which is imperfect and fluctuates and hence fails at times to trust in the all-powerfulness of Divine Truth and thus denies the Lord. Trust and confidence are inseparable from real love. Therefore to fail in trust is to fail in rendering the reciprocal love which alone can open us to the reception of heavenly life, and without which even the Lord cannot give us heavenly good. It concerns each one of us, therefore, if we would suffer the Lord to lead us to heaven, to recognize that every doubt or mistrust of His Divine Providence is practically a denial of either His Will or His power to do good to us, which is a denial of Himself as the Omnipotent Good, that we may sincerely repent of such denials as we have been guilty of and earnestly strive to shun them in the future. The Lord is all-powerfully present not only in general but to direct each detail of everything that happens to us for our best good. if we trust in His Divine Truth so as to strive to obey the Word which He has written for us, then He is all-powerfully present in each detail of everything that happens to us to direct it so that it may promote our ultimate attainment of heaven. But who of us has not again and again yielded to the temptation to doubt this, and preferred to trust in the promptings of their own prudence. Indeed the trial as to whether we trust most in following the teaching of written Revelation, or in the prudence of our own intelligence constitutes spiritual temptation. If we really believed that the Divine Truth is all-powerful we would not hesitate to follow it whithersoever it led us; but we often incline more to trust in the power of our own prudence to save us from injury. Even therefore if we have made some beginning in the reception of faith in the Lord, we have still abundant reason to pray: Lord help Thou our unbelief.

The Lord as Divine Truth has all power, which really involves that He alone has any power--and that self has none. "They who trust in the Lord are saved: they who trust in themselves perish". This is not merely a principle to be acknowledged by the understanding, but also one that must govern the will of each one who would attain heaven. It does not govern the will unless there is endeavour to apply it to the practical details of ordinary daily life. So far as it does govern the will it drives out anxiety and worry, not only as to our spiritual welfare, but also as to worldly cares. We should learn to regard our cares and anxieties chiefly as indication that our wills are not yet governed by trust in the Lord's power, and as warnings to shun the doubt and denial of that power as sin against God. We are born into this world that we may prepare for heaven, and this ought to be the primary object in everything we do. If it were, we would consider primarily in everything we propose to do, not so much how it is likely to affect our worldly welfare one way or the other, but how Will what we are going to do, and the way we are going to do it, affect our preparation for heaven? It cannot profit us if it does promote our welfare here, if it at the same time is detrimental to the preparation of a heavenly state of mind. On the other hand, there is really no risk to our real welfare in any respect if we do really strive to make every act an ultimation which will confirm some heavenly attitude of mind towards the Lord and the neighbour, for have we not the Lord's positive promise that if we seek His Kingdom first, all we need will be added to us. Now it is easier to us to believe His willingness to carry out this promise than to really believe His power to keep it. Though we all know better than to deny that power theoretically, if we honestly examine our own self we shall be obliged to confess that we often lapse into what is practical denial thereof. But if we humbly recognize this and persevere in the exercise of repentance in regard to it, the hells will be permitted to tempt us only in order that they may excite our inherited evil tendencies, so that we may thus be rendered able to see them in ourselves, may shun them and by the power of the Lord's Truth get rid of them in the end. Thus the hells will indeed fight against us, but will not prevail; will indeed, in spite of themselves, only perform a use to us necessary for our regeneration. If then even the hells by the Lord's power are made to perform only use to those who have in them anything of the Church formed by Truths from Him, the same power will ever be effective in providing and preserving everything useful for the same end. We can and ought therefore to let our own prudence take an altogether secondary position to what should always be our primary aim in all we do, namely to so reciprocate the Lord's love to us by obedience to His Divine Truth, that we may thereby open
ourselves to the reception of the operation of His infinite power, and trust in that power to finally elevate us into heaven and in the meantime to provide us with everything necessary to our preparation even as to externals necessary to our bodies.

"That the Church which is in Divine Truths prevails over the hells and that it is that Church concerning which the Lord said to Peter: Upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. This the Lord said after Peter confessed: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. This verity is meant there by the rock, for by rock everywhere in the Lord is meant the Lord as to Divine Truth", T. C. R. 224.



25



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 26        SECOND SERIES Nr. 16.

March 15th 1896. Reference: T. 285-228

[Hebrew.] EX. 23:13.

A. 9271. Et nomen deorum aliorum non memorabitis, non audietur super ore tuo.

Ex. 23:13. And the name of other gods ye shall not mention, it shall not be heard upon thy mouth.

By "name" here in meant Doctrine--by the "name of other gods", false doctrine. The only way to come into the reception of any spiritual good is by shunning the opposite evil as sin against God. This must be remembered if you would receive the good inculcated by this morning's lesson which declares:

"That the Word is not understood without Doctrine", T. C. R. 226.

That is, there cannot be application of this lesson, unless false doctrine be shunned--The name of other gods ye shall not mention.

Doctrine means teaching. Now as all men are born in a state of entire ignorance, every idea which they have in their minds has had to be learned. Nothing comes consciously into men's minds except by teaching from some source or another, and whatever men study they necessarily study in the light of such teaching as they have already received. Hence the Word is always studied in the light of teaching of some sort; but it can never be rightly understood except so far as it is studied in the light of what is really the teaching of the Lord Himself. The understanding of the Word which any other teaching conveys is always more or less perverted. Moreover such other teaching too often insinuates itself under the guise of being the Lord's teaching when it is really from an opposite source. It is therefore necessary to learn to examine teaching very particularly in this respect before receiving it, so that we may always recognize when a name or teaching is presented whether it be really of the Name of the Lord or only the name of some other god. The other gods which all men have a natural tendency to worship and receive teaching from are self and the world. Thus whatever favors the carrying out of the impulses of our own wills, whatever favors the acquirement of worldly riches and honors, is readily received, and becomes the teaching in the mind which so determines the understanding of the Word that it may be made to agree therewith. As sure as the natural mind has influence in every man not fully regenerated, so sure is it that all have need to shun the evil forbidden in the text: The name of other gods ye shall not mention.

"And the name of other gods ye shall not mention, that it signifies that one must not think from the doctrine of the false, appears from the signification of name, that it is the all of faith and the all of worship in complex, here the all of false doctrine, since by other gods are signified falses; and from the signification of to mention that it is to think. That to mention is to think is because mentioning is of the mouth and by those things which are of the mouth are signified those things which are of the thought", A. C. 9283.

The Lord teaches that it is not enough to reform merely the external acts of life, unless the very thought be reformed and thence the love regenerated. All regeneration is effected by means of thought reformed by the teaching of Divine Truth, when the will is compelled to act according to that thought. For this end it is necessary to learn to think the truth, not to just think about it but to think truth. This cannot be done unless the teaching which self and the world favors, or what is the same, which favors self and the world, be shunned as sin, as mentioning the name of other gods than the one only God our Lord.

"That the Word cannot be understood without Doctrine, the reason is because the Word in the sense of the letter consists of mere correspondences, for the sake of the end that spiritual and celestial things may be together therein, and every expression of them be a continent and fulcrum; therefore Divine Truths in the sense of the letter are rarely naked but clothed which are called appearances of truth, and many are accommodated to the grasp of the simple who do not elevate their thoughts above such things as they see before their eyes; and some which appear as contradictions, when nevertheless in the Word regarded in its own spiritual light no contradiction is given; and also in some places in the Prophets there are names of places and persons collected from which no sense can be elicited. When therefore the Word in the sense of the letter is such it can appear that it cannot be understood without Doctrine", T. C. R. 226.

For when the appearances of Truth in which the Word is clothed thus vary even to the extent of opposition and contradiction the reader is free to dwell most on whichever of the opposite expressions he chooses and of course his natural tendency is invariably to dwell on those which agree most with his prior thought. This holds in regard to each form of the Word, in regard to the Writings as well as to the other forms. In the Writings opposite principles appear to be expressed. In some places will be found what is radically new in respect to anything conceived before; in others statements will be found which taken by themselves express only what is quite agreeable to the natural mind. Now we can either subordinate our understanding of the latter class of statements to the former, or that of the former to the latter; and upon which of these we do depends whether we receive the Writings really in the Lord's name or only in the name of other gods. Hence it is evident that if you would obey the command of the text you must take care to shun confirming your prior ideas when you are studying the Word, and instead you must expect and seek to find teaching there such as will be altogether opposite to that which your natural inclinations tend to favor. Depend upon it, you cannot escape from the dominion of self-teaching until that course be perseveringly pursued, that is until the command be heeded: The name of other gods ye shall not mention.

"The Word is not only understood by Doctrine but also it shines in the understanding, for it is like a candelabrum with lighted lamps; man then sees more things than he had seen before, and also understands those things which he had not understood before--obscure and discordant things he either does not see and passes by, or he sees and explains them so that they agree with Doctrine", T. C. R. 227.

This is true as to all Doctrine or teaching--the teaching which favors self as well as that which is from the Lord. It lights up those things which agree with it, and causes man to pass by or explain away whatever does not. So that if a man studies the Word from genuine Doctrine he becomes more and more enlightened in genuine truth; but if he studies the Word from false doctrine he becomes more and more fully persuaded that the false is true and the true false. It is easy to see that this is the case when men are in the doctrine of three gods and such like gross errors; but it should also be seen that it is the case too with every teaching which flatters the love of self-leading or the love of the world, teaching which the natural man always holds to, and which it is necessary to have exposed in one's self, in order that by persistent combat against it it may be thrown off.

"That the Word is seen from Doctrine, and is also explained according to it, experience in the Christian orb testifies; all the Reformed see the Word from their doctrine, and explain the Word according to it; similarly the Papists from theirs, and explain according to it; yes the Jews do from theirs and explain according to it; consequently they see falses from false doctrine and truths from true doctrine. From these things it is evident that true doctrine is like a lamp in the dark, and like guide posts in the roads", T. C. R. 227.

Yet every man is apt to have the idea that he is able to regard the Word without any prejudice; even when this teaching is known, he is apt to think that he is, or has become, an exception and is able to read the Word and receive teaching therefrom in an altogether unprejudiced manner. Let each mark, therefore, that this is only so with an altogether regenerated man; but that the unregenerated natural in each is always more or less under the influence of false doctrine. For doctrine is falsified in many insidious ways and takes on most plausible forms. The test is does it favor self, or does it lead to the denial of self; does it lead us to be satisfied with ourselves or does it even make it more evident to us that the Lord's thoughts and ways are entirely different to the thoughts and ways which we naturally cherish and seek. Unless it does the latter we may be sure that the doctrine we are influenced by is false in some way. Doctrine of whatever quality it be has always the tendency to confirm itself both by the Word and by experience. How necessary therefore it is to be on our guard against false doctrine; and we cannot be sufficiently so unless we recognize that it is in everything which makes us satisfied with ourselves as we are, in everything which confirms our natural tendencies.

"From these things it can appear that they who read the Word without doctrine are in obscurity concerning every truth, and that their mind is wandering and uncertain, prone to and also easily falls into heresies, which also they embrace, if favor or authority agrees, and if reputation is not endangered. For the Word with them is like a candelabrum without light and they see as it were many things in the shade, and nevertheless scarcely see anything, for doctrine alone is the lamp. I have seen such explored by the angels and it was found that they are able to confirm from the Word whatever they wish, and that they do confirm those things which are of the love of self, and of the love of those things which they favor; but I saw them stripped of their garments, a sign that they were without truths, garments there are truths", T. C. R. 228.

So far as a. man is without clear doctrine he is in obscurity as to the truth and his mind is wandering and uncertain; but if he be influenced by the false doctrine which favors self-love and the love of those things which it favors, so far he seems to himself to be in clearness and certainty, although it is as to his false persuasions, and therefore is really in obscurity as to every truth. Let none therefore conclude simply because he does not seem to be in obscurity, that he is led by true doctrine, for it is only those who read without teaching, true or false, who are consciously in such obscurity.

We may by the name of other gods, especially the name of those gods of self and the world which rule in every unregenerated mind, come into fancied clearness as to the truth, and it is to save us from such an error that the command of the text is given: And the name of other gods ye shall not mention.

"It; shall not be heard upon thy mouth, that it signifies that it is not to be obeyed with any affirmation, appears from the signification of to hear, that it is to obey, and from the signification of not to he upon the mouth, when concerning the doctrine of what is false, which is signified by the name of other gods, that it is not to affirm", A. C. 9284.

False doctrine is not to be obeyed with any affirmation. This implies that it is one thing to obey it without any affirmation and another to obey it with any affirmation; for it is the latter which is specifically forbidden here. This distinction can only be understood when it is seen that the natural man is entirely under the influence of false doctrine, and that everything done from the natural man therefore is done from obedience to false doctrine. This is so with every man until he has ceased to have: a merely natural part of his mind, that is until he is fully regenerated. In the meantime, however, if he is seeking to become regenerated, let him beware of obeying false doctrine with any affirmation. Every regenerating man must see and humbly acknowledge that much of what he does is from the natural man only, and from the teaching (necessarily false) which the natural man in him favors, but let him beware of affirming that teaching as a right principle of life, which he is apt to do because it is his own, for if he does, it will so far become the more difficult, if not altogether impossible, for him to escape from its dominion. Affirm only such doctrine as involves denial of self, that the Lord may be obeyed instead of self, and as teaching what is altogether opposite to what self favors. And the name of other gods ye shall not mention, it shall not be heard upon thy mouth.



26



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 27        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 17.

March 29th 1896. Reference: T. 229-230.

[Hebrew.] JOSH. 1:8.

JOSH. 1:8. That thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.

"That doctrine is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word and to be confirmed by it", T. C. R. 229.

This is to be understood in agreement with what is elsewhere taughtthat the Lord's teaching is to be found nowhere else than in the written Revelations which He has given. He never teaches man by internal influx, neither do the angels, who in this, as in all respects, are governed by His example. The teaching by which the Lord saves those who are guided by it, is all given in the form of written Revelation wherein all who will can directly approach it that they may observe to do according to all that is written in it.

"The reason is because the Lord is present there and teaches and enlightens, for the Lord never operates anything except in fulness, and the Word is in its fulness in its sense of the letter, as has been shown above; hence it is that doctrine is to be drawn from the sense of the letter", T. C. R. 229.

The Lord is in the internals of man altogether according to reception, which reception is always more or less imperfect, if not altogether perverted. Hence if the Lord taught by internal influx, there would unavoidably be imperfection in the teaching. For not only would the teaching be imperfectly received which is always the case, but there would be nothing to prevent the imperfections from being confirmed in such a way as to prevent any advance in the reception of genuine teaching. That is, unless the Divine teaching for man rested upon some basis independent of himself and his own states, the teaching could only be used to confirm the states he was already in and would not serve to lead him out of those states into higher ones. This would be an evil even if the state to begin with were good as a step to a higher one--much more so when man has to begin from an altogether inverted state. Thus the Lord in His Providence has provided a, base for His teaching such as is perfect in its adaptation to the purposenamely the literal forms in which He reveals Truth. When teaching is drawn from this written source, being founded upon a perfect correspondential basis, the reception of it, however imperfect at first, can be gradually perfected, that is made to more: and more approximately agree with Truth Itself. The literal basis being perfect the Lord is fully present in it, and therefore can become ever more manifest therefrom to all who regard it from innocence. Other expressions of truth--thus such expressions as a Priest uses in his teaching, may be of temporary use to lead to a better understanding of Truth, but no other expressions can continue to express Divine Truth in an increasing degree for ever, without limit on its part, limited only by the finite states of the recipients. If truth were taught by an internal way, man would never be able to realize how opposite the Lord's thoughts are from mans thoughts. He could be led only to try to improve his own natural ideas--which nevertheless are essentially opposite to the Divine, however plausible they may externally appear. Even as it is, man is naturally averse to recognizing this, and can only do so when he suffers the Divine to elevate his understanding clearly above his will, and humbly expect to be taught something quite different from what he naturally inclines to believe. To this end it is necessary not only to look to a source of Divine Teaching outside of himself but it is also necessary that the ultimate basis of that teaching should be outside of himself and of a form not controlled by himself. The Lord Himself must provide and be the First and the Last, and when man approaches Him in the right spirit as the First and the Last, he can be led to receive those intermediate forms of good and truth which make heaven, and which though always intermediate, forever continue to approximate more closely to the Divine. Thus the Lord as the Word appears in the lasts or ultimates of written Revelation: That thou mayest observe and do according to all that is written therein.

"The doctrine of genuine Truth can also be fully drawn from the literal sense of the Word", T. C. R. 229.

Consider what is meant by the word "fully" here. It cannot mean that it can he infinitely drawn thence by the recipient at any given time, for what man receives, what even the highest angel ever receives at a given time, is limited or finite. It cannot therefore he fully in the exhaustive sense of the word, but fully in regard to its entire fitness to meet man's needs. If it were true that in an exhaustive sense of the expression that doctrine could be fully drawn from the literal sense of the Word of the Old Testament, for what purpose did the Lord again ultimate His Word in His New Advent in the form of the Writings? For the purpose of meeting the needs which it is given to satisfy doctrine can be fully drawn from the literal sense of each Divine Revelation ever given. For the plane of life for which the Old Testament was given, doctrine can be fully drawn from the very letter thereof. But although essential general truths are most plainly set forth in the letter there, the specific doctrines necessary to form the spiritual rational in man, could never have Revelation for that purpose also, from the letter of which again doctrine for the rational mind can be fully drawn. Not only could this teaching not have been drawn from the previous forms of Divine Revelation, but even the general Truths there set forth in the letter were on the point of being entirely lost to man by perversions. But still it was not merely to restore the knowledge of these that the Lord came again, but also to provide a New Revelation of Himself from the letter of which teaching for man's rational mind could be fully drawn. As the Lord provides specifically for the needs of each plane of life in the world, so He does for each discrete plane of life in heaven; for each He provides written Revelation from the very letter of which each respectively call fully draw the teaching needed there. So it is true in regard to each plane of life, both here and in the spiritual world, that the Lord has provided for each that a literal sense of His Word should be plainly ultimated in just the way best fitted for each, in order that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written in it.

"For the Word in that sense is like a man clothed, whose face is bare and also his hands are bare--all the things which pertain to the faith and life of man, thus which pertain to his salvation are bare there; but the rest are clothed and in many places where they are clothed they show through like objects appearing to a woman through thin silk before the face", T. C. R. 229.

The face and the hands bare--the face expressing the essential affection and the hands standing for application to actual work. The essential affection of the Lord that it is for man's salvation is plainly manifested in the letter of every Divine Revelation--as is also the practical work which the Lord would have man do, especially that which he should not do. The expression of these can be seen expressly declared in the letter of each form of the Word by everyone who is willing to see them and be governed by them--as it is further said:--"All things which pertain to the faith and life of man, thus which pertain to his salvation, are bare; but the rest are clothed". The things which really pertain to man's salvation are bare--the rest are clothed. Thus what is concealed from man at any given time, is only that which is not yet necessary to his salvation. Of course this does not apply to that which he cannot see only because he is not willing to see or is not willing to do. But if he be really willing to be led in all things by the Lord and not by self, all of genuine truth that he is prepared to receive will appear bare to him in the letter of Divine Revelation. Only the rest which he is not yet prepared for is clothed and hidden from him. Thus as he advances in preparation to receive genuine truth it becomes increasingly realized that genuine truths, even where they are clothed, shine through, like objects appearing to a woman through a thin silk before the face.

"Also the truths of the Word as they are multiplied from the love of them, and as they are ordered by this, so they shine and appear more and more clearly", T. C. R. 229.

Thus the clothing of the Word, that which is called the letter of Divine Revelation, is of such a nature, that it leaves bare to those who rightly approach all the genuine truth that practically pertains to their life, and as they become able to bear and do more, the clothing itself becomes more and more transparent to the genuine truth within it. Thus though there is actually an infinity of Truth hidden from us, compared to what we can see, the things which it is needful for us to apply to life, if we would be saved, can always be seen to he plainly written--to be bare to our sight. It is thus that the Lord gives us our daily bread--ever enough for to-day's use neither more nor less. What the Lord has given us to see now as plainly set forth in written Revelation, that much is His command to us for to-day--if we observe to do that much now, we will he prepared to use more to-morrow and it will be given us to see more. To everyone who is really willing to do the Lord's will rather than his own, there is enough of Divine Revelation bare to his sight for him to do--if he is faithful and advances, the very clothing will become more and more transparent, but whether it be little or much that it is thus given to you to see as plainly writtenit is that you try to do all that you see: That thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.

"It can be believed that the Doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by the spiritual sense of the Word, which is given by the knowledge of correspondences: but doctrine is not acquired by that, but is only illustrated and corroborated, for as said before, man is able by some known correspondences to falsify the Word by conjoining and applying them to confirm that which inheres in his mind from some adopted principle", T. C. R. 230.

It is a popular error among some members of the Church, that genuine truth is acquired in just the way which is here condemned--namely that it is from the spiritual sense of the Word of the Old and New Testaments which they draw forth thence, by means of the knowledge of correspondences which they have obtained from the Writings. But here the genuine truth is laid bare to us in the very letter of the Writings that the knowledge of correspondence has not been revealed to us for that purpose at all; but only as a means for illustrating and corroborating, thus for confirming the genuine truth which is literally revealed, and which manifests the spiritual sense to all who are really willing to see and obey it. It is legitimate to confirm the Truth by any means. Truth is truth simply because it is what the Lord says--being received thus from the written Revelation which He has given us, and in which it lies sufficiently bare for all our present needs, at any given time now or in the future--it is lawful to use the knowledge of correspondences for the confirmation of it, by whatever we meet with--by the objects of nature, by our experience and also by the letter of Divine Revelation. If these are not used by us to confirm what the Lord says, that is, what He has written--they will be used, as they most commonly are, to confirm the conceits of mere human prudence, and intelligence, which invariably confirm only mere human self-will. If a man depends upon what he can draw from the Word by means of his knowledge of correspondence for acquiring the spiritual sense of the Word, what he does acquire as such will he really only a confirmation of those principles which he naturally favors and the principles a man naturally favors are always false and evil until their determination is changed by regeneration. In order to change their determination he must learn to put his trust solely in the genuine truths which are laid bare to his sight in what the Lord has written for his guidance.

"Moreover the spiritual sense is not given to anyone except by the Lord alone and it is guarded by Him as the angelic heaven is guarded, for that heaven is in it", T. C. R. 230.

Man cannot discover the spiritual sense himself--nor can he acquire it by any effort of his own--even though he be thoroughly familiar with the science of correspondences--it is given by the Lord to those who sincerely and honestly try to do what they plainly see the Lord has written for their guidance. This is the way to the spiritual sense, and the only way, which the Lord Himself has provided. All who try to climb up by some other way are spiritually thieves and robbers. If a man is really willing to follow that way, he will see the truths which express the spiritual sense as bare to his sight in written Revelation, and there is no limit to the gradual increase of what will thus be made clear to him as expressed in the very letter of Divine Revelation, either altogether bare there, or as transparently clothed. Only do, or sincerely strive to do, all that you see to be plainly written for your guidance in what the Lord has revealed and continue in the same endeavor as it is given you to see more and more, as in that case it surely will. For the Word is given, each form of the Word is given, In order that thou mayest observe to do all that is written in it.



27



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 28        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 18.

April 12th 1896. Reference: T. 231-233.

MATT. 13:13. [Greek.]

A. 3869. Propterea per parabolas loquor illis, quia videntes non vident, et audientes non audiunt, nec intelligunt.

MATT. 13:13. Wherefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand.

As long as the error of predestination is avoided, there cannot be too strong a realization of how all-pervading is the government of the Divine Providence. Every man is born for heaven--and every man ultimately attains heaven unless he leads the kind of life which is incompatible with heavenly order. The Lord preserves in everyone full freedom in determining his own life according to his own choice. But so far as it can be done without interfering with the free determination which belongs to each individual--the Divine Providence is infinitely active in every detail of life to do whatever can be wisely done to lead each and everyone to heaven. Yea even if man chooses self-government above heavenly government, Divine Providence still does all that can be done to lead to the greatest possible amelioration of his eternal state. Thus in every case where a man's eternal lot fails to be that which the Lord would have him to fill in heaven, the responsibility rests absolutely on the free choice exercised by the individual himself. In preserving individual freedom of choice and at the same time doing all compatible with that for him, there is no imperfection in the Divine Providence. And although human instrumentalities are used, it is not because they are necessary, but because the human instruments themselves are benefited by having uses which they are permitted to do as of themselves, but which nevertheless are so controlled that they become the acts of Divine Providence in their effect upon others. This is not only so with angels and regenerating men, but with all--even the activities which devils are permitted to enter into, are of Providential use in regard to all who are effected by them. However men may appear to do injury to others, and however much external injury they may actually do, it is impossible for anyone to do the least spiritual injury to another beyond what that other freely chooses to bring upon himself. It is the same with spiritual benefits--they cannot be conferred upon anyone except so far as each, individually for himself, chooses in full freedom to appropriate them. If it were possible for men to be saved in spite of their own choice--all would be saved by the Lord. Put He in His Infinite Wisdom only saves man as far as it can he done without interfering with his own freedom of choice.

Therefore it is, that as a rule, the Lord does not permit others to see, that is, understand, Divine Truth than those who are willing to be led by it. If it be a man's choice to be self-guided, it is of the Divine Providence that he is neither able to see nor hear Divine Truth, so as to understand it. Such a one only sees the appearances of Truth--not the genuine Truth within them. As the Lord Himself declares in the text: Wherefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand.

In this morning's lesson the Lord presents the same teaching in rational form.

"That the genuine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word which must be of doctrine, does not appear to others than those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, and is with those who love truths because they are truths, and who make them uses of life--with others enlightenment in the Word is not given", T. C. R. 231.

To love truths because they are truths is to love them because they are of Divine authority, hence it involves choosing to be led by the Lord. Only to such as do so does the Lord give enlightenment. Those who do not He leaves in the darkness of their own intelligence, and keeps genuine Truth hidden from them in the appearances of parables.

"That enlightenment is from the Lord alone, is because the Word is from Him, and hence He Himself is in it; that enlightenment is with those who love truths because they are truths, and make them uses of life, is because they are in the Lord and the Lord in them, for the Lord is Truth Itself, as was shown in the chapter concerning the Lord: and the Lord is then loved when there is life according to His Divine Truths, thus when uses are done from them, according to these words in John: In that day ye shall know that ye are in Me and I in you. He who has My precepts and does them, he loves Me and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. And I will come to him, and will make an abode with him, 14:20-23.

"These are those who are in enlightenment when they read the Word and with whom the Word shines and is translucent", T. C. R. 231.

Some have the conceit that they are themselves able to see and understand Truth; others try to excuse themselves from the study of it on the ground that it is too difficult for them. Both are wrong. On the one hand no one by any effort of his own can attain the understanding of genuine truth; but on the other hand to anyone who really desires to be led by the Lord nothing is simpler or easier to understand than the Truth by which the Lord would lead them, for the Lord Himself gives them enlightenment.

"That the Word with these shines and is translucent is because in the single things of the Word there is a spiritual and a celestial sense, and these senses are in the light of heaven wherefore the Lord by them and their light inflows into the natural sense of the Word, and into its light with man; hence a man acknowledges Truth from interior perception and afterwards sees it in his thought, and this as often as he is in affection of truth for the sake of truth; for from affection comes perception, from perception thought and thus the acknowledgment is made which is called faith", T. C. R. 231.

Thus ability to understand truth does not depend upon the acuteness of the intellect, but upon the right determination of the affection. The ability to see Divine Truth is from the Lord and comes to those who strive to determine their affection so that it may flow in the stream of Divine Providence. This gives a perception of the truths which guide that stream, and opens their eyes to see the hindrances in themselves that need to be removed.

"The contrary takes place with those who read the Word from the Doctrine of a false religion, but more with those who confirm that doctrine from the Word, and then have regard to their own glory and to the wealth of the world; with these the truths of the Word are as if in the shade of night, and falses as if in the light of day--they read truths, but they do not see them, and if they see their shadow they falsify them. These are they concerning whom the Lord says that they have eyes and do not see, and that they have ears and do not understand, Matt. 13 14, 1,5. Hence their light in the spiritual things which are of the Church becomes merely natural, and the sight of their mind like that of one seeing spectres in bed when he awakes, or like that of a sleep-walker who believes himself to be awake when he sleeps", T. C. R. 232.

The blindness to genuine truth which thus comes in is all the worse because it is accompanied with the persuasion that they see better than others, and this because falses seem to them to be clearly true. Remember, however, that this is of Divine Providence and do not strive against it. If there are indications of this state in others do not strive to convince them of the Truth in spite of themselves. If you find difficulty in understanding the truth yourselves, do not try to overcome it by sheer effort, but rather by combating the love of self, and determining your affections from self and the world towards the Lord and His Kingdom. Above all be on your guard against the self-deception which leads you to regard falses as truths which is invariably done whenever the love of self-leading is allowed to govern. This morning's lesson describes those who are thus self-deceived, thus:

"It has been given to speak with many after death who believed themselves to be as stars about to shine in heaven, because as they said, they had the Word holy, they read it through often, they collected many things thence by which they confirmed the dogmas of their faith, and on account of that they were celebrated as learned, from which they believed themselves about to be Michaels and Raphaels. But many from them were explored, from what love they had studied the Word, and it was found that some from the love of self that they might be worshipped as primates of the Church and some from the level of the world that they might gain wealth. When these were also explored as to what they knew from the Word it was found that they knew nothing thence of genuine truth but only such as is called truth falsified which in itself is putrid false, for it smelt putrid in heaven; and it was said to them that they had this from the cause, that themselves and the world were their ends when they read the Word and not the truth of faith and the good of life; and when themselves and the world are their ends, then the mind when reading the Word adheres in themselves and the world, and thence they think constantly from the proprium and the proprium of man is in thick darkness as to all the things which are of heaven and the Church; in which state a min cannot he led up by the Lord and be elevated into the light of heaven, therefore cannot receive any influx from the Lord through heaven. I have also seen these admitted into heaven and when it was there found that they were without truths they were cast down, but there still remained with them the pride that they merited", T. C. R. 233

The great bulk of those in the Old Church are in this state, providentially blinded to the truth, because of their lack of affection which would make the right use of it. But it is for the members of the New Church to learn to see that the teaching has application to themselves also. So far as they are still unregenerated they too are providentially blinded from much truth which they would otherwise see, as long as there is any of the natural man left unregenerated, there is so far blindness to spiritual truth. Even when there is much intellectual grasp of the truth, the natural man always tends to be blind to application of it to his own self--and when there is blindness to this, the truth itself is not seen. The Lord comes to man in Truth in order to save him if he will. But to save him is to expose his own evils to him in order that he may combat and shun them as sins. If a man therefore does not pee in them their application to his own evils, he is blind to what is the very spirit and essence of the truth for him, he is deaf to just that which the Lord has come to teach him in particular. Let each reflect upon this, and he will find that his natural tendency is to be blind in this respect. A man may clearly see the truth in its application to others and yet be blind to its application to his own self, and that is to be blind to the truth which the Lord has given for him. There is infinity in every Divine Truth; but however much of this a man may see, if he does not see that in it which has particular and practical application to himself, he is blind to the very means in which the Lord has come to save, he is blind to the only means by which he can be saved. Is not this for all practical purposes as fully blindness to the truth as it is with those who reject it externally also. It is important therefore that each examine himself in this respect, and seek the means by which his blindness can be cured. In faithfully examining himself he will find that the heart of man is deceitful above all things, that the natural will exercises the greatest cunning in regarding. the truth in all aspects but just the one which will condemn itself--it will most skillfully fence with every endeavor of the conscience to bring it home--even when the external application is recognized, there will still be a constant tendency to evade seeing its internal application, for this it is which touches the very life of man--that life however which he must be willing to lose if he would become truly the Lord's disciple. In seeking the means by which such blindness may be cured, let it be always remembered that the blindness itself is of the Divine Providence, and cannot be wisely removed unless the natural determination of the affection be inverted. Unless therefore men individually strive to be actively willing to give up their own will that the Lord's will may be done instead, they will be blind to just that in the truth which is necessary to save them, and that however fully they may enter into it intellectually; and they will be of those of whom the Lord declares now as much as ever: Wherefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand.



28



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 29        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 19.

April 19th 1896. Reference: T. 234-239.

MATT. 4:4. [Greek.]

3 AD. 4108. (Scriptum est) Non a pane solo vivet home, sed ab omni verbo egrediente per os Dei.

MATT. 4:4. It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word going forth through the mouth of God.

How fully man s life depends upon the Word of God is little realized. By the man of the world it is not realized at all; and the man of the Church is tempted as the Lord was to believe that life may be acquired by good alone, even by such good as is taught by natural truths--that stones may be turned into bread. But man is not only not sustained by that good, but is not sustained as to his except so far as it is appropriated from the Word going forth from His mouth. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word going forth through the mouth of God.

Moreover in answering the temptation to sustain life from other good, the Lord answers by appeal to the written Word. It is written He says; that is, He appeals to the letter of the Word, and declares that life will be sustained by every word which goes forth from the mouth of God. The same teaching is written in His Word to the New Church, as read in this morning's lesson:

"That by the sense of the letter of the Word there is conjunction with the Lord and consociation with the angels", T. C. R. 234.

This conjunction and consociation is spiritual life to all who have part therein.

"That by the Word there is conjunction with the Lord is because He Himself is the Word, that is, the very Divine Truth and Divine Good therein. That there is conjunction by the sense of the letter is because the Word in that sense Is in its fulness, in its holiness and in its power.... That conjunction does not appear to man, but it is in the affection of truth and the perception of it", T. C. R. 234.

Every man has a certain affection for truth, for what he regards as truth; but naturally he regards as truth only what can be made subservient to his own will, or what is flattering to his own intelligence, because he seems to have searched it out for himself. But the affection of truth which alone effects conjunction with the Lord, is one with affection for His Word, that is, affection for what the Lord says, which regards truth as truth simply because it is what the Lord has said and caused to be written for man's guidance.

"That by the sense of the letter there is consociation with the angels of heaven is because in that sense is the spiritual sense and the celestial sense, and in these senses are the angels of the Lord's Spiritual Kingdom in the Spiritual Sense of the Word, and the angels of His Celestial Kingdom, in its celestial sense. These two senses are evolved from the natural sense of the Word when a man who has the Word holy, reads it. The evolution is instantaneous, therefore the consociation is also", T. C. R.234.

The word evolution is used at this day to express the common notion that higher things are gradually produced from lower, a notion that is favored by many appearances, but which is nevertheless diametrically opposite to the truth. Moreover evolution means unfolding, and nothing can be unfolded which has not first been folded up--involution must always precede evolution. Thus it is with the Lord's Word which has been successively folded up in coverings to accommodate it to the various needs of angels and men--in celestial and spiritual coverings for heaven and in various natural coverings for men in the world. Now it is said that when a man reads the Word who has it holy, there is an instantaneous unfolding or evolution of its internal senses, but this unfolding is not to man's conscious thought; for as taught in the concluding
number of this morning's lesson, man does not come into the spiritual sense itself until after death, but the unfolding is such as practically to effect consociation with the angels who are in the internal senses. Neither men nor angels have any particular perception of this consociation but only a general one, nevertheless it is fully effective as a mediate source of life for men, and as the most ultimate basis for the reception thereof by angels.

This consociation is various, that is, the different portions of the letter communicate respectively with corresponding portions of heaven--the Word as well as Heaven being in the human form--every part of the letter therefore corresponds and immediately communicates with some particular part of the Greatest Man. Just which is which we do not know. Similarly we know that the various nations of the world now have a like correspondence with the various parts of the human form; but it has not been given us to know what that correspondence in each case is. If it were useful it would have been revealed--and unless the use is clear, the very endeavour to obtain such knowledge is an abuse. Notice what is said about those in the other world who set themselves to discover which particular societies of heaven particular portions of the letter of the Word communicate with:

"There are also spirits who are below the heavens and who abuse this communication, for they recite some sayings from the sense of the letter of the Word and immediately observe and note the society with which communication is effected", T. C. R. 235.

The acquiring of knowledge for any purpose, but the single one of knowing what the Lord wishes one to do, in order that one may do it, is an abuse. This is especially so in regard to spiritual knowledges. Men, like the spirits, are fond of prying into various spiritual things for quite other reasons. Such things as mesmerism, spiritualism, occultism, have quite a charm for many. Men crave such knowledges as will give them control over others, such as will enable them to put themselves in place of Providence, and interfere in matters which can only be rightly regulated by Divine control. Let those therefore who would be truly the Lord's disciples beware lest they seek even knowledges of the Word for such ends as these, for to do so is to abuse them. The interior knowledges revealed in the Writings lend themselves to such abuse more fully than the comparatively external knowledges revealed in other forms of the Word. Seek in the Word, search the Scripture, only for the end of finding there what the Lord would have you do, especially to learn what He commands you not to do. Shun using knowledge thence to acquire power for yourselves, or to feed conceit of superior intelligence, or indeed for anything but the rendering innocent obedience to the Lord--otherwise you will not receive spiritual life from the Word, you will not obey the command that Man shall live by every Word going forth out of the mouth of God.

As example a brief statement is given in this morning's lesson of the various senses of four of the commandments. As the commandments are dealt with particularly in the next chapter of the True Christian Religion, it will suffice now just to notice what is the general distinction of the various senses. The natural sense treats of man's external act; the spiritual sense treats of man's internal attitude towards the neighbor, and the celestial sense treats of man's attitude towards the Lord. This shows that there is a celestial and a spiritual sense for men, as well as the more distinctively celestial and spiritual senses which are respectively for the celestial and spiritual angels, and moreover that there must be regard to all three senses in all living reception of the Word. Thus the Word cannot be obeyed so as to effect salvation, unless its celestial sense be obeyed--that is unless man bakes the right attitude towards the Lord. Man cannot spiritually live from the Word unless he do this. He must shun self-leading and humble himself before the Lord with the desire that His will and not his own may be done. This is to obey the celestial sense of the Word, and opens man to the reception of what is the inmost of all heavenly or regenerate life. The lowest angel has something of this life, as also does the man who is at all regenerated. The celestial angels differ from the others only in having it in a discretely higher degree; but in some degree it must be the inmost of all who would live by the Word going forth from the mouth of God.

Examples are also given from the three kingdoms of nature, how each thing therein draws from the general stock what it needs for its own life, illustrating how it is with angels and men as to their reception of life from the Word, that each can take from the infinity there just what is necessary for his own regeneration and spiritual life, and that in like manner, each part of the individual man can take its own life--the new will lives from the celestial sense of the Word, the new understanding lives from the spiritual sense of it, and the external man from its natural sense--thus all three are necessary to the complete life of each individual. In this way, while each regenerating individual is associated with his own society of heaven in particular, he is in general associated with all the heavens, for together they are as one before the Lord, of which one all the parts contribute to the welfare of each single part, and each single part contributes to the perfection of the whole, for all live from the same Word, and like the Word they are all one internally although so various in external form.

"That the consociation of man with the angels is effected by the natural or literal sense of the Word, the reason also is because in every man there are from creation three degrees of life, the celestial, spiritual, and natural; but man is in the natural as long as he is in the world, and then he is so far in the angelic spiritual as he is in genuine truths, and he is so far in the celestial as he is in life according to them; but still he does not come into the very spiritual and celestial until after death, because these two are shut in and hidden in his natural ideas; wherefore when the natural goes away after death, the spiritual and celestial remain, from which the ideas of his thought then are. From these things it can appear that in the Word also is spirit and life, as the Lord says: 'The words which speak to you are spirit and are life', John 4:63. 'The water which I will give to you, will become a fountain of water leaping up into eternal life', John 4: 4. 'Man does not live from bread alone, bat from every word going forth from the mouth of God', Matt. 4:4. 'Work for the food which remains into life eternal, which the Son of Man will give to you', John 6:27", T. C. R. 239.

Man is in the natural as long as he is in the world--and therefore each form of the Word in the world is of necessity natural externally. But just as the angels of the natural celestial-natural and spiritual-natural, so men in the world are distinguished into three degrees of the natural, the celestial-natural, the spiritual-natural, and the merely natural. And likewise the Word in the world has three forms similarly distinguished, to provide life for the corporeal, the sensual, and also for the rational mind. Mark the Lord's expression that man shall live by every word going forth from the mouth of God, and consider how fully this confirms the teaching that the Writings are the Word for anyone who receives their authority at all, for Swedenborg is caused to solemnly declare in them:

"As regards myself I have not been allowed to take anything whatever from the mouth of any spirit, nor from the mouth of any angel, but from the mouth of the Lord alone", DE VERBO 13.

Either the Writings which make this declaration are false, or they are the Word going forth from the mouth of the Lord to give spiritual life to man's rational mind, and that by the letter thereof the rational too may have conjunction with the Lord and consociation with the angels.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word going forth from the mouth of God.



29



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 30        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 20.

April 26th 1896. Reference: T. 240-242.

[Hebrew.] PS. 119:89.

A. 2838. In aeternum Jehovah Verbum tuum consistit in coelis.

Ps. 119:89. Into eternity, O Jehovah, Thy Word is settled in the heavens.

"That the Word is in all the heavens and that angelic wisdom is thence", T. C. R. 240.

That the Word here means a written Word, or the Word in a, literal form is fully shown by the context of this morning's lesson. That there is such a Word in all the heavens is because thence and thence only does the Lord teach those who would be led by Him. Wisdom does not come to the angels, anymore than to men, in any hidden and mysterious way--it is acquired from the study of the Lord's written Word, read with the end of applying it to life. Even in heaves the Lord does not teach by internal influx, but only from His Word so far as the angels voluntarily apply themselves to learn therefrom. Some apply themselves more and some less and hence some acquire more wisdom than others. Those who study the Word least are in the lowest or most external parts of heaven, while those who study it most deeply are in the highest. This results from the degree of their love to the Lord. All in heaven love Him, that is, love to do what He teaches so far as they know it; but some are satisfied with learning comparatively little, while others are ever eager to learn more, so that their work may be done in ever closer and closer conformity with the Lord's will. With even the highest angels there is room for improvement in the way they do their work, and they more than all are in acknowledgment that it is so, and in the endeavor to learn from the written Word to effect improvement in it. How much more must this be the case with even the least imperfect of us! To learn from the Lord how to rightly perform the work of one s own calling is what the Word is given for, both to angels and men. Angels are but men who have fully begun to do their work so, and men are really of the Church just so far as they are trying to initiate such a beginning in their own work.

"That the Word is in the heavens has not hitherto been known, neither could it be made known, as long as the Church was ignorant that angels and spirits are men, altogether similar in face and body to men in our world, and that with them are similar things as with men in all respects, with the sole difference that they are spiritual and that all things which are with them are from a spiritual origin, and that men in the world are natural, and that all this was hidden it could not be known that the Word is also in the heavens, and that it is read by the angels there, and also by the spirits who are under the heavens", T. C. R. 240.

Thus there is the same single difference between the Word as it is in the heavens, and the Word as it is in the world in the one it is spiritual and in the other natural. But these terms like most in human language have a relative rather than an absolute meaning. This is indeed necessarily the case, more or less, with all finite languages, even that of the heavens, as well as those in the world. The absolute is in the Lord alone; finite creatures become rational just in the degree in which they learn to know the true ratio between different things, that is, their relative value, and the proper proportion which should obtain between them. The words reason and rationality literally mean this ability. All that finite beings learn is based upon comparisons and contrasts. Good is clearly recognized only by contrast with its opposite evil. The varieties of good which are from the Lord are understood by learning their true relative value, the ratio and proportion which they bear to each other as parts of the human form. It is from the lack of a proper recognition of this that the Lord's teachings appear contradictory to some. In necessary accommodation to man s finite capacity the Lord in His teaching has to deal with things in their relation to one series at a time. But the same thing may form the beginning of one series or the last of another, or the middle of yet another. Thus the world of spirits is internal in relation to this world, it is external in relation to heaven, it is intermediate in relation to the whole spiritual world. Again the lowest heaven is celestial and spiritual in relation to this world; but it is natural in relation to the two higher heavens. Hence discrimination must be exercised in our understanding of all such terms--and the ability to rightly discriminate their use in the Word depends upon the state of willingness on the part of the one studying it to give up his own will, in order to learn to do the Lord's instead. If willingness to do this be absent, either confusion manifestly results, or else what seems to be clearly seen is only seen with its relative value inverted and its proportion distorted. Now the Word in the heavens is spiritual, compared to the Word in this world; but in relation to those to whom it is given the Word is always natural, that is, its form is always perfectly accommodated to the nature of those: to whom it is given. The Word in relation to the angels is just what the Word with us is to the men of the Church--the Lord Himself as He ultimately appears to teach them. Hence it is that it could not be made known that the Word was in the heavens as long as it was supposed that the angels were an altogether different order of beings from men; until it was known that angels are simply men who have become what the Lord creates all men to be, and which all those are actually becoming who are really in the endeavor to deny themselves that they may follow Him. The Word in the heavens is to the angels just what the Word with us is to the men of the Churchknowledge concerning the Word in the heavens is therefore inseparable from knowledge concerning the angels that they are men in all respects, except the gross bodies by means of which men enter into the uses of the material world. Hence our lesson continues in regard to knowledge concerning the Word in the heavens:

"But lest this should be hidden in perpetuity, it has been given to me to be in company with angels and spirits and to speak with them and to see the things which are with them, and afterwards to report many things which I have seen and heard. This has been done in the work concerning HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758; from which it can be seen that angels and spirits are men, and that all things are in abundance with them which are with men in the world", T. C. R. 240.

They have similar things for similar reasons and purposes as men have them, that is, men of the Church. They as finite beings are all imperfect in relation to the Lord, and need to constantly realize and to advance from that imperfection for ever. They have Divine worship that they may cultivate a right attitude toward the Lord, and come into ever fuller humility before Him. They have preachings in temples, that they may be led in their study of the Word by those whose use it is to apply themselves more systematically than others to that study, and also that they may receive the Lord's teaching through the hearing as well as through the sight. They have writings and books for the same reason that such exist in this world, namely for the sake of the Word, for it is specifically taught that that is why the Lord has provided that there are writings in the heavens and that also was the real reason why printing was invented in this world. They have Sacred Writings or the Word in literal form for the same purpose for which the written Word is given to the Church here, that each may therein directly approach the Lord and see for himself that what is taught is from the Lord. Concerning the Word in the heavens it is further written:

"The Word is from the Lord, Who is the supreme, let down through the three heavens in order even to the earth, and hence it has been made accommodated to each heaven; wherefore also the Word is in each heaven, and almost with each angel in its own sense, and it is read by them daily and also preachings take place from it as in the earth. For the Word is Divine Truth itself, thus the Divine Wisdom proceeding from the Lord as a Sun, and appearing in the heavens as light; the Divine Truth is that Divine which is called the Holy Spirit; for it not only proceeds from the Lord but also enlightens man and teaches him, as it is said concerning the Holy Spirit. Since the Word in its descent from the Lord has been made accommodated to the three heavens, and the three heavens are conjoined as inmosts through means with ultimates, thus also there are three senses of the Word. Hence it is evident that the Word has been given that by it there may be conjunction of the heavens with each other, and also that there may be conjunction of the heavens with the human race, for whom is the sense of the letter which is merely natural, and hence the basis of the three remaining senses", A. E. 1024.

That there may be no doubt that the Word exists in each heaven in literal or written forms, the kind of letter in which it is there written is described:

"As concerns the Word in the heavens this is written in a spiritual style, which altogether differs from the natural style; for the spiritual style consists of mere letters, of which each involves a certain sense, and there are little lines, marks and points, above and between the letters and in them which exalt the sense. The letters with the angels of the spiritual kingdom are similar to the typographical letters in our world (In the Diary it is said that the writing in the spiritual heaven is similar to the writing in the world in Latin letters, 5561, which are the same that are used in English); and the letters with the angels of the celestial kingdom are with some similar to Arabic letters, with some similar to ancient Hebrew letters, but inflected above and below, With signs above, between, and within, of which also each involves a complete sense T. C. R. 241.

Here we have Hebrew and Latin letters specifically mentioned, making it probable that the intermediate Greek letters are also included in the expression "typographical letters in our world". Moreover no names of persons, or places, are mentioned but in place of them, the signification given to them in the Writings.

"From these things it can appear that the Word in heaven is as to the literal sense similar and at the same time corresponding to our Word, and thus that they are one", T. C. R. 241.

The similarity here concluded cannot be seen to be nearly so full if the Writings are not regarded as being included as a portion of our literal Word, for otherwise Latin letters do not appear with us in that connection, nor do spiritual significations take the place of names.

"This is wonderful that the Word in the heavens is so written that the simple understand the Word simply and that the wise understand it wisely; for there are many marks and signs which as was said exalt the sense; the simple do not attend to these neither do they know them; but the wise do attend each according to his wisdom, even to the highest. A copy of the Word written by angels inspired by the Lord is with every larger society, kept in its Sacrarium, lest the Word elsewhere should be changed as to any point. The Word which is in our world is similar to the Word of heaven in this, that the simple understand it simply and the wise wisely, but this is effected in a different manner, T. C. R. 241.

Every person who approaches the Word with anything of angelic innocence does so in order that he may discover therefrom what are the evils in himself which he should combat and shun. Hence if his evils be simple in their nature, he only needs to understand the Worn simply; but if they are of a more insidious kind he needs to enter into wiser understanding of the Word in order to expose their real quality. Thus also external evils are plainly pointed out in the Word of the Old Testament; but spiritual evils are only fully exposed in the Writings. These evils are carefully defended by man s natural rational which causes them to appear as good, which false appearance can only be penetrated when the rational is reformed by the rational truths of the Writings. Here as last week, it is made evident that the Word is not given to provide men with knowledges merely regarded as such, but is accommodated in such a way, that each one may find his own evils exposed there if he will, and if he does not will this his attitude is not like that of either the wise or the simple angels.

"That the angels have all their wisdom through the Word, this they themselves confess, for so far as they are in the understanding of the Word so far they are in light. In the Sacrarium in which a copy of the Word is kept, there is a flamy and bright white light exceeding every degree of light which is outside of it in heaven", T. C. R. 242.

A sacrarium simply means a sacred place, which we in adopting this custom call a repository. That in heaven the light shining with the sacrarium where a copy of the Word is kept, exceeds every degree of light outside of it in heaven, shows that the Word manifests light more abundantly than even the angels receive it:

"The wisdom of the celestial angels exceeds the wisdom of the spiritual angels almost as the wisdom of these angels exceeds the wisdom of men.... This is the cause that the Word in the Celestial Kingdom of the Lord is written differently from that in His Spiritual Kingdom", T. C. R. 242.

The cause is similar why the Word in the Writings is written differently from the Word in the Old and New Testaments, namely because the rational mind, for which the Writings are, is receptible of higher wisdom than the lower planes of the mind to which the other forms of the Word are accommodated.

"From these things it can be concluded of what quality is the wisdom which lies hidden in the Word which is in the world, for in it lies all angelic wisdom, which is ineffable, and into that wisdom man comes after death, who has been made an angel by the Lord through the Word", T. C. R. 242.

In it lies all angelic wisdom and within that the Divine Wisdom itself; but there is no wisdom there lower than angelic wisdom except in the mere appearances of the letter. It has not been given to convey worldly wisdom though this may be read into it by those who read it from themselves. Indeed the Word may be said to be given solely for the angels and thus for heaven--in the first place to make angels and afterwards to perfect angels to eternity. Without this latter use the first would be incomplete. Into eternity, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in the heavens.



30



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 31        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 21.

May 3rd 1896. Reference: T. 243-247.

[Hebrew.] DEUT. 33:17.

E. 3364. Et hi myriades Ephraimi, et hi chiliades Menascheh.

DEUT. 33:17. And these are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh.

"By Ephraim in the Word is signified the understanding of the Word in the Church. Since the understanding of the Word makes the Church therefore Ephraim is called a Precious Son and a Child of Delights, Jer. 31:20; the Firstborn, Jer. 31:9; the Strength of the Head of Jehovah, Ps. 60:9; 108:9; the Powerful, Zech. 10:7; filled with the Bow, Zech. 9:13; and the sons of Ephraim were called the Armed and Shooters with the Bow, Ps. 78:9; for by the Bow is signified Doctrine from the Word fighting against falses. Therefore also Ephraim was transferred to the right hand of Israel and was blessed, also he was accepted in place of Reuben, Gen. 48:5, 11, seq. And therefore Ephraim with his brother Manasseh in the blessing of the Sons of Israel by Moses was under the name of Joseph, their father, exalted above all, Deut. 32:13, 17", T. C. R. 247.

By Joseph in the Word is represented the Lord's Spiritual Kingdom--specifically the internal or celestial of that Kingdom and by his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, the truth and good from that internal. Thus Joseph represents the internal good and Manasseh the external brood, while Ephraim represents that understanding of truth which brings internal good forth into the external, thus the very means by which the external is reformed and regenerated. It is because of this, because he represents the very means by which all regeneration is effected in the spiritual Church, that Ephraim was exalted above all in the blessing of Moses. The Church is provided by the Lord for the sake of man's regeneration, and its duality therefore altogether depends upon its effectiveness in accomplishing this purpose, which accomplishment again depends upon this understanding of truth which prevails in the Church, thus upon the extent to which Ephraim, accompanied by his brother Manasseh, predominates therein. In this series the truth represented by Ephraim comes before the good represented by Manasseh, because the quality of all external good is determined by the quality of the truth which guides and forms it and therefore ten thousands or myriads are predicated of Ephraim and thousands of Manasseh.

"Ten thousands signify innumerable things, similarly thousands; but ten thousands are said concerning truth and thousands concerning goods.... That myriads and thousands signify innumerable things, is because ten signifies many and thence also a hundred, a thousand, and ten thousand, for numbers multiplied by a similar number signify what is similar with the simple numbers by which they are multiplied.... Moreover when two numbers multiplied, the one greater and the one less, which signify what is similar, are said together, as when ten and a hundred, or a hundred and a thousand, then the less number is said concerning goods and the greater number concerning truths, the reason is because each good consists of many truths, for good is formed from truths and hence good is produced by truths; from this it is that the greater number is said concerning truths and the less number concerning goods.... That thus it is may be illustrated by this--one delight of affection can be presented by many ideas of thought, and be expressed by various things in speech; the delight of affection is what is called good, and the ideas of thought and the various things in speech which proceed from that delight or good are what are called truths; it has itself similarly with one thing of the will and many things of its understanding, and also with one thing of the love towards the many things expressing it. Hence also it is that much and multitude in the Word are said concerning truths, and great and magnitude concerning good, for what are said to those who can be enlightened by examples, that they may know whence it is that myriads signify innumerable equally as thousands, but still that myriads are said concerning truths and thousands concerning goods", A. E. 336.

"That the Church is according to the understanding of the Word is because the Church is recording to the truths of faith and the goods of charity and these are the two universals which are not only spread through the whole literal sense of the Word, but also lie within like precious things in treasuries; those things which are in its literal sense appear before the eye of every man, because they inflow directly into the eyes, but the things which lie in the spiritual sense, they do not appear except to those who love truths because they are truths and do good because they are goods; before these there is manifested the treasury which the literal sense covers and guards and these are what essentially make the Church", T. C. R. 244.

That goods and truths make the Church is a literal statement of the Word which is familiar to everyone in the New Church; but still it is a statement which is capable not only of various understanding but of opposite understanding. For it may be understood more or less according to genuine doctrine or it may be understood only according to the natural impulses which prompt man to regard whatever he loves as good and whatever favors that good as truth. This leads to the putting of the good of the external first and the truth second, even as Joseph wished to put Manasseh first and Ephraim second. But as all external good needs to be regenerated and to receive an altogether new quality from the internal before it can he heavenly and as this new quality can only come from the internal by means of genuine truth, it follows that external good can only he heavenly and thus good of the Church so far as the genuine truth of doctrine enters into and forms it.

"That the Church is according to its doctrine is known, but still Doctrine does not establish the Church, but the integrity and purity of the doctrine, consequently the understanding of the Word", T. C. R. 245.

The Church is established by the doctrine or teaching of the Word, so far as that teaching is presented and received in its integrity and purity. There are those who trust more in their own prudence than in integrity of doctrine for this end, and who would therefore pick and choose from the teaching of the New Church what they think would be most acceptable to their hearers, some with the idea that the other things can be presented later when some beginning has been made, and others with the idea that these unacceptable things are already out of date. But from the first it is integrity of doctrine and that only which can establish the Church on any permanent basis, or indeed in any way that is not merely an appearance. But what does this integrity of doctrine involve, for clearly it cannot mean that all the teachings in their completeness should be presented at once--for man can only learn step by step and little by little and therefore there must be accommodation to his understanding. Each general truth however when taught in its integrity is so fully an expression of innocence that it involves the potential reception of all the rest. Thus from the first such teaching involves the attitude towards Divine Revelation that whatever is there, is to be received as a matter of course, not only in spite of its contradiction of man's own ideas, but with the expectation that such contradiction must be met there and accepted. How could a Revelation be the Divine expression of infinite wisdom, without contradicting the natural ideas which man forms for himself? If Divine Revelation did not contradict man's natural ideas, there would be no need thereof. Divine Revelation is given to teach men that which they would never have learned of themselves and without which they would have believed the very opposite. Doctrine or teaching of Divine Truth must keep this principle ever before men, in order to have integrity. By this means an affirmative attitude will be taught towards the innumerable particulars of teaching which the man of the Church has yet to receive. Without this affirmative attitude his understanding of the Word cannot grow, nor can the Church which is altogether according to the understanding of the Word increase with him. Thus while the right understanding of many points of doctrine cannot be taught until they are reached step by step, and the teaching of such must therefore be deferred till then, there should not be even the appearance of avoiding any statement of doctrine because it might offend men's natural ideas, because such an idea is injurious to a proper affirmative attitude, and is therefore detrimental to the reception of any teaching in its integrity. The man of the Church needs to realize more and more fully that every genuine spiritual truth, spiritually understood, is contrary to his natural ideas, and the right application thereof is always in diametrical opposition to his natural inclination. There can be no integrity of teaching or reception, even of the most elementary doctrines unless innocence be thus therein. Representatively it was the innocence of wisdom that caused the aged Israel to put Ephraim before Manasseh, attributing to the first tells of thousands and to the second only thousands.

"Both integrity and purity of doctrine are necessary to the understanding of the Word which establishes the Church. Integrity as just shown involves that it must include innocence: purity involves that it must exclude the promptings of man's own intelligence. Just as the integrity or completeness of doctrine can only be received potentially by man, to be actually received step by step, so with regard to the purity of his reception from the promptings of his intelligence it is actually attained only by slow degrees, but yet there ought to be from the first that denial of self which is the denial that self intelligence has any ability to teach the way to heaven, and the constant acknowledgment therefore that its promptings ought to have no weight in the study of doctrine. For man is naturally full of the life of his own intelligence and its actual removal can only be done little by little, even as the Canaanites were not removed from before the Israelites in one year lest there should be a desolation. Nevertheless the truth that it; needs removing should be kept continually before the mind in order that there may be any purity in man s reception of doctrine. For unless the promptings of self-intelligence are constantly resisted they are sure to defile the doctrine received by turning it into compliance with the unregenerate will. [Marginal note here: "good not first"]. So far as there is the practical endeavor to resist self-intelligence, a man will be potentially in purity of doctrine, and will also become increasingly receptive thereof actually. These two then, integrity and purity of doctrine, give the understanding of the Word which establishes the Church and which is meant by Ephraim who is exalted in the text: And these are the myriads of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh.

"But Doctrine does not establish and make the special Church which is with man in the singular, but faith and life according to that Doctrine; similarly the Word does not establish and make the Church specifically with man but faith according to the truths and life according to the goods which he derives thence and applies to himself", T. C. R. 235.

It is the life which a man really lives which makes the Church in him individually. How often this doctrine has been perverted into the idea that a man can form the Church in himself by leading a good life without much regard to doctrine. But the life which makes the Church in man is the life which is according to doctrine in its integrity and purity. The idea is too commonly entertained that a man can live better than he believes. When this is so it is only an appearance. A man may, like many heathens, be potentially better than the faith which ha intellectually holds. But as to actual spiritual life a man cannot live better than is the quality of his understanding of the Word. The best he can do is to constantly reach after this attainment of life which will be in accord with his understanding of the Word and if he attains some approximation thereto he will do well. So far is it from being a fact that he can live in advance of his understanding of the Word that actually he can never live perfectly up to even that degree of understanding of the Word which he has. Unless indeed his understanding of the Word be a perverted one. When the understanding of the Word is perverted it is at bottom in order to make it agree with the desires of man's own will. It is easy to live up to such a perverted understanding of the Word. But if the understanding of the Word be formed, as all genuine understanding of it is, from doctrine received in the integrity and purity which it has from the Lord, man can only follow it, seeing it ever before him, but never absolutely reached even to eternity, and yet at the same time so accommodated to each individual that it is never further in advance of him than he is prepared to endeavor to follow it if he will. The Lord ever leads gently, but He does lead--He is always in advance of His followers in the doctrine which He enables them to see, teaching them a quality of life which they have not yet actually attained. Thus with the regenerating man the understanding of the doctrine of the Word in its integrity and purity must always be exalted and humbly followed. For:

"The Church is of such quality as is the understanding of the Word, i.e. it is excellent and precious if the understanding be from genuine truths from the Word, but destroyed, yea filthy if it be from falsified truths", T. C. R. 247.

Nothing causes the falsification of truth but the inclinations of man's own will which constantly incite his self-intelligence to justify them, even by truths if possible. The inclinations of man's own will are the good which the world seeks and cultivates with more or less refinement and skill. Man can never escape from the worship of the good which the world regards as such unless the necessity of understanding the genuine truth of the Lord's Word be exalted, and made the sole standard of what should be striven after, and unless that good of life alone be given a place in the Church which results from striving after that standard regarded in its integrity and purity. Ephraim must go before Manasseh and be exalted above all the sons of Israel. They are the ten thousands of Ephraim and they are the thousands of Manasseh.



31



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 32        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 22.

May 10th 1896. Reference: T. 248-253.

[Hebrew.] JER. 33:10, 11.

T. 252. (Sic dixit Jehovah) Adhuc audietur in loco hoc vox gaudii et vox laetitiae, ac vox sponsi et vox sponsae.

JER. 33:10, 11. Thus saith Jehovah: Again there shall be heard in this place the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

In the SUMMARY EXPOSITION it is said that the two verses from which this text is taken are concerning those who will worship the Lord from the affection of truth and of good. Both these affections must he in all genuine worship. The one affection without the other, or unless it lead to the other, is without any value. It is to no purpose that the affection for truth is cultivated unless the affection for good is also. And it is just as fully useless to cultivate the affection for good without the affection for truth being cultivated also. Neither is it possible by cultivating them as two independent things to attain heaven, for heaven is from and according to the marriage of these two affections. Thus it is to no purpose that there should be, as there appears to be with some, on the one hand an affection for certain truths and on the other hand an affection for a certain kind of good of life, each affection going forth in practical independence of the other, however they may be externally associated together in the same mind. There must be the marriage of those two affections and genuine marriage can only be effected between such affections as are capable of entering interiorly into the most intimate relations with each other so that one may contribute the form and the other the life of what is essentially one quality--truth must contribute the form thereof and good the life. Thus there can be conjoined in marriage to a truth only that good which is the actual practice of what that particular truth teaches. The relation of marriage is incompatible with anything of a promiscuous nature. This is because it is altogether so in the spiritual marriage of good and truthGoods and truths cannot be conjoined promiscuously so as to form the heavenly marriage, and that however genuine the truths may be as such, or however desirable the good may seem to be. That each truth must evident even in the very letter of every form of the Word to all who regard the Word according to the rational teaching presented in this morning's lesson.

"That in the single things of the Word there is the marriage of the Lord and the Church and hence that of good and truth, has not been seen hitherto, neither could it be seen, because the spiritual sense of the Word was not disclosed before, and that marriage could not be seen except through that sense; for there are two senses in the Word lying in the sense of its letter which are called the spiritual and the celestial sense; and in the spiritual sense all things which are of it in the Word refer themselves chiefly to the Church, and those in the celestial sense chiefly to the Lord; also in the spiritual sense those things which are of it refer themselves to Divine Truth and those in the celestial sense to Divine Good; hence it is that in the Word there is that marriage", T. C. R. 248.

The revealed Word is the means by which the marriage of the Lord and the Church is effected, or what is the same thing, the marriage of the Lord and the regenerating of the human race. Therefore that marriage is expressed everywhere in the single things thereof--not just here and there, inasmuch as every single detail has reference to the Lord on the one hand and to man on the other. For every detail is about what the Lord has done and what He desires to teach; and every detail is also about man and what he ought to do. Acknowledgment of this marriage in the Word therefore involves acknowledgment of the Divine authority of the Word on the one hand, and acknowledgment that it has application to a man's own self on the other. Both these are essential to any genuine reception of the Word. Acknowledgment of its Divine authority does not avail anything towards regeneration unless there is also acknowledgment that all its details have practical application to each man s own self. The natural tendency is to think of this detail of the Word as having application to such a one and that detail to someone else; but just as they all apply to the Lord's glorification, so in a finite degree they all apply and are necessary to the regeneration of each and every individual. On the other hand it avails nothing to regeneration if the Word is obeyed and applied to oneself, unless it be done because of its Divine authority. Thus a man may on the natural plane obey the command not to steal, yet unless stealing be shunned simply because it is contrary to the Divine command, shunning it contributes nothing to spiritual salvation. Thus while there is a celestial sense which is specifically for the angels of the highest heaven, there is also a celestial sense as well as a spiritual sense for every man of the Church, who regards the celestial sense of the Word which is for him, when He considers its Divine Authority, and who regards the spiritual sense which is for him only when he considers the application thereof to his own spiritual states. Only when he has regard to both these does he look to the Lord as the Bridegroom and the Church in himself as the Bride, only so far can there be spiritually heard in him the voice of joy and the voice of gladness.

"But this does not appear to anyone except to him who from the spiritual and celestial sense of the Word knows the significations of words and names, for certain words and names are predicated concerning good, and certain concerning truth, and certain ones include both; wherefore without that knowledge, that marriage in the single things of the Word could not be seen. This is the cause that this arcanum has not been disclosed before", T. C. R. 248.

Before the Writings were given the Word was not; revealed to man's rational mind and therefore there could be no rational understanding of what marriage involved. Without the spiritual sense which alone can form the rational spiritually, the relation between good and truth was not clear--the natural mind indeed tends to resist the reception of the clear leading concerning it--it prefers to be its own judge of what is good, and to accept truth only so far as it seems to him to agree with that good. It is therefore only from that sense of the Word which reveals what spiritual marriage essentially is, that the ultimation of it in the Word can be seen. Otherwise he regards those ultimations as mere repetitions, even as he regards woman as merely a repetition of man, different from man only as the result of different circumstances and surroundings. And he regards those apparent repetitions as having only the most external relation to each other, even as he regards the marriage of man and woman as only an external relation which has no place in the spiritual world, still less in heaven. But not only is the Divine Marriage involved in the conjoined celestial and spiritual sense which is in every single expression of the Word, but it; is also manifested in the numerous pairs of expressions which occur--and in which each expression has its own proper partner

"Since there is such a marriage in the single things of the Word, therefore many times in the Word there are two expressions which appear as if they were repetitions of the same thing; nevertheless they are not repetitions but the one refers itself to good and the other to truth and both then together make the conjunction of those, thus one thing. Hence also is the Divine sanctity of the Word, for in every Divine work there is good conjoined to truth and truth conjoined to good", T. C. R. 248.

Hence in everything there is some appearance of sex and marriage. Good and truth are indeed one in the Lord, but because man is so created that he can think one way and act another, his will and understanding thus acting separately, therefore the Lord could not accommodate Himself to mans comprehension unless He spoke of Himself as if Divine Good and Divine Truth in Him were two, and likewise unless He presented good and truth to man as two. For man must accept heaven voluntarily and therefore he must effect the marriage of good and truth which makes heaven in himself voluntarily and as of himself.

"It is said that in the single things of the Word there is the marriage of the Lord and the Church and hence the marriage of good and truth, for this latter marriage is from the former; for when the Church or the man of the Church is in truths, then the Lord in His truth inflows with good and vivifies them or what is the same, when a man of the Church is in the understanding of truths then the Lord by the good of charity inflows into his understanding and infuses life into it", T. C. R. 249.

Truth comes to man by an external way, good by an internal way. But good cannot remain heavenly in quality unless it be received into the form of truth. The Lord gives good to all, for life is good, even the life of the natural man, but it is good perverted in its reception. In order to receive good without perverting it man must acquire truths and by endeavor to live according to them open each one in himself to the reception of that good which gives life to it, and causes it to be internally what it outwardly expresses.

"There are two faculties with every man which are called the understanding and the will; the understanding is the receptacle of truth and thence of wisdom, and the will is the receptacle of good and thence of charity. These two faculties must make one in order that a man may be a man of the Church, and they make one when man forms his understanding from genuine truths and this is done to appearance as if by himself; and when his will is infilled with the good of love this is done by the Lord; hence man has the life of truth and the life of good, the life of truth in his understanding and the life of good in his will, which when they are united make not two but one life. This is the marriage of the Lord and the Church also the marriage of good and truth with man", T. C. R. 249.

The will and the understanding are separated in man naturally in order that he may be able to exercise free determination in his reception or rejection of heavenly life. If his understanding could not be raised above his will to enable him to see temporarily truth which teaches a different life from that of his own will, he could never know that there was any good except what gratified his natural love, still less could he resist his natural love, and seek a good altogether different and higher than that which brings merely natural gratification. Nevertheless the will and understanding must be conjoined before a man is really a man of the Church, that is the marriage of the will and the understanding must have been begun before the Church can be said to be in a man, and it must come to a state of fulness before he is regenerated and fitted for heaven. But again this marriage is not the marriage of the will and the understanding which a man naturally possesses. If a man only enters into that it is the infernal marriage, where the understanding is the slave of man's own will, which it always naturally tends to be. For when the understanding is elevated above the will to see the truth which the Lord has taught, it will fall back to the level of self-will, unless the will is resisted and by self-compulsion obedience is rendered to the truth then seen. Then a new will is given by the Lord which agrees with the elevated understanding which is thus obeyed. Thus in the heavenly marriage the elevated understanding leads and the will follows. Now just as the natural will and understanding can only enter into the infernal marriage when the will leads and the understanding is a mere slave thereto, so a man and woman who are merely natural and not striving to be regenerated can only enter into an infernal marriage with each other in which the woman really rules either obviously and openly, or else cunningly and indirectly, while outwardly seeming not to. Hence while it may sometimes appear with the merely natural that the man rules, it is only where both are seeking that the understanding of genuine truth and not their own will shall rule, that the man really leads and the woman really loves him to do so. The spiritual state which results from regeneration is always the inverse of that which naturally obtains. The infernal marriage has its delights indeed, but there is no happiness therein, there is neither true joy in the will nor true gladness in the understanding. It is only as regeneration makes conjugial marriage possible that there begins to be heard therein the voice of joy and the voice of gladness.

"That both joy as well as gladness are said is because joy is predicated concerning good and gladness concerning truth, or joy concerning love and gladness concerning wisdom, for joy is of the heart and gladness is of the spirit, or joy is of the will and gladness of the understanding", T. C. R. 252.

This joy and gladness conjoined make heavenly happiness.

"Heavenly joy itself of such quality as it is in its essence cannot be described because it is in the inmosts of the life of the angels and hence is in the single things of their thought and affection and from these in the single things of speech and in the single things of action. It is as if the interiors were fully opened and unloosed for receiving delight and happiness which is dispersed into the single fibres and thus through the whole; whence the perception and sensation of it is such that it cannot be described; for what begins from the inmosts this inflows into the single things which are derived from the inmosts, and they propagate themselves always with increase towards the exteriors. Good spirits who are not yet in that delight, because not yet elevated into heaven when they perceive it from an angel from the sphere of his love are infilled with such delight that they come as it were into a sweet swoon. This has been sometimes done with those who desired to know what heavenly joy was", H. H. 409.

What heavenly joy is to the will, heavenly gladness is to the understanding. It is into such joy and such gladness that the Lord desires to lead all who would follow Him. Those who suffer Him to lead them into these are in those happy states to eternity. Of what account then are the troubles of the temptation states which must intervene but which last but a few years at most. Now it is declared that this joy and gladness of the inmost is propagated always with increase towards exteriors. Thus the joy and gladness of the heavenly marriage within, comes into its fulness of conscious realization by being ultimated in external marriage also. The marriage of the Lord and the Church within each conjugial partner is the source of all heavenly life; but it is realized in all its joy and gladness in the relation which obtains in externals from internals with every angelic husband and wife. This is the state which is meant by this place in the text: There shall he heard in this place the choice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.



32



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 33        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 23.

May 17th 1896. Reference T. 254-259.

[Hebrew.] EX. 20 :14.

A. 8904. Non adulterabis.

Ex. 20:14. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery, that it signifies that those things which are of the doctrine of faith and charity are not to be perverted, thus are not to be applied to confirming falses and evils; also that the laws of order are not to be inverted appears from the sifinification of adultery and scortating, that in the spiritual or internal sense they are to pervert the good and falsify the truths which are of the doctrine of faith and charity and because these are signified by committing adultery, applying the Word to confirming evils and falses is also signified, for the Word is the verimost doctrine of faith and charity and the perversion of truth and good there is application to falses and evils", A. C. 8904.

Thus this commandment in its internal sense forbids the evil treated of in this morning's lesson, the evil of confirming heresies taken from the letter of the Word which is declared to be damnable. Using the letter of the Word to confirm the evils which are contrary to innocence, or the falses which support or encourage such evils is spiritual adultery.

"That these are signified by committing adultery in the spiritual sense scarcely anyone at this dam knows, from the cause that at this day it is known by few what the spiritual is and how this differs from the natural, and scarcely by anyone that there is correspondence between both, and indeed such that an image of the one is presented in the other, that is, the spiritual is represented in the natural; consequently that the spiritual is as its soul and the natural as its body and thus by influx and thence conjunction they constitute one, as in the regenerated man his internal man which is also called spiritual and his external which is also called natural. Because such things are not known at this day therefore it cannot be known what committing adultery signifies further than being illegitimately conjoined as to the body", A. C. 8904.

And yet breaking the commandments in the spiritual sense is the cause of breaking them in the natural sense--the spiritual sense is their soul. Man may, by external reason, be restrained from breaking the commandments naturally; but the love of breaking them, even in the natural sense, can never be overcome and removed in any man until he has fought against and conquered his love of breaking them in the spiritual sense. Thus no one can overcome the love of adultery until he has overcome his love for confirming his own natural ideas by the letter of the Word. For a man's own natural ideas are all essentially false, for they all tend to justify him is going his own way, that way which is naturally good in his own eyes but which nevertheless always leads directly away from innocence and heaven. Let all who would be wise therefore take heed against the tendency to use the letter of Divine revelation to confirm the falses with which they naturally sympathize. Let not those of the New Church flatter themselves that falses do not exist with them, and that therefore they are in no danger of confirming falses. The natural man, that is the unregenerated part of every man, is thoroughly imbued with falses. In the New Church they are apt to be more subtle than elsewhere in disguising themselves by confirmations from the Wood, and the Writings afford even more plausible means of doing so than the other forms of the Word. How easy it is to confirm oneself in merely natural good as being sufficient to fit one for heaven--by the many literal statements that truth becomes secondary to good in the more advanced stage of regeneration. How flattering it is to a man to be able thence to regard his own preference to just do what seems good to himself rather than to painfully compel himself to obey the truth, as a sign of his own advanced regeneration when good rules rather than truth. But let each remember that to confirm any form of self-leading by the letter of Divine Revelation is to commit spiritual adultery, and thereby to shut off the communication with heaven which the Word would otherwise effect for him. Every idea which favors self-leading is false; every genuine truth teaches innocence. Keeping this in mind will enable each to recognize the tendency in himself to cherish such falses, and also to confirm them. The Lord would teach him to shun doing so as damnable adultery.

"Because those things, as was said, are not known at this day, it is allowed to say the cause, why to commit adultery are of the doctrine of faith and charity thus to adulterate goods and to falsify truths. The cause, which at this day is secret, is that conjugial love descends from the marriage of good and truth, which is called the heavenly marriage; the love which inflows from the Lord, which is between good and truth in heaven, is turned into conjugial love on earth, and this by correspondence. Hence it is that the falsification of truth is scortation and the perversion of good is adulteration in the internal sense. Hence also it is that those who are not in the good and truth of faith, are not able to be in genuine conjugial love either; also those who take the delight of life in adulteries are not able to receive anything of faith anymore; I have heard it said by the angels that as soon as anyone commits adultery on earth and takes delight in it, heaven is closed to him, that is, he refuses any more to receive thence anything of faith and charity. That at this day in the kingdoms where the Church is adulteries are reputed by very many as of no account, is because the Church is of no account, and thus there is not any faith any more, because there is not charity, for the one corresponds to the other, where there is no faith the false is in place of truth and evil in the place of good, and thence it flows, that adulteries are not more reputed as crimes, for heaven being closed such things inflow from hell", A. C. 8904.

This is the state which obtains in the world about us, a state which though it can be kept from going forth into act by external restraints, cannot he cured as long as genuine truth is rejected. It exists with those of the New Church too; but it is curable there if the members of that Church only render spiritual obedience to the truths received. In the Writings as well as other forms of the Word truths are clothed in appearances, though in rational appearances which agree with the truth itself if only they are understood in their own light. But if men accept those appearances only according to the light of the natural rational they will only serve to confirm their natural rational states, and where those are thus confirmed by the Word spiritual adultery is committed.

"Heresies themselves do not damn man, but confirmation of the falsities which are in the heresies, from the Word, and by reasoning from the natural man, and evil life, they do damn", T. C. R. 245.

The falses which are in all heresies derive their essential falsity from this, that they all teach more or less, openly or by insinuation, that man is able to lead himself. Such falsity confirmed makes hell. All who hold themselves in the right attitude towards the Lord embrace genuine truths when they are presented; it is man's turning to himself that causes him to confirm falses, and thus the Church in him is false to her Divine Husband. Moreover:

"The confirmed falses remain and cannot he extirpated; for the false after confirmation is as if one swore to it, especially if it cohere with the love of self, or with the pride of intelligence", T. C. R. 254.

"Every man after death is instructed by angels and they are received who see truths and from truths falses, but only they do see truths who have not confirmed themselves in falses, but they who have confirmed themselves are not willing to see truths, and if they do see them they turn themselves backward and then either laugh at them or falsify them. The genuine cause is that confirmation enters the will and the will is the man himself and disposes the understanding at pleasure, but bare knowledge only enters the understanding and this has not any authority over the will so it is not in the man otherwise than as one stands in the court or in the doors and not as yet in the house", T. C. R. 255.

"Confirmation enters the will because a man only really confirms that which he is willing to do. Confirmation as used then means very much the same as justification. Thus a man confirms a falsity when he justifies himself in acting according to it. Everyone who justifies himself in going his own way, confirms the false which favors it, and if he does it by means of the letter of Divine Revelation he spiritually commits adultery.

"That it is damnable to confirm the appearances of truth which are in the Word, since by that it is made fallacious and thus the Divine Truth which lies within is destroyed, the very cause is that all and single things of the sense of the letter of the Word communicate with heaven, for as was said shove a spiritual sense is in all and single things of the sense of its letter, and this is opened when it passes from man towards heaven; and all things of the spiritual sense are genuine truths, wherefore when a man is in falses and applies the sense of the letter to them then the falses are therein, and when falses enter truths are dissipated, which takes place in the way from man to heaven", T. C. R. 258.

It is also taught that communication with heaven is effected by the letter of the Word. This is the case where a literal statement may be easily falsified if it be separated from other statements bearing on the same matter. The letter will effect communication with heaven, externally for the simple, but it effects it more internally in proportion as the genuine truth in it is understood. On the other hand as here taught it does not effect such communication at all if the letter of the Word in man's mind be filled with false ideas. As is further declared:

"It is similar with the reading of the Word by a man who is in falses and applies some things of the sense of its letter to his falses, that then it is rejected in the way towards heaven lest such a thing should inflow and infest the angels; for the false when it touches truth is like the point of a needle when it touches the fibril of a nerve, that the fibril of a nerve immediately revolves itself into a spiral and retreats into itself is known, similarly that the eye at the first touch of it covers itself with the lids. From these things it is evident that falsified truth takes away communication with heaven and closes it. This is the cause that to confirm any heretical false is damnable", T. C. R. 258.

Let it be kept continually in mind what falsification essentially is, namely that it is turning the truth to self and causing it to confirm what self loves--whereas truth is genuinely understood just in the degree that innocence is therein, that is in the degree in which the truth is seen to teach the denial of self that the Lord may be followed instead.

"The Word is like a garden which may be called a heavenly paradise in which are delicacies and delights of every kind, delicacies from fruits and delights from flowers, in the midst of which are trees of life, next to which are fountains of living water, and around the garden are forest trees. The man who is in Divine Truths from Doctrine is in the midst where the trees of life are and he actually enjoys its delicacies and delights; but the man who is not in truths from doctrine but only from the sense of the letter is in the surrounding part and sees only the things of the forest: but he who is in the doctrine of a false religion and has confirmed its false with himself is not even in the forest, but outside of it in a sandy place where there is not grass either", T. C. R. 259.

Truth from doctrine is here distinguished from truth from the letter--Truth is from Doctrine when man suffers himself to he really taught by Divine Revelation something entirely different from anything he could have learned or evolved himself. Truth is only from the letter--when literal statements from Revelation are taken only to confirm what a man had thought before. Such people only see the outside of Divine Revelation and nothing at all of the genuine truth within its letter.

From the correspondence of adultery with the confirmation of falses by the letter of the Word it call be seen what it is that essentially constitutes falsity. Whatever leads the Church to he false to her Divine Husband thus whatever favors being led by self-intelligence is false, and the literal forms of truth, even those of the Writings, are falsified if they are so understood as to make them favor self-intelligence or natural rationality. In the command Thou shalt not commit adultery the Lord speaks to you as a professed member of the Church which is His Bride and Wife and commands you not to be unfaithful to Him. Natural tendencies and spiritual temptation both entice you to receive the seed of truth from self or from the world, the doing of which is the real cause of all adultery internal and external.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 34        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 24.

May 24th 1896. Reference T. 260.

APOC. 1:16. [Greek.]

R. 52. Et ex ore Ipsius romphaea anceps acuta exiens.

APOC. 1:16. And out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword going forth.

"And a sharp two-edged sword going forth out of His mouth, signifies the dispersion of falses by the Word and by doctrine thence from the LORD. In the Word sword is often said and by it no other is signified than truth fighting against falses and destroying them, and also in the opposite sense the falses fighting against truths. For by wars in the Word are signified spiritual wars which are of truth against the false and of the false against truth. Wherefore by the arms of war are signified such things by which fighting is done in these wars. That the dispersion of falses by the Lord is here understood by a sword is evident because it was seen to go forth from His mouth, and to go forth from the mouth of the Lord is to go forth from the Word, for by this mouth the Lord has spoken", A. R. 52.

The truth of the Word is the sword by which all falses and evils must be conquered by the man of the Church. Against his spiritual foes no other weapon is of any avail--without it man is helpless against them. But it should always be borne in mind that it is a two-edged weapon, and may be used to defend falses as well as to destroy them. The fact is familiar in the New Church that most things there have an opposite sense as well as a genuine sense; but here this is expressed in the very letter, where the sword is called two-edged. As also in Genesis where it speaks of a sword as turning hither and thither to guard the way of the tree of lives. Because it can thus be turned in the way one chooses, the letter of the Word is to a considerable extent popular among men--even among such as have an utter aversion for genuine truth. The letter of the Word can easily he turned to the defence of falses and evils. The letter as given in the Writings is easily turned to the defence of the things of self-intelligence which men love, and can be used as a weapon to oppose every attempt to expose the evils of being led by one's own rationality, of seeking only the good which is good in one's own eyes and such like. But the very ease with which this can be done is an effectual guard over the genuine truth which lies within the letter. Seeing that the letter can be made to defend his own loves, the natural man is satisfied to receive it thus, and is unwilling to penetrate further, thus he never even reaches the truth itself. For he calls that the truth which defends and supports what he loves and nothing else. This may not always be easy as to external acts; but it gets easier and easier as applied internally. This is because the internal is free, while the external is more or less under restraint. The internal of all evil is some form of the love of leading oneself; it is so easy to bend the truth to the defence of this, that it is done without the one doing it being aware of it unless he be on his guard against so doing and keep a vigilant watch over that tendency in himself. Indeed it is necessary to know and keep in mind that the Lord's teaching always leads in a direction contrary to man's own natural inclinations, and that therefore it is this very opposite which men should look for when they are seeking genuine truth. Otherwise they will take credit to themselves as being seekers of truth, when in reality they are only seeking what will defend and support the good which makes their natural life. Truth of the letter is a two-edged sword, it can be used to defend the good which man naturally loves, or it can he used to defend heavenly good. Those who only assume to be of the Church do the former, only those who are really of the Church, that is, those who are actually striving to become regenerated, do the latter.

The sense of the letter has been given by the Lord to convey to man that genuine truth which will fight against and destroy his evils if he apply it to himself. Man however is apt to use it only to fight against what he regards as evil, that is, against whatever he regards as being injurious to his own natural life. Accordingly he is apt to understand the Word as teaching that this should be done, which understanding is opposite to that which is received by one who reads the Word in innocence, that is, whose object in reading is to be led by the Lord and not by self. Nevertheless variety in the understanding of the Word by different people is not injurious, indeed as the Truth is infinite, there can be infinite variety in all finite understanding of it. Each one who approaches the Word in innocence will be given to see that understanding of it that will expose the particular varieties of evils which he loves, and that will enable him to conquer them.

"That the sense of the letter is understood otherwise by one than by another does not injure; but it does injure if man infers falses which are contrary to Divine Truths, which is done solely by those who have confirmed themselves in falses", T. C. R. 260.

Here it is taught that only those who have confirmed themselves in falses infer from the letter falses which are contrary to Divine Truths. It is well therefore to have a clear idea as to what kind of falses are meant as being contrary to Divine Truths. For it may be said that all falses are opposite to truths as it is this opposition which causes them to be falses. Falses of ignorance are not meant, however opposite to truth they may be in form; but falses which induce upon the mind an opposite character to that which truth does. Such falses are inferred from the Word only by those who have confirmed themselves in falses, which means those who have received them into their will. Such men may indeed study the Word and appear even to themselves to be seekers of truth thence, but what they infer is always made to agree with their natural level and by that is falsified however little the form may be changed. By that also they do injury to themselves for they thereby confirm themselves in states opposite to those of heaven, which they then defend more strongly than ever. Thus is the letter of the Word which should be for the defence of
Divine Truth turned to the defence of internal falses. Thus is the letter of the Word which should be used for destroying falses used instead for destroying the forms of Truth which such have received. Thus is it a two edged sword which if not rightly used will injure the one who handles it and not his spiritual foes. Let the man of the Church therefore take heed of this and resist his natural tendency to use the Word to defend what he naturally loves, turning it instead against the only spiritual foe which he need fear, against him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell--the love of self-leading.

The letter of the Word is called a two edged sword because there are essentially but two ways in which it can be turned--against the Lord and against self. If a man does not turn it against self, he does turn it against the Lord; end he can only avoid turning it against the Lord by continually endeavoring to turn it against self, being willing to lose his own life or love in order that he may receive the Lord's instead. The Lord has not come to bring peace in the first place but a sword, a sword to he turned against the foes which are within a man's own self. Thus in order to avoid spiritually injuring himself by this two-edged sword, he must to appearance turn it to the destroying of his own life, though it is really for the salvation of the life for which the Lord hits created him. The letter of the Word is for the defence of genuine truth against those who would abuse it. Hence if man would retain its real use in itself he must remember that it is for defending the genuine truth which he has received against his own self-will which is continually endeavoring, often with ingenious cunning, to turn it back so that it may defend self against the
interference of truth with it. The natural man calls non-interference with his self-love peace, and is indignant against the breaking thereof which is necessary before even a beginning is made in the practical work of regeneration. And even the regenerating man is often brought into states of temptation doubt, because of the continual trials and disturbances which regeneration involves. At every combat which threatens or troubles his self-life, he is infested with regret for having started out for the promised land and with the longings to he hack in his old state in Egypt. Whenever the edge of the sword is applied to his self-love he is tempted to turn it to the defence thereof instead.

Many openly make it a condition of their acceptance of Divine Revelation that it shall defend their own natural beliefs which all favor their self-love. How often has the remark been heard, believe the Writings because I find that they teach what I have always believed! Such do not see genuine truth. For when the letter is used to defend a man's own love, it at the same time really guards genuine truth from him, from his very approach. But there is often the same tendency even where it is not openly expressed or acknowledged even to one's self. While persuaded that they receive it because it is the truth, it is really because they find much therein that can readily be turned to the defence of the states in themselves which they love. Both the former and the latter in effect stipulate in their acceptance of Divine Revelation, that it shall guard them in the way which they are already going, give them what they regard as good and lead them to a state of peace in the carrying out of their self-will even as Jacob made similar conditions for his acceptance of the Lord as his God, saying: If God will be with me and guard me in this way in which I am walking, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to clothe me, and I return in peace to the house of my father, then Jehovah shall be to me for a God. Gen. 28:20-1. Not only do men often make a similar condition for their acceptance of the Revelation in which the Lord has come anew; but even when they have received Him intellectually, they will find that there is still the same tendency in themselves in regard to the reception of Him into their will. That tendency is to receive into the will only those things which will guard the self-love there. Indeed that is all that is ever received easily or as a matter of course. Genuine Truth always comes as a sword turned against self-love and is never received into the will without a combat caused by the resistance of the natural man. The Word must therefore be received as a sword, which will not bring peace except as the result of combat in which self-love is defeated. But also it must he received as a. two-edged sword which can be turned either against self-love or against what opposes self-love, or in other words either against what are really our spiritual foes within us, or only against what we naturally feel to be our foes, namely whatever opposes our self-love. Our real foes we naturally and sincerely love and desire to guard them by all means. Compel yourselves to turn from them to look to the Lord and behold the sharp two-edged sword going forth out of His mouth, and take heed that it be turned against those foes which are enthroned in your natural love.



34



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 35        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 25.

May 31st 1896. Reference: T. 261-263.

LUKE 24:25, 26, 27. [Greek.]

T. 262. (Et Ipse) dixit ad illos, (O) stulti et tardi corde ad credendum omnibus quae locuti sunt Prophetae; nonne hoc oportebat pati Christum, et ingredi in gloriam (Ipsius); incipiens porro a Mose et ab omnibus Prophetis, et interpretatus est illis in omnibus Scripturis de Ipso.

LUKE 24:25, 26, 27. And He said to them, O ye foolish and slow in heart to believe all which the Prophets have spoken. Did it not behoove Christ to suffer and to enter into His glory. And beginning from Moses and all the Prophets He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

The Divine of the Lord makes Heaven, both in its greatest form and in its least forms in each individual. The Divine of the Lord is what belongs to Him and is Himself. And He can only dwell in what is His own in man. In order to receive heaven therefore man must receive what is the Lord's into his will and by confirming it by voluntary acts appropriate it to himself, so that what is really the Lord's own, may become also as if it were his. Nothing which is man's own in the first place is or call be receptive of heaven. The very forms of truth are not, if they even seem to man to be self-derived. For in that case innocence has no place therein, and innocence is an essential without which nothing of heaven is givable. Man must both receive what is the Lord's own and acknowledge it to be so before he call become receptive of heaven. In order that man may be able to do this as of himself the Lord has provided written Revelations of Divine Truth, where man may learn if he will what he could not possibly have known otherwise. But still the truths there revealed us they are first received by man into his memory are merely empty forms without any life. They need to be fulfilled, or as it is literally expressed in the Writings, infilled with life. This may be done in two opposite ways--they may be infilled with a man's own life, that is with just that which is good in his own eyes, or they may be infilled with innocence, that is, with endeavor to obey them just because they express the Lord's will. Choosing between these two ways is what determines the individual life either to hell or to heaven. The Lord Himself set the example of how the latter determination should be effected, by infilling all things of the Word with the Divine Good of which Truth is the form.

"That the Lord in the world infilled all things of the Word, and that by that He became Divine Truth or the Word, even in ultimates, is meant by these words in John: And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten from the Father, full with grace and truth, 1:14. To be made flesh is to be made the Word in ultimates", T. C. R. 261.

Thus to be the Word is to be the Divine Truth in act and deed. This the Lord's life on earth was perfectly--a perfect ultimation of Divine Truth. Truth regarded as to its form is intermediary between the life it receives within it which is the sole cause of all things, and the life which flows from it as a result. So far as it is infilled with genuine life, which is the love called innocence life according to the truth grows from it as a matter of course. Also reciprocally when obedience to the truth is rendered by self-compulsion, because it is from the Lord, then the Truth receives the internal life with which it must be infilled before it is more than the mere form of Truth. Thus, though infilling the Truth is not just the same as obeying the Truth it does practically make one with the obedience which is of innocence. Such obedience is indeed the means by which that infilling is received it is what opens the forms of truth to the influx of life from the Lord, which thereafter causes them to be the Lord in man. So far as Truths thus infilled with life from the Lord have place in man, external life of a heavenly duality is naturally produced therefrom and is the fruit by which they may be known. But it must be known and kept in mind that such fruit never grows naturally with man in the first place--if it does come naturally it cannot be genuine internally, or if it be brought about by any other means than self-compulsion in the struggles of spiritual combat it is certainly spurious. Genuine good of life only comes naturally so far as something of regeneration has actually been accomplished, and this is never done without a life and death struggle with those natural tendencies within ourselves which we cherish as our life. Such struggles emulate in a finite degree the infinite agony with which the Lord endured them in Gethsemane, as He as it were compelled Himself to put off the merely human tendencies inherited from the mother that even the ultimate forms which He had thus assumed might be infilled instead with Divine Life.

"Of what quality the Lord was as the Word in ultimates, He showed to the Disciples when He was transformed, Matt. 17:2 seq., Mark 9:2 seq., Luke 9:28 seq.; and there it is said that Moses and Elias were seen in the glory--by Moses is meant the Word which was written by him, and in general the Historic Word and by Elias the Prophetic Word. The Lord as the Word in ultimates was also represented before John, in the Apocalypse, 1:13-16, where all things of the description of Him signify the ultimates of Divine Truth or of the Word", T. C. R. 261.

The Lord when He was transformed represented the Spiritual Sense of the Word brought down into ultimates--that is, the Word in ultimates when they are infilled with the Spiritual Sense. In order that the forms of Truth is necessary that the Spirit of the Divine Law should be obeyed and not its mere letter. The Lord's words are spirit and are to be obeyed as such. Relatively to the Old and New Testaments the Writings present the spirit of Truth. But each Divine Revelation in its place, the Writings themselves as well as the rest, need to be obeyed as to their spirit. The mere letter can always be turned into agreement with self-love--a man may shun stealing from self-love as well as from love to the Lord, and the same with regard to obedience to the teaching of the Writings. To obey the spirit thereof is the same as to obey them as understood in their own light, as distinguished from the meaning which would naturally be attributed to them by all who view them in the light of self-intelligence, or according to the promptings of their own will. The spirit of the Word is in general summed up in the two great commandments concerning love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. No Divine command can be obeyed as to its spirit unless it be done from the love of being led by the Lord rather than by self. Unless this be in the obedience the very spirit of it is not there, however spiritual the form of the truth obeyed may be. Again in regard to those laws which regulate the relation of men to each otherthe laws of charity--unless our obedience to them involve as much consideration for our neighbour's welfare as for our own, the spirit of them is not obeyed, and where the spirit of truth is not obeyed the forms of truth as received by man are not infilled with heavenly life.

"The Lord indeed was the Word or Divine Truth before, but in Primes, for it is said: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and God was the Word, John 1:1-2; but when the Word was made flesh then the Lord became the Word even in ultimates; from this it is that He is called the First and the Last", T. C. R. 261.

Obedience to the Spiritual Sense, or to the spirit of the Word is not of a kind that concerns the internal first, though it must begin from there; but it must be brought down into external ultimates before that of regeneration can he accomplished which corresponds to the Lord's glorification. The exercise of power depends upon its being based upon ultimates, and so the power which is inherent in the Doctrines of the New Church can only become manifest in proportion as the very spirit of them becomes manifested in ultimates, for only so far can they become infilled with life.

"How the Lord is the Word is understood by few, for they think that the Lord can enlighten and teach men by the Word and nevertheless He cannot thence be called the Word; but let them know that each man is his own will and his own understanding, and thus one man is distinct from another; and because the will is the receptacle of love and so of all the goods which are of that love, and the understanding is the receptacle of wisdom and so of all things of truth which are of that wisdom, it follows that each man is his own love and his own wisdom, or what is the same his own good and his own truth; man is man from no other source and nothing else with him is man. As concerns the Lord, He is love itself and wisdom itself, thus Good Itself and Truth Itself which He became by that He infilled every good and every truth which is in the Word, for he who thinks and speaks nothing but the truth becomes that truth, and he who wills and does nothing but good becomes that good; and the Lord because He infilled all the Divine Truth and Divine Good which are in the Word, as well those which are in its natural sense as those which are in its spiritual sense, He became Good Itself and Truth Itself, thus the Word", T. C. R. 263.

Truth infilled with Good elevates a man to heaven. Truth alone, thus not infilled with good, damns man to hell. It is the same with merely external good, which, if not infilled with Divine Truth and Good, only fits man for hell, that is, it leaves him in a state which makes the government of compulsory laws of restraint necessary. Wherever such laws are necessary--there is the state of hell. Such laws do exist around us in this world and include not merely the code of civil law, but all the external restraints which are imposed by society and by a man's love of himself. The Lord has come to save us from the necessity for external restraints; but they can never be misery removed until a man comes into obedience to the very spirit of the Divine Law, according to which the Lord is regarded more than one's self and the neighbour as much as one's self. In striving to do this by the guidance of Divine Truth a man's life becomes essentially, though of course finitely, identified with that Truth, for thus the Truth becomes infilled with life and that becomes the life of the new will and understanding which the Lord then gives him.

But when the Lord interpreted the Word to His disciples, that it was all concerning Himself and that all needed to be infilled in Himself, He first rebuked them for their foolishness and slowness in believing what the Prophets had spoken, especially for their being disturbed and disheartened by the suffering which it entailed upon Him. The rebuke is still often needed, and stands there in the Word for all those whose faith in the New Church wavers because of the trials which she has to suffer, the differences and disturbances: which so often afflict her members. Slow in heart must he indeed be, who, knowing what the Lord has revealed in the Writings concerning the state of the Old Church and of the hereditary which the man of the New Church inevitably derives thence, is disturbed, or even surprised, because nothing is accomplished without conflict. The Lord in the course of His glorification met troubles and trials of every kind; He was misrepresented, reviled, and despised and at last was deserted even by His followers, before He accomplished the work of infilling all things of the Word with life even to the ultimates. The disciple cannot expect to fare better than his Lord except that his suffering and trials are comparatively finite. Still in their degree such things must be met by everyone who is really endeavoring to attain regeneration and also by every Church which is composed of such men. The Lord has not come to call the just but sinners to repentance. The Church is not for regenerated men, but for those who are slowly and gradually and often painfully undergoing the beginning of regeneration. It is necessary for them that the evils of their hereditary be excited, sometimes by each other, sometimes by those who are only externally of the Church and are not really seeking regeneration, and sometimes by evil spirits. Unless their evils were excited they could not be seen, if not seen they could not he removed by self-compulsion and so the way for regeneration could not be opened; but being thus excited they cannot but cause some degree of disturbance. Let not any be surprised therefore that disturbances exist; let each instead try to turn it to good account by attending principally to the evils which the disturbance may excite in his own self, by earnestly striving to overcome them. External trials or even internal temptations are not evils to the man of the Church--for him the only evil is in succumbing to such trials, in his allowing them to form an excuse for his being less loyal to the Church, or less eager to avail himself of her support. Let each therefore strive to become less deserving of the Lord's rebuke: O ye foolish and slow in heart to believe all which the Prophets have spoken. Did it not behoove Christ to suffer and to enter into His glory.

Is not the Word full of wars and treacheries, of plagues and cruelties--of trials and conflicts of all kinds? And yet the Word from beginning to end is a history of the Lord's glorification and thence it is also a history of the regeneration of every man who undergoes it. He in finite emulation of the Lord's example must strive to infill all things of the Word and meet the many combats and trials there that he is sure to become in something of the same spirit in which the Lord met them, when He prayed: Nevertheless, not my will but Thine he done. It was in that spirit that He infilled all things of the Word. And beginning from Moses and all the Prophets He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 36        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 26.

June 17th 1896. Reference: T. 264-266, 279.

[Hebrew.] GEN. 14:18.

A. 1724. Et Malkizedech, Rex Schalem, eduxit panem et vinum, et ille Sacerdos Deo Altissimo.

GEN. 14:18. And Malchizedek, King of Salem, brought forth bread and wine, and he was a priest to God Most High.

Thus in the time of Abram with whose life the historicals of the Word of the Old Testament begin, priesthood was established which served the Lord, and ministered to a genuine Church long before the Israelitish Church or even the Israelitish people existed. Beyond similar references to it however the Word of the Old Testament gives no information about either that Church or its Priesthood. Jewish tradition identified Melchizedek with Schem, and the Old Church has favoured various guesses and opinions concerning him, as that he was an incarnated angel or other superhuman creature, and there has been a sect who named themselves from him and held that he was an incarnation of the Holy Ghost. This is one of the many instances which illustrate the futility of guessing where Divine Revelation is silent. When truth is revealed to man by the Lord it is to supply him with those means of regeneration which tie cannot in the least degree acquire for himself. By their very nature they are such that they cannot be supplemented by the suppositions or discoveries of self-intelligence, except so far as such are used merely to confirm what is revealed. Man can find out facts, but he can never discover truths as distinct from facts--and facts in themselves can teach nothing of regeneration, however true the facts may be as facts. If actual facts be useless for this purpose, how much more so must the mere guesses as to fact which men indulge in and which receive so much consideration in the Old Church.

The Writings reveal to man many things which were not known before. They reveal all that is necessary for the New Church. But although they contain infinite Divine Truth, still what is able to appear to man must always be limited, though capable of for ever becoming less so. It is a temptation to the man of the New Church, as it has been to the men of former Churches, to busy himself rather with what Revelation has not made clear to him than with what is already quite evident to him. The things which man needs most are so very clear, altogether too clear indeed to please the natural man, which would rather evade the duties made so plain Do him, and involved in the repenting of the evils of self-love and love of the world, by giving attention instead to matters which are not so clear and which he can therefore excuse himself from putting into practical application for the present. The Revelation given to the New Church leaves no obscurity any longer as to the Church of which Melchizedek was a priest, which Church, like every spiritual Church, was founded upon a written Revelation of Divine Truth called the Ancient Word, and this is now revealed because it is practically necessary to a rational faith to know that there has always been a Church in the world, not as a mere incident in the history of the world, but because the world was created for no other purpose than to be the basis of a Church to prepare men for heaven. No history of the world therefore, nor history of any country in it, can be more than most superficially true unless it be primarily a history of the Church therein. Other matters are essentially important only from their relation to the Church. Take the Church away and the world has no importance, yea no raison d'tre at all--and without there were some genuine Church therein it would vanish away as something of no use in the Divine Economy. The Writings make this quite clear to the New Church, because the Church cannot be rationally thought of at all unless its supreme importance be in some degree grasped. In the history of the Churches which have existed in this world from the beginning and for the sake of which the world was created, that of the Ancient Church has an especial interest to us because it was more like than the others what the New Church is to be, though like the rest it differed in pausing through periods of decadence which the New Church as a whole can never do. It was a representative Church; but not merely so, for its essential was Charity. It was representative in that it sought in worship to ultimate spiritual things correspondentially; but it was only in its decline that it made use of sacrifices. They did not attend to the external correspondences themselves but only used them as the ultimates on which to base spiritual thought. Thus it is written:

"If a, man of the Most Ancient or the Ancient Church lived at this day and read the Word, he would not attend at all to the sense of the letter, which would seem as nothing, but to the internal sense. They mender exceedingly that anyone should perceive the Word otherwise. Wherefore also all the books of the Ancients were so written as to bear a different meaning in the interior sense from that in the letter", A. C. 1539.

"The Most Ancients who were before the flood, in all and single things, as in mountains, in hills, in plains, in valleys, in gardens, groves, forests, in rivers and waters, in fields and seeds, in trees of every kind, also in animals of every kind, in the luminaries of heaven, saw something representative and significative of the Lord's Kingdom, but they never adhered with the eyes still less with their minds in the objects, but they were to them means of thinking concerning the celestial and spiritual things which are in the Lord's Kingdom; and this even to that degree that there was nothing at all in universal nature which did not serve them for means; in itself also it is so, that all and single things in nature represent, which at this day is an arcanum and is scarcely believed by anyone. But after the celestial, which is of love to the Lord, perished, then the human race was not any more in that state, namely that by objects as means it should see the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's Kingdom; but still the Ancients after the flood knew from traditions and collected accounts that those things signified and because they signified they also had them holy; hence was the representative worship of the ancient Church, which Church because it was spiritual was not in perception that it was so, but in knowledge, for it was in obscurity respectively, still nevertheless they did not worship external things, but by externals they remembered internal things, and hence when they were in those representatives and significatives they were in holy worship; also they were able, because they were in spiritual love, that is in charity, which they made essential worship, wherefore holiness from the Lord could inflow into their worship", A. C. 2722.

"Such was the wisdom of the Ancient Church. Their books also were written so, and this manner of writing emanated from them to the gentiles themselves for they wished to express the things which are in heaven by means of those things which are in the world, yea, to see spiritual things from natural", A. C. 3179.

The books of the Word, which certain of them were inspired thus to write from the perceptions of the Most Ancient Church, were of two kinds--historical and prophetical. The historical portion, like the historicals of the Word with us, was principally concerning wars and combats and hence was called the Wars of Jehovah.

"By the Wars of Jehovah in that Word as in ours, are meant and described the combats of the Lord with the hells and victories over them, when He would come into the world; those same combats are also meant and described in the historicals of our Word as in the wars of Joshua with the nations of the Land of Canaan, and in the wars of the Judges and Kings of Israel", T. C. R. 265.

The prophetical portion was of course concerning the coming of the Lord.

"That Word is still preserved in heaven and is in use with the Ancients there, with whom that Word was when they were in the world. Those ancients with whom that Word is still in use in heaven were as to part from the land of Canaan, and from the confines of it, as from Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Chaldea, Assyria, from Egypt, from Sidon, Tyre, Nineveh, the inhabitants of all of which kingdoms were in representative worship, and thence in the knowledge of correspondences. The wisdom of that time was from that knowledge and by it they had interior perception and communication with the heavens. They who knew the correspondences of that Word were called wise and intelligent and afterwards Diviners and Magi. But because that Word was full with such correspondences, as remotely signified celestial and spiritual things and hence by many began to be falsified, therefore from the Lord's Divine Providence it vanished away in process of time and another Word written by correspondences not so remote was given and this by the Prophets with the sons of Israel", T. C. R. 279.

Here is indicated the difference between the various forms of the Word which are all written in pure correspondences, but in correspondences more or less remote. The most remote correspondences were used in the Ancient Word, less remote ones in the Word of the Old Testament, still less remote ones in the Word of the New Testament, and less remote ones yet in the Writings. In the latter they are so much less remote that some fail to recognize that they are written in correspondences, when nevertheless reflection on the nature of the Word as now made clear by Revelation will show that the Word, that is, Divine Revelation, cannot be given otherwise than in correspondent forms, and that this is so even in the heavens although the correspondences there are even less remote than in the Writings--in the highest heaven least so of all. The Word is also always given in ultimates, but these ultimates are more or less remote. The Word of the Old Testament is not given in as remote ultimates as the Ancient Word except as to the portions taken therefrom like the first chapters of Genesis, and the passages quoted in this morning's lesson.

"Concerning that Ancient Word which was in Asia before the Israelitish Word, it is allowed to report this new thing that it is still preserved there with the peoples who dwell in Great Tartary", T. C. R. 279.

In the APOCALYPSE REVEALED it is added:

"Seek concerning it in China, and perchance you will find it there with the Tartars", A. R. 11.

The Writings are addressed to the New Church--the APOCALYPSE REVEALED perhaps most immediately so, and therefore it seems to be a duty pointed out here for the New Church to do, namely to seek for this Word, that so the New Church may possess all the written forms of the Word that have been given in this world. It must be that it would he an added use to the New Church, for otherwise it would not have been thus commanded to seek it. On the other hand, it is shown that the protection of these Sacred Writings is what underlies the exclusiveness of the Chinese, which will be successful in keeping them hidden until such time that they may be safely trusted into Christian hands. When that time comes more still will be known concerning the Ancient Church, for it will be seen then just what was the form in which Truth was taught to the Ancient Church by Melkizedek and other of that Priesthood and thus the very quality of the bread and wine which he brought forth thence.

"Jehovah was called God Most High in the Ancient Church from the cause that height represented and therefore signified what was internal, thus the most high the inmost", A. C. l735.

Melkizedek therefore was a priest to God Most High, because he endeavored to bring forth from the Word and teach the very spirit thereof, to lead men not to dwell in the mere letter of Divine Revelation, but to ever seek to know more and more of the spirit which that letter is intended by the Lord to convey. Hence Malkizedek, King of Salem forth bread and wine, and he was a priest to God Most High.



36



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 37        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 27.

June 14th 1896. Reference T. 267-272.

JOHN. 1:9. [Greek.]

E. 27. T. 269. Erat Lux vera quae illustrat omnem hominem venientem in mundum.

JOHN 1:9. He was the true Light which enlightens every man coming into the world.

That the Lord is the source of all spiritual light is familiarly known in the Church, and also that the Divine Truths of Revelation are the forms by which that light is conveyed into human minds. Such Divine Truths as a whole are meant by the Word--by the Word is meant all the Divine Truth of Revelation. The Church has light from the Word, that is, the Church is composed of those who are receptive of the light of Truth from the Word. But the subject which our lesson brings before us this morning is that the Word is also the source of light for those outside of the Church as well; that that light indeed enlightens every man coming into the world.

"That by the Word there is also light to those who are outside of the Church and do not have the Word", T. C. R. 267.

Of course in the widest sense all light, natural as well as spiritual has its first origin from the Lord. But although it is true that every man is thus indebted to the Lord for the natural light which he enjoys, the further truth still remains that as to the spiritual light of the Word also the Lord enlightens every man coming into the world. The light from the sun of the world by itself can convey no rationality, not even that which is called natural, because it is principally thence. It is spiritual light inflowing into that light which endows man with rationality. Indeed rationality is defined in the Writings as the faculty of receiving spiritual light. Thus:

"The faculty of receiving spiritual light is what is meant by the Rationality which every man has from the Lord and which is not taken away from him, for if it were taken away he would not he able to be reformed. From that faculty which is called Rationality it is that man can not only think but also speak from thought, differently from a beast, and afterwards from his other faculty, which is called liberty, he is able to do those things which he thinks from the understanding", D. L. W. 247.

Thus the fact that man has rationality at all differently from beasts is from his being aisle to receive spiritual light from the: Word, and that to some extent also every man does receive something of that light, otherwise he would not be able even to abuse his rationality by reasoning falsely. This appears very clearly from what is taught concerning light in Hell. Thus:

"Light in hell is also of three degrees, light in the lowest hell is like light from burning charcoal; light in the middle hell is like light from the flame of the hearth; and light in the highest hell is like the light from candles, and with some like the nocturnal light from the moon. Nor are these lights natural, but they are spiritual, for all natural light is dead and extinguishes the understanding, and those who are in hell have the faculty of understanding which is called rationality as was shown before, and rationality itself is from spiritual light and not at all from natural light", D. P. 167.

If therefore even the devils in hell could not have their faculty of rationality except from spiritual light, rationality in this world can be from no other source either. But:

"The spiritual light from which they have rationality is turned into infernal light, as the light of day is turned into the darkness of night", D. P. 167.

Thus infernal rationality is all from perverted spiritual light. So in this world all false and misleading rationality comes from the perversion of spiritual light confirmed by and to appearance drawn from the mere appearances revealed by natural light. But again there is a further truth beyond this in the text and is this morning's lesson. Not only is the Word the source of all rationality, and even of the spiritual which perverted becomes the false rationality of selfish and worldly men; but in this world differently from hell there is spiritual light from the Word, to some degree at least unperverted with all. That is, every man has with him some measure, however small, of genuine truth, from which if he hearkens to its teaching he is able both to begin the formation of genuine rationality, and to begin the reciprocal work of his own salvation. There is a true doctrine of permeation as well as a perverted one. There is indeed no permeation of truth into the Old Church itself, no permeation that can ever restore life to a body judged and condemned by the Lord as spiritually consummated and dead; but there is sufficient permeation of truth into the minds of all individuals even in the Old Church to light and lead them out of that Church if they were willing to heed it, and if they did not prefer the darkness instead. From all that is revealed concerning the Divine Providence it can be seen that the teaching here given that those outside of the genuine Church also have spiritual light from the Word must be true as to every adult man that has attained any rationality whatever. That is, every one has something of truth in his mind which if he obeyed from any principle of innocence, would prepare him to receive more truth, and ultimately all the truth needed to fit him for his own particular place in heaven. No man is condemned for not obeying the truth he does not know, but every man who goes to hell is condemned thither because he has deliberately rejected voluntary obedience to that of truth which he did know. And it cannot be too clearly recognized that there is no man who has attained any state of rationality that does not have enough of truth in his mind to enable him to exercise his free determination as to whether he will obey that truth from a principle of religion or whether he will reject it for the sake of following his own natural impulses instead. Thus every adult determines his life either for heaven or for hell while in this world, which could not be done unless something of spiritual light from the Word reached each one.

"Conjunction with heaven cannot be given unless somewhere on the earth there is a Church where the Word is and by it the Lord is known, because the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and without the Lord there is no salvation", T. C. R. 267.

The Church is thus the principal recipient of the Word; but it is also the custodian of it, that it may be a source of light to the rest of the world. It should always be remembered that every idea, of truth there has ever been in the world has come in the first place from the Word as revealed to man, however disconnected therefrom it may appear to be in the connections in which it is found. But there is always with man a tendency to pervert the truths received, and it is necessary that the fountain of truth should be kept intact in the Word. To do this is the duty of the Church and is one reason for its establishment.

"It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word is, although it is of few respectively, still by it the Lord is present in the universal orb of earths for by it heaven is conjoined to the human race", T. C. R. 267.

The use of the Church does not depend upon the numbers of those who compose it, not therefore upon its being widely spread among others, but rather upon the integrity of the Word which it is the Church's privilege to guard, and upon the purity and integrity of the teaching which she draws thence, and according to which her members govern their lives. The Church has no power or strength in itself--all its power is that of the Divine Truth. Its power therefore does not at all depend upon the number of its members, but altogether upon the integrity of the Truth which it receives and dispenses. That Church which puts more trust in her own prudence than in the integrity of the Truth which she presents, is so far false to her Divine Lord.

The specific Church now in the world, the New Church, is the heart and lungs to the Church in its most universal form, consisting of everyone who from a principle of religion compels himself to obey such measure of Truth as he may possess. The rest of the human race who do not do that are not in that human form at all, but have chosen to be connected instead with the grand monster of hell. Among these, Revelation declares, is the bulk of those who constitute what is called the Old Church. The New Church performs the use of heart and lungs to that universal Church composed chiefly of the gentiles all over the world, or rather of those of the gentiles with whom there is religion and one God is worshipped, and who thence live well. These constitute the remaining members, organs, and viscera of the Grand Man as it exists in this world, all of which depend for their life blood upon the New Church where the Word is in its integrity which alone is the source and fountain of that blood. It is hence the duty of the Church to see that Truth from the Word is circulated in its purity, and also to purify that which has circulated from the falses and evils which constantly contaminate the Truth, if it be not as constantly renewed at the fountain head where the Word is preserved in its own integrity.

"That thus it is in the universal heaven can be concluded from what is similar in every society of heaven, for every society is a heaven in less form which also is like a Man. In every society of heaven those who are in the middle of it similarly refer to the heart and lungs and with them is the greatest light. The Light itself and thence the perception of truth propagates itself from that middle towards the circumferences on every side, thus to all who are in the society, and makes their spiritual life. It has been shown that when those who were in the middle and constituted the province of the heart and lungs, and with whom was the greatest light, were taken away, those who were around were in the shade of the understanding and then in such feeble perception of truth that they lamented, but immediately they returned, light appeared and they had perception of truth as before. Comparison can be made with the heat and light from the sun of the world, which gives vegetation to trees and shrubs even to those which are towards the sides and stand under a cloud, if only the sun has risen. Thus the Light and Heat of heaven from the Lord as a Sun there, which Light in its essence is Divine Truth from which angels and men have all intelligence and wisdom; wherefore it is said concerning the Word that it was with God and was God, that it illuminates every man coming into the world and that that Light also appears in the darkness, John 1:1, 5, 9. By the Word there is meant the Lord as to Divine Truth", T. C. R. 269.

There have been a succession of Churches in this world for the guardianship of the Word. As each in its decline became unfit to perform this use a new one was established in its place. Sometimes the bringing about of a new state in the same Church was sufficient for a time. As when the former Christian Church withheld the Word from the people, the Reformed or Protestant Church was raised in order that the Word might as it were be drawn out from hiding places and put into use. By that Church the letter of the Word was widely distributed, but when so much falsity was distributed together with it as to threaten a total nullifying of that use, the Lord effected His New Advent and established the New Church to which is given not only the literal forms of the Word, but also the doctrine of genuine Truth, such as will suffice to preserve the integrity of the Word in its use to mankind for ever, and thus the light of Truth from the Word almost extinguished has been restored and made manifest even with heavenly glory.

"As the Lord is the Word, also heaven is the Word, since heaven is heaven from the Lord, and the Lord by the Word is the all in all things of heaven", T. C. R. 272.

What is true of heaven is also true in its degree of the Church. Therefore as the Lord is the Word also the Church is the Word, since the Church is the Church from the Lord, and the Lord by the Word is the all in all things of the Church. That is, the Church must so identify herself with the Word, by regarding nothing as being really of the Church but what is of and from the Word, that she make the Word the all in all things of her life. She must receive the Word as the only light by which her own life must be guided and as necessary also to give light to all who are salvable throughout the world. Thus only can the New Church be loyal to her Divine Husband who is and was and ever will be the True Light which enlightens every man coming into the world.



37



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 38        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 28.

July 12th 1896. Reference: T. 273-276.


[Hebrew.] GEN. 11:4.

A. 1302. Et dixerunt, age aedificemus nobis urbem et turrim, et caput ejus in coelo.

GEN. 11:4. And they said, come let us build us a city and a tower whose head may be in heaven.

As long as the Word is regarded merely as to its literal sense, it is no wonder that evils such as that described in the text should be regarded as exceptional, and therefore as having no application to ordinary sinners. Few if any would be so insane now as to suppose that they could literally build a tower that would reach to heaven. But it is to be feared that even when it is known that there is a sense within that of the letter, there still remains a tendency to regard many of the evils correspondentially described in the Word as being evils of an exceptional nature, at least as being sufficiently so to cause them to have little or no application to ourselves. This is a very great mistake. Appearances do indeed favour such a mistake, for in ultimate form, the evils of different men differ very widely, and the grosser evils are comparatively absent with some. But the spiritual essentials of all abound with everyone as to the natural man. That is, except so far as a man comes to be actually regenerated, he is full of evils. It is not just that some men are so, but that all are. However polished and refined the natural man may be, internally there is no life but that of self-love and love of the world. The natural man is really insane as to spiritual things and it is no exception for him to attempt to build such a city and tower and its head in heaven as is described in the text.

Every person has the natural idea that he would be happy if he had all that he wanted--that is, that getting all he wanted would be a heavenly state for him. He is also in the endeavour to obtain what he considers would thus satisfy his wants and make him happy, and in so doing he is attempting the insane task of building a tower that will reach to heaven. Now even natural experience goes to disprove this idea, seeing that however much be attained, happy contentment never results; but still it never disproves it sufficiently to rid the man of the false idea. He may come to admit the mistake theoretically, but still within in his own mind he continues to think that if he could get what he still feels to be lacking he would be happy--and to be really happy and to reach heaven are practically the same thing.

Now this morning's lesson exposes the very root of such mistake by showing:

"That unless there were the Word no one would know God, Heaven, and Hell, and the life after death, and still less the Lord", T. C. R. 273.

Man cannot know anything about heaven therefore not anything as to what constitutes real happiness, unless he knows something of the Lord, for everything that goes to make heaven or to confer the happiness thereof is of and from the Lord alone. Heaven is from the Lord and in no sense whatever is it from man, who can only he a recipient of it. He becomes such a recipient just so far as he learns to know the Lord and submit to being led by Him. So far as man leads himself he invariably leads himself into states of unrest and dissatisfaction. Hence the importance of recognizing not only that knowledge of the Lord can only come to man by Divine Revelation, but also that that knowledge so far as it is received by man without perverting it, is essentially different from all man's natural ideas of what is good and of what constitutes happiness. Only as this is realized is man able to shun as sin the evil of expecting happiness to come as a result of self-guidance and the cultivation of what seems good in a man's own eyes, and thus shun the insane attempt to build a tower reaching to heaven.

"Since there are they who affirm and have confirmed with themselves that man could without the Word know the existence of God and also of heaven and hell, also the rest that the Word teaches, therefore it is not allowed to deal with them from the Word, but from the natural lumen of reason, for they do not believe in the Word but in themselves. Inquire from the lumen of reason and you will find that there are two faculties of life with man which are called the Understanding and the Will, and that the Understanding is subject to the Will and not the Will to the Understanding. For the Understanding only teaches and shows what is to be done from the Will. Hence it is that there are many who are of an acute genius and understand the moral things of life beyond others and nevertheless they do not live according to them. It would be otherwise if they willed them. Inquire also and you will find that the will of man is his proprium and that this is evil from nativity and that thence there is what is false in the understanding. When you find these things you will see that man from himself is not willing to understand other than what is from the proprium of his will and that unless there were elsewhere whence he might know it, man from the proprium of his will is not willing to understand other than what is of self and the world--whatever is above is in thick darkness", T. C. R. 273.

It requires very close reflection to recognize how completely the understanding of man is subject to his will, for the understanding is apt to so justify what the will desires that man is able to persuade himself that he is only following what his understanding shows to be right, when really it is only his own will which his understanding thus naturally justifies. Again it is difficult for man to recognize that his will is evil--for what he loves always seems good to him. But he can see this if he consider the natural relation of one person's will to that of another where they are associated together, whether by the external bonds of marriage or of society generally. He can then see that the natural tendency of a man's will is to subdue all others to itself and to acquire to itself as much of the world's service as possible, and that therefore when two or more such wills become associated together mutual and reciprocal happiness is not possible. Thus the fact that the association of natural wills with each other inevitably produces unhappiness either manifestly or secretly, is itself a sufficient proof of the essentially evil nature of man's will. Now human beings are made to be associated together, for they are all born for heaven, and most certainly cannot find happiness in an altogether solitary life, and yet the natural will of each one is evil because each seeks to make itself a centre for the rest, and therefore they cannot associate happily unless each gives up his own will and submits himself to the leading of Him whose infinite wisdom alone suffices to harmonize all the varieties of human life which He has created. It is essential to note here that the natural will must be given up--no modification or improvement will answer, for it is such, and ever continues, that from it a man is not willing to understand other than what favours self, and acquires the things of the world. The natural will has that idea of happiness and cannot but seek it in that way, the way which corresponds to the building of a tower by self that will reach heaven. To meet this case man must look to the leading of Divine Revelation and be willing to learn and be guided by just that therefrom which he is not naturally willing to even understand, much less to do. It is by compelling himself to obey such truth that his regeneration is effected and the way opened for him to be gifted by the Lord with a new will, entirely different in this respect from his natural will, in that it can come into happy harmony with all the orderly subordinations of life because it loves the guidance of Him who is the only way to heavenly happiness, and who at once confers full freedom to each individuality and full harmony among all the varieties thereof. By no possible means can man reach such a state of himself. He is so certain to rush into opposite states by his own guidance that it is altogether insane to seek happiness so, even more so than it would be to literally undertake to build a tower whose head should reach heaven.

It is not merely that man of himself does not understand the things of spiritual life, but the very idea of the existence of such things would never have had place in his mind unless it had come from Divine Revelation in the first place. Without that there would have been no idea of God at all, not even the question as to whether there was any life after death would have risen. All such knowledge has come in the first instance from the Word, either that which we now possess or that given to the Ancients. Man has never acquired even the most elementary idea of spiritual things from himself. Nor having acquired such ideas from Revelation has he ever done other than pervert them so far as he has thought of them from himself and from the appearances of life about him. If this were really kept in mind and were practically acted upon, it would save us from many mistakes and much misunderstanding of truth. Appearances and experiences are of no use whatever to teach spiritual things--and to think from them is inevitably to darken our understanding of what is learnt from Revelation. The human will always tends to turn all things to the service of building a tower by which it may itself attain heaven in its own way. Let each one sincerely examine himself and he will find that however well this truth is known, that tendency continues with himself as surely as he continues to have his own natural will. Do not let the idea have place in your mind even that appearances and experience are of secondary value--they are of no value in teaching spiritual things, their only use in this respect is to confirm what is first accepted and learnt from the authority of Divine Revelation. So far as a man does not compel himself to adhere to this law, he is not and cannot be willing to understand other than what is of self and the world, or have any other idea of heaven than what self and the world regard as such.

"That they are such is from the will which is evil, and this as was said before, leads the understanding and takes away the truth which is there from the Word. If man had been able to know from himself that God is and that there is a life after death, why had he not known that man is a man after death, why does he believe that his soul or spirit is like wind or ether, which does not see with eyes, and hear with ears, and speak with a mouth before it is conjoined and coalesces with its own corpse and with its own skeleton. Suppose therefore a doctrine hatched from mere natural lumen, would it not; be that self should be worshiped as has been done for ages, and also is done at this day by those who know from the Word that God alone should be worshipped. Any other worship cannot he given from the proprium of man and not even the worship of the sun and moon", T. C. R. 274.

Thus of himself man cannot get away from the worship of his own self and of the world--to this, of himself, he always tends--to trust in self-guidance and to give his heart to the things of this world. Such worship is worse than any external idolatry--it is the internal idolatry which prevails at this day, and with which we are infested within and without. Men are possessed with the idea, that they can make heaven for themselves and even when they accept Revelation they continue to be infested with fear, even if they do not resist, whenever they are called upon to give up the idea that being able to guild oneself makes heaven, or that the devices of natural prudence are the only safeguard of freedom. The state of happiness in heaven, or the states in emulation thereof in the Church, are not to be attained or protected by any means of man's own devising, but solely by obedience to those laws of order which are to be learned nowhere but from Divine Revelation. Take heed therefore of the warning with which the lesson concludes, to those who think to attain heavenly states by the devices of their own intelligence, or to protect themselves therein by "their" own prudence.

"I will tell of what quality is the lot which remains for them after death--first they become like drunkards, afterwards like fools, and at length stupid and they sit in darkness. Let them therefore beware themselves of such delirium", T. C. R. 276.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 39        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 29.

July 19th 1896. Reference: T. 277.

[Hebrew.] PS. 12:7.

A. 15514 Sermones Jehovae, sermones puri, Argentum conflatum in catino terrae, (purificatum) fusum septies.

PS. 12:7 (6). The words of Jehovah are pure words, silver moulded in a pot of earth, purified seven times.

By silver is here meant knowledge of truth from the Word. The truths of the Word are pure in themselves--that they are wholly and fully so is meant by the silver being purified seven times.

"For numbers in the Word signify things, and seven all things and all men and thence also what is full and perfect and it is used in the Word where it is treated concerning a holy thing and in the opposite sense concerning a profane thing; wherefore that number involves what is Holy and in the opposite sense what is profane. That numbers signify things, or rather that they are as it were a kind of adjectives and substantives bringing some quality to things is because a number in itself is natural, for natural things are determined by numbers, but spiritual by things and their states; wherefore he who does not know the signification of numbers in the Word ... cannot know many arcana which are contained therein" A. R. 10.

But although the truths of the Word are thus described as being altogether pure, yet they are also described as being moulded in pots of earth. That is, the forms of language in which the truths of the Word are revealed are taken from man--even from the external man--yea, in the case of the Word of the Old Testament from the external of that most external nation--the Jewish nation. There the external forms of truth are so moulded that sometimes they appear to express what is diametrically opposite to what the truth itself teaches. Thus it there often seems to express the mere hatred and revenge of that cruel people. But even in the forms of the Word where this is not the case, the forms are still taken from the external man--in the Writings from the external rational of man. Therefore if a man regard the truths of the Word as given in the Writings only from their external, he will but confirm himself thereby in a state of subservience to his natural rational. Natural rational confirmed by the Word is thus a distinctive evil infesting the New Church, which must be met by recognizing the necessity of purifying the truth as it appeals, until the earthly dress which clings to its external form is purged away. This must be done fully--the silver must be purified seven times before we can attain the reception of the pure words of the Lord.

In this morning's lesson there is set forth an infinitely instructive representation of how it is with the silver of the Word which is thus introduced:

"On a certain day I wandered in the spirit through various places in the spiritual world for the sake of the end that I might observe representations of heavenly things which are exhibited in many places there", T. C. R. 277.

The memorable relations are of two kinds, one describes scenes of actual life in the spiritual world, and the other describes representations which are made for the purpose of instruction and confirmation like the one read this morning. They are all of necessity correspondential in their character, and thus have an internal sense, whether that sense be directly set forth or whether it be left to be learned from the teaching given elsewhere in the Writings. Thus they are very like the visions described in the Apocalypse and in the Prophets, with the difference that they are here set forth by one who was prepared by the Lord to observe them rationally, and to record them in the form best adapted to illustrate and confirm the doctrine of the New Church.

"In a certain house where there were angels I saw great bags in which silver was stored up in much abundance, and because they were open it appeared as if anyone could take the silver there stored up, yea, steal it; but next to those bags there sat two youths who were guards.... By those things there was represented the natural sense of the Word in which is: the spiritual sense; those great bags full with silver signified knowledges of truth in much abundance; that they were opened and nevertheless were guarded by youths signified that anyone can take knowledges of truth thence, but that care is taken lest anyone should violate the spiritual sense in which are pure truths" T. C. R. 277.

Thus knowledges of truth are indeed open to all, though at the same time the spiritual sense is carefully guarded. Thus to acquire knowledges of truth even from the Writings and to acquire the spiritual sense are two distinct things. As has been shown before, the spiritual sense is not given to any but those who are in enlightenment from the Lord, and this notwithstanding that knowledges of truth are open to all. The spiritual sense means more than mere knowledge. We only have the spiritual sense when we see it in application to our own spiritual life--only as we see the truth in such a way as to expose our own spiritual evils. Let no one therefore deceive himself that he knows the real spiritual sense unless it is teaching him the spiritual evils which he needs to shun as sins against God. Unless he be able to learn this from the truth that he may endeavor to do it, the spiritual sense is guarded from him--the bags of silver indeed lie open, but guards are placed by the Lord lest the spiritual sense should be violated.

"The place where they were stored up appeared like a manger in a stable;... the manger as in a stable signified spiritual nutrition for the understanding; a manger signifies this because a horse that eats thence signifies the understanding", T. C. R. 277.

It was for the same reason that the Word made flesh was laid in a manger as a babe. But this was only at first, and thus it represents how the Word first comes to us as merely nutrition for the understanding. This is especially the case with the Word as revealed by the Lord in His New Advent--it is apt to be received so as to do little more at first than interest the understanding and flatter the conceit of self-intelligence. In the DIARY it; adds that the manger in a stable "was an unsuitable place, signifying that the human understanding ought not to have part in setting forth the interiors of the Word", S. D. 3605 1/2.

If the natural rational attempt to have part in setting forth the interiors of the Word it invariably perverts them to make them agree with what seems good to it. Therefore it is taught that that rational should not be consulted but a receptive attitude towards the Word cultivated independently of it. It is only so far as a man compels his understanding to receive the teaching: of the Word in that manner that the new or spiritual rational can be formed in him by the truth. The manger in a stable is an unsuitable place for storing up the silver of the Word.

"I then went into a small room where at first it seemed to me it would have been delightful to dwell. There were modest virgins there with a modest wife, signifying that they should not be set forth thus as preachers are wont to do, for moving the affections, for thus not much would remain", S. D. 36051/2.

"The modest virgins who were seen in a neighboring room signified affections of truth and the chaste wife the conjunction of good and truth", T. C. R. 277.

Hence although this room appeared so attractive and to be more suitable, really it was still less suitable than the manger in the stable, for it is of order that the Word should be received first by the understanding, and it is contrary to order for teachers of truth to apply themselves to moving the affections, even though those affections he good in themselves, such as correspond to modest virgins and a chaste wife; although to do so may seem much more attractive and better calculated to succeed. For in such a case the affections would be moved only to the cultivation of natural good, nor can it be otherwise unless the understanding be first led instead to see the necessity of shunning evils as sins.

"Near that room stood two infants and it was said that they were not to be played with childishly but they were to be treated wisely.... The infants signified the innocence of wisdom, for the angels of the supreme heaven who are the wisest, from innocence appear from afar as infants", T. C. R. 277.

Those who are in bondage to their natural rational are apt to make sport of the very simplicity of the Word especially of an attitude thereto of simple unquestioning receptivity. Such a state seems to them to be too foolish to he treated seriously. But wise consideration would cause them to admit that such an attitude is the only really rational one to he taken towards the Lord's Word by those who acknowledge Him to he the only God of heaven and earth--the infinite source of all love and of all wisdom. Swedenborg says in the DIARY that he himself wished to sport with those two infants, but that it was allowed to converse with them but not to sport in an infantile manner. The innocence of wisdom is a rational innocence.

Then "there came forth from the room a very obscene girl among the more beautiful ones, who wished to seize me by force and when was fleeing away I awoke and saw the carcass of a horse, signifying that eloquence is not to be studied, which appears as a beautiful virgin, but because it was a harlot breaking forth from such a room, it seemed to me that it was of such a quality as the black carcass of a horse", S. D. 3605 1/2.

As it is not of order in teaching the Word to apply oneself to the moving of the affections, so neither is it of order to study to please the understanding by mere eloquence, although the appearance of so doing is compared to that of a beautiful virgin. For what the Word is given to teach men is not something that is pleasing to them in the first place, but something which cannot be seen in a. state of pleasure, namely the altogether spiritually evil state in which every man naturally is, and which must be met by painful self-compulsion until something of actual repentance is accomplished before any step of regeneration call be taken, thus before any step can be taken towards the realization of anything of heavenly happiness. To lead a man to this is not a matter of eloquence but solely of the power of Divine Truth presented in its simplicity and integrity. If that cannot effect the desired end nothing can. Whether it is able to do so or not depends upon the humility and innocence with which it is received. The eloquence which many depend upon may seem to have the beauty of a. virgin but it is really that of a harlot, when it, rather than the purity and integrity of truth, is most regarded.

"The harlot with the dead horse signified the falsification of truth by many at this day, by which all understanding of truth perishes--the harlot signifies falsification of truth, and the dead horse no understanding of truth", T. C. R. 277.

Beware therefore of mere appeals which move the natural affections. Beware also of the eloquence which studies merely to please and flatter the understanding, for so far as that alone is sought, or indeed so far as that is chiefly sought the truth is certainly falsified and its allurement becomes that of a seeming beautiful harlot that would betray us into being false to the truth in which the Lord has come to save us and which is the silver by which He would ransom us from the bondage of self and the world. That silver appears at first as if stored up in a manger, and can be received only by those who approach it with humility and innocence, and even then, moulded as it is in a pot of earth, it must be purified seven times before our reception thereof enables us to realize the words of the Lord in their purity. The words of the Lord are pure words, silver moulded in a pot of earth, purified seven times.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 40        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 30.

July 26th 1896. Reference: T. 278.

[Hebrew.] PS. 32:2.

E. 866. Beatus homo cui non imputat Jehovah iniquitatem, modo non in spiritu ejus dolus.

PS. 32:2. Happy the man to whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity, if only there be not in his spirit deceit.

In this morning's lesson it is revealed that the meaning of this verse in summary is:

"That the Lord is also merciful to those who do evil", T. C. R. 278, the angels explaining that meaning from the letters or syllables alone in a way which it is not possible for us to do. It is however revealed that the forms of the letters in which the Word is written in the third heaven differ but slightly from the Hebrew letters of the present day, and that those forms, that is, the very curves and inflexions of the letters derive their origin from the flux of heaven, and therefore correspond to and express the very truth which makes heaven. Thus the sense of the letter in the third heaven and thence in the Hebrew of the Word is not merely the literal sense of the words but of the syllables, yea, even of the very letters separately as well as conjointly. This knowledge enables us to better understand how fully the Word is ultimated in literal forms not only in this world but even in the highest heaven. Also that the sense of the letter on each plane differs in the degree of accommodation, for it is declared that the sense which the celestial angels explain from the very forms of the letters, and which is therefore the sense of the letter with them, is nevertheless concerning the Lord alone, which is the celestial sense. In considering the meaning of the text thus revealed, therefore, let us keep in mind that it is a sense of the letter drawn from the letter of the celestial Word and confirmed thereby--also that the same teaching is ultimated in and can be confirmed by the letter of each form of the Word that we possess, but that the teaching is made rationally clear only in the Writings, which alone for us afford rational confirmation thereof. The more we consider how infinitely the Lord's Divine Providence operates in every detail of life, the more evident it becomes that it must control every detail of the means by which His Word is accommodated and revealed to us. It was for the sake of the Word that the Lord provided that the art of printing should be invented. If thus it is of Providence that printing exists for this end, would it not be altogether inconsistent, if the forms of the letters used were not in each case just such as would best ultimate the Word for the purpose it was given?

That the lord is merciful even to those who do evil, is taught throughout the Writings. For the Lord is there shown to be incapable of acting from anything but pure love. That He manifests His love differently to different people is only because His love is directed by infinite Wisdom to do what is the very wisest and best for each one, for each of the evil as well as for each of the good. For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, Matt. 5, 45.

"The Lord never judges anyone except from good for He wills to raise into heaven all whosoever they are, yea, if He can even to Himself, for the Lord is Mercy Itself and Good Itself. Mercy Itself and Good Itself can never damn anyone, but it is man, because he rejects good, who damns himself. As man had shunned good in the life of the body, thus he shuns it in the other life, therefore thus he shuns heaven and the Lord", A. C. 2335.

"He never averts His face from anyone, but it is man when he is in evil, who averts his face. As the Lord said through Isaiah: 'Your iniquities are what separate between you and between your God; your sins cause His faces to be hidden from you', 59:2,"A. C. 223.

For the Lord's face to be hidden from us, is to have heavenly states removed from us and this can only be done by our own evils. The Lord never removes happiness from us--He does not even suffer anyone to excite in us the states which interfere with our external happiness except for our salvation, if only we allow such revelation of our own evils to cause us to shun them as sins.

"Jehovah God or the Lord never curses anyone, never is angry with anyone, never leads anyone into temptation, never punishes, still less curses, but the diabolical crew do such things. From the fountain of Mercy, Peace, and Goodness such things call never come", A. C. 245.

"The Lord never began a combat with any hell, but the hells attacked Him, as also happens with every man who is in temptation, or in combat with evil spirits, with him the angels never attack, but evil or infernal spirits always and continually do so; the angels only avert and defend. This comes from the Lord who never wills to bring evil to anyone even if he should be the worst and most hostile enemy of all, or to detrude him into hell, but it is he who brings evil to himself and precipitates himself into hell. This also follows from the nature of evil and of good", A. C. 1683.

As this is the Lord's attitude towards all, and as He rules and controls all things, it follows of necessity that no one can do us other than good--all real hurt can only come from our own selves. Even when others are permitted to excite the evils in us which hurt us this is only done so far as the Lord can overrule it for our eternal good. It is for us then to so strive to trust in Divine Providence, to so strive to trust that the Lord is doing the best good for everyone that possibly can be done without interfering with their freedom, that we may learn more and more to see in all the actions of others toward us only the instrumentality which the Divine Providence is using for our welfare, if only we humble ourselves before Him, that He may conquer our evils for us. If it were not that the Lord is merciful even to the evil, none of us could hope for mercy--for all are evil.

"The mercy of Jehovah or of the Lord involves all and single things which are done by the Lord toward the human race which is such that He has mercy on it, and on each according to his state, thus He has mercy on him whom He permits to be punished and He has mercy on him to whom He gives to enjoy good. It is of mercy to be punished because He bends all the evil of punishment into good; and it is of mercy to give to enjoy good because no one merits anything of good; for all the human race is evil and from himself everyone rushes toward hell, wherefore it is mercy that he should be taken out thence, nor is anything but mercy, because He has need of no one. Hence it is called mercy because it takes man out from miseries and hell, thus relatively towards the human race which is such and it is the effect of love toward all because they are such", A. C. 587.

But though the Lord is merciful to all, and all need His mercy for all are evil, yet the degree in which His mercy can be effective depends upon the attitude of man towards Him and therefore His mercy is especially toward the regenerated and toward those who can be regenerated, which is involved in the latter part of the text: Happy is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, if only there be not in his spirit deceit.

"Iniquity regards evil, and deceit the false thence; by deceit is not meant deceit in the natural sense in which there is fraudulent device, and lying from malice against another, but deceit in the spiritual sense, in which deceit there is thought from the intention of the will or from the purpose and decision of speaking and persuading falses and thus of destroying the soul.... Deceit in the spiritual sense is against the truth and good of the Word and the Church.... That deceit is such a grievous crime is because decision and purpose are of the will and whatever is of the will is of the man himself and is called the evil of his heart. For the will is of the man himself, but indeed thought before consent which is of the will is not in a man but outside of him, since those things which inflow into the thought are like objects which inflow into the sight from the world of which some please and some do not please; and those which please enter the delight of the life but those which do not please are rejected. Thus it is with everything which inflows into the internal sight of man which is of his understanding and thence of his thought--if it please it enters the will and adds itself to his life, but indeed if it does not Please it is rejected. It is to be known that all the evil have the disposition and cupidity, consequently the will, of destroying the truths of heaven and the church by falses. the reason is because they are conjoined to hell and the infernals, from the delight of their love, burn with the cupidity of destroying all things of heaven and the church, and this by cunning deceits which they artificially weave and wonderfully prepare, which if I should describe from experience I would fill sheets. Hence it is evident that by deceit in general is signified every evil of intention of destroying truths by falses", A. E. 866.

Thus it is necessary to regeneration and therefore necessary to becoming especially receptive of the Lord's mercy that this kind of deceit be shunned, of which the text declares: if only there be not in his spirit deceit. How common this kind of deceit is only becomes evident after considerable reflection in the light of revelation, for man is apt to exercise this kind of deceit without recognizing it in himself. For how are truths destroyed? What way can they be destroyed, otherwise than by perverting them from their application to our own evils? There is ever a natural tendency so to turn our understanding of truths as to make them not apply to those evils which we cherish as the delight of our life--the only evils which endanger our salvation. Natural reason is active in thus destroying truths by removing them from that which alone can save man from his evils, and yet in so doing he especially deceives himself and persuades himself that the lifeless truths which he thus receives are loved for the sake of truth. This is a deceit which everyone should carefully examine himself for, in order that by getting rid of it he may so open himself to the reception of the Lord's mercy that he may be saved thereby.

"There are two things which not only close up the may of communication (with the rational) but also deprive man of the faculty of ever being able to become rational, they are deceit and profanationdeceit is like a subtle poison which infects the interiors. From these two the rational altogether perishes. There are with every man goods and truths stored up by the Lord from infancy--deceit infects these, and profanation commingles them", A. C. 5128.

They who are interiorly infected by spiritual deceit, that is, hypocrisy, are meant by those who speak against the Holy Spirit, for whom there is no remission ... for thus the false lies within in the truths which they speak and evil in the goods which they do, which is hidden poison, hence they are called the progeny of vipers....That there is no forgiveness for them is because hypocrisy or deceit about holy Divine things infects the interiors of man and destroys everything of spiritual life with him, at length even to that degree that there is no soundness anywhere.... They are also such who are meant by the one who was not clothed with a nuptial garment", A. C. 9013.

Thus throughout the Word there is warning against spiritual deceit--that deceit which renders truth ineffective, when nevertheless it is the only means by which man can be saved. This deceit is the opposite of innocence. Deceit destroys truths to make them non-destructive of the evils that are loved. Innocence is a readiness to see and shun the evils in oneself which truths are revealed to us to expose. Happy is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, if only there be not in his spirit deceit.

The deeds which a man outwardly does do not follow him into the other life, but only the will that was in them. If there was self-will in them, and the man had by spiritual deceit prevented truth from exposing his evil state, he shuts himself against the Lord's mercy. But whatever his outward deeds, if there has been really within them any genuine endeavor to do the Lord's will rather than his own, and the man has thus preserved in himself a state of readiness to see the application of truth to his own spiritual evils, then he can and does receive of the Lord's infinite mercy and is saved in spite of the evil deeds he may have done--for the Lord is also merciful to those who do evil. Happy is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, if only there be not in his spirit deceit.

All salvation is entirely and solely of the Lord's mercy and in spite of our own natural love. Bow absolutely this is true and how emphatically it is taught in the Word, can to some extent be seen; but the angels see it; taught and confirmed even in the very forms of the letters in which the Word is ultimated.



40



SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 41        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 31.

August 2nd 1896. Reference: T. 230.

MATT. 16:23. [Greek.]

E. 820. Abi post Me, Satana; scandalum Mihi es; quia non sapis ea quae Dei sunt, sed quae hominum.

MATT. 16:23. Get thee behind Me, Satan; thou art a scandal to Me; because thou savourest not of those things which are of God, but of those things which are of men.

Satans are those who are in falses, or what practically amounts to the same, those who are in the pride of their own intelligence. Self-intelligence is formed in every man naturally from the appearances about him and from reflection thereon. According to the quality of the reflections that intelligence may be more or less gross. It may indeed be so cultivated as to be very effective in dealing with the affairs of this world. But nevertheless it should always be kept in mind by the man of the Church that however well cultivated it may be, natural intelligence always remains too gross to enter into spiritual affairs, and whenever the attempt is made to use it in dealing with spiritual things it leads only to obscurity in spiritual things, if not to open denial of true spiritual principles. Being formed from appearances, appearances are mostly in its favour, and can always be made to seem so. Hence natural intelligence is plausible to those who give weight to appearances, and indeed so much so that it is regarded by such as being formed of self-evident truths which it is absurd to deny. Hence it is useless to reason in favour of spiritual principles with those who trust in natural intelligence, which can be received only by those who are willing to put away self-intelligence and who refuse to listen to its ratiocinations against spiritual truths, even as the Lord refused to listen to Peter when he denied the necessity of undergoing the sufferings which the Lord prophesied. It was in reply to that denial that the Lord said: Get thee behind Me Satan; thou art a scandal to Me; because thou savourest not of those things which are of God, but of those things which are of men.

In the world about us no distinction is recognized between spiritual and natural things than as between what is more or less refined. As things exist in the Old Church the distinction really does not involve any more, for what are called spiritual things there are no more than refinements of the natural. In the New Church however the distinction is known at least theoretically as being altogether a discrete one; but yet in practice the discrete quality of the distinction is apt to be overlooked, and spiritual things are then discussed from natural intelligence and pride and are only received when they have been so far modified as to gain the approval of the natural rational. Hence it is important not only so to see but as far as possible to realize the completeness of the distinction, and the impossibility of bringing spiritual things into the range of the jurisdiction of natural intelligence without essentially perverting them. They are on a discretely higher plane to which the understanding must, be elevated if it would see them, and the understanding can be so elevated only when it is willing to emulate the Lord's example, in putting away natural considerations and plausibilities, saying thereto: Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art a scandal to me; because thou savourest not of those things which are of God, but of those things which are of men.

The distinction is very vividly set forth in the Memorable Relation read this morning, where the unique case of Swedenborg is made the means of presenting instruction on this matter for both angels and men, for even angels had not previously understood it.

"Angels had not before known the difference between the spiritual and the natural on account of the cause that there had not before been given any means of comparison by any man who was at the same time in both worlds, and those differences without comparison and relation are not knowable", T. C. R. 280.

The distinction is ultimated in the fact that natural eyes cannot sec the objects of the spiritual world nor yet can spiritual eyes see the objects of the natural world. To Swedenborg however it was given to be able to present himself in each world and to reflect upon and understand the relation between the two, which relation he has been caused to set forth rationally for us. It is important to realize this, although the knowledge of the fact that the objects of the one world cannot be seen in the other may seem not to have much practical application, until it is remembered that the two worlds are represented within the minds of each individual who is being regenerated, and the discrimination needs to be made there in order to be able to think spiritually without its being perverted by merely natural thought. The first point to be observed is that the distinction between the spiritual and the natural is not like that between what is more or less pure, the spiritual is not a purer natural.

"The distinction is not such; the natural can never by subtilization approximate to the spiritual so that it can become it, for the distinction is of such quality as between prior and posterior, between which a finite ratio is not given; for the prior is in the posterior as a cause is in its effect, and the posterior is from the prior as an effect is from its cause. Hence it is that the one does not appear to the other", T. C. R. 280.

That this is so objectively is simply the basis and ultimate which results from its being so in the mind. There is no finite ratio between spiritual and finite thought, so that if the distinction between them be not observed the spiritual quality is inevitably lost and merged into the natural. This is continually being done and is the cause of much of the difficulty experienced in understanding spiritual teaching. It is hard to realize the necessity of putting natural thought behind before the understanding can be effectively elevated to spiritual thought. The more the natural thought has been cultivated on ordinary lines, the more difficult it is to realize this necessity, for then the pride of intelligence interposes and easily confirms itself by appearances and experience. Yet it must be done before there can be any clear spiritual thought from the doctrines. Moreover there is not only a discrete difference between spiritual thought and natural thought, which necessitates their being kept respectively in their own distinct planes, but also there is a relation by correspondence which must be observed. This relation is that of cause and effect. Therefore spiritual and natural thought must not only be kept distinct, but also the natural must be kept in subordination to the spiritual. The spiritual must lead. But the natural continually attempts to do so, and when it does, it becomes satanic in its quality and should be ordered to get behind. It is like Peter presuming to rebuke the Lord when He foretold His sufferings saying: Be it far from Thee, Lord, this shall not be unto Thee. The natural would advocate what is smooth and easy to the will, and protect against hard standing by principle, regardless of consequences. But however plausibly it pleads, the Lord teaches us to rebuke it as He did Peter's suggestion--Get thee behind Me, Satan; thou art a scandal to Me; for thou savourest not of those things which are of God, but of those things which are of men.

The same may be confirmed by the distinction and relation which exists between spiritual language and natural language, as also between spiritual writing and natural writing. Spiritual language and writing express so many particulars of principle which can only be generalized in natural language and writing, which generalizations not only cannot teach or lead to an understanding of those innumerable particulars, but if the attempt be made to carry them to that plane, they would teach what is quite untrue in the realm of causes, however correct it may be in treating merely of the realm of effects. Spiritual thought may be generalized in natural thought and these generalizations may be expressed in natural language. Thus it is that the Word as ultimated in natural languages only expresses the generals of truth relatively to the innumerably more particulars that can be expressed when it is ultimated in spiritual language. But still these more general expressions serve as a basis and prepare the way for the ultimate reception of those particulars, which cannot be received until man is fully raised into the plane of spiritual thought.

"Spiritual thought exceeds natural thought so much that it is ineffable; ... no idea of natural thought adequate to any idea of purely spiritual thought (can be found), thus no natural words expressing it;... spiritual ideas are supernatural, inexpressible, ineffable, and incomprehensible to the natural man; and because they are so supereminent spiritual ideas or thought respectively to natural are ideas of ideas and thoughts of thoughts, and therefore by them are expressed qualities of qualities and affections of affections consequently spiritual thoughts are the beginnings and origins of natural thoughts", T. C. R.. 280.

Man from the natural habit of his natural mind which is formed from external appearances and thinks from them, supposes that complexity is in externals and that he can conclude concerning internals by a process of analysis; but such conclusions are necessarily false for there are infinitely more things in the internal than in the external, each of which are more complex than anything which the external presents.

"What is divided does not become more and more simple but more and more multiplex, because it approaches nearer to the Infinite in which all things are infinitely", T. C. R. 280.

This can he seen from the relation of external acts to the complexity of motives which often enters into them on the part of those doing them. Hence the simplest expression of Divine Truth contains and involves an infinity of particulars, which no mere analysis of the external expression can bring out and which natural thought could never grasp however they were presented.

"For (moreover) to think spiritually is to think without time and space and to think naturally is to think with time and space; for there adheres to every idea of natural thought something of time and space, bat not to any idea of spiritual thought. The reason is because the spiritual world is not in time and space like the natural world, but is in the appearances of those two. In this also thoughts and perceptions differ. Wherefore those in the spiritual world can think concerning the Essence and Omnipotence of God from eternity, that is, concerning God before the creation of the world, because they think concerning the Essence of God without time and concerning His Omnipotence without space, and thus comprehend such things as transcend the natural ideas of man.... Once I thought concerning the Essence end Omnipotence of God from eternity, that is, concerning God before the creation of the world and because I could not yet remove spaces and times from my ideas I was made anxious, since the idea of nature instead of God entered. But it was said: remove the ideas of space and time and you will see. And it was given me to remove them and I saw, and from that time I could think God from eternity, not at all nature from eternity, because God is in all time without time and in all space without space, but nature in all time is in time and in all space is in space, and nature with its time and space could not but begin, but not God who is without time and space; wherefore nature is from God, not from eternity, but in time with its time and space, T. C. R. 280.

It is evident therefore that natural thought is utterly unable to penetrate to spiritual things, as also to evolve the spiritual sense of the Word from the natural. Spiritual truth can only come by Revelation. But even the revelation of the spiritual sense has to be, given to us in a natural form expressed in a natural language derived from the things of time and space. How then are we to learn therefrom the genuine spiritual sense which is discretely above and within any natural expression? The lesson makes it clear that it cannot be done by any effort of the natural intelligence--it cannot be arrived at by hard thinking. The spiritual sense is given to no one but those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. Its reception therefore depends upon how far we place ourselves in an attitude of innocence while we study written Revelation; and this again depends upon the completeness with which we shun being influenced by the natural thought of our own intelligence while we study the Word. If then you would elevate your understanding to the reception of the spiritual light of the Word, resist the promptings and suggestions of your natural intelligence and put away your conclusions from appearances and experience, and be ready, at their every attempt to influence you, and however acceptable to your own will their pleadings may be, to apply to them the Lord's answer: Get thee behind Me, Satan; for thou savourest not of those things which are of God, but of those things which are of men.



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SERMONS ON THE WORD p. 42        SECOND SERIES. Nr. 32.

August 9th 1896. Reference: T. 281.

APOC. 20:13. [Greek.]

R. 871. Et judicat sunt quisque secundum opera illorum.

APOC. 20:13. And they were judged each according to their works.

This "signifies that all are judged according to their internal life in externals", A. R. 871. It is significant that the chapter of the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION concerning the Word concludes with a Memorable Relation describing the judgment of those who have confirmed themselves from the Word in justification by faith alone, thus emphasizing the teaching that the Word is given that its truths may be done and that every one is judged by the works which he does. This judgment as far as it involves treating each one according to his works, is not just an experience which has to be met and got through, but it is a treatment which is continued to eternity in hell as well as in heaven. Everyone has to perform use and the food, clothing, and lodging which he receives is according to the quality and dignity of the work which he does. This is a, universal law of the spiritual world and applies to hell as well as to heaven. It is taught that everyone is born for heaven. It is the same if it be said that everyone is born for the performance of some use. If by the Lord's help he conquers the evils in himself which prevent him from loving the work of his use, he is thereby fitted for the life of heaven; but if not, he has to go to where he will be compelled to do the work he is fitted for. Thus though in this world, for the sake of freedom in determining his life, a man may sometimes be permitted to live in idleness; it is not so in that; life where every man finds his eternal home. There idleness is not tolerated. Heaven is the state of those who love to work for the sake of use. Hell is the state of those who have to work for their living, of those who would not do it without that compulsion. Although it is quite evident that the work done in the world is largely of the latter kind--indeed the unregenerate man can do no other--still in an individual case it may not appear clearly what the quality of the work done is--whether it is done from the love of use--from the love of gain--or from the necessity of life. Hence the judgment which each one undergoes after death, is just to make this point, manifest--because of the duality of their internal life in externals, they are judged each according to his works.

"I. When they have died and live again as to the spirit, which generally takes place on the third day after the heart has ceased to beat, they appear to themselves in a similar body to that in which they had before in the world, even to that degree that they do not know otherwise than that they still live in the prior world, though not in a material body but in a substantial body, which appears before the senses like the material one although it is not", T. C. R. 281.

They have indeed already decided the determination of their life either to heaven or hell, before their death by the choice they have made as to the internal quality they have put into their work. But this internal quality is often hidden even from themselves, by being covered over by an external quality quite different. People often profess to work for the good of the country and of the neighbour until they even persuade themselves that it is so. So much is this so that many, if they were suddenly brought into their internal states, would not; recognize themselves, still less would they be recognized by others as the same persons. Therefore they are led into them by degrees only starting from a state dust similar to that which they outwardly manifested in the world.

"II. After some days they see that they are in a world where various societies are instituted, which world is called the World of Spirits and is mediate between heaven and hell. All the societies there which are innumerable are wonderfully ordered according to good and evil natural affections. The societies ordered according to good natural affections communicate with heaven, and the societies ordered according to evil natural affections communicate with hell", T. C. R. 281.

Natural affections are those that men have in common with animals, like affection for the own offspring and affection for those who treat them well. Good natural affections are like those which man has in common with gentle and tame animals. Evil natural affections are like those which he has in common with cunning and savage animals. Worldly people often cultivate good natural affections, for the sake of making the world more pleasant about themselves, and this sometimes With a strong appearance of unselfishness. Even in the world they tend to associate themselves with each other according to these natural affections, and some have the idea that if they could only do this fully they would realize a heavenly state. Hence when they first come into the world of spirits they are thus consociated, and they then find that it does not suffice, for if they are not in harmony as to internal affections, and this can only be the case with the regenerated, there will be internal conflict however it is hidden by natural agreeableness.

"III. The novitiate spirit, or spiritual man, is led and transferred into various societies, both good and evil, and is explored whether he is affected by goods and truths and how, or whether he is affected by evils and falses and how", T. C. R. 281.

This is in order that the quality of the internal affection may be brought out, for it is always in agreement with a person's attitude towards truths and falses. If the internal affection is good it is affected by truths, for good loves truth and continually desires to be led thereby. But if the internal affection he evil it is affected by falses and favors them because falses favor self-leading and the rule of the merely natural affections.

"IV. If he is affected by goods and truths he is led away from evil societies until he comes into a society corresponding to his natural affection and there enjoys the good corresponding to that affection, and this until he puts off his natural affection and puts on the spiritual, and then he is elevated into heaven. But this takes place with those who in the world have lived a life of charity and thus also a life of faith which is that they have believed in the Lord and have shunned evils as sins", T. C. R. 281.

It is only with these that good natural affection is genuine and in agreement with its internal, thus with these that their work is internally good. For works to be internally good they must be done From innocence, that is, they must be done from a principle of obedience to truth instead of being merely from some natural affection. The latter alone always has the love of self-leading within it. Thus an affirmative attitude towards genuine truth always accompanies good internal affection and is an indication of its presence.

"V. But those who have confirmed themselves in falses by rational things, especially by the Word and so have not lived any other life than a merely natural one, thus an evil life; for evils accompany falses, and evils, adhere to falses; these, because they are not affected by goods and truths, but by evils and falses, are led away from good societies and are led into evil ones and also into various ones, even until they come into some society corresponding to the concupiscences of their love", T. C. R. 281.

Notice here that an evil life and a merely natural life are the same thing--thus evil works and merely natural works are the same. In the world this is not recognized--merely natural works are the only good works known or cultivated. Such natural works may be useful to others, but in their effect on those who do them they are evil, for they in some way directly or indirectly regard self more than use to others. Let each try to keep this in mind lest they fall into the popular delusion that because they do not do what the world calls evil works, they do not do what are meant by evil works in the Word, for their regeneration depends upon their learning to shun these evils as sins. All who have only done such evil works in the world, come into evil societies in the other life.

"VI. But because in the world they simulated good affections in externals, although in their internals there were nothing but evil affections or concupiscences, they are by turns held in externals; and they who in the world had been set over companies, are set over societies here and there in the world of spirits, in general or in part according to the amplitude of the offices which they had performed before. But because they do not love truth, nor do they love what is just, neither can they be illustrated so that they may know what is true and just, therefore after some days they are dismissed. I have seen such transferred from one society into another and everywhere administration is given to them, but after a short time they are as often dismissed", T. C. R. 281.

Thus they are given uses to perform similar to those which they did in the world, and this repeatedly until they prove that they are not able to do them satisfactorily, for their internal quality cannot be concealed there as they are often able to do in the world.

"VII. After frequent dismissals, some from weariness do not wish, some from fear of the loss of fame do not dare to seek functions anymore, wherefore they recede and sit sad, and then they are led away into a solitude where there are buts which they enter, and there is given to them some work to do, and as they do it they receive food, and if they do not do it they hunger and do not receive any, wherefore necessity compels them. Foods there are similar to foods in our world, but they are from a spiritual origin and are given from heaven by the Lord to all according to the uses which they do--to the idle because they are not useful they are not given", T. C. R. 281.

This is the ultimate state of judgment to which those who do not internally love to do useful work for the sake of the use, are brought. When external honors and rewards can no longer be obtained by their work, they begin to loathe work, and can only be brought to do it by the compulsion of hunger when it so presses upon them that they are not able to think of anything else than how to obtain food to appease their hunger, and even then when opportunity is given to them to work for some food they do not do it faithfully but fraudulently as also unwillingly, wherefore they leave their work and only love to be in company to talk, to walk, and to sleep. So finally they are placed in workhouses situated in caverns, from which they are not allowed to go out, but are made to work for their food, work being allotted to them each day such as they are fitted to do, and food is given to them only when they have finished it; while if they do evil to another they are severely punished.

"Hell consists of such caverns which are nothing but eternal workhouses", T. C. R. 281.

Thus even in hell idleness is not tolerated--all compelled to work and as work that is done by compulsion is of the lowest quality, the rewards given for it correspond. The Word is given to teach men what they should do in order to perform uses in a heavenly manner and thus to teach how they may become fitted for heaven. The heavenly manner of doing useful work is not to do just what seems useful but what the Lord teaches to be really useful. Everyone is judged according to his work. Work that is done merely by the compulsion of necessity, is work done the way it is done in hell. Idleness is not compatible even with the order of hell, much less with that of heaven. While work that is done for the sake of honour and gain is a kind that is tolerated only temporarily while in this world. In the other life everyone who has not learned to work for the sake of the use done, only does work under the compulsion of hunger. It is then for the man of the Church to shun not only idleness, for that in the other world he will be made to do whether he chooses or not, but also to shun working merely for the necessities of life, or merely for honour and gain. Everyone who works for the sake of use and combats every temptation to work for any other end has a right to trust the Lord to give him all that is good for him, which the Lord never fails to do. Remember that the same work which is externally good and useful, may be of opposite qualities internally according to the ends that are in it; and it is according to these ends which are in man's work that every one is finally judged. Every man is born for useful work, because he is born for heaven; but if he will not choose to love work for the sake of its use, the Lord provides what in that case is the best that can be done for him--that he should be compelled to work by hunger, which is the mercifully provided state of all those in hell. They have been judged each according to his works.

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