Karl R. Alden

Table of Contents

1 WHAT IS THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH?                            1
2 THE NEW CHURCH IDEA OF THE TRINITY                            13
4 THE VIRGIN BIRTH                                                 37
5 THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD                            47
6 HISTORY OF THE BIBLE                                          61
7 THE INTERNAL SENSE OF THE WORD                             71
8 THE LAW OF CORRESPONDENCS I                                   83
9 THE LAW OF CORRESPONDENCES II                            95
10 MARRIAGE IN HEAVEN                                          107
11 THE IMMORTALITY OF HUMAN SOULS                            119
12 OUR LIFE IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD                            129
13 NEW CHURCH BAPTISM                                          141
14 THE NINETEENTH OF JUNE                                          153
15 THE CHRISTMAS STORY                                          165


Volume I


From September 1950 until June 1951 the Reverend Karl R. Alden held at his house every two weeks classes for all who wished to hear explanations of some of the principal general doctrines of the New Church. His lectures were completely extemporaneous, given without notes, though well prepared by much study and thought, and by thirty years of experience as a Pastor and twenty-six years as Principle of the Boys High School of the Academy of the New Church.

Those lectures were tape-recorded and transferred by shorthand to paper, and after some revision, documenting, and editing by the undersigned, were mimeographed and used as lessons for the oldest group of isolated receivers of the General Church Religion Lessons. They were not, however, revised by Mr. Alden.

Now these papers, in an accopress binder, are offered for sale. The price is $2.75 a book of 176 pages.

[signed Frederick E. Gyllenhaal]



Doctrinal Papers p. 2



Now the question is: What is the Church of the New Jerusalem and why is it called the Church of the New Jerusalem? My remarks this evening will be general in character and will endeavor to answer those two questionswhat the Church of the New Jerusalem is and why it is called the Church of the New Jerusalem.

The name stems directly from the chapter of Revelation, which I have just read to you. John, in the year 95 A. D., was on the Isle of Patmos which his a tiny island on the Aegean Sea, and he had been exiled there as a Christian under the Emperor Domitians persecution of the Christians; and those people who were of the lower class were sent to the island of Patmos to work in the copper mines as slaves, and among these slaves was John, the beloved disciple of our Lord, and he was a very old man at this time. Now, on the Lords Day which was Sundaynot the Jewish Sabbath. Remember the Jewish Sabbath gave place to our Sunday because the Lord rose on the first day of the week or Sunday. At first the Jews, when the Lord had risen, celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday and they kept that holy, and then they met together on Sunday, or the first day of the week, and they rejoiced together on Sunday, or the first day of the week, and they rejoiced because on the first day of the week the Lord had conquered death and had risen and had appeared to all of His disciples, and had led them forth and given them a new vision of Christianity. And so they began calling the first day of the week the Lords Day, and John tells us that it was on the Isle of Patmos on the Lords Day that he received the vision of the New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Now, what did John really see on the Isle of Patmos? He says he saw a city and then when he comes to describe the effect that the city had on him, he said that this city was prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. That is a most remarkable thingthat he should liken a city to the most ecstatic moment in the life of a woman, the moment when, of all times surely, she looks most radiantly beautiful. And yet, that is exactly the language of Revelation, the exact words which must be used to describe this city. New Jerusalem, which was coming down from God out of heaven; because what John really saw was the harmony of truth. What he really saw was the doctrines of the New Church, the Church of the New Jerusalem, as it were in a condensed form so that they gave a definite picture to his mindthe picture of a new holy city, a picture of a city that was so beautiful that the only language that could describe it was that it was like a bride adorned for her husband.

Now what is the significance of its being called the New Jerusalem?


Doctrinal Papers p. 3 The significance is this, that the old Jerusalem had come to a complete and total end. The old Jerusalem, twenty-five years before, under the Roman Emperor Titus who was a great solider, had been completely destroyed so that the Lords words, one stone shall not be found upon another, had been literally and completely fulfilled in regard to the old Jerusalem. Titus had left not one stone standing upon another. It was a heap of rubble and it had perished.

Now Jerusalem had stood for a great and marvelous thing in the history of the world under the Divine Providence. The old Jerusalem had stood for the worship of one only God. Of all the cities in the world, the Lord said He had chosen Jerusalem to put His name in, and Jerusalem was a city that was set on a hill which could not be hid, and Up to Jerusalem thither the tribes go up, the prophet said, because four times a year all Israel was commanded to journey to Jerusalem and renew their vows of monotheism or the worship of one only God. It was because Jerusalem stood for the worship of one God in one Person that Daniel, in far-off Babylon, a captive to the Babylonians, opened his window toward Jerusalem; and, in spite of the command of Darius that no one should worship any God but Darius himself for thirty days, nevertheless Danielbefore his open windowsent forth his prayers toward Jerusalem, believing that there the one only God resided and that there his prayers would be heard.

It was because of this very important thing, of maintaining the worship of one God on this earth that the Ark of the Covenant, (the vision of which had been seen by Moses on the mountain) had been carried about, 1500 years before the Lord came into this world. The Ark had been builded according to the vision that Moses had seen on the mountain, and in it were placed the Ten Commandments, the law and the testimony; and this law and testimony had been taken about with the Israelites through the wilderness until at last the Ark came to rest in Solomons Temple on the heights of Jerusalem.

And all this was because Jerusalem stood for the worship of One Godthe old Jerusalem, but now the old Jerusalem had perished. And in prophetic vision it was seen that the new Christianity which had come to replace the old Judaismin providence it was foreseen that this new Christianity would likewise lose the idea of one God in one Personthat the time would come in 325 when the fathers of the church would sit down and would write a creed which read The Father is God, The Son is God, The Holy Spirit is God, and yet There be not three Gods but One God. And whereas by Christian verity, that is, sticking to the truth (as they thought) we are compelled to acknowledge each one separately as God and Lord, we are forbidden by the Holy Catholic Church which was the only Church at that time to say three Gods and three Lords but must say One God. And so, by 325 years after the lord had lived in this world, the glorious vision of monotheism which Jerusalem had stood for had again been lost in obscurity and John, on the Isle of Patmos, foresaw prophetically that the time would come when a new vision of monotheism of God in One Person would be given to the world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 4 And so he called this a New Jerusalem, and he said that he saw a New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Now it is a truth that whenever, after studying and after seeking for the truth, we find the truth. Swedenborg says, Follow the light and ye shall come into the truth. It is a fact that when we search with all our heart and soul for the solution to a problem,--when the vision of that solution is finally given to usthe truth appears to us with great beauty, for truth appears before the mind as something which is fascinating and very beautiful.

I well remember an old man up in the Canadian Northwest who has passed on into the spiritual world now, but he was raised a Mennonite. He was raised on the doctrine of God in three persons, blessed Trinity, and he was terribly puzzled how there could be unity in the universe with three separate persons acting as the God at the center of this universe. And, while he was in this perplexity and center of this universe. And, while he was in this perplexity and while he was searching for the truth, there fell into his hands by one of these interesting providential accidents we call them, a copy of Swedenborgs True Christian Religion. Those of you who have read this work know what I mean when I say that, if you read his chapter on the Trinity, and understand it, you can never again think of God as being three divine persons.

There is a young man whom I know who has not yet joined the Church. He told me last Summer that his talk with me on the Trinity and his reading of the True Christian Religion on the Trinity had so changed his mind,--(he had been a Pentecostal which is a Trinitarian Church believing in three Divine persons)that never again could he conceive of God as being three Divine and separate persons which in some mysterious way make one God. Now, when he saw that, he saw it with great beauty just as the old man I told you about described it. The beauty of the idea that God is just OneOne Person! And that beauty was represented by Johns wordsPrepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And indeed that is the very truth, because when we see a truth like that we become the bride, we become part of the Church, part of the bride which is in very truth married to the Lord in that spiritual union to which all natural conjugial love corresponds.

But this city, New Jerusalem, John saw with great walls around it. Now the walls that protect the city are representative of the doctrines that protect a Church. As soon as I use the word doctrine, perhaps I enter a field of technical theological language which is not too well understood. Let me see if I can make that word quite clear. In the first place, a doctrine is something that you learn. It comes from a Latin word meaning, The things that we have learned, but it has come to mean a much more specific thing than thatmuch more particular. Every man has a doctrine whether he liked it or not. Every man has a doctrine and the doctrine is what he believed in regard to any particular subject.


Doctrinal Papers p. 5 His doctrine of religion in his belief concerning how the world came into being and how we should live because it came into being the way we think it did. An atheist who denies God has a doctrine. His doctrine is that there is no Godthat he world always was and that maybe man gradually evolved from chemical particulars but nevertheless it is a doctrine and his mind is surrounded by this doctrine, and that is where he likes to bethat is where he wants to dwell, in that doctrine.

Now what of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem, the doctrine protected by these great and high walls? Sometimes people say that the doctrine of trying actually to make a society where the principles of the Church of the New Jerusalem are practiced, that this makes a snobbish sort of a community which uses its walls to keep people out instead of using its walls to protect itself. This is not a true statement of the caseI mean the walls of the New Jerusalem are never used for snobbish purposes. Perhaps there may be weak individuals who hide behind all sorts of glorious causes in order to justify their own selfishness, but the walls that surround the New Jerusalem are not walls to produce snobbishness but they are walls created great and high to protect the things that we hold most sacred and most deeply cherished. We call these walls Distinctiveness.

We have come to believe that we have a bounden duty to give our children a distinctive New Church education. We want our children to view geography from the standpoint of the God who created geography. We want our children to study their history with a belief that there is a thread behind history of the Divine Providence which overrules the acts of man for the benefit of the Grand Man of heaven. We want our children to see in mathematics the order and the law and the firmness of truth that emanates from God. And so, in order to give our children these things that we think are so vastly important, we have distinctive New Church education and to preserve it, nothing more, we require baptism and we have New Church teachers. We will never get away from having New Church teachers, but perhaps some day we will grow strong enough to be able to take all who apply. At the present time, however, we are too weak. It is an acknowledgment of humility that we should be swamped, if we should open our doors without baptism; so, our wallsgreat and highare protective walls to protect our distinctiveness. And so also we try to maintain distinctive New Church social lifethe ideals that we cherishthat these ideals may be fostered as much a we can and be brought into states of unselfishness. We have much regenerating to do, but that is our ideal.

Now, to show you that no element of snobbishness is involved in these wallsnone whatsoeverremember that it was John who saw these walls and it was the angel who measured them. But it was also John who said that in each wallon the Eat, and on the North and on the South and on the Westin each wall there were three gates, and it is said that these gates were open all day and there is no night there.


Doctrinal Papers p. 6 From that statement I take it that the opportunity to enter into the New Jerusalem is universal and that the door of entrance into the Church is always open. There were three gates on each side.

Now, if four of us were to go up to the Cathedral, perhaps, and one would stand in the East and look at it and another in the North and another in the South and another in the West and each were to describe what he saw, our descriptions would have certain points that would agree and at other points we would see the Cathedral very differently. If four men like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John viewed the Lords life, they would find some things on which they viewed it exactly alike. And so, when we study the feeding of the five thousand, we find Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all telling the same storyalmost identical; but, when we want to find out about the Lords Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, then John has many particulars which his love enables him to perceive that wasnt perceived by Matthew, Mark or Luke. And so it is with all of us in this roomwe all view life from a different standpoint, and if we could all stand outside the New Jerusalem and see it descending from God out of heaven, we would all see different entrances, and we would all see different openings through which we would want to enter into the Holy City. But one thing is very clear and that the Lord made evident when He told the parable of the Good Shepherd. He said that the good shepherd entereth in by the door into the sheepfold but the thief and the robber he climbeth up some other way. And so, no matter by what angle we view the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, we may be sure that there is some gate prepared by the Lord which will just fit our states, a gate through which we may enter into the Holy City, if that is our desire.

Now I am going to take up in subsequent classes in detail the meaning of these different gates but tonight I shall just tell you about these gates and about people who have entered in by certain particular gates into the City. Of course, the most central and the most important gate of all is that entrance into the Church by means of thought about God. Many people have entered into the New Church by the gate which has made as clear as crystal to their mind the idea of one God in one Person. There are many things in the letter of the Word which when not analyzed make one think that perhaps there might be three Divine persons.. For, surely it speaks of the Father and certainly of the Son and of course He speaks of sending out the Holy Spirit and doesnt that mean that there are Father and Son and Holy Spirit in some mysterious way wrapped up in the unity of God? Well, the old church has puzzled that until it has drawn out the creed which I have quoted to you and in all the orthodox churches, by which I mean the Catholic, the Presbyterian, the Methodist, the Episcopal, the Baptist and generally the Evangelical churches(not such churches as Christian Science which deny us the Divinity of Christ entirely, or the Unitarian which also denies that Christ had any essential Divinity in Him, and many other sects)the great sects of Christianity believe in the Tri-Personal idea of God.


Doctrinal Papers p. 7

Now, when a person becomes disturbed on the question of tri-personalwhen it no longer seems logical to them, to their mind, to think of God in three persons,--then it is they begin the search which in the end will lead them through the gate into the city New Jerusalem; for, from the doctrines of the New Church, as they study them, it will become more and more clear that the soul of each one of us exists before the mother gives it a body and just as in a very real sense we can say that we have our soul, as it were, the father of our body, so with the Lord. That Divine life from the Father which created life within the womb of Marythat Divine life of the Father was indeed the Father to the son who was born on earth. But just as our soul is never drawn forth and taken away from our bodyit is always within our body, it is always shaping the destiny of our body, maintaining its health, maintaining the faculty of all our sensesso the Father was never withdrawn from the Lord and was always there as His soul.       And our spirit, our influence among peoplethat is just exactly what the Holy Spirit is. The Lord breathed on His disciples His breath and said Receive ye the Holy Spirit,His breath! Why should anyone think that that should be a third person because He calls it the Holy Spirit? It must be a Holy Spirit. And so the New Church man sees that God is just One and that the manifestation in body is the Lord Jesus Christ and the Infinite Soul of that Body is the Father and the influence of that Divine Life lived on earth throughout all the agesthe influence,--that is the Holy Spirit working among men in their hearts and in their life. And so many persons have had that riddle solved by the doctrine of the New Church and have entered in through that gate into the city.

Another one of these gates is very close to me at the moment because only a week ago I was called upon to perform a funeral where a boy, at the age of twelve, died very suddenly of polioonly sick a week. The immeasurable comfort that the doctrines of the New Church gave to these people in their stricken and sad condition was a beautiful thing to me because our doctrines teach us that the Heavenly Father marks even the fall of a sparrow and the Lord says the very hairs of your head are all numbered, and to a God who knows the very number of all our hairs and who marks the fall of a sparrow, it is quite impossible to believe that His Providence is accidental in the way people depart from this world. And when we come to study the Writings we find that very definite reasons are given why people die when they die,--why some people live to be old people and enter the spiritual world full of the impressions of this world, because they are to perform to eternity uses which in the Grand Man must be fixed and firm and staunch.

The Grand Man is not composed wholly of rigidity and things that are fixed, but it also has all the organs and viscera of our body and there are all the delicate membranes and the fluid which produce the sight of the eye and all those delicate tissues of the brain cells.


Doctrinal Papers p. 8 All of these uses are performed by angels after death. And there are the angels that are present with every mother when a child is born into this world, deeply innocent, and we are taught that little children that die and go into the spiritual world, why those little children have never had anything but innocence and they take none of the smirch and dirt of life that those of us who grow up to be adults cannot avoid. They go into the spiritual world bearing the gift of the innocence of ignorance and the Lord uses them to perform uses which involve innocence such as the marvelous spheres at the birth of a childor those spheres that are lent by the Lord in the first days of marriage wherein the vision of the future of conjugial love is given. We have a thousand particulars in the New Church about death and there are literally thousands of pages in the Writings that describe how angels live and what they do and what they wear, how they are governed, and all the particulars. And when someone has lost one that is dear to them and you have the marvelous responsibility of being New Church ministers and able to give them in that hour of need the teaching of the Church, indeed it does seem that this doctrine is beautiful, like a bride adorned for her husband, and it does seem that often people are ledat least up to the gate of the New Jerusalem and at least they look in and they see that river of life and the golden streets.

But to mention one or two other gates, that are very important. The time was when the Bible was revered and honored by everyone, but that time has past. It is long past your day. Many of you have been born since the time of its venerationits universal veneration,--and many of you have met from early youth people who have derided the Bible. I remember reading of one man, who later became American Ambassador to France, who was brought up at his mothers knee with a tremendous love for the Bible. Then he went off to Harvard for his university training and it was just at the time when higher criticism in learning was to the fore and they pointed out that the world could not have been created in six daysmore likely six hundred million yearsand that the Bible had many contradictions in it. For instance, after the Lord created Adam and Eve and they ate of the tree of life and of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and after Cain slew Abel, why it said that the Lord had repented Himit repented the Lord that He had made man and then He was going to destroy all men; but He found one man, Noah and his wives and sons and their wives in whom He could still trust. And so we can go through and find in many places where it said it repented the Lord that He had done this, that, or the other thing.

For example, when the Children of Israel made the golden calf, it is said it repented the Lord that He had made them and He was going to destroy people. Then you read a little farther in the Bible and you come to the beautiful Psalm and it says, God is not a man that he should repent. I am the Lord, I change not.


Doctrinal Papers p. 9 And so these higher critics said that the Bible is full of contradictions and this young man of whom I am speaking had the Bible torn from him because he thought these professors were rightand they were right as far as the facts on which they went,--and so he gave up the Bible and it was some years later under very interesting circumstances that he came across Swedenborgs first volume of the Arcana Coelestia and there he saw something else. He saw that all human freedom would be removed, if God revealed scientific truth by revelation. That is left for mans free play of his rational mind. It is his challenge to use his rational mind to discover science and that the purpose of revelation is to guide man so that he can be in freedom either to take or reject. And revelation must never be so compelling that it forces man to believe because then at once we would become slaves and not human beings, and having established that in his mind, he went forward and saw the spiritual sense of the Word as revealed in the Arcana Coelestia. And he saw that the seven days of creation treated of seven days that are vastly more important than the seven days of creation of physical things because who of us is so stupid that we do not see that this physical body we have, within a hundred short yearseven the youngest of you who are in this room now will then all be deadwill be disintegrated? It is nothingit is nothing realit is just the means that the Lord has given us whereby we can chose in absolute freedom the type of life we want to live to eternity. That is what our bodies are fornothing moreand he found in this Arcana Coelestia words of wisdom that dealt, not with this physical body which we cast off at death, but words of wisdom which deal with the formation of the spiritual body which we retain to eternity; which is ours, and which makes our future destiny, so that gave him an entirely different idea of the story of creation.

Then he went on to some of the so-called contradictionsfor instance that God is angry with Israel. You can find many, many passages that say that God is angry, and we also find passages in the Bible that say that God is love, and God so lived the world that He gave His only begotten Son. He went on to passages like that and he found out that if you view Gods action toward man from mans standpoint, there are times that it does appear that God is angry. Just as a child that I spank. I dont have to any more, but some time ago I used to and that child, I am sure, thought I was angry (and I may have been). Anyhow, viewed from his standpoint my actions did not seem at all like they should have been, but if those actions were given as they should have been without anger, then sometimes a spanking in the dearest mark of love, because the parent who does not correct his child really does not love the child but loves his own ease and his own inability to cope with the will power of the child. And so those passages begin to unravel. When you begin to view them from the standpoint of the man looking at Godbut whenever God is looking down at man, the Bible is perfectly constant, that He is a God of Love, that He is never angry, and that anger can never possibly be predicated of Him. Then there are other things: For instance, the lies that Jacob toldthe way he put hair on his hands and came in and told blind Isaac, his father, Yes indeed I am Esau,I am Esau, he said, and Isaac said, Its the voice of Jacob but its the arms of Esau, so Isaac blessed him.


Doctrinal Papers p. 10

Now, in the New Church, that is all unfolded in the Arcana Coelestia and Esau represented Good. He represents the end for which we strive and Jacob, the second born who displaced his brother temporarily, represents the Truth. Now it always seems that a lieit always seems as though it is not the right thing, but in actual time Truth must come first. We have got to teach the child what is right and what is wrong before he can obey what is right and what is wrong, but the end in viewthe thing that you are really trying to get at is not merely to teach him the truth but to have him live a good life. In the end, Esau becomes triumphant. Jacob comes back from Padan Aram where he has married his wife, where his family has been born. He comes back and gives a huge offering to his brother, Esau, and he bows down himself before Esau so the truth in the end is really subservient to good. And so it went on, and that particular person began to see through one of the other gates into the New Jerusalemthe gate of the Bible which was lost and is found. And he discovered through the principles of correspondence laid down in the Writings that the Bible does not have to be discarded by any of the arguments of the higher critics. When the doctrines of correspondence are applies to it, it yields a rich spiritual harvest.

There are many other doctrines that I could mention. I think I shall just mention two more gates to the New Jerusalem that seem very important to me. One is the scheme of salvation and this is one reason why the New Church grows slowly. The New Church has no easy way of saving peopleno easy way at all. I am reminded of some lumberjacks to whom I talked last summer, and I started in with these words. I said, I havent the slightest hope of converting any of you men but I just want to tell you why our New Church ministers come out all the way from Philadelphia to administer the Holy Supper to one of his members who is also a member of this camp. Well, the next day the boss of the camp told me, Those were fortunate words you started with. We have lots of ministers that come in here that like to preach to us and they put their arm around my neck and they say, Dear friend, have you been saved? If he says he hasnt they then tell him that all he has to do is to believe in the blood of Christ and he will be saved.

Now that would be a very easy method of salvation, if it were true. If all we had to do was to believe that the pain the Lord suffered on the cross, the agony, made atonement for all the sins that were ever created before or after that even in His life, salvation would be easy. In the New Church we teach quite a different doctrine and there is no easy way out and that is why it does not have any popular appeal through great emotional sermons. Nobody is ever brought into the New Church by a New Church ministers saying that a person can be saved in any short period of time, because he cannot say so with any sincerity.


Doctrinal Papers p. 11 The New Church scheme of salvation, however, is logical beyond every other scheme that is propounded because we say this, that such as a man is at the moment of his death, such he comes into the spiritual world and the things that he loves when he dies are the things he will love when he wakes up in the spiritual world and no onenot even the God of heaven, can cause a man to love the things of heaven, if he hasnt chosen of his own free will to learn to love the things of heaven, while he is in this world. This is his chancethat is why he is here,--and if you study the nature of love, you will see that as soon as any pressure is brought upon any one to believe some thing which they dont believe, that pressure makes it almost impossible for them to believe it (that very pressure to believe something which you dont already believe) so the Lord leaves us in freedom in this world, in freedom to learn to love the things which are of heaven.

Now that freedom is manifested in a thousand different ways. It is manifested in the fact that all revelation is outside of man. There revelation is on the bookcase, but it can stay thereI may never go near it. I can pass it by every dayI dont have to go thereI dont have to go, and nothing makes me go there. It is only if I want to go there. That is where revelation is put by the Lord, outside of us so that we can go to it and get it and read it, if we want to, but we can pass it by, if we want to. It is like this, a sculptorwhen he has a mess of clay and leaves it on his easel and goes to bedknows that it will be just exactly the shapeless mass that he when he wakes up in the morning. He does not expect to have a statute carved unless he takes the pains and the energy and the time stroke by stroke to fashion that clay, here a little, there a little, line upon line, and precept upon precept. Now the Writings tell us that that is how mans character is formedjust a little bit at a time and the fundamental principle in forming it is to pick out some one evil, and we have to shun that from fear we will get caught, but because it is wrong, because god says it is wrong. That shapes our character. That builds heavenly character. Now that it is a logical thing. We can all see that is sensible. If we just build our character, then our character is going to be the way we have fashioned it, when we go over to the spiritual world. That is our scheme of salvation and there is no easy way out. Once a person sees it, why then he can really enter through another gate in the New Jerusalem.

And the final gate about which I will speak. I remember a man in the very first society that I had when I was a young minister. This man was not baptized into the New Church and sometimes he liked the Church and sometimes he told me he just couldnt swallow it. We had many long talks together, but he would always end up by saying: Whatever else I see that I cant believe in the New Church, that book, Conjugial Love, thats a heavenly bookthat is a Divine Revelation. He was very happily married and the pages of Conjugial Love just shone before his mind. They indeed were like the bride adorned for her husband and gave him great light and he never could get away from the fact that Conjugial Love was Divine Revelation.


Doctrinal Papers p. 12 Well, in the process of time, gradually little by little, he came to see the other doctrines as beautiful also and he finally came all the way into the New Church, but it was through that age of the work on Conjugial Love.

Now the Writings tell us regarding conjugial love that it is scarcely known that it exists in the world and not at all what it is, and yet to the new Church a whole book has been written about it. A book that describes every particular and gives us all sorts of principles upon which we can base our married life and out of which we can draw success; principles which enrich the marriage covenant, the principles which make of it what the Lord tells us that its a thing that has its originnot here on earththe origin is not in the love of sexthat is not where conjugial love comes fromthe love of the sex is like a matrix which holds the diamond. But the diamond is the marriage of Good and Truth in heaven. Just as you cannot think and do a single ting without having the desires to do it, which is good, and the knowledge of how to do it, which is truth. The slightest thing you do has marriage in it. Pick up a glass of water. If want to take a drink. That is the will. The ability to reach over and know howthat is the truth, and when I take a drink, the two are absolutely united. They make a perfect one.

Well, husband wife can be just as inseparably united as that because the origin of conjugial love is that marriage of Good and Truth which descends from the Lord out of heaven, and the purity of conjugial love is because it corresponds to the marriage of the Lord and the Church and what can be more holy and exalted than that? And yet the status of this conjugial love corresponds with that wonderful marriage of the Lord and the Church. We know the origin of conjugial love and we know its correspondence, and therefore we have al the means at our disposal to enter into the particulars of it and to have it grow among us.

Well, the doctrine of conjugial love has been one of these gates in the high wall. So you see, although the New Jerusalem has high walls of doctrine about it to protect it, it has gates that are never shut and gates that apply to men and women of all different kinds of dispositions, and tastes, and likes and dislikesfour sides and three gates on every side. But if we should just into the New Jerusalem through one of these gates, we would see that river clear as crystal,--truth, truth that we understand, a river clear as crystal,--and wed see that the streets are paved with gold, and gold represents love; and the streets lead from house to house in heaven as they do in this world, and love is what takes a neighbor to his neighbors house in heaven even as it may in this world. We also may have our streets paved with gold. And there he saw likewise the tree of life bearing twelve manner of fruit, and it says that the leaves of it were for the healing of the nation.

That is the New Jerusalem. That is whence our Church derives its name.


Doctrinal Papers p. 13 And these particular gatesthese different doctrines it shall be my endeavor as the year progresses to take up singly and see and make them as clear as I can.

* * * *

The above paper and those that will follow it were taken from the tape-recording of Mr. Aldens class. It was spoken extemporaneously without any notes and has not been edited by Mr. Alden. Very little editing of the paper has been done, so as not to interfere with the evident spontaneous conversational tone of it, and this little has been done by the undersigned. This will be true of all the papers to follow.

Fred E. Gyllenhaal


General Church Religion Lessons


Doctrinal Papers p. 14



One of the gates to the New Jerusalem was the belief in one God in one person who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, when we say that we believe in one God, we separate ourselves from all atheists who believe in no God, who deny the existence of God; and when we say we believe in one God, we separate ourselves from those heathen nations that have a plurality of gods, that worship many, as did the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks. So, when we say we worship one God, we separate ourselves from both atheists and all those who are polytheists and who worship more than one God.

But that isnt enough because the Jews worship pone God, in Jehovah, the Mohammedans worship one God, in Allah. So in order to make our declaration of faith perfectly clear and separate from all other faiths, so that it can indeed be the faith of the New Jerusalem, we must say that that faith in one God is a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But that isnt sufficient eitherwe must add one other word because the whole of Christian Churchthe whole orthodox Christian Churchsays that they believe in one God, and that they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, so we must say that we believe in one God, in one Person who is the Lord Jesus Christ. The orthodox Christian church believes in one God who is in three Divine Persons and that is very ably expressed in the concluding words of the hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy, where we read Blessed Trinity. God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

So this gate of entrance into the New Jerusalem which concerns God is to have a vision of Godof one God in one Personwho is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now my endeavor this evening, as best I may, will be to explain this doctrineto try to show how this doctrine agrees with what the Scripture teaches, and that it agrees with common sense, and that it has a philosophy behind it which is completely rational. Let us first of all picture ourselves.

Suppose we were among the Lords first disciples at His first advent and that we were in that large upper room in Jerusalem where He celebrated the last Passover with His disciples, and we were in that room with Him and could sense somewhat of the stirring realities that were present in that room. On the morrow (that Passover was celebrated Thursday night), Friday, the Lord was to be crucified. But Thursday night the disciples didnt know that, yet the disciples felt a vague unrestthey felt a disquietude of their souls.


Doctrinal Papers p. 15 They felt impending disaster because the Lord had frequently said the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and must be scoffed and mocked and spit upon and crucified and the third day, rise again. I was collecting the passages in which the Lord said that to His disciples, and no less than ten different times the Lord told His disciples that His earthly life was to end in tragedy, but that it was to be followed by the glorious resurrection. It is always said in every one of those dark passagesBut on the third day He shall rise again.

Now undoubtedly at this momentous Paschal Supper these prophecies of the Lordthese utterances of the future and what the future held in store for Himlay disquietly upon the mind of each of the disciples. We know that this must have been the case because after He had fed them with the Paschal Supper, and after He had washed their feet and once more put on His robes and had reclined about the table with them (in those days couches were provided so that they lay upon the couches next to the table with their feet outside), the Lord talked to them in that glorious 14th chapter of John, and we know the disciples felt that disquietude that was coming upon them, the presage of terrible events, in the near future, because of the Lords opening words. Looking about on His twelve disciples, reading trouble in every line of their facestrouble and apprehensionHe said quietly, Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

Now in those opening words which were given to pacify and calm and sooth the spirits of these worried disciples, the Lord hared back to the central doctrine of the Jewish Church. In Providence, the Jewish Church had been raised up and kept alive and made a chosen people that they might hold high aloft the banner of monotheism, that is, the worship of one God. The Lord knew that He could appeal to His disciples and say without the least shadow or fear of doubt, Ye believe in God. Every Jew who was religious believed in God, and he believed in one God as it had been taught him in the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, 4th verse, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord. And I do not suppose that in the mind of a single one of these disciples sitting around the table there was any other idea but the idea of one God, so He said, let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

Now He knew that He was that one God and His problem was to teach the disciples that He was that one God to fill the inexpressible gulf between infinity and humanity, to arouse in them thoughts which should bridge the gap between the infinite and the finite. They had thought of Him as a finite man, the Son of Mary, their Master, their Leader, who, perhaps, was going to lead them into a kingdom in this world; but not even John in the depths of his consciousness had perceived that the Lord was the infinite, that He was the Divine itself, and so the Lord opens the chapter quieting their spirits, Let not your heart be troubled. Ye (already) believe in God, believe also in Me.


Doctrinal Papers p. 16

Then He goes on to tell them that in His Fathers house are many mansions, and that the whole purpose of His ministry would be foolish, If it were not so, I would have told you. If there werent heavenly mansions, if this life were all, there would be no need of prophet or seer or religious leader. It is because there are mansions in the Fathers kingdom that the Messiahship becomes pregnant with meaning, and so He tells them of the heavenly mansions and He urges them to come into those mansions and says, The way ye know.

When the Lord said, the way to heaven ye know, Thomas said, We dont know the way. The Lord said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. He had opened with the appeal to their belief in God and now He said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one can progress to a knowledge of God who is the Father unless they come through Him. And He goes on to say not only I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, but If ye had known Me, He says, Ye should have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. He tells His disciples that if they had known Him, the great gap between infinity and finition, between God and man, would be bridged and they would have know a Divine Human Man.

But that was beyond their comprehension and Philip now comes to the fore. Philip was the fifth disciple to be called after Peter and Andrew, James and John, the two sets of brothers. Next Philip was called and Philips name means love of horses, and his spiritual signification is interesting because a horse corresponds to the understanding of the word. For this reason, the horse was the chief means of getting from place to place and spiritually to get from place to place is to understand the Word. If you understand the Word, you progress from spiritual state to spiritual state. And Philip, whose name meant the love of horses, meant the love of progressing spiritually. This is now the eve of the Lords departure out of this world. He has been with Philip approximately three and a half years, so Philip finally screwed up the courage to ask the Master. He said, Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us. Let us have the Father beside You, let us see You and the Father at the same time, and then we will be satisfiedat last we will be satisfied,--if we can see You and the Father together.

The Lords answer to Philip is quite unexpected and very remarkable and contains within it much food for thought. He turned to Philip and He said, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, show us the Father? Probably no one thought that he knew the Lord better than Philip did. Philip knew exactly what He looked like, what clothes He wore, where He went, what His habits were, and the sound of His voice, and yet the Lord said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.


Doctrinal Papers p. 17

The Writings tell us that sight from the understanding opens the eyes and that understanding from the eyessight from the eyes alonecloses the understanding. By this the Writings mean that our natural eyesight,--our eyes,--are just a camera. This dog sees the same thing that I see in this room, but he doesnt see the same thing at all. We can put the Word in front of a dog and his mechanical eyes see exactly the same thing that our eyes see, but he brings no understanding to it.

Now, sight from the understanding, the Writings say, opens the eye. Let me illustrate it by something that happened in my life and which I can never forget. It was in the days when Professor Fred Finkeldey was alive. He was an ardent biologist and liked to work in his laboratory. Many times he would make microscope slides of singular beauty and that were exceptionally good; and I can remember him coming up to my office and saying, Come down, Mr. Alden, and see this wonderful slide. I would go down to his laboratory and I would look through the microscope, and I would see something that looked like a splash of colored Jell-O on the kitchen table, which would mean nothing to me because there was no understanding in my eyes, and then he would say enthusiastically, Dont you see the amebas? No, I would say, I dont see the amebas, whats an amebas? Well, he would say, an ameba is an unbounded piece of naked protoplasm which takes on various shapes as it surrounds its food. Now that was some help. I then looked into the microscope to see a naked bit of protoplasm perhaps feeling that I might be slightly shocked but I wasnt, and after he informed my mind what I should see, at last I was able to see the ameba, because sight from the understanding leads to wisdom.

It is the same in every profession. You know it, so I only need to mention it to you. The doctor sees a hundred things in the patient that the layman doesnt see. The astronomer goes out and looks up into the heavens and because he has understanding in his mind, his eye actually sees differently from those without that understanding. The artist looks out into nature and because he has a trained eye and an informed understanding he sees all sorts of harmonies and colors that escape the untrained eye.

Well, it was similar with Philip. Philip thought he had seen the Lord for three and one-half years. He has thought that he had seen Him perfectly, and yet the Lord dumbfounds him the night before the crucifixion by looking at Philip and saying, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Evidently Philip had never seen Him, because on this Thursday night he was asking to be shown the Father.

At the risk, perhaps, of understanding things and not understanding this profound subject too well, I am going to try to show you what Philip should have seen in the Lords life which would have made him see the Father.


Doctrinal Papers p. 18 The Lord was coming out of Nazareth and He was followed by two blind men, and when He went into a house those two blind men followed Him into the house; but they could not see, and they besought the lord to restore their sight. Philip saw the Lord put His fingers on the blind mens eyes, and he saw those blind men restored to sight. Now what Philip should have seen there was not the action of the Son of Marynot the action of any popular religious leaderbut a miracle that only the Divine could produce, namely sight restored to the blind.

A little while later as they walked through the streets a leper came and knelt before the Lord and the Lord asked him what he wanted, and the leper said, Lord, if thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. The leper said that, and the leper knew that no human being could make him clean because there was no known cure for leprosy. The physicians were powerless to help lepers, and he had come to the Lord, because he sensed about Him something Divine and He said, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And the Lord said, I will; be thou clean. Now I venture to say that if Philip had seen what really transpired there, he would have seen the power of the Father, he would have seen Divine power surging forth and passing from the Lord to the leper and cleansing that leper.

Again, Philip was in a ship on the sea of Galilee when a great storm arose and threatened to engulf the disciples. The Lord was sleeping in the back of the ship and they awakened Him, and they said, Master, are you not concerned that we perish? And the Lord stood up in the ship and He rebuked the wind and waves and immediately they stopped. We all know that, if there is anything human beings cant do anything about, its the weather; and yet the Lord standing in the ship, rebuked the wind and the waves and they obeyed Him. So, undoubtedly, Philip should have seen in that miracle the power, not of the Son of Mary, but the power of the Father.

Those miracles increased. All four gospels tell us of the feeding of the five thousand, that stupendous miracle. And then, just about four weeks before His crucifixion and resurrection, the Lord visited Mary and Martha and found their brother Lazarus already dead and laid in the grave four days, and Philip must have seen the Lord command that the stone be rolled away from the sepulcher, and he must have heard the Lord say to Lazarus, whose body already stank because it had been in the grave four days,--he must have heard the Lord say in a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. If he had thought, if he had realized, he could not have thought that it was the Son of Mary who commanded the dead to come forth out of the grave, and the dead obeyed Him. So, sharing the Lords life as Philip must have shared it, seeing a dozen or more other miracles that we havent touched upon, not to mention the gracious words that he heard when the Lord speakthe whole Sermon on the Mount and may other times when the Lord spoke words of wisdom to His disciples and to the multitude;--if Philip had seen Him, had seen beyond the physical appearance, he would have seen right into His very soul and would have seen the Father. And so the Lord says, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?


Doctrinal Papers p. 19 He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Had Philip really seen Him as the trained eye looks through the microscope, or as the doctor looks at his patient, or the astronomer at the heavens, he would have seen, not Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary, but Jesus the Savior, the Son of God.

But so much for the New Testament angel. Let me approach this now from another angle. It seems perfectly clear that the Lord meant to convey to Philip the absolute impression that besides Him there was no Father. He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Or as He put it in John 10:30, I and My Father are One, or to the Jews who were about to stone Him, Before Abraham was I am. That burden of the New Testament seems clear.

But let us now look at it from the standpoint of the Old Testament,--from the idea that the Messiah, God Himself, was to come into the world. I once had a theological argument with an Episcopalian minister in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was very interesting. It was when the Reverend Theodore Pitcairn and I were doing street speaking and we saw a sermon advertised by the Reverend Dr. Grafe on the text, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, Show us the Father? when we saw that text advertised, we immediately went to Mr. Grafes church, but we were disappointed in the sermon. The sermon never mentioned the idea that Philip had seen the Father, and had seen the Lord, but the whole discourse was spent in showing that the Lord had been two thousand years with the Christian Church, and we didnt know Him yet. Of course, we agreed with that. But that night, after we put our automobile into the garage, we passed by the Reverend Grafes church, and there was Mr. Grafe outside the very door smoking a cigar. We immediately engaged him in conversation on the trinity and asked him why he did not mention the other part of his text, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. We argued until midnight on the street, then he invited us up into his study and we continued until two in the morning; but the important part is this, when we got up into his study, he handed me a great ponderous book on the Trinity and I will never forget the first sentence. The first sentence read, There is very little evidence in the Old Testament for a Trinity of Persons.

That the theologian was correct for there is very little evidence in the Old Testament of a Trinity of persons, and search it as you will, the only evidence you will find is in the plural of majesty where God says, Let us create man in our image. Then the singular is used, Into the image of God created He him, not wecreated He him, showing that only the plural of majesty was first used. And the only other place this man could cite in the Old Testament for a trinity of persons was where it says that three angels appeared to Abraham and prophesized the birth of Isaac. Well the Writings explain that very simply.


Doctrinal Papers p. 20 There are whole hosts of angels that appeared to the shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem when they told the shepherds that the Lord was to be born, and the fact that a host of angels proclaimed that birth did not mean that there were a host of gods. No more did it mean that there were three gods because three angels appeared to Abraham to tell him of the birth of Isaac.

Aside from those two passages, that ponderous book on the trinity could find nothing in the Old Testament to indicate a Trinity of persons, and the reason for that was that there is nothing in the Old Testament to indicate a trinity of persons. Yet the Old Testament is full of such statements as, Hear, O Israel, the Old our God is One Lordso defining, so positive, so clear. Or take the passage in Isaiah where Jehovah says, I looked and behold there was no Savior. Now imagine if there was a trinity of persons from eternitythe Father looking and failing to see the Son born from eternity. According to the Athanasian Creed it says, I looked and there was no Savior, therefore Mine own right hand wrought salvation form Me. Let us turn to that passage from Isaiah that I read, the sixth verse of the ninth chapter. It says, For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. Now there has been no doubt in the Christian mind that that child that Isaiah was talking about was the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly Handel in his beautiful oratorio, Messiah, uses that passage to great advantage and leaves no shadow of doubt but that the Son who was to be born into the world was Marys Son, the babe born in Bethlehem on the first Christmas night.

Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. The government shall be upon His shoulder. What government? The government of the universe, all government, the laws and order of all creation. The government shall be upon His shoulder and His name shall be called. Whose name? The Lord Jesus Christs name. He was called actually Jesus, but the prophet said in addition, His Name shall be called Wonderful. He was the Wonder Child, the child born without human fatherthe mystery of those ages. His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor. But then we come to the most astounding thing that He was to be called, The Mighty God. This child, who was the Lord Jesus Christ, was to be called in time The Mighty God. Not one of three mighty Gods but He was to be called the (the definite articlesnot shadow of a doubt)The Mighty God. And furthermore He was to be called The everlasting Father. I dont know whether you ever thought about it before, or noticed it, that here, in the Old Testament, when the Lord is being prophesized before He came on earth, this conflict, if we want so to think of it, between Son and Fatherall this difficulty of reconciling Son and Father was implied by Isaiah himself, for he said: The Lord Jesus Christ, this Son who is to be born, shall be called The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. So in the Old Testament we have the Lord called a Son and a Father, and in the New Testament we have Him called a Son and a Father.

Now there Is not the slightest shadow of a doubt but that there is a trinity in God. That is not the point. Certainly there is a trinity in God.


Doctrinal Papers p. 21 The doubt is whether that trinity is a trinity of persons, or whether it is a trinity of essential characteristics. Now the New Church believes that it is not a trinity of persons; that the idea of conceiving God to be a trinity of persons must lead inevitably to a belief, although maybe not expressed, but a hidden belief, in three divine persons who amount to three separate Gods because a different function is attributed to each oneas that the Father is the Creator, the Son is the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit in the trinity, but it believes that trinity to be a trinity of functions or uses in one personality and that one personality is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I think that it is impossible to maintain the trinity of persons from Scripture. In the first place it is never mentioned. The Father is mentioned to be sure, and the Son is mentioned, and the Holy Spirit is mentioned. They are never called persons, never called individuals separate from each other, whereas the person who believes that God is a trinity of personshow will he possibly explain the Lords Words, I and My Father are One, or He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father? A true philosophy will be able to explain and understand all of the passages in the Word and that philosophy and that religion, we believe, is gathered up and put forth in the belief in One God in One Person who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am trying to show first of all that if Philip had seen the Lord he would have seen the Father in the Divine and mighty acts that the Lord did while on earth and I am trying to show that in the Old Testament there is a solidarity of oneness in the teaching about God and that when we get to specific passages in the Word, such as in Isaiah 9:6, the idea given is that this Son was the Mighty God, was the everlasting Father, was the bridge between infinity and the finite, between the human and the Divinewas the real revealing of God before the eyes of mankind.

Now there is still another approach to the understanding of the trinity. God created man in His own image. In the image of God operated He him, so that if there is a trinity in God, and if we are the image of God, there must be a similar trinity in each one of us and that is indeed the fact. What is ithave you ever meditated on thisscience does not know, but the Writings reveal,--what is it that forms and shapes the babe in the womb of the mother? What is it that is the architect? We know that when two cells are fertilized that they start dividing, and from one they become two, they become four, they become eight, they become sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four. But what makes them form a neural canal, and what makes them gather together and form a primitive heart and then a brain structure? What is the architect that is directing these cells to go to the places they go until a complete and beautiful human form is builded?


Doctrinal Papers p. 22

The Writings say the architect is mans soul, and that mans soul is within his body; and mans soul is on the spiritual plane and is always invisible to the natural eye. So, dissect the body as cleverly as we may, weigh a body the moment before death and the moment after death, and we cannot with our sensual feelings feel or see or touch the soul of man, yet the soul of man is there and is manifest through the work which it does, and so the soul in each one of us, invisible though it may be, governs all of our organs, all of those things that go on unconsciouslythe beating of our heart, the breathing of our lungs (except when we especially think about our breathing), the digestion of our food, the circulation of our blood in the arteries, the thousands of muscles that contrast to make one movementall of that is ruled by the soul, the invisible soul that is within man.

Now the invisible soul within man, the Writings tell us, is correspondent with the Father who is invisible in His universethe infinite, Divine Father who is invisible, and surely our soul is father to our body. The soul is that which directs and causes the body to be builded; but when the body is born, when the body is built, we see the body and the body reveals the soul within it. So Mary, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and said, Blessed art thou among women, blessed is the fruit of thy wombMary was the first person to doubt the virgin birth and she said, How shall this thing be, seeing I know not a man? the angel answered, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. The Divine flowed into Mary without any finite, limiting, separating vessel so that the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ which caused the growth of His body, just as our soul has caused the growth of our body,--that soul of His was Father to the body in that relationship, just as truly as our soul has been father to our body; but our soul has been cut off from the human father from whom we sprung whereas the Divine is continuous; and the Lords soul flowed in and was never cut off so that the Divine life always was present as the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ, so the Father always dwelt in Him, and the Son always more and more manifested the Father.

The Lord said, No man hath seen God at any time. The Father, the infinite Divine within all nature, is above mans comprehension. No man has seen God at any time, and the God that Abraham spoke with was an angel filled with the Lords Sprit. The God that Gideon saw, and the God who called and spoke with Moses, was an angel filled with the Lords presence. No man, the Lord said, has seen God at any time,the only begotten Son,--called only begotten because, when the Lord came down into the world through the instrumentality of the virgin Mary, that was the only vessel which had been prepared to receive the Divine and to manifest the Divine on earththe only begotten Son hath declared Him. That is the Babe, the Lord Jesus Christ, born at Bethlehem on Christmas.


Doctrinal Papers p. 23

When we first meet somebody and see only his body, we see little of the real person; but as we get to know him and live with him and see how he acts under sorrow and in the presence of joy, how he meets adversity, and how the various vicissitudes of life affect him, more and more we forget the body and more and more we see the soul through the body so that we can say to our friends, and quite truly, You have never seen my soul but all of my soul you will ever see is through the actions of my body, how I act among men, what I do, what I say, how I behavethus you will see my soul, but that is the only way. We will never see the soul apart from that, and we can see a great statesman, like Abraham Lincoln, only in this way. Probably, if someone who had never been taught the glory of his soul and character, were to look at one of his pictures he would say, What an ugly old man! But if you and I look at a picture of Lincoln, we dont see the body and morewe see in that body the man who emancipated the slaves, and the man who held the United States together, and he who has seen thatsees the real Lincoln.

And so the Lord said to Philip, Have I been so long time with you and yet hast thou not known Me? He that hath seen Me (really seen Me) hath seen the Father.

And then there is the Holy Spirit which has also been made into a separate person. It is a little more difficult to understand how that could be made into a separate person because after the Lord rose fro the dead and when He had His disciples before Him, it is said that He breathed on them. Risen from the tomb in His glorified humanity. He breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit, His Sprit, His breathHis Divine majestic magnetism which has swept down through the ages and has made men change their lives because of His teachingsHe breathed on them and then He said, all power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth.

Now what about man? What is there of a man that corresponds to the Holy Spirit? Why, it is what we do, it is the use we perform it is all our effect on other men, the spirit that goes forth from usour spirits. We live in very small environments and our spirits as Dickens said, do not walk too far abroad. You can see it with great men like Napoleon whose spirit inspired a whole nation. I remember when Napoleon had been exiled to the island of Elba for 100 days. He conspired to come back to France and landed in Southern France with a handful of men about him and Louis the Eighteenth sent an army to capture him, and when this army got in front of Napoleon he stepped out in front of his few ragged soldiers and said, Capture me or fall in behind me, and they fell in behind him, and he had an army. That happened four different times. Now from this man, Napoleon, there emanated a spirit and that spirit had so great a magnetism that his nephew, Louis Napoleon, although quite a worthless character, was able to capitalize on his uncles reputation and actually become an emperor himself. Now we all have what we do in this world, and that is the third thing of the trinity in us.


Doctrinal Papers p. 24 Our soul, our body, and what we do; and we are in the image of God and the Father is His soul, and the Lord Jesus Christ is His Body, and what He doesHis Divine work, His Divine Providence sweeping through the universeis the Holy Spirit.

We can see it even in simpler things than that, because the Lord is the Creatoreverything is created in His imagenot only man but everything. There is nothing that exists that does not have an invisible soul. For example, this water glass has an invisible soul. There was a time when nobody thought of a water glassprobably drank out of the palm of his hand,--but somebody, one time or another, got an idea of a water glass. Now, as long as he kept that idea in his mind, nobody could see it, nobody could look at it. Nobody can look into our minds and see an idea, yet ideas are the most real of things They are the things that change the world from age to age, but no one sees an idea until it has been given a body. Then the inventor takes material, and he clothes that idea, and he presents a tumbler, and I say, Oh, now I see what you are talking about. I know what your idea is now. But the idea is still the soul of that glass, and then, of course, there is the usethe use that it performs, a very noble usethat represents the Holy Spirit. In anything, the trinity is as simple as thatthe soul is the invisible idea that produces the material for the body out of which it is built and that which corresponds to the Holy Spirit is the use that it performs for man. So when we study the trinity from this angle, and from the angle of the Scripturesthe angle of prophecy and the angle of mans being created in His image,--we see that the Lord bridged the gap between the infinite and the finite by breathing His spirit into Mary, and that through the virgin birth, a unique personage was born on this earthOne with a Divine Soul and a purely human body. Through His life in this world, that human body from Mary was completely put off and in its place was put on the human into whose image man was created in the beginning, or the Divine Human, so that now we can see the Lord, we can know the Lord, and yet the Lord has been completely glorified. He came to the disciples through closed doors, He ascended into heaven, He vanished from their slight, but the sight of Him does not vanish from our eyes because He has revealed Himself.


Doctrinal Papers p. 25 [blank page]


Doctrinal Papers p. 26



Read the following passages, the understanding of which will be the main subject of this paper. These quotations apparently teach that there is more than one person in the trinity.

And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of god descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16, 17)

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:46)

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto Him, Thou bearest record of Thyself; They record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Thou I bear record of Myself, My record is true; for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me bearth witness of Me. Then said they unto Him, Where is Thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know Me, nor My Father: if ye had known Me, ye should have know My Father also. (John 8:12-19)

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine tone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seas: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beat was like a flying eagle.


Doctrinal Papers p. 27 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne who liveth forever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4)

In our last paper we endeavored to show that there is one God in one person who is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the testimony of the Old Testament, the testimony of the New Testament and the evidence of reason all go together to establish this fact of the oneness of God and the fact that that one God was the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw in the Old Testament that the universal teaching is the oneness of God: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and such statements as I looked, and behold there was no Savior, therefore Mine own arm wrought salvation for Me, and especially Isaiahs prophecy that unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of peace. These passages give evidence in the Old Testament that when Jehovah came into the world, He would be called a Son and a Child, because He would be born of the virgin Mary; but nevertheless, as He grew up and as He put off the body assumed from the virgin Mary, that gradually He would be called not only Wonderful and Counselor but also The Might God, and at last The Everlasting Father. This shows that even in the Old Testament the testimony is that the Son and the Father are one and the same; and that we call Him the Father, if we think of source in connection with the manifestation in this world; but we call Him the Son of God if we think of that which is born of Mary by means of a Divine conception.

Then coming down into the New Testament we quoted many passages and dwelt on them at some length, showing that the preponderance of evidence is that the Lord and the Father are one. Such unmistakable passages are John 10;30 where the Lord says, I and My Father are one, and the well-known passage where Philip at last grew courageous and asked the Lord to show him the Father. The Lord asked Philip if he had been with Him all these yearssuch a long time; and hadnt he known Him? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. So I made the statement that it is possible from the viewpoint of one God in one person who is the Lord Jesus Christ to explain all the appearances of three.

There is no question at all about the language. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are names or terms used continuously throughout the Gospels.


Doctrinal Papers p. 28 The point is not whether there is a trinity--certainly theres a trinity. The point is whether there is a trinity of persons, whether there is a distinction between the personality of the Father and the personality of the Son and the personality of the Holy Spirit--whether they perform individual and different functions, whether under any circumstances it is possible that the Son intercedes with the Father, the Son makes atonement to the Father for our sins or in any other way shows a division of personality. We pointed our that the overwhelming testimony is that there is no division of personality and that once we accept that the Father is ever the soul of the Son and that the Holy Spirit is always His influence pouring forth, all of the passages in the Word which mention Father, Son or Holy Spirit can be understood and interpreted in the light of this doctrine. But we maintain this, that for a person who believes in a tri-personality in God, or that three Divine persons can mysteriously make one God although three persons, it is impossible for him to understand or explain array such passages as He that hath seen Ye hath seen the Father, or I and My Father are One.

In addition to discussing this matter from the standpoint of the Old and New Testaments, last time we discussed it also from two other viewpoints. One viewpoint was of man who is created in Gods image; therefore, if there is a trinity about God, there is also a trinity about man. We pointed out that this, indeed, is a fact: that the father of the child is the architect who causes the cells to divide and form a pattern in the growth of the embryo; that this father is the soul of man, and the body which man receives from his mother, and in which he is born into this world, and which is the vessel of his living in this world, and which at death is put off. This body represents the Son who is taken on from the virgin aviary and who manifested the Divine Father or the Divine Spirit within Him, even as our body manifests our soul or our spirit.       And what we do in this world, our operation among men, our spirit, influence, use, whatsoever we do, corresponds in exact measure to the Holy Spirit which is the Lords Spirit. He breathed on His disciples and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit, and He said, All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth. That was after the resurrection. His Spirit is His works among men--His Divine influence, the Divine Providence, the unceasing care of God for His children. All of this is the Holy Spirit emanating, not as a third person but as the Spirit, from the one only sod who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, we saw that the Creator must always stamp His impression upon the work which He creates, and so in a Beethoven Symphony we find the personality of Beethoven written into it. In a Rembrandt picture, we find the skill and the distinct qualities of that artist depicted; in a Ford motor car we find the image and the personality of the inventor of that car. With everything there is a trinity, and this trinity reflects the maker; and, therefore, with the Lord, since He is the Creator of all things, He has left this trinity indelibly imprinted on everything which we have in the universe. We may take the simplest thing and we find that there is the idea which precedes, which is the soul of it and which exists wholly on the plane of the mind.


Doctrinal Papers p. 29 This cannot be seen by anybody, for it is like the Lord's soul and He says, No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared (manifested) Him." And then there is the material that you put on your idea, and when your material is clothing the idea, then I can see the thing. I say, "Oh, now I see your idea." Finally there is the use which the thing performs. These three are the trinity--the idea, the material out of which a thing is made, and the use it performs. This is the trinity which reflects the Father, the invisible infinite God, the Son who manifests Him by being born into this world, and the Holy Spirit which is God's use, an everlasting Divine use among men.

It is possible to interpret the difficult passages in the Word from the standpoint of one God. This is the task which I have set myself to do in this paper.

First, let's take the passage about the Lord being baptized in Jordan, where it says, Coming up out of the water the Lord saw heaven open and the Spirit of God like a dove descending upon Him, and a voice from heaven saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:13-17) This is often given as evidence that the dove was the Holy Spirit, the voice from heaven was the Father, and the Lord coming up out of Jordan was the Son, and, therefore, a very distinct and complete idea of the tri-personal God, three Divine persons, is indelibly given.

Let us see if that is indeed the fact. I will first of all point out to you that only one person, only one person is mentioned, and that is the Lord coming up out of the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the Jordan the Lord saw the heavens open." What descended? "The spirit of God like a dove descending upon Him and a voice from heaven." In the literal sense we can get a trinity of a son, a dove, and a voice; but we cannot get a trinity of a Son, and a Holy Spirit, and a God, the Father, speaking out of heaven and saying that He was pleased with His Son.

Now, if it had been the intention of the Gospel to teach us that there are three Divine persons in the Godhead, it would have been very easy, to have been written that, as He came up out of the water, the person of the Holy Spirit was seen descending upon Him and that God the Father spoke from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; but the facts of the case are that only one person was seen and that was the Son; beside Him there was a dove seen and a voice was heard out of heaven saying, "This is My beloved son." In order to understand this, we must have some comprehension of what was taking place with the Lord and the manner of His incarnation, that is, His coming down to dwell among men in the flesh, and how that incarnation led to His glorification.

At birth, the Lord had only two things.


Doctrinal Papers p. 30 He had a soul which was continuous with the Divine; and a body which was purely material, which He had just taken on from the virgin Mary so that the Christ Child that the shepherds adored on Christmas night had a human body He was the Son of Man inasmuch as He was the Son of Mary, and He had a Divine soul which was continuous with the Father, that is, with the infinite soul of the whole universe. Now God was just as present in Bethlehem the night before He became manifest to the shepherds as He was the night that He became manifest, but He wasn't manifesting Himself through a human child, as the soul of the human child. That child gradually grew up and the Writings tell us that the continual process of the Lord's growth in this world was a process of glorification and therefore the Lord said, Glorify Thou Me with Thine ownself with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. (John 17:5)

The human race was created into the image of God, and man is human because God is human; and 'God was Divinely Human before any man was created. What the Lord did in the -process of His glorification was gradually, little by little, to put off the human which He had taken purely from His mother Nary and to put on the Divine Human which He had with the Father. This was the Divine Human quality into whose image man was created.

Let me illustrate this with sight. For example, when the Lord was born in Bethlehem, that Babe could see only as far as its eyes could see--the little cameras which we call eyes. He could see only as far as natural light came to them through waves and enabled them to have images of this world. That was sight after the order of Mary, His human mother. But as the Lord was glorified, His sight became no longer limited to the eyes which he derived from His mother Mary. For example, once He sat at one end of a table and Simon the Pharisee at the other end. A woman came in, washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hairs of her head, and anointed them with precious ointment. The Lord's sight was not only of Simons body but He saw into Simon's heart, and He saw exactly what Simon was thinking at the other end of the table, and on a different plane than the natural eyes have the ability to see. Thus we see that His natural sight was becoming glorified. He was putting off the human from Mary and putting on the Divine Human from the Father.

This subject is indeed deep, but it is one that can be comprehended rationally, if we concentrate. Let me illustrate. Suppose a linen handkerchief is the natural body which the Lord took on from the virgin Mary. If we pull out one thread of linen and then weave in a thread of gold along the warp, and do that over and over again, removing one thread of linen at a time and filling in with a thread of gold; then turn the handkerchief the other way and do the same with the woof, in the end we will have a handkerchief that will be the same size and the same shape, but it will be all transformed into gold, without the size and shape perishing. The point is this: The Lord came into the world primarily to give us an image of a God that we can know and love and worship and see;


Doctrinal Papers p. 31 and if, when He departed out of the world, He had left no image of Himself, the work of the incarnation would have been in vain. But that did not take place because, although He gradually glorified the body taken from Mary and put off everything that was human and finite, nevertheless He retained the same mental picture, that is, He retained the same personality in that although He is now all glorified, we can still see Him as the Lord Jesus Christ. This process with Him was gradual. It didn't happen suddenly. There came a time when He was twelve years of age, when He began to realize that the temple was His Father's house. He was not Joseph's son. He said to Mary and Joseph, when they found Him in the temple at the age of twelve, Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?` He was beginning to perceive that God's temple was His Father's temple, and that the worship of God was His Father's business, and so from those words we know there was beginning to come into His consciousness the idea of His Messiahship. But that takes place gradually in Him and at the time He was baptized in the River Jordan, He was thirty years of age. We have no other hint in the letter of the Word as to what states He went through, but in the Arcana Colestia by Swedenborg--in the spiritual sense of the Word,--we have many, many details revealed to us as to the states which the Lord went through as He gradually was glorified and gradually became more and more a perfect one with the soul or the Father which was within Him.

At the time of His baptism, which was the beginning of His public ministry, He had need of evidence for His own consciousness that He Himself might realize that He was the Messiah. The voice which came from heaven and said, "Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,"--that was a perception of His as to His calling. It was not the voice of a second person sounding from heaven. Where would heaven be? We know that heaven is not up in the clouds, but heaven is the perception of good ends, the perception of the real end of life. That constitutes heaven, and a voice from heaven is like a voice from our ideals. And this voice from heaven was like a voice calling to the Lord at the beginning of His ministry and saying that He was His Son, that is, that He was the incarnation of the Divine.

Now as to the dove. The dove is a symbol. Surely we don't think that the Holy Spirit is a dove! I doubt if anyone would think that that the Holy Spirit was any more than represented by a dove. So, if we study a dove all the way from the time when Noah was making sure that the land was once more fit for habitation, when the dove came not back again to him, we learn that the dove is a bird which is peculiar for its monogamic mating instincts and has become a symbol of conjugial love; and in the deeper sense, the dove is a symbol of that marriage of good and truth which is the very fruit of regeneration; when man tries the things that he knows and turns these knowledges that he has into the deeds of life, then these two things are married, and the end product is a state of regeneration. Now the dove which descended upon the Lord represented the communication between the Divine soul within and the body which was being glorified without--the communication which, as He progressed toward complete glorification should end in a complete oneness; for after the resurrection that Easter morning, we no longer find any mention of the Father and the Son but it is always the UNITY of God.


Doctrinal Papers p. 32

Let us take another one of these difficult passages. I might just leave the one thought, before turning from the baptism scene, that even dwelling on the letter only one person is mentioned, for a dove can hardly be thought to be another person, and certainly not a voice. In that connection, in the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation the same type of symbolism is used. John said that in his vision he saw the Lord sitting on the throne. Before Him he saw seven golden candlesticks. Those seven golden candlesticks were said to be the spirit, the spirit of the churches, Holy Spirit. If we are inclined to take things literally, we cannot be satisfied with having one spirit, but now we have seven Holy Spirits. The Holy Spirit is represented in the fourth chapter not by one spirit, but by seven spirits. If we go on to the fifth chapter, again we have God upon the throne, and we have the Lamb mentioned; and the Lamb very obviously refers to the Lord's life in this world. In order scrupulously to avoid any appearance of two persons, the symbolism, the innocence of the lamb--the symbolism of the lamb--is used so that there can be no shadow of a doubt that there is only one person, the person sitting on the throne. And the chapter says that this Lamb which was before the throne, and which represents the Lord's dwelling in this world,--this Lamb had seven eyes, and the seven eyes again were the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that went out through the Church. Are there seven Holy Spirits? Is the Lord a lamb? Of course the Lord isn't a lamb, but the lamb represents the innocence of the Lord, the innocence by means of which He takes away the sins of the world, that is, by bringing people into a state of innocence similar to the innocence which He Himself had while in the process of glorification.

The most difficult passage of which I know is that one which tells of the Lord preaching. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto Him, Thou bearest record of Thyself; Thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Ye. Then said they unto Him, there is Thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither known Me, nor My Father: if ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also."

It has been felt, and it has been argued that because the Mosaic law said that no man could be put to death, if he were accused of murder, by only one witness, but only if he were accused by two or more witnesses;


Doctrinal Papers p. 33 so when the Lord said, "It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true," and added, "I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me," He spoke of two persons. First let us look at the language itself. If this is seen right, it not only testifies that the Lord and the Father were not two persons, but it testifies to their complete and absolute oneness. "I am not alone,"--"I and My Father that sent Me." That is, the Divine soul within Him and the body that manifested Him were inseparably one, and consequently wherever He was, the Father that sent Him was also present. Note that this is often quoted incorrectly. It is often quoted, "I and My Father." "I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father is another that beareth witness of Ye--the Father that sent Me is another." But there is no word "another" in the text which reads, "I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Ye beareth witness of Me."

Now what does it reduce itself to? Suppose you apply the Mosaic law literally to the passage with the idea that the Lard was using this means to prove to the Jews that Tie and the Father were two persons, and consequently being two persons they could bear witness and the witness would be true. How would you interpret that? Well wouldn't you have to interpret it in one of two ways--the testimony of two men is true--I am one. Nor, then the Lord must either say, "I am one man," or "I am one God." Either the Lord and the Father are two men, two finite men, that bear witness, or they are two Gods that bear witness; because otherwise, if you went to press the literal interpretation of it, you, don't have the liter!--.1 two men in the mouth of which you must establish your witness. "I am one man and My Father is another man," or "I am one God and My father is another God, "both of whom bear witness to this fact." But both of those ideas are repugnant to our thought. We cannot possibly think that the Lord was a man and the Father was a man and that they were two men and, therefore, that this was established. Nor can we think that He meant to convey the idea that there were two Gods.

The Lord was doing quite the reverse. The Jews believed that the Lord was quite a different person than God. They did not believe that they were one person. Jesus did not have to convince them that He and the Father were two different people. What He had to convince them of was that the Father was in Him and He was in the Father, and so He goes on to say, "Ye neither know Me, nor Day Father." And they said "Show us the Father," "Where is the Father?" And the Lord goes on to say "If ye had known Me, ye should have known M Father also." Isn't that an exact parallel, when you come to think of it, of the words of Philip, only Philip was well disposed? Here the Jews were trying to corner Him, and to prove that He was not the light of He was trying to prove, that He was the light of the world, and the Jews were trying to prove that He was not the light of the world, that He had no right to say He was the light of the world, and no right to claim any Messiahship; so that, when they said, "Where is Thy Father?" --it was asked from malice and skepticism.


Doctrinal Papers p. 34 When Philip said, Lord, show us the Father, this was asked from love and a real desire to be instructed; and yet the Lord answer was so very similar. To Philip He said, "He that hath seen hoe hath seen the Father," and to these Jews He said, "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.

To the New Church it is revealed that the whole of the Word is written for man's spiritual journey or his journey toward heaven, and it is not written for the purpose of teaching scientific facts or merely for man's life in this world, but it is written to teach him about the spiritual world. So let's see what it yields if we take up Deuteronomy, the 17th chapter, where it says that from the witness of two men a person shall be put to death. It does not take very much imagination to understand that as soon as you interpret Deuteronomy in a broader way than merely the Mosaic law, which we do not keep any more, - we keen the Ten Commandments, but there are hundreds of laws - Jewish laws (circumcision for example) which the Lord abolished when He came on earth. We don't keep the letter of the Jewish law any more, but all of these Jewish laws which are in the Bible are part of the Word of God and have a spiritual interpretation. What is meant by the fact that a man is not condemned from the mouth of one witness, but only from the mouths of two witnesses? This is very interesting and very important. We cannot conceive, in the life after death, that when a man is judged either to heaven or to hell the Lord calls witnesses in the form of angels or spirits or people who have known that person, and if two or lore are found that agree together, he is condemned. Rather the Lord judges man from his book of life--the book of life that is written on man's internal memory. That book of life is composed of the deeds of his will, which is one witness, and of the things inscribed upon his understanding, which is the other witness; and the two witnesses which go with men into the spiritual world are the deeds of his will and the thoughts of his understanding.

The teaching here involved in the spiritual sense is that no man is condemned to hell either from the will alone or from the understanding alone.       A man may be brought up through no fault of his own in many fallacies, even in falsities, for which he is not responsible. His understanding may need much instruction after he gets to the spiritual world, but if he lives according to the conscience which he has, he will be taught in the spiritual world, and his understanding will be re-formed and brought into marriage with his really good will, so that the witness of a man's understanding alone without the will would never condemn him to hell. Similarly we ore taught that all children, all babes, infants, who die go to heaven, yet we know that no one has a regenerate will until that has been slowly and gradually formed to shun evils as sins against God, so that no one is sent to hell because of their will unless they purposely, intelligently, knowingly, conjoin their understanding to that will. Only thus, only when the two witnesses confirm each other, when the will and the understanding; are married in the evil deed, purposely, then the two witnesses condemn a man; but unless those two witnesses agree, a man is not condemned.


Doctrinal Papers p. 35

In the spiritual sense the same thing is meant where we read the beautiful words, Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." In the spiritual sense that means where man has truths and goods in his, mind, their union, their marriage, makes possible the Lord's presence with a man. Where two or three are gathered together in My name." And so it says that in the mouth of two witnesses, that is, where the will and understanding are conjoined, the deed is accomplished.

Now the Lord says He is one witness and the Father is the other witness, and we know that is just exactly the parallel that there is. The Father is Divine love or the will and the Son who manifested Him in this world is the Divine wisdom which gives form and makes the Divine love seeable. It is the same thing that is meant when it is said, "In the beginning was the Word," which is Divine truth "and the Word was with God," and "The Word was God" and so when the Lord said that He was the light of the world and He said that He was not alone but was one that bore witness and the Father bore witness of Him, the spiritual meaning is that the Divine wisdom of which He was the personification and the Divine love dwelling within Him both bore witness and testimony to the fact that He was the light of the world. If the Jews had really known Him, they would have known the Father also; just as if Philip had really seen the Lord, he too would have seen the Father, because the Father through His very majesty, in all of the deeds that the Lord did--the feeding of the five thousand, and giving sight to the blind, and so forth--all of that was through the power from the Divine which was within Him. So if we see this passage rightly, it not only does :not stand for two persons, but it shows us the unity of the Divine soul with the Son who was born and who was ever progressing toward complete union with the Divine soul.

I want to take up just one more difficult passage. On the cross the Lord asked, Eli, Eli, lame sabachthani? or My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Some have supposed because He cried out to God, that this is evidence of God being somewhere else, and of God being a different person from the Lord Jesus Christ who was on the cross. But isn't it strange that, if there were a trinity of persons when He cried out on the cross, that He said, "My God, My God?" Why didn't He say, "My Father, My Father, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

All orthodox Christians believe that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. So when He cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Ye? whether we accept the orthodox Christian idea of Christ that God and man were one in Christ, or the New Church idea that the Father was in Him as a soul, God was in Christ under either conception, because under both He was Divine.


Doctrinal Papers p. 36 The whole of Christianity rests on the basis that He was at least one of three Divine persons; so, whether you concede that His Divinity when He cried out on the cross, lay in the Father who was within Him, or in Him as the Son of God, God was within Him. Now, if He cried out, "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me? why should we suppose that He was feeling that He was forsaken by a third person in the trinity, the Father in the trinity, and not by His own Divinity?       If He were Divine, and if He could be called God., and He said, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?," wouldn't it most naturally be the God that was nearest to Him, that is His own Divinity that had forsaken Him? That seems very logical, and certainly if the Father was apart from the Son and He was appealing to the Father for help or crying in lamentation that the Father had abandoned Him, He would have said, "My Father, My Father, why hast Thou forsaken Ye?" but He didn't and human experience enables us to understand thoroughly what happened on the cross.

Each one of us has his ideals, and we all know that from time to time we fall short of our ideals, and sometimes we do things that are contrary to our ideals, and looking back and reflecting on them, we wonder why we ever were abandoned by our ideals--how our ideals ever forsook us and we did the things that were contrary to our ideals. And David in the Psalms voices the same sentiment when he says, "Why art thou cast down, O, My soul?" and "Why art thou disquieted within Ye?" He wasn't talking to somebody else--he was talking to his better self, to his higher nature, to the things that he really believed and strove for, and these things seemed to have been cast down, and so he cries out, "Why art thou cast down?"

And so with the Lord on the cross. This was the last and final temptation by which He completely glorified the body which was taken from Mary and it was as it were the last cry of despair of that body from Mary that it was abandoned by the Divine because it seemed separated from it. But it was not a prayer to a third person to intercede, or a chiding that a third person had abandoned Him. And so with all of the places where the Father is mentioned, if we once gain the concept that there is always the Divine working in and through the human, these passages yield more and more light, the more deeply we are able to study them.

I have tried in some way to point out to you how the voice and the dove and the Son at the baptism can be regarded as parts of the process of the Lord's glorification, as entering into His .public ministry; and how the two witnesses, when rightly understood, represent the witness of the soul within or the Divine good as manifested in the Divine truth which was the Lord as He revealed Himself in this world; and that on the cross, when He cried out, He didn't cry out to the Father but He cried out to that Divine which was in Him and which was nearly completely glorified in this, His supreme temptation. The Lord cried out because the appearance to the human was that He had been forsaken, and this of necessity in order that the temptation might be completed.


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Doctrinal Papers p. 38



The only evidence that we have of the Virgin Birth is contained in the two Gospel stories of Luke and Matthew. In those Gospels we read as follows:

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age:, and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:26-38)

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit, And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name, Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His name JESUS." (Matthew 1:18-25)


Doctrinal Papers p. 39

Mary, at the time this happened, was espoused to Joseph. The old Jewish custom of espousal was very close to what we call engagement. Naturally, when Joseph found that Mary was expecting a baby, he was minded to put her away, but he said that he didn't want to make a public example of her. And the point that I make in reading the Matthew story which gives Joseph's point of view is that Joseph was completely satisfied by the evidence which the angel gave to him.

After all, the most important thing to us is the birth of the Lord into our own hearts. The historical birth of the Lord in Bethlehem some nineteen hundred and fifty years ago is interesting as history and absolutely essential to the salvation of the world, but it is His entrance into our own lives that is significant to us. How the Lord is born into the heart of each one of us is tremendously vital, for we are taught that the history of the individual repeats the history of the world, and as the Lord was born in time into the world, so also, at some time or other, He is born into our hearts.

The manner of that birth into our own hearts is the thing that is tremendously important in studying the virgin birth of the Lord and it has a peculiar signification to those who believe in the doctrines of the New Church, for the doctrines of the New Church hold that the Writings of Swedenborg from which we get all of our truths are in no way, shape, or form the product of the human mind of Swedenborg. They are not the result of his long and brilliant career as scientist, engineer, philosopher or anatomist. They are not the combination of great human skill and penetrating perception. We look at the Writings as a God-given revelation, the Third Revelation which completes the trine of the Old Testament written in Hebrew, the New Testament written in Greek, and the Writings of Swedenborg written in Latin.

It is quite significant that although Swedenborg was a Swede and wrote Swedish fluently, everyone of the works of the Writings was written in Latin, a language which had been dead more than twelve hundred years at the time that Swedenborg used it. Now there is a very clear reason why Divine revelation is written in a dead language. A dead language des onto change, but all living, spoken languages change from day to day and from year to year. For example just look at the psalm: The Lord prevented me in the night watches. Well, unless we look up the meaning of the word prevented, we might think that he meant that the Lord held him back during the night,--the Lord prevented me in the night watches; but if we go back to the original Hebrew and see the word that was translated by the King James translators as prevented, we will learn that the word means went before me as a shepherd goes before his sheep. In the three hundred odd years that have passed since the time the King James version was written, the word prevented has absolutely changed its meaning so that its present meaning contradicts its original meaning. For prevented comes from pre venio, two Latin words which mean to go before as a shepherd goes before his sheep, but because those who went before slowed up and got in the way of those coming behind, the word changed its meaning to prevent and keep you from getting somewhere, which is exactly opposite to the original meaning.


Doctrinal Papers p. 40

I merely use this word as an illustration. English is changing all the time because it is being continually spoken and each generation is giving it a living meaning of its own which former generations did not have. But dead languages, for instance the Hebrew of the Old Testament, are the same way today as they were when the Lord was on earth. The Greek of the New Testament has not changed, nor has the Latin of the Writings.

And isn't it singular that over the cross, when the Lord was crucified on that Good Friday so many years ago, an inscription that He was "the King of the Jews" should have been written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin? To us this is a confirmation that the Word of God to man is contained in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New Testament, and the Latin of the Writings.

I bring this out because, if you see what I am driving at, we believe that the Writings do not have a human father. The brain of Swedenborg is not the human father of the Writings, any more than Joseph was the human father of our Lord; but the Writings were conceived within the mind of Swedenborg, conceived by Divine inspiration and brought forth through the mind of Swedenborg, through the pen of Swedenborg, through Swedenborg's ability to pay for having them published; even as the mother Mary furnished her body, her life--everything she had--to the bringing forth of the Lord as a Babe in Bethlehem on the first Christmas. So the Writings arc a new Revelation, and, therefore, a second coming of the Lord.

So we can see, if the Lord is to be born into our hearts as a conviction in a living God, He cannot be born of a human father. We cannot have a religion that is founded on something human. There must be the incarnation, there must be the virgin birth. We must receive Divine truths as coming from God and not as coming from man.

There is a very curious thing in the story of the Lord's life. The word "Mary" means "bitter." It is the same Hebrew word as is sometimes translated "Miriam." The root meaning is bitterness, and you may think it slightly strange that the Lord should be born into the world of a woman whose name means "bitterness, and yet when we consider how He is born into our own lives, we see that He is never born without a struggle. He is never born without giving up other things, He is never born without a conviction perhaps that certain things that we once held no longer can satisfy our growing understanding, and it is always with bitterness that we give up things that we have once held, and accept new truths.

And then there is another Mary, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and her name also means bitterness and she had quite an interesting function too in the Lord's life.


Doctrinal Papers p. 41 When He came to their quiet house at Bethany, while Martha was out preparing the meal, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His Word; and in our lives the Mary who was the sister of Martha is that willingness to put aside the things of this world and to sit at the Master's feet, which in terms that mean something to us is to read the revelation that God has given to us. The bitterness there involved is that we have to put aside other things, perhaps reading magazines with fascinating stories in them--various other things we have to put aside in order to read the Word of God.

There was still another Mary in the Lord's life--Mary Magdalene, and Mary Magdalene was that woman who, when the Lord sat in the house of Simon the Pharisee, came in and washed His feet with her tears and anointed them with a costly ointment, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. She was a sinner and it is said that out of her the Lord had cast seven devils, and that He forgave her because she loved much. She represents that third thing in religion. It is not enough to believe that the Word that we base our life on is Divine, which is the Son of Mary. It is not enough to read the Word, but we must act upon the Word and allow the Word to help us to shun our evils as sins against God. That is Mary Magdalene. That, too, is a bitter task, and yet what a glorious reward is given; for, on Easter morning, of all the human beings to whom the Lord might have appeared first, He chose Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils, to be the first to see Him in His risen and glorified Humanity.

And so that completes the story that religion must have a Divine origin. If we expect it to lead us to a Divine goal, and if we expect to have it a factor in our lives, we must take the time to fill our minds with it; but most of all, if we expect to change the character of our lives from selfishness into generosity, from personal interest into the interest in others, we must see that it operates in our lives causing us to shun evils as sins against God.

The Writings say that all angels regard the happiness of others ahead of their own happiness. It is hard for us to believe, but Swedenborg says it is easy to believe when you watch a mother sacrifice food for her child, or sometimes a husband lay down his life for his wife or a wife for her husband. We see those deeds in this world from time to time, but we are taught respecting the regenerate state which is characteristic of heaven that there the angels really regard the happiness of. others before their own happiness, and this springs from shunning evils as sins against God. That is the Mary Magdalene in us.

With this preface of the spiritual signification of the virgin birth, let me take up the actual virgin birth of our Lord from two standpoints and see if we can come to understand it. Of course, in our day and age--the day of biology and science--much of the world scoffs at the idea that the whole New Church rises or falls with the belief in the virgin birth.


Doctrinal Papers p. 42 We cannot possibly accept anything of the New Church and in our hearts and in our minds deny the virgin birth, so it is tremendously important to us to contemplate the subject and to see just exactly what is involved in it.

Now I have quoted the two simple accounts upon which the validity of the virgin birth exists. The arguments against the virgin birth are simply that it never happened before or since. All of those arguments we grant. We also grant that there is no illustration in nature of parthenogenesis which means virgin birth--the scientific term for virgin birth. There is no illustration of parthenogenesis in the kingdoms of nature. It is true that the green plant life will reproduce for three generations, but it is simply a carry-over of the male element in the female for three generations. It is not a genuine virgin birth or parthenogenesis. There is no illustration in nature of this, and no illustration among human beings, so it is a unique thing and men find it difficult to believe things that occur only once.

Remember the men who wrote the gospels. It has been argued by some that Hindu traditions had their weight and influence with Matthew and Luke, or that perhaps the birth of some of the gods of the Greeks had their influence on Mark and Luke, and in order to enhance the standing of the Lord and make Him a more important character they invented the story of the virgin birth.

Let us look at that argument. Those men were simple men, not highly educated, especially Matthew who had been a politician. When the Lord found him he was a collector of taxes, sitting at the receipt of custom. He was probably a very ordinary sort of person, as far as his external life went, and certainly not highly educated, and it would stretch one's imagination a great deal to believe that he had any contact with the literature of India. And he had no particular purpose for inventing the story of a virgin birth because he had been with the Lord, he hand seen all of these miracles that the Lord did. He had heard the Lord's words, he had felt the Divine fire of love when the Lord took him right from his collecting of money. The Lord said, "Follow Me," and Matthew dropped everything instantly. He felt that attraction, that love, that marvelous compelling force to follow the Lord. He was a simple person, and it takes quite a complex mind to build up the idea that by claiming that the Lord had no human earthly father people would be in awe of the Lord. Quite the reverse--probably Matthew know as well as you and I know that to claim that the Lord had no earthly father would be to raise a host of questions and start a thousand doubts circulating in men's minds. There would be nothing to gain by it.

But notice the simple way that the virgin birth is told. Here was Joseph and he was about to marry Mary, and then he thought Mary had been unfaithful to him. Being a just man he was going to put her away privately so that it would not create a scandal, and then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and completely satisfied him.


Doctrinal Papers p. 43 That is the point that I stress, namely, that Joseph who was the most interested person in the virgin birth was completely satisfied, and that he took Mary to him, and that he acted as guardian for the birth of the Lord. For the birth of the Lord he was with Mary in Bethlehem, but they were not actually married until after the birth of the Lord. Then they had a family whose brothers and sisters are mentioned in the Gospel account. And so first of all Joseph, the person who was closest to the situation and the person who should have known most about it, was satisfied, and he took Mary to him, and together they raised a family after the Lord was born. If we look at that from any human standpoint, we can see that Joseph was perfectly satisfied and that he believed the virgin birth and that that which was born within Mary was conceived of the Holy Spirit.

And now let us look at Mary,--the standpoint of the virgin birth from Mary herself. The first person to doubt the virgin birth was Mary herself--the very first person. Mary was out probably getting water or something. That is tradition at any rate--it has no truth in it at all, but anyhow Mary was alone somewhere and the angel Gabriel appeared to her. We are taught in the Writings that the angel Gabriel was a whole society of angels, and Gabriel was what Swedenborg calls the subject spirit. That is not a hard thing to understand. We have ambassadors to France--they are subject spirits for the whole United States. We have ambassadors to the Court of St. James in England--they represent the whole United States. And so this angel Gabriel was a subject spirit and represented those in heaven who looked forward eagerly to the fulfillment of the prophecies that the Lord would come into the world - the prophecies which said that "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,"--whole societies of angels who acted through Gabriel and Gabriel was sent to announce to Mary that she was to be the blessed woman. "Blessed art thou among women," said the angel to Mary, and "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb." And Mary said, "Why?" To this the angel replied, "Because thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call. His name JESUS," which means "Savior" - the Greek form of the Hebrew word "Joshua."

It was then that Mary doubted the virgin birth. She said, "How shall this thing be, seeing I know not a man?" And the angel gave her the answer. The angel said, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." And then Mary accepted it. She no longer questioned the virgin birth but said those beautiful words, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." Utter humility. She made herself completely receptive to the idea that indeed the Lord could bow the heavens and come down. You remember in the Old Testament it said that the Lord would bow the heavens and come down.

And now let me see, if we cannot see very, very clearly, how this is possible. It is certainly clear, if you believe the Writings of Swedenborg.


Doctrinal Papers p. 44 It is clear, because we can see from the analogy of what happens at the birth of every child and what was lacking in the birth of the Lord that is present in the birth of every other child that has been born into this world. If we contrast those two, we can see exactly what happened in the case of the Lord and how in very truth the virgin named Mary could be the mother of the Lord when He was born upon this earth. In order to understand this, we must understand what happens in the birth of every child, and I shall try to explain it to you in the way that I understand it from studying the Writings.

As you the Writings teach us that men and women are not equal in the sense that they are the same. We cannot compare men and women and say that man is superior to woman or that woman is superior to man. We can contrast them and say that together men and woman make one, so much so that a conjugial pair in the celestial heaven, when viewed from afar, appears as one person because each can perform uses which the other cannot possibly perform. They are made complementary to each other and they are so made that when joined together God can give the greatest of all gifts to mankind--He can give new life, He can send new life into the world. But man is not so conceited as to think the gift of life is his, that he creates life, because when he has tried to create life in the laboratory, he has not yet succeeded in giving life or producing the simplest kind of protoplasm. The best that man can do is to keep alive life which the Lord has already created, but man has never been successful in creating life, an so the miracle of new life coming into this world is a miracle of receiving vessels and by receiving vessels I mean something which is so built by the Lord that it can receive and hold life--for example, a storage battery.

Electricity is a marvelous force. We have never seen it. We can sometimes feel it in the form of a shock. We can see it run a motor and we can see it do all sorts of things, but we cannot see it. A storage battery, however, is a vessel which is so built that it can hold this invisible power, this form of enemy that we call electricity--it is a vessel. The steam boiler is a vessel which can hold steam at huge pressures and thus make steam work. And the mind of man is a vessel that can receive both wisdom and love from God.

Now Swedenborg says regarding man, the male, that the inmost of his form is the love of growing wise. That is the inmost essence of a man, therefore he is a go-getter" or an aggressive person. He goes out and is seen in the world. In general, man goes out and earns a living, goes after things; he goes after wisdom, and he goes after knowledge. No man, on the other hand, is the home-maker. To take, just for instance, the situation of a home: the husband is earning the living, the husband brings the money home--he is interested in going out and seeking it, he is interested in the competition of life, the struggle with other men, for all that is typically masculine; but the wife is typically the homemaker, and she takes something that is only money and changes it into a home.       


Doctrinal Papers p. 45 She gives it a body, she takes something that is utterly valueless in itself and gives it all those loving touches which change money into all of the comforts of a home, because, the Writings say, woman inmostly is wisdom. That is why men love women, because men are in the love of growing wise and inmostly woman is the form which clothes that love, so the woman is relatively passive and the man is active, and the woman is the clother of the thing and the man is the "go-getter."

According to Swedenborg's Writings, the inmost of life which is to be passed on to the next generation is conceived in the mind of man. The mind of man is a vessel capable of being animated by life from the Divine and in the inmost of man's love of growing wise, the finest coverings which first cage and hold life, as a storage battery catches and holds electricity--the first and inmost covering that is given to that is given in the mind of man, in the brain of man through their higher fluids which even are higher than can be seen by the microscope. But there, life is first caught and then that life proceeds in the orderly way, and it is clothed in the male by various coverings until it becomes the sperm.

Now when the sperm enters the ova, there is a devolution, and all these coverings which have been given to it in the process of its creation in the man are one by one taken off until in the last analysis the naked soul which is contributed by the father stands as the architect which produces all of the marvelous growth of the child. Number 92 of the True Christian Religion says everything the father contributes to the child actually is spiritual, and that all of the material of the body of the child with which it is born is contributed by the mother. No scientist can answer the question "What builds the child in the womb?" except by saying that nature does it; but we can all see that there is an architect that builds the child in the womb. There's no doubt about it. These cells divide and multiply. Some form the neural canal. Some form the primitive heart and the primitive brain, and all the organs of the body. And something directs that. And that something which directs it, the Writings tell us, is the soul which has been contributed by the father. This soul exists as to its organic form from the finest things of nature, and is above the plane of the material, and survives any accident like an atomic bomb or anything else. The finest things of nature cannot be moved or destroyed in their continuity, and that soul is the architect which produces the body of the child.

If this is clear, we are in the position to see how the virgin birth was physically possible. In the very beginning of genesis we read that God created ran into His own image--"In the image of God created He him." Man is man because the Creator was Divine Man before the creature was ever created. That Divine Man,--that Divine Human--the Writings tell us, is the soul of what is called the Grand Man of heaven, which is the organization of all the angels that have ever lived in this world and have died and have gone to heaven. The angels are organized--they are not a higgledy-piggledy mass. They are in a human form, not a human shape, and the force that organizes them into that human form is the Lord's Divine Human.


Doctrinal Papers p. 46

Now, just as the naked soul from the father, in the birth of an ordinary child, is the architect that builds the body for itself out of substances entirely contributed by the mother, so the Lord bowed the heavens when He came down and, as it were, a Divine seed of good clothed with truth which is the form of it taken from the very Divine Human which makes the heavens and holds them in this perfect truth containing within it, the Divine love itself, bowed the heavens and there (in the heavens) took on sufficient finite coverings to enter Mary's womb, just as life is clothed in the brain of the father and then puts on covering after covering until it is given to the mother. And so in passing through the heavens, though the Lord did not take on anything of the proprium of the angels, this Divine seed or life was tempered until it could create that marvelous miracle of conception which Gabriel told Mary would happen to her.

In that case the architect had no heredity taken from any human father, but it had the Divine heredity taken on from the Divine of the Lord which makes the heavens; and when she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to" thy word," Mary made herself completely receptive to that Divine influx, that creation of life which should complete the miracle of miracles, namely the birth of God Himself upon this earth.

A word about where the Lord was--where God was, where the infinite was--when the Lord Jesus Christ was only a babe, a helpless innocent, ignorant babe in Bethlehem. Where was the Divine? The Divine, the Writings tell us, is in all space without space. That is quite a difficult conception, but what it means is that He is everywhere, yet He isn't a giant. We cannot think of God being a giant whose head is in one part of His universe and whose body -arid limbs are in another part of the universe. The Lord is in all space, but space is not in Him; and so ever since He created the universe, there was never a place where the Lord was not present. He is omnipresent, He is everywhere, and so, when this babe was created that was born in Bethlehem, since no human father interposed and caught the life from the Divine, since it was the life of the Divine itself that created that baby, therefore the Lord's soul had no partition walling it off from the infinite which was already in Bethlehem.

God cannot be divided. We cannot cut the infinite and say, "Here's a part of the infinite here and a part there,"--it is continuous, and since it created life in Mary, the infinite itself, the whole infinite was the soul of that body taken from Mary. That does not mean that the infinite was withdrawn from the universe, but that the inmost of that child was God Himself, the infinite Father, who created the body and who was born within that body as the soul.

As the Lord grew up, as we have seen in some of our other papers, bit by bit and part by part He put off this human taken from Mary, put it off, put it away, never to take it on again.


Doctrinal Papers p. 47 He glorified Himself. He said, "Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." (John 17:5) What did He mean by that? He meant that the Divine wisdom, the Word which was in the beginning and became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, should bear no part of Mary. And isn't it amazing that the Catholic Church in our day should do just the opposite, that they should say that are in order to be the mother of the Lord, must rise with her whole body and must be born without sin? The New Church doctrine, on the contrary, is that the Lord was born of Mary that He might take on in His human all of the sins of the world, and that He might there meet them with the Divine accommodated flowing into a body as a soul flows into a body--that the Divine might meet hereditary evil in the body taken from Mary. Without that hereditary evil the whole incarnation would have been purposeless, from our belief. But gradually, as the Lord met evil and conquered the hells, He put off one human state after the other until, when He rose from the tomb that Easter morning, He was all Divine and there was nothing of Mary left.

We have a beautiful passage in the True Christian Religion 102 telling that Swedenborg saw Mary in the spiritual world and she said that indeed she had been the mother of the Lord when He was born on this earth, but that He had put off everything from her and that she never thinks of Him as her Son but that she worships Him as her God. How different that is from the Catholic teaching that we have just heard, absolutely diametrically opposed, and it was perfectly true that when the Lord rose He carried nothing with Him which had been taken on from the virgin Mary. He had completely and totally glorified it all, and so I would like to close by reading the beautiful words of Mary when she met Elisabeth. Mary and Elisabeth were cousins. Elisabeth was old and well stricken in years and had never had any children, and this most marvelous of human events, the birth of a child, afterwards called John the Baptist, was granted to her in her old age. You remember Mary went to see her, and Elizabeth said, What is this "that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elisabeth was given to know that the child to be born of Mary was to be her Lord, and then, after the two women had met and spoken together, Mary said these beautiful words:

"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath nut down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. (Luke 1:46-55)


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The subject this evening will be the Second Coming of the Lord. I am going to read some of the passages in The Word where it is prophesied. First, the 24th chapter of Matthew where we read from the 29th to the 34th verses:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and Great glory.

"And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."

And in the 17th chapter of Luke , verses 20 and 21:

"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, to there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

From the Gospel of John, 16th chapter, 12th verse and following. The Lord said unto, His disciples:

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.


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"All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you."

The last passage I will read is from the 2nd chapter of Acts, verses 14 to 20. This is in the beginning of the Christian Church on the day of Pentecost when there was an outpouring of the Spirit and the disciples spore in different tongues so that the men in many different languages conversed freely together and those people who had not received the Holy Spirit thought that these men were drunk and were just simply mumbling.

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto the:, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

"For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will Dour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons' and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

"And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

"And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:

"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come."

The first thing that is essential in understanding the second coming of the Lord is to understand what happened at the time of the first coming of the Lord, - in fact, to understand what a coming of the Lord is. We all believe that God is omnipresent, that is, that He is everywhere, that there is no place in the universe where God is absent, that there is not a planet or star or any place whatsoever that does not contain within it the Divine Spirit. Consequently, if the Lord is present everywhere, it is quite impossible to say that He came any where, that is, the very act of coming to a place involves that you were not in that place before. All of us, being finite, occupy a certain place in space and we can move from place to place and there is a time when we are not in a place and then we come to a place and we say we have come there and then we go away; but strictly speaking, it cannot be said of the Divine that He comes to a place because there is no place where He is not already existent. Our minds, at this time of the year, are turned to Bethlehem, but we cannot say that nineteen hundred and fifty years ago the Lord had come to Bethlehem. The Lord was in Bethlehem when Benjamin was born there many hundreds of years before.


Doctrinal Papers p. 50 The Lord was present in Bethlehem when King David was born there nearly a thousand years before and the week before and the year before He was born there as a Babe. I stress this because we cannot possibly understand the real significance of the second coming of the Lord unless we see what the first coming of the Lord was and unless we see that the first coming of the Lord was not a coming in place but was a manifestation.

We have been studying the life of the Lord, we have been studying the meaning of the Divine trinity and how the Lord is one person although He has a soul which is often referred to as the Father and a body which is referred to often as the Son and He has His Divine operation called the Holy Spirit because it proceeds from Him who alone is holy in that first Christmas, what happened was that that which had been present in Bethlehem from the beginning of time, the Divine, took to Itself a means whereby It could be seen as It had never been seen before; for, although the Lord was present in Bethlehem when Benjamin and David were born there He was not seen, nor was His voice heard, nor was His hard touched; but when He was born there on Christmas night, then He took to Himself a body from the virgin Mary into which the Divine Spirit as a soul could flow and through which, as a manifesting agency, the Divine could more and more reveal Himself.

The Greek word for reveal or manifest is a wonderful word. An example of its meaning is this. If I should have a heap of diamonds here on the floor covered up with six or seven blankets, and then I take one off and then another, finally the diamonds would be uncovered, seen, so that no longer would they be hidden but men could appreciate their beauty. So the body which the Lord took on from the virgin Mary was an instrument whereby the Divine could come into the world and be manifest to men in a way that He had never been manifest before men's sight in all the time that had gone before. Prior to that He had sent His Word through the prophets. He had inspired the men of old, Moses, Isaiah, Elijah and Elisha and all the other prophets. He had inspired them. with the Word of the Lord, He had put the Word of the Lord in their mouths and they had spoken from the Divine wisdom but He had never taken on a finite body of His own through which the Divine could be made manifest.

But that coming into the world so many Christmases ago marked the time when He took on such a body, when He took on such a means of showing the Divine Spirit and as we have seen in past classes, as He grew up, when He was first born, there was nothing between the Divine soul and the human body. There was no intermediate; but as He grew up, the mind grew up between the soul and the body as it does with every man and the mind more and more glorified the body, and as the years progressed, more and more he put off the substance which He had taken from Mary and put on the Divine Human from the Father; so, at the time when Philip sat by Him at the Last Supper and asked Him: Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us," by that time the Lord was able to say to Philip unqualifiedly, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."


Doctrinal Papers p. 51 He that saw the Babe in Bethlehem did not see the Father but he saw the Babe that in the process of. time should reveal the Father, so that in the coming of the Lord, we must rid our minds of that spatial idea of "coming" that the Word has so strongly for us and we must substitute for the word "coming" the word "revealed." The Lord revealed: Himself for the first time when He came in Bethlehem and was born there as a Babe and that is what is called the first coming.

Why are we led to believe that there would be a second corning? Well, it is from the Lord's own words, from His words to His disciples, that we have gathered, and the Christian Church has gathered, the firm conviction that the Lord would come again into the world a second time, and that which is very, very important to us is the manner in which He shall come into the world. How will He come and what do we expect of that coming? In the first place I make the point and stick to that point and will try to keep you to it in your thought that the Divine Itself never strayed from the world and the Divine Itself was always present in the world, so it is not a case in the second coming, of the Lord coming from somewhere into somewhere, but it is a case of His being revealed a second time. First He was revealed as a Man in human form, and now in the second coming, the question is, how is He to be revealed?

The disciples, those who had heard the Lord's own words, expected the Lord to come again while some of them were alive, and I think of that memorable walk that the Lord had with Peter after they had breakfasted together on the shore at Galilee, when the Lord had risen from the dead. You recall the story. Seven of the disciples had been fishing all night in the sea of Galilee, and it was about two weeks after Easter, and these disciples had lost hope and had gone back to their old trade of fishing and, walking on the shore in the first twilight of morning, they saw a figure and He called to them and said, "Have ye any meat?" And they told Him, "No," and He said, "Cast your net on the right side and ye shall find." They cast their net on the right side, which represents love, (putting love into your work, conjoining good with the truth that you know) and they enclosed a multitude of fishes--a hundred and fifty and three, it says,--and then they dragged the net to the shore, and for all there were so many fish in it, it was not broken.

At the shore they found that the Lord already had fish, and a fire made, and fish upon it; and He breakfasted with His disciples. After breakfasting He went for a walk with Peter and you remember that Peter had spoken to the Lord at the Last Supper and said, "Lord I will die with Thee, I will never desert You," and the Lord said, "The cock shall not crow twice before you deny Me thrice." Peter just could not believe that. He could not believe that He would deny the Lord and yet he did that very night - three times in the Hall of Caiaphas. He had not spoken to the Lord since, and probably Peter had an unforgiven conscience--he must have felt very, very sad,--and so the Lord took a walk with him and, as it were, forgave him.


Doctrinal Papers p. 52 The Lord said to him you remember, Lovest thou Me, Peter, more than these? And Peter said, Lord, Thou knowest that I love thee, and the Lord said, Feed My lambs. And He said the third time, Lovest thou Me more than these? And Peter said, Lord, Thou knowest all things. And when he said, thou knowest all things, we can see that Peter who had doubted that the Lord knew that he would deny Him, knew that the Lord really did know all things. Lord Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee, he said, and the Lord said, Feed My sheep. And then turning they saw John coming, and Peter asked, What of this man? And the Lord said, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me. So the saying went abroad among the brethren that John should never die, but it says the Lord said not to him, Thou shalt never die, but If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? So it was quite evident that John must have thought that he was going to remain in this world until the Lord made His second coming, till He came with judgment. And then in the 24th chapter of Matthew, the 34th verse, it says, This generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled. It is written, Heaven and earth may pass away, but My words shall not pass away.

The disciples knew these words and consequently they looked for His second coming right in their lifetime, and then if we turn to the epistles of the various apostles, we find that James urges the people to whom he is preaching to be ready, for the Lord may come at any moment. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians and indicates that in his lifetime, or at least in their lifetime, they may expect the coming of the Lord; and James, in one passage, speaks to his people and urges them not to be impatient at the delay in the coming of the Lord. The disciples were quite unanimous that the coming of the Lord would be within their lifetime.

The coming of the Lord was not within their lifetime, and the question is, hove can we interpret prophecy--what is the fair way of interpreting prophecy? We can certainly see that as a matter of fact none of these physical things took place, such as the sun being darkened, and the moon not giving its light, and the stars falling from heaven. Those things certainly had no literal interpretation in the lifetime of the disciples, and so we are led to the inquiry, how should we interpret, how should we look upon prophecy, how is it to be read and understood?

A wise man has said that prophecy can never be understood until after the event has taken place. It cannot be understood beforehand and the reason for, that soon appears, if you think a little deeply. If prophecy were so definite that we could say an event was to happen at such and such a time in such and such a place, all the forces causing that prophecy to come to pass at the time and in the place where it did come to pass would be predestined and there would be no human freedom. But we are taught very strongly that the Lord guards human freedom as the apple of His eye, that He allows nothing in the economy, in the history, in the affairs and actions of men to destroy human freedom.


Doctrinal Papers p. 53 Therefore, the nature of prophecy is such that it goes not have to be fulfilled by a certain person at a certain time, but it has to be fulfilled because of the great underlying element out of which it grew just as if you set a certain train of causes in motion. For example, in the realm of chemistry, if I set sulphuric acid and zinc in motion together, the chain of reactions liberating hydrogen is bound to take place, but it comes from the meeting of things--as they meet,--and not from a predestination. For example, Judas lived to betray the Lord, but I don't believe that Judas as a man, as an individual, was predestined to betray the Lord--certainly not! It would never have been permitted for any individual to have been born into the world with such an onerous task to perform; but if Judas had not betrayed the Lord, then may we say that a man with the same name would have betrayed the Lord. Not being facetious, what I mean by that is that the name "Judas" means the sensual quality in man's disposition. The thing that betrayed the Lord in His lifetime was the same element in human psychology that betrayed the Lord in the Garden of Eden when the serpent that represents the same thing as the name Judas represents,--that delight in sensual evil apart from use, - when that serpent beguiled Eve and Eve persuaded the understanding, represented by Adam, to succumb to the temptation. The betrayal was the same, but in time it happened to be Judas who betrayed the Lord; yet he was not predestined to do that.

In order to see what I am trying to bring out, let us see the nature of the fulfillment of the prophecies of the first coming of the Lord, and let's see how the Jews could not understand them before they took place. It is written that wise men came from the east to Jerusalem and said they had seen in the east the star of a new king of the Jews. The star had apparently led them to Jerusalem and then had disappeared, but at Jerusalem they had no evidence of what person the star pointed to; so they went to Herod and said, "We have seen the star and where is this child who is born King of the Jews"? Herod was very upset because he was an exceedingly jealous man and he feared for his crown and his throne and so he gathered all the learned people of the Jews, the chief priests and the elders, and he demanded of them where Christ should be born. They knew where Christ should be born, but they did not know when Christ should be born. They said He will be born in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem means the house of bread and the house of bread means a mind full of spiritual truths and spiritual loves; and that is exactly where the Lord is always born in human hearts, and it did not make any difference what time the Lord was born at Bethlehem. He was not predestined to be born in Bethlehem in the year in which He was born, but the various causative factors that worked together under human freedom fitted into the pattern so that He was born nineteen hundred and fifty odd years ago.


Doctrinal Papers p. 54

But the wise men had seen His star, and the learned Jews knew where He was to be born, but they little suspected that He would be born in a stable and probably they never dreamed He would be born of such humble parents, so, although they knew the place, they did not know the time, and it was impossible to interpret the many different prophecies until after the event.

For example, in the second chapter of the Book of Joel, Joel says that the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall be turned into blood, and there shall be earthquakes. Now nothing like that happened at the time the Lord was born--nothing that we know of--nothing that history tells us of--and so it was not understood until Peter, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, interpreted it. Peter said that the speaking of tongues, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and all of the things which surrounded the coming of the Lord, are what Joel meant when he said the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall be turned to blood, there shall be fire and burning, and so forth. He gave a spiritual interpretation to that prophecy.

One of the prophecies about the Lord says that He shall rule man with a rod of iron. Well, the Lord in His physical life never attempted to make any physical resistance against Herod, or later against Pilate, or against the rulers of the Jews; but the rod of iron that He set up was the rule of truth in men's. hearts, and truth, perhaps, is much stronger than iron; but that could not be interpreted until after the event, after the Lord actually cane into the world. Then various things of the prophecies were seen to fit events. For example, when the Lord was tried before Pilate the Gospel says He opened not His mouth," and thereby the words of Isaiah the prophet were fulfilled, "As a sheep is dumb before its shearers, He opened not His mouth." (Isaiah 53:7) And all through his Gospel Matthew points out different things in the Lords life that actually did fulfill the ancient prophecies, but you could not have told beforehand, you could not have worked out a predestined plan, that would have enabled you to go to the place and at the time that the Lord made His first coming. It was only after the event that men were able to interpret and to see how the prophecies were fulfilled. In order to leave men in human freedom, the prophecies were vague and not determined to individuals, and thus could not be rightly interpreted until after the events prophesied.

If that principle is somewhat clear, that a prophecy cannot be interpreted until after the event, lets look more searchingly into the prophecy of the second coming of the Lord. beginning with the disciples themselves, and going on down through the Christian eras, there have always been a certain number of people who have insisted on a literal interpretation of the prophecies of the second coming. I wish to tell you the reasons that seem to me to make it quite impossible to believe that the Lord meant us to conceive of His second coming in the literal terms of the prophecy.

The first reason I feel that that is so is because the different pictures that are given of the second coming of the Lord are so varied that they are quite inharmonious, if we try to interpret them in a literal sense.


Doctrinal Papers p. 55 Let us take, for example, the 24th chapter of Matthew, the 29th and following verses, where it says that the Lord--after the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall cease to give its light and the stars shall fall from heaven,--the Lord shall appear in the clouds of heaven. In the 19th chapter of the Book of Revelation we have another picture of the second coming of the Lord. There He is described as coming on a white horse followed by the angels of heaven, all of who; are riding on white horses. There are two literal pictures--one of a great horseman on a beautiful horse followed by a huge army on white horses sweeping somewhere, maybe through the sky, and the other is the view of the Son of Man alone, with no horse, coming in the clouds of heaven.

Now does the Lord come in the clouds of heaven or does He come as a horseman? Literally it is pretty hard to reconcile those two different views of how He will come; but spiritually - if we seek for a spiritual interpretation, something which is above the letter, - we see what is meant by the horseman. Remember the Lord was born in a manger, it is said, because the manger fed horses and a horse is the chief means of transportation, being that which carries the mind from one truth to another in man's search for truth in the Word. Horses represent throughout truth in the Word, an understanding of the Word, and an understanding of the Word leads to the development in the mind of spiritual light. The clouds of heaven are made up of small water particles which are truths, and the clouds of heaven--these truths--they also are what reveal the Lord and so the two images are the same, spiritually considered. Whether He comes in the understanding of the Word, or whether He comes in the clouds of heaven, the spiritual picture that is given is quite the same.

But then we have those other passages which seem to be an utterly different type of coming which in a spiritual sense make a harmony with His coming as a horseman or His coming in the clouds. I refer to Luke where He says that the coming of the Lord is an intensely personal thing. It is a quiet thing. "The Lord cometh not with observation," He says. Now what could be more contradictory in the letter than the picture given of the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven, or the 7th verse of the 1st chapter of Revelation which says that "Every eye shall see Him and they that pierced Him shall see Him." Every eye shall see Him--that is anything but a quiet, private coming. That is a great coming where He is revealed to the whole spiritual world. "Every eye shall see Him and they that pierced Him." Of course, they that pierced Him, the soldiers that pierced Him, were in the spiritual world; so the scene obviously is one in the spiritual world, but how contradictory that is to the idea that the kingdom of God cometh not with observation. "Neither shall ye say, lo here, or lo there, for the kingdom of God is within you."

If we think of the spiritual element involved both in the clouds and the Lord's riding on a horse, the idea of coming to a deeper understanding of the Word, wherein the Lord makes His second coming: when we can see truths in the Word that we never saw before--then we say that the kingdom of God comes to us.


Doctrinal Papers p. 56 And really that is the only place that matters for us--where the Lords kingdom comes. It is the Lord's second coming into our hearts which is the matter of supreme importance. The kingdom of God cometh not flashingly, to here or to there, but the kingdom of God is within you.

Let us bind that all together wits what we have been saying from the beginning, that the Lord is everywhere, and that He is here in this room, and He was in Bethlehem the night that He was born. What then does His second coming mean to me or to you? The Lord's second coming is His coming when heaven is within you. I can illustrate this. If we take a radio, for example, the current that flows into it and lights up the tubes is like the Lord's immediate influx into each one of us. The Lord floes into us and beeps us alive, but we don't know about that. We don't feel it. He gives us the life processes and that is like the electricity that lights up the bulbs in your radio, but that is not what gives you your stations. The selective device gives you your stations, and when you tune it so that you can receive a certain wave, then that station can come into your radio.

The human heart is like that on a higher plane. The only person who can receive the kingdom of God is the person who has the kingdom of God in his own heart, and so that means you have the facility to receive the type of love and affection and the type of wisdom that characterized and forms heaven; so we are taught that when we go over to the spiritual world, anybody can go up into heaven; but those who are evil and go up into heaven, instead of finding it delightful may see nothing. Sometimes a good man will walk along beside an evil man, in heaven, and the good man, will see paradises and the evil man will see nothing but a desert, because he has nothing of the kingdom of God within him and, therefore, all vibrations that come from without are not received by him any more than vibrations to which your radio is not tuned are received by your radio. They just pass it by--they don't do anything--they don't affect it.

And so the person who hasn't the kingdom of God within him, even if he comes into the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of heaven cannot come into him and, therefore, he cannot come into a heavenly state. The saying, therefore, that the Lord's second coming will be not with observation and not to here and to there, but within you, makes perfect harmony with the idea of the Lord as giving us a greater understanding of the Word which will lead us to deeper affections and greater wisdom which is the horseman, or the picture of the Lord coming in the clouds, in the literal sense clouds of heaven. Where, before we saw a trinity of persons, now we see just one God in whom is a Divine trinity of soul, body and proceeding Spirit. That makes one with the kingdom of God within you and the prophecies are one.


Doctrinal Papers p. 57

Or let us take that prophecy that we find in the 16th chapter of John beginning with the 12th verse, where the Lord is talking to His disciples and He sags, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak." Let us just look at the disciples and consider what the Lord meant by those words.

Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. They probably had no education at all as we understand education. They probably though the sun was a ball of fire suspended in the sky, and they probably thought that the moon was a lesser light created to give us some light at night. The stars they either thought were tiny lights in the sky or, perhaps they thought they were glory holes from heaven above through which light from heaven filtered into this world; but they thought the world was flat. And suppose Peter had kicked a piece of coal as he walked along beside the sea of Galilee, what would he have thought? He would have thought it was only a stone. He would not have known that in that black stone is contained the potentiality of heat and steam and light and aniline dye and aniline perfumes and a thousand things that we know a piece of coal means to the world.

And so the Lord said to those disciples who were not to be blamed for their ignorance--they were just a product of their age but the world had not grown up at that time--He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." That is, "Ye cannot understand them now." But He said the time would come when the Spirit of truth would reveal those many things unto the world.

Those simple disciples had a task to perform. Their great task was to teach the world that the Lord had risen from the dead, that He had conquered death. That was the great message of Christianity, and following in the wake of that, or because the Lord had conquered death, that His disciples and all men might also conquer death,--and to conquer death, they were to preach the simple principles of Christianity as revealed in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Lord's discourses, for these were the means whereby man might conquer death and come into heaven. That was the simple task of the disciples.

But to understand the glorification of the Lord, to understand how the Lord had taken on a body from Mary and how little by little He had glorified it, why they had no plane of philosophy or even of natural science in their minds by means of which they could understand such teaching. So He told them, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." What else could those words have meant? We have to rule out, for two reasons I think, the literal fulfillment of the second coming. The two reasons are as I have said. First, it simply did not take place when the Lord said that it would, if we are going to take Him literally--for He said, within this generation. The second reason we cannot take the second coming literally I haven't mentioned.


Doctrinal Papers p. 58 It is that the stars should fall from heaven, as the 24th chapter of Matthew describes. We know that the earth is one of the tiniest of the planets, and that the stars outside of the planets are so much larger than the earth, and there are so many of them, that if they should really start falling toward the earth, when they got within a certain distance, they would simply interlock. They would form a complete and solid mass and the gravity from such a huge mass would be such as to tear the earth, to dissolve it into atoms. The physical picture of the stars falling from heaven is simply an impossibility to believe, now that we have all of the facilities for education and learning and knowing what we do know about our universe. The disciples did not know those things about the universe and so they could accept a literal expectation, but we cannot accept a literal expectation and it is impossible to conceive of any place where the Lord could be except in the spiritual world where every eye could see Him. There is no cloud high enough. The highest mountain is only visible from the very smallest portion of the earth. There is no possibility of a literal fulfillment of every eye being able to see Him in the clouds of heaven however high those clouds were. People on the opposite side of the world would be deprived of His second coming. Because a literal fulfillment involves scientific contradictions which seer" to me insuperable, it seems to me that we can certainly rule cut any literal interpretation or any literal expectation of the second coming, of the Lord.

We know there are fanatical sects. The Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Russellites, and various sects are forever preaching today that the literal signs prophesized in the Word, wars and rumors of wars and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places and all of those things, are an indication of the immediate impending coming of the Lord with judgment, and the end of the world. I remember well at the time of the first world war, I was preaching on the streets of Scranton and I preached next door to some soap box orators, some Russellites, and they were preaching that that war was the war and rumor of war, nation rising against nation, which heralded the end of the world and the second coming of the Lord, but it didn't. And I heard orators over the radio during the second world war preaching the same thing and proving the time from various miraculous computations of years and days given in the prophecy of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. That is being done over and over again, but always with the same result that the day comes and nothing happens.

So I think with a perfectly clear conscience we can rule out the literal interpretation, but that does leave us in a dilemma between two things. Either we have to discard the reliability of the Bible, or we have to give it a spiritual interpretation which will bring into harmony the various prophecies which are given. Well, there are many people who have discarded the Bible for just that reason; many agnostics and even atheists have reacted from a literal interpretation of the Bible which has led them to such contradictions that they cannot feel that there is any holiness in the Word, and the only remedy and hope for that is to show them the harmony that exists, when one sees the spiritual sense that reconciles all of these prophecies and makes them a harmonious unit.


Doctrinal Papers p. 59

In regard to the second coming, if the Lord is everywhere and if the first coming was simply His taking on garments of flesh that we could see Him in a new way and feel Him and hear His voice and so on; if there is a voice whereby He can give us a new vision of Himself, it does not have to be a vision in the flesh. After all, the Divine does a thing perfectly. He accomplished everything He could accomplish by taking on a body of His own and glorifying that body the first time He came on earth, but there were many things He could not accomplish because of the state of men's minds at that time, because of their ignorance--the many things He had to teach His disciples. The history of the individual repeats the history of the race and man must be twice born to become spiritual. To become spiritual he must be born of his mother and then he must be born of water and the Holy Spirit as the Lord told Nicodemus. The Lord told Nicodemus it wasn't a literal rebirth, it wasn't a natural rebirth; it wasn't a second natural rebirth, He told Nicodemus, but man must be born of water and the Spirit, and from that analogy we argue that the Lord also is to be born into the world twice, but certainly no more than man has He to be born into the world twice, of a woman; but the second time He too is to be born of water and the Holy Spirit, that is, of Divine wisdom and truth which come to men's minds and give men's rinds a new vision of the Divine and answers the questions in men's hearts which the literal interpretation of the Word has failed to answer down through the centuries.

If you have ever seen, as I have, persons who saw the truth in the pages of the Writings for the first time, you will understand me. The particular person I am thinking of was a Mennonite who was brought up from infancy to believe in three Divine persons which in a mysterious way made God. If you could have seen his face as he told me what the description of the trinity in the True Christian Religion did for his mind, you would have rejoiced as I did. Out of chaos brought a single glorious thought, and out of a divided endeavor to be loyal to three Divine persons without understanding how, it enabled him to see that the Divine soul which is everywhere and always was, that that Divine soul was the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ; not another person, but His soul, and that He manifested that soul on earth, and that all of the religion and all of the spiritual inspiration that you and I have from reading the Word and from truth, that is all His spirit, that is His Divine personality ministering to us, inspiring us. To see the way this man rejoiced at having received that truth, I could understand how that was a second coming of the Lord to him. It was a real coming. The Lord came into his mind in rational, clear, understandable terms such as He had never been in his mind before.

Of this Spirit that the Lord promised to send to the disciples or to the Church when the Church was old enough and wise enough to understand those things, John says that this Spirit of truth shall not speak of Himself but what He shall hear--that shall He speak and He shall teach of Me.


Doctrinal Papers p. 60 We believe that the Lord used a human instrument--Emanuel Swedenborg--to make a second coming. Swedenborg says that at the time his spiritual eyes were opened, when he was fully introduced into the spiritual world,--let us say from the time he started to write the Arcana Coelestia in 1747--until 1772 when he died,--he says solemnly that during all those years he didn't receive anything, pertaining to the doctrine of the Church from any spirit or angel but from the Lord alone as he read and meditated on the Word. So Swedenborg has to be judged on what Swedenborg claims it to be, and his claim has to be thrown out or accepted from that standpoint.

Luther wrote a commentary on the Bible, as did Calvin and Melancthon and Adam Smith; and many others have written commentaries on the Bible. Then are interesting and useful and valuable but they are after all nothing more nor less than Luther's opinion, Melanchon's opinion, Calvin's opinion, and Adam Smith's opinion. Those commentaries are just their opinion from their illustration and understanding of what the Word teaches.

In giving the spiritual sense of the Word, Swedenborg is not the Spirit of truth, Swedenborg is not the Lord's second coming. The Spirit of truth is the rational truth revealed in the Writings; the things Swedenborg received from the Lord alone as he read and meditated on the Word. And the Lord said, "This Spirit shall not speak of Himself, but what He shall hear, that shall He say." That is why Swedenborg says he did not receive anything from any angel or spirit but from the Lord alone. Also the Word says that He shall testify of Me. From the very beginning of the Arcana Coelestia Swedenborg called the one God the Lord. He was the Lord, one with the Kyrios of the New Testament and the Jehowah of the Old Testament--all three words meaning the same thing, Lord, the One God of all the Testaments. And he spoke from that, and devoted his time and energy to testifying of that one God and. explaining how one God is in one person.

Space will not permit, but future papers will, of our showing in detail how the new revelation is the second coming of the Lord. Here is the Divine in this room, but I don't see It, I don't touch It, taste or smell It. I have no way of perceiving It, but when the Divine in this room comes to me through the pages of the Writings, and when I read in the Writings and I see a truth that I had never seen before, I see the Lord in a new way. That new way is the second coming of the Lord. It is not a coming, but it is a revelation of Him. It is a manifestation of Him. And so in His second coming He does six things. First of all He reveals the one God whom we worship, as we have gone over in past papers. Then, as we have sought to show men, how the Lord makes His second coming is revealed in the pages of the Writings. Thirdly, man's eternal destiny.... The spiritual world with all its glories and its laws and its societies, its recreations, its uses, its worship, and devotion, its government--two thousand pages Swedenborg wrote about the particulars of the spiritual world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 61 You cannot find anything like that in any literature--even the spiritists who try to get spiritistic mumblings and so forth. I read once through the spiritistic mumblings that Sir Oliver Lodge accumulated in a book called "Raymond, and also five other books of his. Raymond was his son, killed in the first World War, and Sir Oliver Lodge, the great scientist who made important atomic discoveries in his day, grieved, and he tried to get in touch with this son of his, Raymond, and he believed he did come in contact with him, and he wrote those books which composed the spiritistic mutterings of many different mediums through whom he sought communication. In one page of Heaven and Hell you can learn more of the spiritual world than in a whole "volume of this kind of thing. But there we have it before us--we have this revelation of the spiritual world and it is inexhaustible. No one has yet reached anywhere near the end of the picture that it paints, and it is a new picture, it is a second corning, it reveals the Lord anew. Those are three of the six doctrines.

The fourth is that wonderful doctrine that teaches us that man should shun evils as sins against God and thus develop a character which does have heaven within it, which can vibrate with the vibrations of heaven--the doctrine of life that man shall come into heaven by shunning evils as sins. Then there is the doctrine of the spiritual sense of the Word on which I hope to be able to spend several classes, because the spiritual sense of the Word unfolds magnificently from the great principle that as the sun of the spiritual world gives the light and heat of heaven which are wisdom and love, so beginning with the sun of the spiritual world corresponding to the sun of the natural world and everything in the natural world corresponding to everything in the spiritual world--each from its own sun, each in logical sequence, so that through the letter of the Word, when opened up, we can come into the veritable spiritual universe which is to be our eternal home.

And last but by no means least is the doctrine of conjugial love which is revealed for the first time to the New Church--a whole book about it--a whole great book of hundreds of pages which gives us the truths upon which happy marriages can be based. And the early promise in no. 49 that to every young man who prays to the Lord for a loving and legitimate union with one of the opposite sex and who shuns wandering evils as an offense against God, that to such a one, a partner will be given. The indication is for the most part in this world, but surely in the eternal world--a marvelous promise. And then all the truths are given us whereby we can work this out, if we want to, so that the ancient and pristine conjugial love that existed in the Garden of Eden, we are taught, will once again be restored to the New Church. So, in very truth, although the Lord is present everywhere and always was, and although He revealed Himself as a man the first time when He came on earth, in very truth, now in the second coming, He has given us an entirely new and glorious vision of Himself which shall be for the salvation of all people.


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By the Reverend Karl R. Alden

The marvelous thing about the Word is that there has been a Providence over it all which has given us so many sources, checks, and balances that the Word, as we have it today, is undoubtedly very accurate.

In regard to the Old Testament. Moses lived fifteen hundred years before Christ and is given credit, through tradition, for having been the first person to write down the five books that bear his name. These include the first eleven chapters of Genesis, seven of which he transcribed from the Ancient Word (SS 103e; see TCR 279:2), which he probably found in the house of his father-in-law in Midian. His father-in-law was a priest of Midian and Moses remained there for forty years as a shepherd. It was there, we suppose that he came in contact with the earlier writings of the Ancient Church and transcribed the first seven chapters of Genesis. That takes us up through the Tower of Babel and down to the beginning of the Hebrew Church--to Heber and Abraham, and from then on we-have actual history. Moses wrote a great deal of that, and after him others wrote many various books of the Word. The scribe, Ezra, for example, who lived some seven or eight hundred years before Christ, compiled and edited the various books of the Old Testament.

Then a great mystery came. In 280 B.C., there were many learned Jews in Alexandria who had learned to speak Greek fluently and who had forgotten their native Hebrew much as an English Jew in this country, who probably knows some ritualistic Hebrew but speaks Yiddish, not Hebrew. Yiddish has only about ten percent of Hebrew in it. It is mostly German written in Hebrew characters. In fact, the Jews in Alexandria had lost the use of Hebrew to a large extent, and in order to replace it they appointed seventy scholars to translate the Hebrew Scriptures, as they had them then, into Greek.

The story, which, of course, is only a story though a good one, is that these seventy scholars went into seventy different cubicles or rooms all by themselves and translated the Old Testament independently of each other; and when they came to compare their translations, they found they were word for word the same. So that translation of the Hebrew Scriptures was known as the Septuagint, the Greek word for seventy. That was done in 280 B.C.

Of course, the Hebrew Scriptures existed in written form at the time of the Lord, because it is mentioned many times in the Now Testament that the Lord went into synagogues, and on one occasion, He asked the elder to bring Him the scroll of Isaiah. Each of the Scriptures was written on a continuous parchment which was rolled up on two sticks and unrolled as it was read; and the Lord read from the prophecy in Isaiah about Himself, and He said, "On this day is this Scripture fulfilled." So they had the Scriptures then.


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We go through, however, a strange blank period as far as actual documents go. There is a long period in there when we don't know what became of the original Hebrew manuscripts. For instance, those that were read in the synagogues in the Lord's hearing. Scholarship, archeologists, no one knows what happened to those Hebrew manuscripts. But in the tenth century A.D. a band of fanatical Jewish scholars, called Masoretes, were raised up in Providence; and these Masoretes, with the utmost care and diligence, got all the original manuscripts and produced a Textus Receptus as it is called; that is, a received text of the Hebrew Scriptures. They prepared it with the most tremendous energy and particularization. They even counted all the words and letters of the whole Old Testament, and they could tell you the middle letter of the Old Testament, and the number of its verses and chapters. Everything was codified in the most meticulous manner, but that wasn't until the tenth century A.D.; and that is the Hebrew Scripture that we have at the present time--come down from the labor of the Masoretes. And, of course, we have to compare with that the translation made by the seventy scholars in Alexandria 280 years before Christ, and the general agreement is remarkable. It is only in particulars that they disagree.

When we come to the Christian tradition of the Now Testament, there also we have mystery. We know the Gospels are written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but we don't know when they wrote them, and we certainly have no manuscripts in the handwriting of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The earliest manuscripts we have, as far as scholars can tell(and I am depending on the scholarship of the world for this, because I am not an archeologist), are three that date back to the second century A.D., and these are called uncial manuscripts.

I might explain that there are manuscripts and there are versions. A manuscript is the original language, so the New Testament would be written in Greek, and we have two kinds of manuscripts that have come down to us. The oldest are called uncial. That is a word derived from the word capital letter and they are called uncials because they are all written in capital Greek letters. Furthermore, parchment was so expensive that they are written without any breaks between the words--no paragraphs, no verses, no chapters--just continuously, and there are only three of those manuscripts in existence at the present time. Of these earliest uncial manuscripts, one is the Alexandria codex, which was given to the king of England, Charles I, by the patriarch of Constantinople around the 16th century. Then there is the Vatican manuscript which is in the possession of Rome. All of these manuscripts, I may say, at the present time have been photolithographed, and probably in the large libraries in Philadelphia you can see copies of them. They are all over the world now in photolithograph. There are just the three originals. The Alexandria, in the British Museum in London, the Vatican manuscript, belonging to the Catholic Church, in Rome in the Vatican.


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The third great manuscript, the Sinaitic Codex, was discovered in a very romantic manner by a great German scholar called Tischendorf. I haven't time to go into all the details, but I will just tell you a few of then. ire was visiting the monastery run by Russian monks at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It was a cold day, and in the common room, they were about to make a fire, and they were going to make this fire out of old manuscripts, just as you and I would burn up old newspapers that had been around the house for some time and had ceased to have any news value. Tischendorf, who was a great scholar, noticed that these were not ordinary manuscripts at all, but their were uncials, and he managed to rescue from the wastebasket fifteen pages of this priceless manuscript. He took it to Germany, and some ten or fifteen years later, he again went to the monastery, and there he lived just as a monk. He lived very humbly, and his secret desires were not known at all to the monks, but he lived there until he found the rest of the papers of this priceless manuscript that hadn't been burned up fortunately. That is one of the best manuscripts and the last to be found. It is almost complete. And because it was a Russian monastery, and due to the influence of Peter, the Czar at that time, Russia got possession of this manuscript, the Sinaitic Codex, and this was kept in St. Petersburg until the time of the Bolshevik revolution, when religion went out the door. England then offered Russia a million dollars for this priceless manuscript, and it is now the British Museum; so England has two of the priceless manuscripts.

In addition to those uncials that are the oldest, we have the cursives, so-called from the Latin word curso concurro--run together, and they are written not in capitals but more in a script. There are 1500 of these and many of them are of a much later date than the originals. (I call them originals, because the originals may appear some time, but they are the most original things that we have.) it is like the mystery of the book of Swedenborg, who at Amsterdam wrote "Hie Liber est Adventus Domini" on two copies of the BRIEF EXPOSITION. We have found one of those copies. It has also found its way into the British Museum. An Englishman paid ten thousand dollars for it, outbidding the Academy. We wanted it very badly but we didn't authorize our agent to spend more than ten thousand dollars, little thinking he would--have to spend anything like that much. Mr. Whittington, an English Newchurchman, bought it and promptly gave it to the British Museum from whence it cannot be extricated for love or money as far as I know.

In addition to the cursives, which as I say are of a later date than the uncials, we have the quotations from the Church Fathers to verify the text. These Church Fathers, St. Augustine and many others, were very energetic men and were always writing letters to their various parishioners and people whom their were interesting in Christianity. Many of those letters have been preserved and they quote no end of Scripture and, of course, all of the sentences they quote especially the early Church Fathers, have a very great bearing in verifying the text that has come down to us. So that we have the uncials and we have the cursives, fifteen hundred of them, and we have all sorts of quotations from the Church Fathers.


Doctrinal Papers p. 65 When all these things are put together, we have a pretty good body of evidence for forming a Textus Receptus, that is, a text that you can believe is the very text which was written by the authors of the gospels.

So much for the manuscripts. Then we come to the versions which are translations. It is an interesting thing that we have Syrian translations into the Syrian language and Coptic translations (Coptic is the Egyptian language) of the early Egyptian Christians, which antedate anything that is in existence in the original Greek. In other words, Syrians and Egyptians translated the Gospels from some source that has now disappeared, at a time when the Apostles apparently were living. That is what the consensus of scholarship is--that these early translations were made while the Apostles themselves were still living, so that they have an antiquity that is even greater than the uncials or the cursives which have come down to us and, of course, they are of very great value in confirming and trying to arrive at a true text which shall be the authentic text and shall be the basis of the Doctrine of the Church.

In addition to all of this, we have the work of St. Jerome who was made a saint by the Catholic Church. Whether he is a saint or not, he is a man we can without any hindrance admire--a man, I think, very much after Bishop Acton's model, a terrific worker, and he was a Roman Catholic rank. About there were growing up various translations of the Scriptures into Latin, and it became quite evident to the Church in Rome in general; and St. Jerome was appointed by the Church to translate the Scriptures into Latin.

Jerome was a monk and he had a little cell at Bethlehem where he spent his life. He was a great Hebrew and Greek scholar and the task was assigned him to write a Latin translation of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures which he did, what manuscripts he used, we haven't the faintest idea. They have vanished from sight. We don't know what manuscripts they were but we do know what the result of his translation is; and its translation into Latin held complete dominance in the Catholic Church. There was no other Christian Church for a thousand years, until the time of the Reformation; and the Catholic and some of the English translations, as you will see, were also made from the Latin Vulgate. That is called the Vulgate Bible. It is the Latin Bible, and was translated into Latin by St. Jerome around 384 A.D.

So much for the versions in other languages than English. Of course, in each country you'd go to, you could find its own romantic story of the Bible. I don't know what the romantic story of the French Bible it but undoubtedly it is as interesting as this story of the English Bible that I want to portray for you tonight. Strange to say, the clergy more and more wanted to have their words considered the criteria of the Church and there was a resentment on the part of the clergy, a terrific and tremendous resentment on their part, to having the Bible rendered into English, in the language of the common people.


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The first person to translate the Bible into English was a cowherd named Caedmon. He was just a simple cowherd, he looked after cows, driving them out to pasture in the morning and back at night. Now there was a party and lots of the people were reciting poetry, but Caedmon couldn't get up and make jingles, and so he had gone off into the stable and was moping; and, while he was there, the Lord appeared to him and said, Caedmon, sing to Me, and in the morning he realized he had the poetic faculty. He had gone to bed without it and woke up with it; and he went to Hilda, who was the abbess of the monastery with which he was connected, and Hilda translated from the Vulgate into English the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and some of the Gospels, and Caedmon, this unlettered cowherd, put them into poetry. That poetry has come down to us. It is among the earliest sources of English, and you will get in English as well as in Religion the study of Caedmon, because his life is so interesting.

The next man to make some little progress in translating the Bible into English was the venerable Bede. He lived in 700 A.D. and wrote in Latin an ecclesiastical history of England. If it had not been for the work of Bede we wouldn't know much about England prior to 700, but he told all about the history between the roman Conquest, the coming of Caesar in 55 B.C., down to his own time. When he grew to be an old man he said, "I want my boys not to read a lie. I want them to read the Gospel in English." As he lay dying, he started the translation of the Gospel of John, and as death approached--he knew it was nearing--he worked feverishly. He worked night and day, dictating the translation of the Vulgate Latin Gospel of John into English. The scribe kept on writing it down as fast as he dictated and finally the scribe said, "It is finished, and Bede said, "It is finished too," and thereupon he passed away.

Then came a six hundred year silence in the translation of the Word into English. If you will remember the history, the Danish invasion under Canute in 1000 A.D. kept the people in England very, very busy and they didn't have any time to think about translating the Bible into English. Then in 1066 came William the Conqueror with his Norman hordes into England. We can see now Providence in that the Scriptures were not translated until the marvelous English language which we have now had been created. English is a most interesting language because of its roots. It had the Anglo-Saxon with all its direct words such as "love," "heart" and others of that kind that are right to the point, and then came the Norman conquerors with all the beauty, grace, agility and bon homme of the French language; and for three hundred years French was spoken at the Court of William the Conqueror and his successors. But the virility of the Anglo-Saxon language pushed up from underneath and more and more, as the three hundred years passed, the French as such disappeared and the Anglo-Saxon as such came to the fore.


Doctrinal Papers p. 67 By the time you come to Chaucer who died in 1400 A.D. the English language has begun to be come a completely welded language of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman plus the Latin and other roots that had come during the Roman invasion. All of that had become one great language and it started to mix up in a melting pot and, of course, reached its climax in William Shakespeare and the King James version of the Bible. Those two great works are what codify and standardize the English language, and give us the powerful language to write in that we have today; and we believe that it was given for the sake of the Word.

John Wyclif lived about 1373 A.D. and he wanted his ploughboys and the common man on the street to be able to read the Bible in English. He was a born reformer and a man of terrific courage and vitriolic tongue. At first he was against the abuses of the bishops. Then he became against the office itself of the bishop and he attacked the wealth of the monasteries and the life of comfort and ease that the monks lived. He founded a new set of monks named the Poor Friars and they, in Robin Hood's day, degenerated, too, but at the time of Wyclif they were a grand bunch of men, really consecrated to their use.

But we find in 1373 in England, a great room of Black Friars with silk-robed prelates and priests and bishops and archbishops and before them, being tried, was a country parish priest, John Wyclif. The crime for which he was tried was translating the Latin Bible into English. That was a crime. Now just as the trial was about to start, a terrific earthquake shook London and some of the superstitious people called out that the trial should stop, that this was a sign from heaven that "Wyclif was innocent, but the bishop who was presiding said, No, this is a sign from heaven that Wyclif is guilty, and the trial should go on," so it went on and lasted for three days, and Wyclif was excommunicated from the Church. He was, however, allowed to go back to the little town of Lutterworth which was his parish, an obscure town, and there he continued to minister to his flock and to translate the Bible into English.

Wyclif was very much like the venerable Bede. He had just completed his translation of the Bible into English and was conducting services in his own church when he was smitten with palsy and fell down and died. I shall show you the venom of the age. I have a choice description of what his enemies thought of him. This is written by one of his opponents: As he fell down and died on the feast day of the Passion of St. Thomas of Canterbury, John Wyclif, the servant of the devil, the enemy of the church, the idol of heretics, the image of hypocrites, the restorer of schism, the storehouse of lies, the sink of flattery, being struck by the horrible judgment of God, was seized with the palsy throughout his whole body, and that mouth which was to have spoken huge things against God and his saints and the holy church, was miserably drawn aside and afforded a frightful spectacle to beholders. His tongue was speechless and his head shook, showing plainly that the curse that God had thundered forth against Cain was also inflicted upon him." Well there is no doubt about how that man felt about Wyclif.


Doctrinal Papers p. 68 Wyclif's translation into English had this one great fault--it was a translation of a translation. It was a translation from the Vulgate which had been a translation of the original Greek and Hebrew.

It then happened, when the Turns took Constantinople early in the seventeenth century, there were many Greek scholars who had lived a life of ease and of study in the humanities. They were not Christian. They were pagan scholars--people who loved Plato and Aristotle and the-old Greek literature. They no longer had a home in Constantinople, with its ease and its very erudite life, so they were coming back into Europe, and Europe was just emerging from the Middle Ages, This is one of the factors that helped to produce the Reformation and the Renaissance and the emerging from the Middle Ages, and one of the great results of these Greek scholars' coming was that they tried to get a reliable Greek New Testament. A great Dutch scholar in Amsterdam, named Erasmus, undertook this work and brought it to a successful conclusion so that, for the first time, we have a Greek text of the New Testament which is available to scholars.

Not until 1450 did the art of printing come in. When we realize that at the present time there are one hundred and seventy-one Wyclif Bibles still in existence in spite of all those that were burned by his enemies, and everyone of them took ten months to copy, while a modern printing press could make one hundred and twenty copies of them in an hour, we see the energy that some of these men had. I know you remember the story of the art of printing, but I'll just recall it to your attention very rapidly. It was discovered by a man named Genstleisch. He was a carver. He was carving letters, and his wife was making purple dye on the stove for dyeing a dress. By one of those freak accidents, one of the letters fell into the purple dye on the stove and when he took it out, he put it on something and noticed that it made an imprint just like itself. That gave him the idea. He took his mother's name, which was Gutenberg and that is probably the way you remember it--the inventor of printing was named Gutenberg. At the end of the year he had invented movable type and the first thing he printed was the Bible.

One hundred years went by after Wyclif, and we now come to a great man named Tyndale. Tyndale applied to the Bishop of London to be his patron. If you were a scholarly lad in those days you hunted around for some man of means and applied to him to be your patron, and he would say, "Yes, come and live at my house," and he would feed and clothe you, and when you published anything you would put his name on it, dedicated to your patron.

The Bishop of London, knowing that Tyndale wanted to translate the Bible from the original language into English (he was the first scholar to attempt a translation from the original Greek and Hebrew into English)was afraid because the higher-ups in the Church frowned on having the people know the Bible. They thought the word of the pope was far superior to the word of the Bible, and if the people did not know the Bible, they could not see if the pope contradicted the Bible; so it was far safer for the prestige of the Church not to have the Bible in English.


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The Bishop of London, therefore, curtly told Tyndale that his house was full--he didn't have an extra room for him; so Tyndale shopped around and finally got a patron and began his work, and nothing but persecution followed him. Soon he found that not only did the Bishop of London have no room for him in his house, but there was no room for him in England. He packed up everything and went abroad around 1528, I think, never to come back again to England.

Tyndale went over to Germany, where he worked day and night translating the New Testament into English, and then his whereabouts were discovered and his persecutors got after him and he fled to Luther at Worms. Luther provided sanctuary for him. The Reformation had broken out. Tyndale finished his work of translating the Bible into English, and then the question was--how to get it over into England. The Bishop of London tried to play a foxy trick. He gave a go-between (a stool pigeon I guess we'd call him) money to buy up all Tyndale's translations, and was going to burn them. But the go-between was really a stool pigeon, because he gave the money to Tyndale; and with the money Tyndale bought new presses; and so the Bishop of London's nefarious designs were not carried out. Instead, Tyndale was able to publish more copies of his translation of the Bible, and he smuggled them over to England in cases of wine, in socks--everything that England imported from France and Germany was likely to have a Tyndale Bible smuggled in with it; and those people who backed him up were zealous and were willing to risk life itself, indeed, many people in England were burned at the stake for having Tyndale's Bible found in their houses.

Finally Tyndale was betrayed by a man named Philip, whom he thought was his friend. Some thugs came to his house at night, seized him and put him in a dungeon, in either Germany or Austria. Later he was brought out, tied to a stake, strangled, burned, and buried. Forty years after his burial, his remains were dug up, burned and scattered on the Swift River in England. This river flows into the ocean, so his followers and admirers said that it was symbolic of his work. He died at the stake with the words, "Lord, open the eyes of the king of England."

After Tyndale's death, during the reign of Henry VIII, people began to love the Bible in English, and from Tyndale we can trace some phrases of our English Bible back to Wyclif's translation. Many of our Psalms are examples. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." That is the way Tyndale expressed it, and it has come down to us that way. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Many of those translations are identical with Tyndale and Wyclif. They carry through all the translations from Tyndale's day. He was a man with apparently a wonderful sense of English and of balanced sentences. He formed the basis for that beloved English we find in the King James Version.


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In King Henry VIII's time the pressure was so great that he felt that there must be an authorized Bible. This business of having the Tyndale Bible smuggled in and not being able to stop ityou know, when matters get to a certain point a smart king says, "I cannot stop it, so I will approve it." So he appointed a council of bishops, and Coverdale, and various men who had written independent translations of the Bible. It's too long a story to go into all of it, but about 1539, they brought out what was called the Great Bible which had the approval of the House of Bishops and of King Henry VIII. This is funny--the original one was dedicated to Queen Anne, and when she lost her head and Henry married Jane, in some of the translations, a big J is put in front of Anne--changing the name to Janne. Other publishers leave a blank as though they had become tired trying to follow Henry with all his wives and didn't dedicate it to the right wife. That became the Great Bible, and it was chained in the various churches. Books then were very expensive so the Bibles were chained in the churches and the common people, for the first time, were able to read them freely, or to hear them read.

Then, of course, you know the story of bloody Mary and Queen Elizabeth. When Queen Elizabeth was crowned, she took a Bible and kissed and hugged it to her heart in front of all the people as part of the coronation ceremony, and the Bible that she used was the Geneva Bible, and for the first time it had abandoned the old black German type. If you look at the old manuscripts, you will find that the old Bibles, the first printed, are in this German type with the heavy black script. The Geneva Bible is printed in the Roman type such as we are familiar with, and the Geneva Bible was the first one to have it in the octavo. All the early Bibles are large but the Geneva Bible was the small Bible. It was very popular for sixty years. There were many different editions of it allowed.

In 1604, nearly 350 years ago, King James came to the throne. He was really interested in the Bible. Some of you may think that the scholars dedicated the Bible to him because he happened to be the king, but that is not the case. King James was a Greek scholar, an educated man, and he was a Scotsman. The Scots have a long, traditional reputation, probably founded on good fact, of being Interested in theological things. King James really was interested in theology and he wanted to have a Bible that should be the best that the scholarship of England could produce. He was very broad-minded about it. He, of course, was the titular head of the Church of England, the Church of England having cut itself adrift from the pope under King Henry VIII. But James didn't stick to scholars of the Church of England. He chose the foremost available Greek and Hebrew scholars - altogether some fifty-nine scholars, and they divided up the work among groups so that each group had a certain section of the Bible to be responsible for, and they worked over it for years. In 1604 the committees were appointed and the date of the King James Version is 1611.


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That translation, it is interesting to note, was made before the Sinaitic, the Alexandrian, and the Vatican Codices had come to life. None of them had been discovered when the King James Version was made.

In our own day, we have the final version. It is called the Revised Version of the Bible. More than one hundred American and English scholars participated in the Revised Version which they compared and contrasted with all of the known available material. A committee of scholars in the United States would finish their work and send it to England, and it would come back and again be revised here. Some of the English work would be accepted, and some rejected, and it went back and forth. The translators did that three different times. It took eleven years for the New Testament to be revised and fifteen years for the Old Testament to be revised. That is called the Revised Edition of the King James Version. There are places where, if you want to find out the original, you can find all the sources which the scholars had and for which they have given their scholarship. So you see the Bible, as we have it today, is the result of a long, long period of work in the history of the world.

The Lord's inner garment was said to represent the spiritual sense of the Word which lies within and the outer garment was to be made of many, many different pieces all sewn together under the Divine Providence, and we can certainly see how this is true, when we study the formation of the letter of the Word--the way it has come down, the way it has been preserved, almost disappearing at times, and then being revised. And so that we can be absolutely sure of it, it comes from so many different angles and so many different sources that the externals of it are like the outer garments, made of many, many different pieces. And the internal sense is like the inner garment the Lord wore, which was woven without seam from top to bottom.

* * * *

"The heavens rest on the human race as a house rests on its foundation. So the wisdom of the angels of heaven rests in like manner on the knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom of men from the sense of the letter of the Word; for communication and conjunction with the heavens are effected through the sense of the letter of the Word. For this reason, as a result of the Lord's Divine providence, there has been no mutilation of the sense of the letter of the Word from its first revelation, not even in a word or letter in the original text; for each word, and in some measure each letter, is a support." (Apocalypse Explained 1085:2. See also Arcana Coelestia 7933, 9349; Last Judgment 41.)


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Read first Psalm 78 and Luke 21, verses 13 to 27.

The Psalm gives a summary of the whole history of Israel's wanderings on the wilderness of Sinai; and everything is perfectly plain in the letter, and yet the Lord introduces it by the words that He will open His mouth in parables and will utter dark sayings of old.

The reading from Luke concerns the Lord's meeting two of His disciples after He had risen from the dead on Easter morning.

I first wish to say that in preparing this class, I owe a great debt to one of the classic New Church books. My debt is to Noble's Plenary Inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures. That is a book I have read many times and I never fail to be inspired by it and I would commend it to the attention of any of you who wish to go into this matter more deeply and you will find it in the Library. It is a truly inspiring book and much of my thought has been channeled by the order in which this great New Church thinker has presented the matter.

The first thing it seems that we should ascertain is what the Scriptures claim for themselves --what type of inspiration they claim to have. Frankly, they claim the Old and the New Testament to be the Word of God. They claim to be a message from the Divine mind to mankind. As you know, the first five books of the Bible were written by Moses, and of these five books, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, chapter after chapter, begins with the words, "And the Lord spake to Moses," so that you might say the chapter is a direct quotation of what the Lord said to noses and Moses so recorded it. Consequently if they are the Lord's words to Moses, and Moses faithfully recorded them, the Books come under the category of claiming to be the Word of the Lord. It is not necessary to give particular incidents because there are so many of them, and all through the Prophets, we read, And the Word of the Lord came to me, saying. Then Isaiah or Jeremiah or Daniel, or whoever the prophet happened to be who received the Word of the Lord, wrote it down and formed that part of the bible that goes under the title of his name; so that there is abundant evidence in the Old Testament that it claims for itself to be the Word of God.


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When we come to the New Testament it is very interesting that the Lord, while on earth--the Lord who was the Word made flesh--vindicates the idea that the Law and the Prophets (that is, the Books of Moses, Joshua, Judges, Kings, the Psalms, the five major Prophets and the twelve minor Prophets) are indeed the Word of God and the Lord Himself, in His own language while He was on earth, so calls them. You remember the case where the Lord was arguing with the scribes and the Pharisees and He said that they make the law--the fundamental law of Moses--of none effect through their tradition, and then He gives particular illustrations of that. He said,

"For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, if all men shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; making the word of God of none effect through your tradition." (Mark 7:10-13)

Thus in this passage from Mark, the Lord tells the scribes and the priests that they make the Word of God--(He calls the Laws of Moses the Word of God)--of none effect through their tradition. Thus He designates the whole Old Testament as the Word of God.

Further, in a debate with the Jews, when the Lord said, "I and My Father are One," they picked up stones with which to stone Him, and He said,

"If He called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10:35, 36)

Note what He says: "If He called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came." He is referring to Moses and the Prophets who had received, by Divine inspiration, the Word of God. If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came, the scripture (He uses the word Scripture or Writings) cannot be broken because in the Lord's Words it is of Divine authority, "Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

In those two passages, clearly the Lord upholds the unequivocal idea that the Old Testament as it existed in His day was the Word of God. The same Divine authority is given to the whole of the Law and the whole of the Prophets when He says Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, the same shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:19) That is quoted from the Sermon on the Mount, and refers to the Old Testament.

It may be objected that the term, "Word of God," can only be used and applied to such parts as actually use the term, "The Word of God." For example, the chapters in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers to which I have referred, and also all of the prophets that use that term;


Doctrinal Papers p. 74 yet Paul says (and Paul you remember first persecuted the Christians and then shortly after the Lord was crucified, Paul had a vision on the road to Damascus and became a very ardent disciple of Christ and one of the most active in the propagation of Christianity--well Paul says, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God." (II Timothy 3:16) And he is referring to the Old Testament because at the time Paul said that, the "New Testament had not yet been written. Peter, one of the Lord's own disciples, said that prophecy came not in the old time by the will of man but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:21)

Whether we take what the Old Testament says of itself as evidenced in the various books of Moses and the Prophets that it is the lord of God--"Thus spake the Lord," "The Word of the Lord came saying," or whether we take the Lord's estimate of the Old Testament saying that "The scripture cannot be broken," or that "They had made the word of God of none effect through their tradition;" or whether we take the estimate of the apostles as represented by Paul and Peter (and those are only isolated illustrations, many, many more could be given) all of them prove that the Word claims for itself to be the very Word of God!

From this point on I am going to assume that the Word as we have it is a Divine document; that it is what it claims to be; that it is the Word of God. Many other reasons and arguments may be advanced to arrive at this conclusion, but we have so much ground to cover that we will rest the case here and see what happens to our thinking if we assume that the Old and New Testament are, in very truth, the Word of God. If they are the Word of God, they must contain in their bosom infinite wisdom.

God, we say, is infinite and omnipotent. That is, He has all knowledge and all power, and when He speaks, He does not speak with any finite limitations such as man speaks with. Man sneaks with the best knowledge of the past that he has, and the best prognosis of the future that he can muster, but man is very, very limited. His past only goes back a few years and his knowledge of the future is at best most hazy, but the Lord has infinite wisdom and His knowledge of the past goes back forever and His knowledge of the future is also a knowledge to eternity so that what He writes has no limitations of time and space.

It must be possible for the Lord's knowledge to be opened even to infinity, if it comes from an infinite mind, if we could reach back to the very source from which it sprung. When we say that this body of Scriptures is the Word of God, we imply that it must be infinite. To be the Word of God, it cannot be just a holy book. It must be infinite, and it shall be our task to try to understand as deeply as we possibly can how it can be infinite--wherein the infinity in the Word resides, and how it can lead the mind back to God Himself.


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The literal sense of the Word is contained very briefly in the first eleven chapters of Genesis in. allegory--stories that are written purely for their spiritual meaning; and then we start history with Abraham. The history goes all the way down to the captivity of Judah in 600 B. C. when they were taken away captive to Babylon. Interspersed in that history are the lives of the prophets, and the messages of the prophets and the beautiful songs known as the Psalms most of them written by David. This makes up the external of the letter of the Old Testament; and the letter of the New Testament is made up of the four accounts of the Lord's life in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the Book of Revelation.

The history is clear enough. The historical parts and most of the Psalms are very clear, but there are many passages in the Prophets which are utterly meaningless in the letter. We can read them over and over again and derive no natural meaning from them; and if it were only for these passages--if we believe they are the Word of God that would lead our minds inescapably to believe they must have a deeper sense otherwise God would not have given them for the salvation of mankind.

The difference between the Word and the writings of man must be the difference between the works of God and the works of man; that is, the writings of man are quite exhaustible. If we study the writings of a human philosopher intently and earnestly, we can probably plumb them to their depths and understand them completely because they are of human origin; whereas we can never reach the end of the Word of God. We are taught we can study it to eternity and the higher planes that we enter into, the nearer to the infinite does it become, and there comes a time when we reach a degree that is above the highest angel and there the human mind no longer can follow. So we say, the Word or God must be to the word of man as the works of God are to the works of man.

I want to take a little time to tell you about a very remarkable motion picture. Some of you may have seen it. It is called Dust and Destiny and is published by the Moody Bible Scientific Research Department. The purpose of this movie is to convince man that human, animal and vegetable life are not the product of dust, are not the result of a fortuitous meeting together of atoms that by chance form fish and mammals and men, but there is destiny behind everything; and that everything in nature, when we look at it more closely, reveals a plan, a destiny, and the revealing of a plan demands the acknowledgment of a planner and the revealing of a destiny presupposes a person who gives direction to the destiny.

Since we have made the comparison that the Word of God is to the word of man as the Works of God are to the works of man, let us look at a few of the things that this picture so clearly and beautifully illustrated. It took up first, the eye, and compared the lens in the human eye, which has muscles on the side of it that can stretch it and make it thin or can relax and make it thick and thus automatically focus this lens, with the lens of a camera.


Doctrinal Papers p. 76 Then it showed the lens of a camera, and all the mechanical devices that man needs to produce the same result of focusing. As a train, or any other object that is focused at a near distance, recedes you have continually to focus your camera or it goes out of focus, whereas the eye automatically and marvelously focuses to follow receding objects.

Then the movie showed the wonderful mechanism of the iris that can contract or expand to let in more or less light. It compared that to the camera, and man's devices for achieving what the Lord created in the, eye of a man are very clumsy, when compared with the human eye as this picture compares them.

Then the movie took up the ear and showed that in the ear we have performed one of the most complex physical operations known to physicists, namely, changing air vibrations into vibrations in a liquid. The air, comes into the ear and there it has a diaphragm which is ninety m.m. in diameter and that impinges on a bone which is so beautifully situated that it gives a two to one ratio; absolutely a two to one ratio, which reduces it, and the small end of that hits the diaphragm on the end of the cochlea which is filled with liquid, transmits these air vibrations, and turns them into vibrations of liquid.

Then the picture unfolds the cochlea and shows that it is a series of tones, like the strings of a piano, giving ten tones for every half tone that the piano has. The ear has ten times as many tones as there are half tones on the piano--a perfectly marvelous thing. But the most wonderful thing of all is that, because of the ratio between the bones of two to one, these bones are the same size in an infant as they are in a grown man. They are the only bones in the body that do not change size from birth to death--because of this delicate relationship necessary for changing air waves into vibrations in a liquid.

All of man's imitations of the ear are clumsy and crude compared with this little inner ear which contains those marvelous notes and many more things than the most complex instrument ever invented by man.

The picture then showed the heart, which literally pumps the blood through miles of vessels, and in one day pumps as much blood as would fill a large gasoline truck such as we see on the highways, and in a lifetime pumps enough blood to fill a train of tank cars fifty miles long--never stopping, or taking time out, or going on vacations. It makes us marvel at the destiny, at the plan, and leads the mind back to the Planner.

Then the movie takes up a few of the interesting things in nature. For instance, it showed experiments on the bat which prove that the bat had radar long before man even dreamed of radar.


Doctrinal Papers p. 77 A bat blindfolded with adhesive tape over its eyes and put in a cage where the bars were four inches closer than its wingspread unerringly swooped through those bars, pulling his wings in as neatly as anything. By means of a marvelous microphone which can catch supersonic sounds and translate them into sounds that we can hear, the picture demonstrated that the bat emits a continuous series of squeals that are above the pitch that the human ear can receive. With this instrument, however, we could hear them and these squeals hit the objects around the bat and bounced back to his sensitive ears, and thereby he was enabled to fly in complete darkness, guided by this radar. This was proved by tying a little string around the bat's mouth, for as soon as he could not utter these cries, he flew blindly into the wall and could not escape from the cage.

We were then shown a picture of modern radar. Two ten-ton truckloads of stuff were driven into the field in order to accomplish the same thing that goes along in the head of this little bat that has a brain no bigger than the size of a pea!

I will mention a few other illustrations, because it is very impressive that the Works of God are to the works of man as the Word of God is to the word of man.

The movie showed the homing pigeons and the way they fly home by something that science has not yet discovered. Then there was the arctic tern that flies all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole, making a 22,000 mile journey each year, wholly unguided by anything we know. Then it showed a grunion fish which was most remarkable. This fish has to lay its eggs, at the highest peak in the highest tide, because it has to lay the eggs on sand that will not be washed away. These eggs are so spaced that they are just ready to hatch when the next highest tide comes up fourteen days later, and after they are hatched, they are washed out to sea.

All of these wonderful things are exhibited in this remarkable picture which I certainly recommend--Dust and Destiny. All are comparisons of the Works of God to the works of man and so must be the Word of God to the word of man. On the outside the Word of God appears the same as the word of man, but nevertheless it must be capable of being opened up inwardly until we come to infinite wisdom itself.

Approach it in this philosophical way. Man has speech in this world and, therefore, we can certainly assume that man has speech in the spiritual world when he becomes an angel; but the speech of angels is concerned with the problems of angels and the problems of the spiritual world and not about the problems of the natural world, and consequently their speech is on a higher plane than the plane which we have. In one of his experiences, Paul was caught up to the third heaven and he said he heard speaking there but he said the words were unspeakable and impossible for man to utter. He could not utter the words. Swedenborg, on many occasions, had similar experiences.


Doctrinal Papers p. 78 He would come from a higher heaven to a lower heaven and when he would come from the presence of angels into the presence of men, he would be unable to utter in worldly language the things that had been clear when he was in the higher state of the angels.

If the words of angels are unspeakable, what must the words of God be as they proceed from God's mouth itself? His Word could not come down to earth--the Lord could not speak directly to man. Infinite wisdom could not be directly intelligible in this world any more than the Lord could appear in this world without a long process which we call the Incarnation. When the Lord wanted finally to appear in this world, He bowed the heavens and His life descended through the heavens--was prepared in heaven to cause conception in Mary and the virgin birth. And by that long process of bowing the heavens, He did come down and did appear in a finite covering, a body taken from Mary. He did appear to us in the Word, since the Lord is the Word incarnate, since He came as a Person on earth, in the same way He comes as the Word on earth. He bows the heavens in order to come down into the world.

Let us conceive of it this way: The Divine truth comes from the Lord above the heavens. First it comes to the celestial or highest angels who perceive it in its inmost sense,--the highest perception of the Divine truth that human beings can have.       The Divine truth proceeds from them to the spiritual heaven where it is still further clothed and accommodated, and lastly to the natural heaven. From the natural heaven the Divine truth is breathed into the inspired writers who wrote the Word in this world; so that, in its bosom, the Word in this world contains a series of truths on different planes, and these truths are the perpetual nourishment of the angels. When we read the Word on earth, the angels, through their innate superior senses, are delighted and affected thereby because they are in the superior degrees of the Word.

Just one more illustration on the philosophical side. If we believed that the letter of the Word was the whole thing, it would be just about like believing that the skin of man that encloses all his vital organs is the whole man; whereas, the truth is that it is just a covering of man. And when we come to study the organs that are contained within the skin--the brain, the heart, the lungs, the organs of digestion, and all the other wonderful organs that man has--and when we study the parts of these organs--we see that the further we go, the more complex and the more subtle, the more wonderful the thing becomes so that in modern medicine, we have doctors that spend their whole lives becoming specialists in the study of just one human organ to try to fathom all of its ramifications. So it is with the Word. The letter of the Word is easy to see, but the depths within the letter of the 'fiord are unceasing and can lead us always back to the infinite, always back to the Divine, no matter what part of the Word that letter comes from.

I have endeavored to show from philosophical reasoning that if the Word of God is to the word of man as the Works of God are to the works of man then because it is the Word of God, it can, be opened up to the Divine itself.


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The next thing I wish to establish with you is that the Word Itself exhorts us to seek for its meaning more deeply than merely the letter. The Word itself urges us to see into it and to see deep things in it. For example, in the Old Testament, what can the Psalmist mean when he says,. "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law"? (Psalm 119:18) If he were convinced that in the letter of the law the complete Divine story was told. It would not be necessary to pray to the Lord that his eyes be opened so that he could see wondrous things out of the law because he would see everything that there was in the law. But David, in his inspiration, knew that the letter was but the skin, the covering, but the outside, in which were all these higher senses. He says, "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law."

And then we come to the Lesson--that portion of the 78th Psalm:

"Give ear, O My people, to My law: incline your ears to the words of My mouth. I will open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old." (Verses 1, 2)

With that introduction, we could well expect to be regaled by some deep and mysterious parable w even some story like the Garden of Eden, or the Creation story in Genesis, or the Tower of Babel; but instead of a parable or some saying that is not at all intelligible on the outside, he proceeds in the seventy verses that follow to tell us the plain history of Israel, beginning with the crossing of the Red Sea; all the Israelites' faults and punishments and successes; how they were fed with manna, and how they drank water from the rock smitten by the rod of Moses and so forth. Everything is perfectly plain as far as natural history is concerned. Where then does the dark saying of old come in? Why is it a parable? It is a parable because that story of Israel as contained in the Word of God is the outside, it is the skin, it is the containant of the inmost sense which is the glorification of the Lord Himself.

In the secondary sense Psalm 78 is a story. Canaan represents heaven and the wilderness represents all of the various trials and temptations that each one of us has to go through in order to get to heaven, in order to regenerate, in order to form a regenerative character. It is our life story, and that is why it is a parable. It is not about the Israelites at all. It is not about Sinai. It is not about the Red Sea; but it's about the famishing for truth--that's what made them cry out--and it is about the giving of truth through Moses (the law) when he struck the rock. The rock represented the Lord, the stone which the builders rejected which became the head of the corner. And the manna represents the bread of the Holy Supper, the Divine goodness through which man's character is formed.


Doctrinal Papers p. 80 So, when we enter into the story of that wilderness journey, we see that it is indeed a parable, that it is indeed a dark saying of old, but not in the letter. He could not possibly have meant that it was a dark saying of old in the letter.

There are many other passages in the Old Testament but let us hasten on to see what the Lord says in the New Testament about seeking for deeper meanings. In the Sermon on the Mount, when He had His disciples about Him, up above the Sea of Galilee, He said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)

The word "fulfill" has changed its meaning in the three hundred years since the King James translators translated it. If I say that I shall meet you tomorrow at ten o'clock and I meet you tomorrow at ten o'clock, I fulfill my promise. That is what we usually think of when we say the word fulfill. But the word here that the Lord uses in the Greek and is translated "fulfill" means to fill it up to the very brim, to fill it full, to fill the letter full of a spiritual sense, to fill it just as full as possible. The forms of the law and the prophets were sterile. For example, "Thou shalt not kill," An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," "Thou shalt not commit adultery." These things had become perfectly cut and dried and they meant just one thing--a literal meaning--and the Lord said, "I come not to destroy the law and the prophets. The Ten Commandments are not-to be abrogated (abolished), but I come to fill them full of a new meaning, a meaning which was in them already from the beginning but which had escaped man."

The Lord said that He had heard it had been said by them of old times, "Thou shalt not kill, but I say whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment," so that He puts anger and all hatred, and all unfriendliness and unkindness as equally filling up the external skin and content of this Commandment. He said that He had heard that it had been said by them of old times, "Thou shalt not commit adultery, But I say whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already. In this He puts all unchastity of thought, makes the Commandment not just a literal thing but builds it up and fills it full of a spiritual meaning. "Ye have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say, resist not evil." "Whosoever take away your coat, give him your cloak also." "If anybody ask you to go a mile, go with him twain,"--in which He teaches the doctrine of forgiveness. But He fills this old "Eye for an eye, full of a new meaning, showing with His own Words how there is a spiritual sense in these things which He quotes from the Old Testament.

Then in the Gospel of Luke, here are those tyro disciples walking along the road with this stranger and thinking it was funny that the stranger did not know what had happened in Jerusalem, how Christ had been crucified; and this was the third day; but as they walked along the road, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, the Lord unfolded unto those two disciples the things in the Scripture concerning Himself.


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That is one of the things we wonder about - why this priceless conversation was not recorded. We'd love to have heard it said, but I think in the New Church we can say it was recorded because throughout the Arcana Coelestia, in the internal sense, in the spiritual sense, the highest sense, the inmost sense, it does tell all the things in the Word concerning the Lord. But of these disciples, after He had left them, it said how their heart had burned as He talked to them, by the way He opened the Scriptures, showing that they were closed. He opened up the veil to let them see inside, to let them see how everything from Moses and all the Prophets on down, in its inmost sense, treated of Him.

Before His crucifixion, the Lord had said to His disciples, Verily I say unto you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things that ye see and have not seen them, and to hear the things that ye hear, and have not heard them." (Matthew 13:17) "Why do ye not understand my speech?" He asked the Pharisees, "be cause ye cannot hear My word". (John 8:43) They heard His external Word all right, but they didn't see anything in it beyond just the literal thing.

Lastly, when He stood up in the synagogue in Capernaum, after He fed the five thousand, and said to them, "Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you;"it was just too much for the Jews. They said, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink?" "This is a hard saying - who can believe it?" (John 6) And they turned their backs on Him, and they all left Him, this great multitude He had fed in the wilderness the day before after which they followed Him, hoping to get some more free bread. But when He tells them that His flesh is meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed, they turn their backs on Him.

We too must turn our back if we think that there is nothing but a literal sense to the Word because the Lord couldn't, and didn't, give His disciples His Palestine flesh to eat nor His Palestine blood to drink but He gave what was represented by His flesh which was Divine goodness and what was represented by His blood which was the Divine truth. The Lord was speaking according to correspondences and in such a way that His Words could not be understood unless the spiritual sense was seen in them.

And the Lord went on to say, "It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. The Words that I speak unto you are spirit and are life." (John 6:63) The Words! He interpreted what He said there Himself. The Words--that was His blood they were to drink--they are spirit and they are life. Paul said "The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life." (2 Corinthians 3:6)


Doctrinal Papers p. 82 There are many passages from Paul's Epistles that show that he insisted in the early Christian Church that the Scriptures were to be taken spiritually. Just to give one or two examples. Paul said that Abraham had two sons, one born of a bondwoman, that is Ishmael born of Hagar, and the other born of a freewoman, Sarah, and that son was Isaac. Paul said, "This is an allegory." (Galatian's 4) An allegory is an external story with an inner meaning. This is an allegory, and the son born of the bondwoman was the Jewish Church and the son born of the free-woman represented the Christian Church. Then Paul says that to be a Jew was to have the principles of Christianity, and to be really circumcised, was to have the heart circumcised--that is to make the sacrifices necessary to Christianity. And so in his own words he gives a spiritual understanding and a spiritual meaning to those things in the Old Testament.

Let us just take now the last Book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. John wrote that in 90 A.D. as far as tradition goes. He was a very old man on the Isle of Patmos. We know what emperor banished him to Patmos and we know the date of the Emperor. It was about 90 A.D. so John must have been an old man, and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Emperor Titus in 70 A.D. When John wrote about a New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, there was no old Jerusalem. The old Jerusalem had been destroyed, and yet John speaks of the temple, of the altar, of the twelve tribes of Israel and ten of the tribes had been taken captive in 750 B.C. They had disappeared, disappeared to this very day. There are no twelve tribes of Israel. The Jews represent the only tribe, that is, the tribe of Judah. The ten tribes had disappeared and yet John on the Isle of Patmos talks about the twelve tribes of Israel.

My only point is just this: Of course John is talking about the twelve tribes to give us the internal sense. He is talking about what the twelve tribes represent, what the twelve disciples represent, all of whom were dead except himself; what the altar of incense represents, what the temple represents. All are representative. If it didn't have a spiritual sense, the Book of Revelation would be quite meaningless. And then, if we follow on throughout the centuries following, searching the church fathers, beginning in the second century, the work on church history by Mosheim who was against the spiritual interpretation, but as a historian had to admit that the early church fathers and other scholars all the way down to the Reformation by Luther believed in the spiritual interpretation,--we find that men admitted and searched for a spiritual meaning within the letters of the Scriptures.

I have tried to show you, First, that the Word calls Itself the Word of God. Secondly, that this Word is to the word of man as the Works of God are to the works of man, consequently infinite in its inner recesses. Thirdly, that both the Old and the New Testament exhort us to look for a deeper sense, and this is followed up by the apostles and later by the early church fathers. Next time I shall endeavor to show you that there is a Divine Law by which the spiritual sense is developed--that it isn't a game, a guessing game, it, isnt anything you might describe as a puzzle like truth corresponding to water.


Doctrinal Papers p. 83 They are not merely attributes assigned by Swedenborg through inspiration. But I hope to show you that there is a law which emanates from the sun of the spiritual world and which is as fixed, as unchanging and as dependable as the sun of our world with its heat and light, which is the motivating force behind all of the phenomena in the natural world.

* * * * *


"It is in the mouth of every one, that the Word is from God, is Divinely inspired, and therefore Holy. But still it has been hitherto unknown where, in the Word, the Divine is; for the Word in the letter appears like a common writing, in a strange style, neither sublime nor lucid as, to the appearance, secular writings are. Hence it is that the man who worships nature instead of God, or in preference to God, and who therefore thinks from himself and his own proprium, and not out of heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error concerning the Word, and into contempt for it, saying within himself when he reads it, What is this? What is that? Is this Divine? Is it possible that God whose wisdom is infinite, can speak thus? Where is its sanctity, or whence, unless from superstition, and persuasion therefrom?

"But he who thinks thus, does not consider that Jehovah Himself who is the God of heaven and earth spake the Word through Moses and the Prophets, and therefore it cannot but be Divine truth itself; for what Jehovah Himself speaks can be nothing else. Nor does he consider that the Lord, who is the same with Jehovah, spake the Word written by the Evangelists, man parts from His own mouth, and the rest from the spirit (or breath of His mouth, which is the Holy Spirit. Hence it is that He says that in His words there is life, that He Himself is the light which enlightens, and that He is the truth.

"Lest, therefore, man should be in doubt whether the 'Nord is such, its internal sense has been revealed to me by the Lord, which in its essence is spiritual, and is within the external sense, which is natural, as the soul is in the body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter; it can therefore bear witness to the Divinity and Holiness of the Word, and convince even the natural man, if he is willing to be convinced. (Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Sacred Scripture 1, 2, 4)


Doctrinal Papers p. 84



At the last class, I endeavored to bring out the fact that the Bible claims for itself to be the Word of God in various passages in the Old Testament that say, "The Word of the Lord came to me, saying. Many chapters of the first five Books of Moses start with the introduction that it is the Word of God. And in the New Testament, when the Lord quotes from the Old Testament, He reaffirms that the Old Testament is the Word of God. Concerning the New Testament, He says, "The words that I speak unto you--they are spirit and they are life", and He says, also, that one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled.

But when we look at the Bible, many people in modern times have given up their belief in the Bible as being anything of absolutely Divine truth because it not only contains sublime words in it, like The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green postures," beautiful poetry of that kind, everyone agrees, is among the world's literary treasures. But many things in the Word are difficult to understand from the standpoint of its being a Divine Book. Such things as all the details of the birth of the twelve sons of Jacob, and all the wanderings in the wilderness of the Children of Israel, and all the battles of the warriors by which the land of Canaan was conquered by the Israelites, together with vary many other details in which the modern skeptic finds it difficult to see that there is anything which is Divine.

The Writings of Swedenborg assert that the Divinity of the Word does not reside in its letter, but the Divinity in the Word resides in the fact that it can be opened up all the way from the natural sense, through the rational, spiritual, and the celestial senses and eventually it can lead us back to God Himself. That is the claim that the Writings make in explaining the holiness and the place in the scheme of the Word. The Word, being written in natural language, accommodated to the human intellect and concerning events in this world, forms a perfectly natural medium that people can read and understand naturally, but the Writings say that the Word is a conjoining medium between the spiritual-world which is within the natural world, and the natural world; and that as men read the letter of the Word, the angels perceive the spiritual sense of the Word and thereby, in the Word as it were, the hand of man reaches out and touches the hands of angels. In the Word, from the inside, in the spiritual sense, the angels perceive the higher reaches of the Word and man receives the lower reaches of the Word. This was the subject of the last class, only in much more detail, but I have to bring out that much summary in order to preface what I am about to try to show you this evening.


Doctrinal Papers p. 85

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The net result of the class last time was that if the Word is Divine, it must have a deeper sense than appears in the letter. If the Word has for its Creator the Divine Mind, then what we see in the external letter must be very superficial compared to what it contains in its bosom, in its deeper reaches. And if it is Divine, we cannot conceive that the Divine Mind would write the apparently trivial things which are found in some portions of the Word. If it is Divine, and if it was an internal meaning, the question is--what is to prevent people from being merely capricious and finding an inner meaning to the Word that suits themselves, in which case the inner meaning of the Word, or the spiritual sense, or the internal sense of the Word, would be of no real value; so that the task that I have set for myself this evening is to show you that the law which is developed by Swedenborg in his Writings, whereby the spiritual or internal sense of the Word can be drawn out of the Word, is a law that follows with perfect order, just like the laws of Newton's gravity which take care of falling bodies; that it is a Divine law, according to which the Sacred Scripture was written under Divine inspiration.

I have to be a little philosophic and I have to ask you to follow me as far as you possible can into the very origin of this world as we believe it originated because, if we don't see that scheme, we cannot see how the letter of the Bible that talks about earthly things, that talks about water, turning water into trine, that talks about battles, that talks about liberation from Egypt and so forth can lead the mind, by degrees or steps, up to heavenly contemplation itself. According to our belief, the Divine showed Himself in the Lord Jesus Christ but the Divine that was the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ is Infinite and in Him, in the Infinite,--the God that we worship,--Infinite things are distinctly One.       By that I mean that the first origin of everything that man ever had is in the Divine Mind before man ever gets it but they make one personality.

There is just One God, One Personality, but in that One God are infinite things and they are the prototypes--they are the original things and they come down in steps, and just below them is man, created in God's image, who becomes the type.

Then below man there are animals that reflect all of man's affections, and below animals is the vegetable kingdom which corresponds to this same series of things, and finally the mineral kingdom in which we also can see the reflection, although it be somewhat distantly, of these Divine qualities, stepped all the way down to the mineral kingdom.

In God there are two things: There is Divine love, which is the prototype of all human emotions; and there is Divine wisdom, which is the prototype or the thing in God which is the cause of all human understanding, because God knows everything. We know our little human bit of wisdom, and because of His vast loves, we have all the loves that we have. And so, when it says that God created man into His image and into His likeness, there we get the first rudiment of the spiritual sense of the Word.


Doctrinal Papers p. 86 Man is the image of God in that man has the ability to think and to reason--the image is what you see when you look in a mirror--and we reflect God because we are capable of having wisdom, thoughts, reason, the ability to figure things out. That is what makes us images of God.

The other great property in God is the ability to love or to will to do things that makes for human freedom. If we didn't have the ability to love, the ability to will, we could not have self life, we could not have self-propulsion, we could not act as though we were absolutely independent beings. And so our likeness to God. He has all freedom, all power, and we have human freedom because we are created into His likeness. And as He can create in His vast scale, so correspondentially man can create in his little field, whatever he does--create sermons, classes to teach boys, gardens and all sorts of things; and man can create in his small sphere because he is in the likeness of God who creates in His great sphere.

Those two things are the fundamental things of God--His love and His wisdom and I will tell you why He is omnipotent. Omnipotent means He can do everything that He wants to do. Man can do anything that he wants to do and knows how to do. If I want to play the violin, and know now to play the violin, I can play it; but if I want to play the saxophone and don't know how to play the saxophone, I cannot play the saxophone, no matter how much I want to do so. Take, for example, you women who bake cakes. You have to want to bake the cake and you have to know how to bake the cake, and those two have to be married, joined together, before any cake appears. So it is with absolutely everything that we do, from the making of a locomotive to the writing of a sermon. There has to be the will and the know-how, the want-to and the know-how; and in God, the want-to is the Divine love which knows no limits. There's nothing good that Divine love does not want to do and it operates into God's Divine wisdom which knows everything, knows all of the answers. So we say that God is all-powerful because He has total will and total wisdom, and that is why He is omnipotent.

Those two faculties in God are what I am going to try to show you are reflected in the whole universe and ultimately in the Word. And so, if the Word can be written in such a way that it treats of things that absolutely are stepped up in the logical steps until we get eventually to the love and wisdom of God, we can see that what Swedenborg calls CORRESPONDENCE is not a game, not something where values arbitrarily are assigned to different things, but it is an outgrowth from God Himself and it began with His creating man in His image and into His likeness.

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Swedenborg tells that there is a spiritual world, and the spiritual world has spiritual substance which answers to man's spirit as natural substance answers to his body.


Doctrinal Papers p. 87 I will go into that very fully in the class after next when we will take up the spiritual world and tome life after death, but suffice it to say now that God created the spiritual world and He says of the spiritual world that man's spirit sees spiritual things as man's natural eyes see natural things, and he hears spiritual sounds as man's natural ear hears natural sounds; in fact, all of the spiritual senses can touch and feel and hear and see spiritual objects in such a similar way. They are not the same but they are so similar that as far as the consciousness of man goes, when he wakes up in the spiritual world, he does not know that he is there because it seems exactly like the natural world,--at first--but the laws of it are different as I shall show in a subsequent class.

Nevertheless, the Lord created this spiritual world and in this spiritual world, He created a sun which is said to be His first appearance and that sun looks like the natural sun but it is not. The natural sun, as we know, is a ball of fire, but it is really love. The sun of the spiritual world is the Lord's love. That is what shines before the angels, and just as the fire of the sun gives light and the light carries that fire of the sun to the earth so that when the rays are direct as they are in the summer-time, the heat of the sun can be re-created on this earth through the rays; the rays of the sun's light that pour forth; so in the spiritual world--the light that goes forth from the sun of heaven is the light of truth.       That is the light that we can see in our own minds.

In teaching a boy Algebra, I show him that x plus y equals 10. He doesn't see it at all at first and then all of a sudden he says, "I see it," and his face lights up and I can tell from his eyes that he really sees it, that he sees it in his mind, and he sees in the light of truth. The light of truth is what comes from the sun of heaven and it is what lightens the minds of the angels. And we in this world are spirits clothed with bodies. The real "us" is the internal man, the mind. The spirit lives in the body here and it is the spirit that sees through the eyes of the body. It is the spirit that thinks in man--it is the spirit that loves. We are spirits clothed with bodies in this world, and so in the spiritual world, that light of truth can also penetrate down to us and we also can think from the light of truth and that is thinking from the sun of heaven.

But the point that I want to emphasize is that we have a God of love and wisdom that appear as the fire and the light, the heat and the light of heaven, that are its first emanations. And then, from them, and because the spiritual world is the world of causes, the Lord next created c sun which should correspond to the sun of the spiritual world, and which should have fire, corresponding to the love of the sun of the spiritual world; and it should have light going forth from it which corresponds to the truth which emanates from the Sun of the spiritual world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 88

Coming down to man, we will observe a duality in man, and that there is a duality--or there are two things--in everything of creation. First of all, we will observe that this duality, these two things, love and wisdom in God, which gave birth to the universe, became the cause of all the twin things that we see throughout the whole universe. To begin with, God crested male and female. Why did He do that? He did it because they should be able to correspond--the women to love and affection and the men to wisdom, and together they should be able to make new creations just as love and wisdom in God were the cause of the outburst of the universe and just as love and wisdom in the mind of any one men are the cause of any use he performs. He must love it and he must know how. And so, in creating the universe, we have woman corresponding, to love and man corresponding to wisdom. This goes all through the Word. Wherever father or other are mentioned in the Word, it is not by accident, but there yogi have father representing generating, wisdom and mother representing generating love. And you have brothers and sisters: brothers being truths born of love and wisdom, and sisters being affections born of love and wisdom and so on.

The relationships of the family of the human life, stepped up one degree to things of the mind, represent that marvelous family life that every man has within his own mind; and so it becomes easy for us to see why the Lord said, "Whoso hateth not father and mother for My sake is not worthy of Me. It is a perfectly terrible though to apply that in the literal sense, because He says in the literal sense, Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee." But if you think of the spiritual sense, and if you think of the things which are the father and the mother of man's hereditary evils, coming down through the ages, which man must shun if he is to regenerate, then you will see why man must hate his father and mother (not his parents, not his literal parents, but the things that are the father and mother of evil and false things within himself). And so the Lord said of marriage that man must leave father and mother and cleave to his wife alone. Here again it represents leaving the father and mother of his selfish worldly life and cleaving to this new love which shall build within his heart, the New Jerusalem, the New Church, the never order of things in his own life.

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But this duality, these t1nro things do not stop with man. It goes right down though the animals. We have the sex element in all the animals. It goes into the vegetable kingdom where we have various pollinations and we have some flowers which the botanists call male flowers and those they call female flowers, and unless there can be the correct cross pollination, no fruit is produced.

We can even go down into the realm of the mineral kingdom. In chemistry, for instance, we ell know that we can take sodium, a deadly poison, and chlorine, a deadly gas, and we can take an acid that contains chlorine like hydrochloric acid and we can put that on sodium, and to and behold, when you marry the two together, you get an offspring; which is sodium chloride, which is ordinary table salt.


Doctrinal Papers p. 89 And those two things produce a third thing and so all through chemistry, they divide into acids and bases and if you add an acid to a base you always get a salt. You get a product, you get a new thing which is not like either the father or the mother of it. And so in the realms of electricity about which my knowledge is about thirty-five years old. I haven't studied it recently and many new things have been developed since I did, but when I was in College, we had negative and positive electricity and you could never obtain any results unless you had both the negative and positive connections made--you had to have the two together before there could be action. That runs through the whole gamut, from love and wisdom in God to will and understanding in man, and sexes. It all comes because it goes back to the infinite love and wisdom.

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If it is true that there is an analogy between God and man created in His image and the animals, created in the image of man, then it is conceivable that a book could be written by a Divine Mind (not by a human mind)--but it is quite conceivable that the Lord could inspire men to write a book which in the letter talked about nothing but worldly things and yet in its deeper sense was capable of being opened all the way to the Divine although, as I said, in the letter it talks about merely natural things. If that is a law, a veritable law of creation, then this science of correspondence becomes something that is fixed and dependable, which the ministers of the Church can study and can rely upon, and can teach; and it is not something that is fanciful and something in the use of which a person can be capricious and vacillating. It is something that is worked out and is in fact the very foundations of the New Jerusalem.

Let me take first the human face. The face is purely natural, but the mind behind the face is purely spiritual. The Writings say regarding correspondences that the natural answers to the spiritual, therefore, the face and all the facial expressions correspond to the mental attitudes behind the facial expressions. A consummate hypocrite, by studying through the years, can make his face look different than his mind but the ordinary person, a person who is guileless and not a hypocrite cannot do that, and his face instantly takes on the emotions of the mind. We don't have much difficulty--certainly a child has very little difficulty--in telling from the face of the parent whether the parent is angry or whether the parent is filled with love, or the emotion of the parent, by the expression on the parent's face; and so in cases of extreme anger, we can see from a face the emotion behind it.

I once had the very, very sad task of telling a girl that her father had died. It was a girl who was down at school. She knew nothing of it.


Doctrinal Papers p. 90 It was a sudden death--one of those heart attacks where her father was well one day and dead the next. The way her face registered, there eras no question as to the emotion her mind felt. It was an exact image of her mind. I also had to tell another girl one time that her brother had been shot down. It was in the last war and he was an aviator. I observed the same thing in a way that I can never forget, because the face and the facial expressions correspond to the mental attitude that is behind them.

When man was in a more primitive state, those things were much clearer. Living in society, all of us, more or less, train our faces, or try to train them, so that they don't show all of our emotions. If we go out and are entertained, although we might have been bored stiff, we try to put on at least a sickly smile; when we say goodnight to our hostess. We don't have to effuse too much about whet a good time we had, but we are not called on to tell the hostess that we had a perfectly ghastly time. We have to make our faces behave to a certain extent. Nevertheless, it is interesting to watch peoples' faces when they are unaware of it. This is a great joy that I have on my travels, riding on railroad trains or in stations. I am never without entertainment because there you see people who have no idea anyone is looking at them and you can see all sorts of emotions pass over their faces and you can guess the cause of their emotion which forms a very interesting occupation.

The face, the Writings declare, is the index of the mind. We have lots of expressions that have come into the English language which are pure correspondences--nothing but correspondence. We say that the fellow is a "stony-hearted man--a heart of stone, meaning that no amount of pity could move him. But stone is purely a correspondential word--he didn't really have; a heart of stone. I have heard pupils say of a certain teacher, "Boy, didn't Mr. X get hot under the collar today". He really didn't get hot under the collar, but that was a very correspondential way of expressing it. The same is true of the words, faint-hearted, lion-hearted, innocence of a lamb. You can find all sorts of expressions, if you heap them up where we just naturally talk in correspondences.

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If, then, this rule of analogy is true--that God who is love and wisdom, created man with grill and understanding, created the spiritual sun with love and truth going forth and the natural sun with heat and light, created the sexes; and if you look at man himself, just one man, you will see the same; duality. You will see that the will and the understanding in the mind are housed in the heart and lungs of the body. This is most interesting. We don't really feel the emotion of love in our heart. The emotion of love is really a thing of the understanding of the mind but where do we feel it? Because the heart corresponds to the will and love of man, we feel the emotion of love; in our heart and that is because it is a perfect correspondence--the heart of the body to the will which is the thing in the spirit that corresponds to the heart.


Doctrinal Papers p. 91 The will flows right into the heart, and the two correspond, and so we feel the emotion of love right in our heart.

On the other hand, the understanding, which is the thinking machine of the brain, corresponds to the lungs and, therefore, as soon as the doctor pumps some gas into your lungs and your lungs become filled with this gas, your consciousness ceases. You just go out of the picture. You no longer have any consciousness because the lungs in the body are the absolute basis of consciousness and they correspond to the thinking apparatus of the brain.--Then that thinking apparatus has nothing to rest on in this world, it ceases to be conscious in this world. In near drowning accidents, many people who have been resuscitated have described how the light went out when the lungs were filled with water. Te light goes out, and if the water hadn't gotten out, the light would have stayed out. Furthermore, we know that a baby is not conscious until it breathes, and as soon as it breathes, it usually starts to cry and then it becomes conscious. Before that it has motion, the heart beats, but it has not consciousness; so here we have the body carrying out this exact analogy.

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My point is that this is not a feathery or fringy thing or something that is here today and gone tomorrow, but the heart always corresponds to the will. And when man's will dies, that is when he commits suicide. Just like when his heart stops beating he is dead in this world, he is dead spiritually when he has no loves. If he does not love anything, he becomes purposeless and he becomes a spiritual nonentity. This thing is an absolute correspondence and goes on down through the animal kingdom, which corresponds to man's affections. For example, we say, This man is as foxy as a fox,--He is a foxy man." The Lord called Herod an old fox. He did not mean that Herod was a fox but he meant those qualities of a fox which reflect and correspond to human traits were in Herod. And we say, This person is as gentle as a lamb, and we have dozens and dozens of expressions which show the correspondence in ordinary speech between the animal kingdom and man's affections.

We also have a correspondence between birds and man's thoughts, and so we say "as keen-visioned as an eagle," meaning that as an eagle can see from great heights, a man with eagle vision in business, in finance or in government, can see a great way - mentally, spiritually, he can see. This is a law and I am now going to tell you what the law is in the simplest terms that I have been able to work out and next class I want to give some extended examples from the Word,--from the Bible,--showing the application of this law, but the law by which the Bible is interpreted in the New Church is just this, that the spiritual will do for the mind what the natural thing to which it corresponds will do for the body.

That is the law--the spiritual will do for the mind, the spiritual quality which is represented by the thing we are talking about will do for the mind what the natural thing will do for the body.


Doctrinal Papers p. 92 To produce a few illustrations. We take the simplest of all, which is water. Water quenches the thirst. Water, Swedenborg says, corresponds to truth; that is, on the plane of this world, the natural world, we have water.       If we step it up to the plane of the rind in which we think, we have truth--we don't have water, but we have what water corresponds to--we have truth. Water quenches the thirst. Water will do for the body what truth will do for the mind. Truth answers the questions. Your children will come to you. They are filled with curiosity, they want to know the answers to the questions they ask you. Tell them the truth. That is what the Lord meant when He said, Whosoever shall give one of these little children but a cup of cold water in My name, verily I say unto you, he shall never lose his reward. Tell the child the truth when a child asks a question and it will quench his thirst.

Water has another great use. It has the use of cleansing, as every little child knows--even behind the ears! It has the pourer of cleansing and so does truth. The Lord says, "Know the truth and the truth shall make you free,"--free from. your evils. It will cleanse the spirit, and the man who takes truth through his hind by reading the Word, cleanses and purifies the thoughts in his mind. About this point always, when I am teaching up at school, one of my pupils will say, "Ah, yes, Mr. Alden, but water drowns people." And so does truth--as every minister knows, if he preaches too long, the people will go to sleep and they are just as good as drowned when they go to sleep. If the algebra teacher assigns too many problems, he will choke out the enthusiasm--he will kill the enthusiasm for his subject. There is nothing that water will do for the body that truth won't do for the mind, because the two correspond, and what truth will do for the mind, grater will do for the body. There is an absolute correspondence between those two planes.

Take fire, for instance. Fire corresponds to love, Swedenborg says. Fire has two great uses that we all enjoy--one to warm our houses and make them very comfortable and enjoyable to enter.       Some of you remember back in the war when we were not allowed to heat our houses except to a minimum state. How chilly and desolate they would feel compared to a nice cozy house that is well heated Love does the same thing for the mind. You have doubtless met people who have very obscure or weak loves in their mind. I met a man on the train last summer,--sat opposite him,--and if he had any loves in his mind for anybody but himself, he did not manifest it. He was handsomely dressed and he looked like a powerful executive, but he had no friendliness in his disposition at all; and I had the embarrassing situation of eating a meal and having him look straight through me, not even recognizing me to the point of asking, me to pass the salt or anything. There was no warmth in that man's nature and I was only glad that I did not have to live with that disposition all my life, for his mental house was very chilly. On the other hand, a few meals later, I met someone who was just the opposite. He exuded friendliness and kindness, consideration and the desire to make his table companion happy, and it was a real source of pleasure to be in his presence.


Doctrinal Papers p. 93

You know what I meanits our own hearts. After all, when we have grudges against people, we are cold toward this person and cold toward that person. Our own mind becomes very chilly and an uncomfortable place to live, and so fire does for our body just what love does for our mind. An even clearer example is the way fire cooks our food and makes it palatable, easily digested and wholesome. My wife and I once were invited to a meal. The lady had a fad--people do get fads--and someone had told this particular person that cooking destroys vitamins. Maybe it does destroy a few, but it puts other things in that are certainly worth as much. Anyway, this lady served everything to us raw--even the potatoes. They were ground up in some sort of instrument. They were very fine, you could swallow them all right, and the things looked pretty. The peas were all ground up and a beautiful green and there was the yellow of carrots and the snow-white of the potatoes. Everything looked lovely and it didn't taste too badly, but it took us weeks to get over it. It does not assimilate, you know. Fire cooks our food and makes it assimilate, easy for the body to take.

Fire corresponds to love, and every teacher knows that if he can get his class to love his subject, my goodness, it's no trouble at all to teach it. They just assimilate it. They learn it the first time you tell them, and they learn it for keeps. I took a ride down to Washington with some boys and they knew every car we passed from 1932 Buicks to 1947 Cadillacs. They knew not only the name of the car but the year it was made. They loved that, and they had no trouble at all learning it because love made it easy to learn. Another boy I was with knew the license tag of every car in Bryn Athyn and the people to whom they belonged. If, in school, I set some boy to the job of learning all those numbers, he'd think he was murdered but this particular boy had a love for it--I'll never tell you why. Just as soon as you love something, love makes that thing easy to digest and to learn, easy to take into the mind and to keep in the mind, because love will do for the mind exactly what fire does for the body.

I will take one more illustration and that is a ship, a boat. Swedenborg says that a. boat corresponds to doctrine. Perhaps that does not enlighten us too much, but doctrine is that by which a man lives. I don't care whether he is an atheist, a New Church man, or a Catholic, or what he is, he lives by something and whatever it is, that is his ship of doctrine--that is what he sails through life. Look at the Lord - that day after He had fed the five thousand, the Lord went up into a mountain to pray and the disciples took shipping without the Lord. We have already said that water corresponds to truth and the sea of Galilee represents the truths that we have in our minds--great masses of them, all kinds of truths, natural truth and spiritual truth. The disciples had a doctrine of life all right and they set out with their little ship of doctrine without the Lord in it and they had gone twenty or thirty furlongs when a. great storm arose.


Doctrinal Papers p. 94 Those truths were not behaving themselves and they threatened to swamp this puny little bout that the disciples were in without the Lord.

That is just like our minds, I think. We take in truths, we read the newspapers, we read magazines, we read the Word, we read the Writings.       There are all sorts of truths in our memory--that's the sea of Galilee, and we get to thinking. If we get to thinking without having some firm conviction in God, we get to thinking: Look at all those poor people, how do they all have a fair chance when somebody else is born rich? This person is born a cripple, and here is a spastic. We think of all sorts of strange and sad things for which those subject to them are not responsible, and the first thing you know, your mind is in such a turmoil and threatens to engulf your own ship of doctrine and get you all puzzled, puzzled even to despair and denial.

That is what was represented by the disciples being tossed about in this storm. Then the Lord came walking to them, - walking on the water. It is so plain, what that means. There is no truth, whether it is a truth of science or a truth of religion that does not support the Lord--He walks on the water and it supports Him. If we think that science contradicts religion, it is because we don't understand science or we don't understand religion, because science and religion are the two hands of God, and all of God's truth supports Him; so He came walking right over the water to the disciples and they took Him into their ship. It's just like the man who has been puzzled about God. He has not seen the truth about God and there comes a time when he does see and understand the necessity for God and the reality of God, and he takes God into his ship of doctrine; that is, into his thought, the very centre of his thought, as the disciples took the Lord into their boat and to and behold, the ship was immediately at the shore where they were going. This is just the same thing as saying that if we take the Lord into our thinking then we will understand the purposes of life, we will know where we are going and why, and we will know how we will arrive at the place to which we want to go.

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It is unknown at this day what correspondence is. This ignorance arises from many causes; but the chief cause is, that man has removed himself from heaven by the love of self and the world.

Without a perception of what correspondence is, it is impossible for anything to be clearly known about the spiritual world, or about its influx into the natural world; or even as to what the spiritual is relatively to the natural;


Doctrinal Papers p. 95 or anything with clearness about the spirit of man, which is called the soul, and its operation upon the body; or about the state of men after death; and therefore it is necessary to show what correspondence is and what is its nature....

"First, then, it shall be stated what correspondence is. The whole natural world corresponds to the spiritual world, not only the natural world in general, but also in particular. Whatever, therefore, in the natural world exists from the spiritual is said to be its correspondent. It must be understood that the natural world exists and subsists from the spiritual world, just as an effect exists from its efficient cause. By the natural world is meant whatever is under the sun, and receives from it its heat and light; and all things which thence subsist belong to that world. But the spiritual world is heaven, and the things belonging to that world are all those which are in the heavens.

"Since man is a heaven, and also a world, in least form after the image of the greatest, therefore in him there is a spiritual world and a natural world. The interiors which belong to his mind and relate to the understanding and will make his spiritual world; but the exteriors which belong to his body and relate to its senses and actions make his natural world. Whatsoever, therefore, in this natural world, that is, in his body, its senses and actions, exists from its spiritual world, that is, from his mind and its understanding and will, is called a correspondent." (Heaven and Hell 87-90. Numbers 87 to 115 are all concerning CORRESPONDENCE.)

"Besides representatives, there are also correspondences which suggest and also signify something altogether different in the spiritual world from what they do in the natural world; as the heart, the affection of good; the eyes, the understanding; the ears, obedience; the hands, power; besides innumerable other correspondences. These are not represented in this way in the world of spirits; but they correspond, as what is natural to what is spiritual. (Arcana Coelestia 2793)

"Correspondence is the appearing of the internal in the external, and its representation therein; wherefore when there is no correspondence, there is no appearing of the internal in the external, and therefore no representation of it therein." (AC 5423)


Doctrinal Papers p. 96



By the Reverend Karl R. Alden

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bride-groom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him." (John 2:1-11)

In our class before last it was my endeavor to show that creation proceeds from God by what Swedenborg called discrete degrees. By discrete degrees, Swedenborg means the difference which jumps a whole step between two things; for example, the difference between the ether that carries the waves from the broadcasting station to your aerial--the ether which you cannot hear, touch, smell, taste or feel,--and the air which you can hear, which impinges on your ears. That is a discrete degree between the ether and the air.

A continuous degree, on the other hand, is one that just merges right into the next thing. For instance, my voice just fades away; if you are far enough away you cannot hear it, and it gets louder as you come nearer the source of its activity. Similarly with the light of a candle--it fades away by continuous degrees.

Creation was made by discrete degrees. First came the Divine love which is the substance itself of God, and that substance exists in Divine wisdom which is the form of the substance of God.


Doctrinal Papers p. 97 The first thing that was created by God was the sun of the spiritual world and the sun of the spiritual world has heat in it which is the correspondent of the Lord's love and, therefore, sends forth love to all humanity, both angels and men. And the sun of the spiritual world radiates light which is wisdom. It is the light of the mind and that corresponds to the Divine wisdom--that is the first emanation or putting forth of the Divine wisdom.

Then, between the spiritual world, which is ruled by this spiritual sun with its heat of love and its light of wisdom, and the natural sun is a discrete degree, the natural sun being a ball of fire and sending forth light which on the plane of nature corresponds to the wisdom of God, and heat, which on the plane of nature corresponds to the love of God; so that, between the spiritual world and the natural world, there is an absolute answering of part to part through what Swedenborg calls correspondences, that great big word which I hope will become as clear as daylight before we are through this evening. Correspondences join planes or realms which are a discrete degree apart like the natural world of time and space and the spiritual world of eternity, the heat in this world corresponding to the wisdom in the spiritual world.

There was nothing but God in the beginning and everything was created out of substance which He put off from Himself. We can think of that in a finite way as every child who is created in this world is created through substances put off from the mother and given to the child by the mother, although there is always a discrete degree between the mother and the child. For example, the heart-beat of the mother never enters into the child, but the child's heart-beat, from the very beginning, is its own, and until its own heart commences to beat, there is no pulsation in the child. There is a complete separation of the child from the mother, and this is in order that each generation may be free.

Man is in the image and likeness of God. He is the image of God because he has an understanding, and the understanding can receive the Divine truths from God and enable man to think rationally. Man thinks rationally, he thinks finitely, that is, his thoughts are limited, whereas God's thoughts are omniscient. He knows everything, but, because man is God's image, man knows something, and man has the ability to think and the ability to be self-conscious and he can know he is alive and have the feeling of his own self-direction. That is because he is the image of God.

But God did not leave man with just one faculty. He created him also in the likeness of God. The likeness of God is represented by mans will. God commanded and it stood fast. He said, "Let there be light and there was light." God's will is complete and perfect, and all He has to do is say, "Let there be," and it takes place;


Doctrinal Papers p. 98 but man because he is the likeness of God, also can exercise his will and in a finite way, in a limited way, because he only occupies a little space--he is only one of millions of creatures--but nevertheless he has also the likeness, he can say, "I will do this," or "I will not do this." He has the power of self-direction and all the responsibility that goes with it.

The point in the series about which I am talking now, which is the spiritual sense of the Word and how the Word came to be written, is just this, that there is a correspondence between man's finite understanding and Gods wisdom, and man's finite and limited will and Gods omnipotent will which is all-powerful. Man's will and understanding are spiritual and they go on to eternity. They are not part of the body that is laid aside in the grave when we die. They are the immortal part of man. They contain man's love and affection, his thoughts and ambitions, and everything that he knows; and all of that he carries into the spiritual world with him. But, in order that this marvelous machine of his understanding and his will, which are formed of actual substances and highly organized - in order that they may operate into our body which we were given to live in this world-so that we could have freedom, the body corresponds on its plane to the discrete degree above it which is the mind, and so we find that man's lungs are the absolute receptacles of man's understanding. They correspond to his understanding completely and totally, so much so that before the babe cries, before the babe comes into this world and has its lungs open, the babe is unconscious until after it breathes. The Word says, "The Lord breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," and the breath of life gives the child consciousness.

Similarly, the will-power which contains our loves corresponds completely and totally to the heart and that is the reason why, when we say we are in love with something, we feel it in our heart. We do feel it in our heart, but that is because the heart completely and totally corresponds to the loves. All of man's blood is purified through the lungs. It is pumped through the lungs and then it comes back into the heart and is pumped throughout the whole, body and so it is that every one of man's volitions, the things that he determines to do, have always got to pass through his understanding, whether he considers it right to do them or wrong to do them or whether he knows how to do the things that he wills to do, all his thoughts, before they can come into being, must be pumped through his understanding which contains all the truths that he has. That is the reason why we believe that daily family worship, daily reading of the Word, is like breathing pure clean air that is filling the understanding with truths. And all our volitions must pass through the understanding and thus, if the truths are there to purify our motives, our motives can be purified by that means.

So beautiful and complete is the correspondence between the will and the understanding and the heart and the lungs that Swedenborg says that all that will ever be known of psychology and the interaction between understanding and will can be traced out in the physical relationship between the heart and the lungs.


Doctrinal Papers p. 99 I shall give just one little instance which is very interesting. The lungs are not fed, not one particle are they fed, by the blood that they purify because Swedenborg says that if that were the case, there would be no way for man to change his loves. If his loves were evil, those loves would remain evil if those evil loves fed tissue of the lungs and supported the lungs. Instead of that, the lungs are fed by an artery of their own called the bronchial artery and that artery takes off shortly after the aorta begins, which is the big artery that comes out of the top of the heart, and it feeds the lungs from the outside, penetrating them from the outside, whereas the blood that they purify, penetrates them from within. Thus we find that in the body again there is a correspondence between the will and the heart and the understanding and the lungs. I could go on and trace this correspondence of discrete degrees with animals who have the image of man. Animals breathe, animals have a heart-beat, appetites,--many of the things which you might say pots from man to the animals--and in the animal we see the analogy. The soul of animals is from the affections of men and so often we speak of men under the terms of animals. We say, "This man is swinish," "He is a pig," "He is a hog," meaning that the characteristics of the pig or hog are notable in that man, in the correspondence between the piggishness of the pig and the hoggishness of the human being.

My point is that if we start with the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, man, God, we see that there is an ascent like Jacob's ladder-that goes by discrete degrees until it comes to the Divine love and wisdom in God Himself. The theory behind the spiritual sense of the Word is just this, that, if there are these planes of analogy between God and man so that in an inner sense one could be talking about the wisdom and love of God, in a lesser sense about the sun of the spiritual world, and in a still lesser sense about man's regeneration, and in a still more natural sense about man's actions in this world--if that is true, if that is the way the universe is constituted, then it is quite conceivable that a Word, a Book, could be written by the Divine mind through human instruments which would do nothing but talk about earthly things but which would be capable, which would be so composed, that sense after sense could be opened until the Word became continuous with the Divine Itself. That is exactly what the Writings claim for the Word, that the Word has been written in natural language by the pen of natural men but inspired by the wisdom of God, and they point out that if it is God's Word, then it must treat of more than the Israelites, or more than Moses, or more than the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven;       but it must treat inmostly of the most sublime truths that can possibly exist, otherwise it could not lawfully be called the Word of God and if, then, this is the case, we should be able to discover a law by means of which the Word was composed. That law has been revealed to us in the Writings and is the Law of Correspondence, and it may be stated in the simplest terms like this--that the spiritual will do for the mind what the natural thing to which it corresponds will do for the body.


Doctrinal Papers p. 100

Let me review with you two illustrations I took last time, and then I will add another one. A simple illustration is that water corresponds to truth. If then our law is true, whatever water will do for the body, truth will do for the mind. Whether I say mind or spirit of man, I mean the same thing. By mind, I mean everything that is not buried when you die--everything that is immortal and that lives to eternity.

Water cleanses the body and truth cleanses the mind. The Lord says, "Know the truth and the truth shall make you free,"--free from your evils, free from the things that sully and darken your character. Water also quenches man's thirst, and so truth quenches the thirst of curiosity. Every mother knows that--she knows that when a child comes and asks her what happened and she tells the child the truth, the child goes away satisfied with a mind that has been fed, a mind that has had its curiosity answered. It has learned the truth and the truth has quenched its spiritual thirst.

Water also drowns people and the correspondence holds perfectly good there. Truth also drowns people, but water does not drown people who can swim. If you can swim, it does not matter how deep the water is for it has no terror. And so, as men advance in understanding the Writings, for example, they can swim in greater and greater depths of doctrine without getting lost or puzzled or discouraged, but until a person can swim, deep water is dangerous, and so with truth. Truth must be taught simply and the mind must be gradually opened to its deeper and farther reaches because indeed everything that anyone knows is but a drop in the ocean compared to all the truth that there is to be learned. So all of us have a very limited view of the truth and how much truth any one of us knows more than someone else is quite a relative matter, but if we immerse one in too much truth too suddenly, it drowns the love of truth. We use that in common expressions. A person comes into a meeting all enthusiastic and casts a wet blanket over everything. He just swamped it by bringing. up too many problems, and so the enthusiasm ebbs out.

Take another example of truth. Take the steam of a locomotive boiler. Cold water in a locomotive boiler produces no motion--the old engine is as dead as a door-nail as long as the water is cold, but apply fire, which corresponds to love, to the boiler, turn the water into steam, and power is the result. You can trace that right down to its basic bedrock correspondence. The physicists tell us that the reason that water exerts pressure under fire is that each molecule increases the circle in which it is traveling, whereas in grater it is still in motion all right, but the orbits or circles are very small, but when you apply heat, each molecule gets a bigger circle and the molecules begin interfering with each other, and if there is enough heat, they produce an awfully big pressure. They are teaching, the battle is won. The truth I am trying to tell is that love does for the food of the mind what fire does for the food of the body. And we know that people can get burned in love, very terribly turned, and all of us who are adults have seen plenty of cases of that in life, which make us know that that is quite a reality.


Doctrinal Papers p. 101 There is nothing good or bad that fire does for man that love, or its opposite hatred, won't do for the mind of man.

I want to take next a new correspondence which I did not mention in any former class--the correspondence of garments. We are not left to guess about the meaning of garments--there's a whole chapter in Heaven and Hell on the subject of garments, the garments with which angels are clothed; and garments correspond to intelligence, so that everything that a garment does for one's body, intelligence does for ones mind.

In the chapter on garments in Heaven and Hell there is first described the beautiful white garments of those who have gone into the spiritual world and have passed successfully through the first two states in the world of spirits, the state of externals and the state of interiors, when their interiors are at last seen to be heavenly and they are on their road to heaven; then they are instructed, and it is said they are given white and shining garments, and these garments correspond exactly to the truths of their intelligence--the things which have made them to be the angels they are. In these new garments they are then led into heaven; and introduced into the society where they belong and the angels have a great variety of garments.

Each angel, the Writings say has many garments, nor do they disappear and appear erratically; but the angels have garments that they take off and garments that they lay aside and garments that they take care of when they are off. This is a wonderful correspondence to the state of love and wisdom in which they are; and so Swedenborg says that their garments, although they are the appearances to other angels of their intelligence, nevertheless those garments are real because when their intelligence is seen, on the plane of sight in the spiritual world, it is a garment. That is what it appears as, and that is what it really is.

There are false appearances in the spiritual world, too, which the evil spirits and hypocrites are able for a time to feign but they feign something which has no correspondence to an interior state, so that it looks like something that does not exist. It's like a lie--as if I say now, "I am up in my office studying." That is a lie--it does not exist. I may be able to put a false garment before someone--I might write to my wife and tell her I was in my office on Wednesday right at this time, but that would be a false garment--it would not correspond to the truth. The garments of the angels correspond to their intelligence. They are the outward appearances exactly of their intelligence.

That the angels are clothed in garments, Swedenborg says, is evident from every angel who was ever seen by anybody in this world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 102 For example, when Diary Magdalene and Mary the mother of the Lord and the other Mary came out to the sepulcher, they saw two angels, it says, clothed in shining garments beside the head and the feet where the body of Jesus had lain; and John, when he saw angels in the spiritual world, as described in the Book of Revelation, said he saw them in fine linen, clean and white, and it is said they had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. The blood of the Lamb represents Divine truth, and their robes represented their intelligence and the intelligence that has been washed in Divine truth--why, of course, that intelligence is shining and white like fine linen.       If we take it literally, we see how it is impossible. We could not wash a robe white in the blood of a lamb. It would get anything but white, but we have to interpret it spiritually.

I looked up many passages where different persons are described as seeing angels, and in many of the places, the garments of the angels are described, and they are various. Some people in the spiritual world have simple garments and some have very rich and beautiful garments, and that is all due to the difference in people's understanding which they have in the spiritual world. There are the rich and the poor in heaven, the wise and the simple--all the variety which we have in this world. Heaven is a very realistic place--not monotonous, not just one kind of angel, but an infinite variety of angels.

In order to see the beauty of garments, in their correspondence I like to trace out the garments that are mentioned in regard to the Lord because, of course, the garments that clothe the Lord correspond to Divine truth and, in the letter of the Word, the descriptions of His garments are the way men see Divine truths. And so, on the very night that the Lord was born, the very first sign that men had been given that the Lord had been born, was the word of the angels to the shepherds, when they said "And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." The swaddling clothes are just one piece of linen--no form, no sleeves, no skirt, just a plain piece of cloth in which the Babe was wrapped. Swaddling clothes, the very simplest possible garment that you can imagine. And that is the way the Lord comes to us, and that is a sign of Him. He is wrapped in the simplest of truths--the truth, for example, that we teach a child, that God created everything. Simple, but tremendously complex--maybe a lifetime will not serve to know how He created everything, but the truth that He created everything is so simple that any child can understand it, and we find the idea of God.

We find that the Babe was first of all wrapped up and laid in the manger by the mother. Then we go through the story of the Lord's life, when He wanted to show His disciples that He was God Himself, not just a man, not just a son of Mary, but that He was a Divine Man. And so He took them up into a mountain apart,--Peter, James and John, who represented Faith, and Love and Charity,--and before these three leading disciples He was transfigured and His face shone just like the sun of the spiritual world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 103 His face was white as light, and His garment was so bright, it was whiter than any fuller could make a garment--is garment shone so. Those garments that shone were the truths of the Word, illuminated by the Divine internal sense, shining through them and irradiating and making them shine before the eyes of the disciples.

On the next occasion that I would consider, the Lord had been asked by Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, to come and heal his little daughter. She was twelve years old and was dying of a fever, the ruler told the Lord. He hastened to the home of Jairus, followed by a great crowd of curiosity seekers who wanted to see this miracle. All of a sudden, He stopped and said, "Who touched Me?" A trembling woman came up and knelt down before Him and said to Him, "I said in my heart that if I can but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be healed." This woman had had an issue of blood for twelve years. It's curious--the number 12 represents all the goods and truths of the church. The little Jairus child was 12 years old, and in the same chapter it mentions the woman who had this sickness for 12 years. And she said, "If I can just reach out and touch the hem of His garment." To be able to touch the hem of the Lord's garment! You know, the disciples said to the Lord, "It is impossible--you are thronged with people touching you on all sides, and how can you stop and ask, 'Who touched Me?' But the Lord knew there was a great difference between the touch when virtue goes forth and the touch of the crowd which surrounded Him. Many men read the Word and they are not touched by it in the least. They are like the crowd that jostled the Lord on His way to Jairus' house. But this woman reached forward and touched His garment on purpose, and virtue went forth, and it is said she felt within herself at once that she was healed. That touch means this--when you can pick up the Word, and when you can read the Word, and get something out of the Word, when it is not just an ordinary book but when it is the Divine Word of God--then we touch the Lord's garment, and that heals our spiritual sickness. (Mark 5:22-43)

Then again, the Lord had gone across the sea of Galilee the day after He had fed the five thousand in the wilderness, and a storm came up, and He walked on the water. The next day, on the plains of Gennesaret, it is said, when the people heard that the Master was there, they brought out the sick, the maimed and the blind, and as many as could, it is said, touched His garment; and as many as touched it, to them health was restored, which again means the same thing--the ability to have the truths of the Word actually touch you, actually feel the truths of the Word. Such things will heal all of our spiritual diseases.

Then going down the story and coming to the last week of the Lord's life--in fact next to the last day of His life, which was Thursday of Easter week,--on Thursday night, He ate the Passover with His disciples end, before instituting the Holy Supper, it is said, He took off His regular garment and girded Himself with just a linen towel, and then He knelt before each disciple and washed His feet.


Doctrinal Papers p. 104 Peter said, "Thou shalt never wash my feet," and the Lord said, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part in Tare." (John 13:1-17) The Writings explain that to have the feet washed is to have the truth from the Lord able to purify us from the very grossest of our evils. The manner in which His garments are dealt with in this case is, to me, tremendously interesting. He takes off His complex garments, His inner vesture and outer vesture which He normally wore which represent the spiritual sense of the Word clothed by the natural sense of the Word with all its intricacies, and He just girded Himself with a linen towel, just one garment, almost as He came, into the world when He was wrapped in swaddling clothes; and thus dressed He washed the disciples' feet. To my mind, that represents the simple truths of the Ten Commandments--"Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not commit adultery" "Thou shalt not steal" "Thou shalt not lie"       "Thou shalt not covet,"--the simple truths that are capable, if obeyed, of washing us from the lowest of evils that are represented by the feet which the Lord washed.

And then on the morrow, the soldiers crucified Him, and they parted His garment among them, but for His vesture, His inner vesture, they cast a lot. We know how that outer garment was made for it was like the coat of many colors of Joseph. It was made up of many seams and was sewed together--many different pieces of cloth, to make the outer garment, and it represents the letter of the Word which has Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and so forth; many different books written over a period of time, from 1500 years before Christ, when the first five books were written by Moses all the way down when the Psalms of David were written 1000 years before Christ, and then the gospels were written. Maybe Revelation was written ninety years after the Lord had come into this world.

And all of those books, through Providence, as described in an earlier class, have been gathered together and formed into one book which we call the Bible or, in the New Church, THE WORD--the Word of God, all sewed together, but we can think of it in its part. It can be taken apart and can be divided; but the Writings say that within this is that inner garment which was without seam from top to bottom, for which the soldiers cast lots, so that one soldier would get the whole garment and it would not be ruined because, if it was cut, it would ravel out and be worthless to whoever got a piece of it. So they cast lots for it and the Writings say that that inner garment represents the spiritual sense of the Word about which I have been telling you, which has been put there through the laws of correspondence and which, in its inmost sense, deals with the life of God.--How God was able to bow the heavens and come down through all of these degrees and assume a human body in the womb of Mary and be born on earth, and how coming into the world with that human body and Divine soul, how step by step Ho put off the human from Mary and put on the Divine human into whose image and likeness, every man is created.

The story of the glorification is everywhere treated of in the letter of the Word, from Genesis to Revelation--everywhere, and the whole story is there for men of future ages to draw forth completely.


Doctrinal Papers p. 105 In our day and age, Bishop de Charms has drawn more forth in connected series than any other minister I know. He has given us the seven visits to Jerusalem, and he has given us the analogy in the Old Testament of the seven visits to Jerusalem, and thus he has done pioneer work in showing us that inner garment from Genesis to Revelation. Of course, it is a tremendous series and men will labor on it for generations to come; in fact, it will never be exhausted, but in the spiritual sense, it deals with your life and mine--the story of individual man's regeneration, our problems. That is all there, too, from Genesis to Revelation, so that whether we are blue or whether we are exuberant, whether we are being led by a pillar of cloud in the daytime, as the Israelites were in the wilderness, or by a pillar of fire through the night of temptation--no matter what our states are, if we search. the Scriptures, we can find through correspondence the answers to our problems and we can be shown the way in which we should go because it is there revealed.

The science of correspondence (it is called a science) is the Divine method by which the Word was written, and if you agree that the Bible is the Word of God, then the continual burden bf Swedenborg's Writings that if it is the Word of God, whatever seems trivial in the letter cannot possibly be the answer of what is the only thing contained there--that it must be possible to open it up to higher and higher regions. And, in conclusion tonight, I want to show you the spiritual sense of the first miracle which the Lord did, which I read to you.

The first miracle took place in Cana of Galilee. Cana was in the Northern province during the Lord's life on earth and represented the natural. His first miracle is, of course, to accommodate the Divine to the natural because that is the reason He came on earth. The very first miracle that He did took place in Cana which corresponds to the natural of man. It was a marriage feast and marriage commences all the way from the sublime marriage between the Lord and the Church and then descends to the marriage of man and woman; and in the regeneration of man it is the uniting of the things we do, which Swedenborg calls the marriage of good and truth.

At this marriage, the Word says, the mother of Jesus was there. The mother of the Lord represents the Church because it was through Mary that He came into the world, and it is through the Church that the truths which make the Lord known to man come to man. If it were not for the Church, there would be no ministry, there would be no missionary efforts to publish the Writings and have them sent forth. The Church is the means in Providence by which the knowledge about the Lord is passed from generation to generation and so, at this marriage the mother of Jesus was there and also to this marriage were invited the Lord and His disciples.

One of the most important things of which this marriage is a type is the marriage of conjugial love. In the New Church, we know that there is a new and glorious love between man and woman which far excels what is called a happy marriage in the world, which has depth to it, which makes an ordinary, merely compatible happy marriage pale in comparison, and the first essential of such a marriage is that both Jesus and His disciples were there.


Doctrinal Papers p. 106 The Lord's being present in this marriage represents religion being at the heart of the marriage. The disciples were those who carried the message of the Lord to the whole of the known world--all around the shores of the Mediterranean, wherever men lived in those days, the disciples carried His message; and so a marriage at which the disciples are invited is a marriage which starts with the Lord but it does not stop there. It has the truths from Him brought down to every relationship in marriage, to all the duties and responsibilities of marriage. They all are taken by the disciples, by what the disciples represent to every nook and cranny, so to speak, of the married life.

At this marriage, the wine ran out, and the mother of Jesus told Him that the wine had run out, and then she told the servants to do whatever He said to them. And what did the Lord tell the servants? He said, "Fill the waterpots with water." There were set at this doorway six great water jars holding two or three firkins. A firkin is a quarter of a barrel, so they held a great deal of water, and they were for purification: that is, when you came into one of those homes, you took off your sandals and drew a basin of water and washed your feet and then you went about the house in bare feet, and these waterpots were for containing this washing water. The Lord said, "Fill the waterpots." The waterpots represented the vessels of the mind--the things in our mind that hold truths, and the Lord said, "Fill them up with water." All we can do is fill our minds with natural truths. We cannot fill our minds with spiritual truths.

The Lord has to turn natural truth into spiritual truth. But we can fill our minds with natural truth, we can read the Word, and those natural words that we put in our minds--that is filling our mind with the water of natural truth. And then the Lord told the servants to draw forth and take it to the governor of the feast, or the toastmaster, and when the toastmaster tasted this wine which the Lord had made, he said, "Men are accustomed to give the good wine first, and when men have well drunk, that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now." Men in this signification represent the worldly idea of marriage, the honeymoon, the great height, and after that everything comes downhill, and you may got along compatibly and so forth, but the good wine is served first and after men have well drunk, that which is worse." But it is said that at this marriage that the Lord was taken into and His disciplesthat they had kept the good wine until the very last. And so, when that good wine was tasted, that represents to us the possibility of the reaches of marriage. There the Lord or religion, or the Lord and religion, or the Lord in religion--when they are the center and heart of the marriage, and where the couple does everything within their power to draw those truths down and have them really motivate the actions of their life, then that marriage has an ending quite different.


Doctrinal Papers p. 107 Instead of having the wine run out and nothing to be served at the end, the water, which, through study and application has been changed into wine, blesses the end of marriage and the bridegroom's toastmaster is able to exclaim "Men are accustomed to serve the good wine first, and when men have well drunk, that which is worse, but Thou hast kept the good wine until now."

* * * * *


"A knowledge of degrees is like a key to lay open the causes of things, and to give entrance into them. Without this knowledge, scarcely anything of cause can be known; for without it, the objects and subjects of both worlds seem perfectly simple, as though there were nothing in them beyond that which meets the eye; when yet compared to the things which lie hidden within, what is thus seen is as one to thousands, yea, to tens of thousands. The interiors which are not open to view can in no way be discovered except through a knowledge of degrees. For things exterior advance to things interior, and through these to things inmost by means of degrees; not by continuous degrees but by discrete degrees.

"'Continuous degrees' is a term applied to the gradual lessenings or decreasings from grosser to finer, or from denser to rarer; or better, perhaps, to growths and increasings from finer to grosser, or from rarer to denser; precisely like the gradations of light to shade, or of heat to cold. But discrete degrees are entirely different: they are like things prior, subsequent and final; or like end, cause, and effect. These degrees are called discrete, because the prior is by itself; the subsequent by itself; and the final by itself; yet taken together they make one.

"The atmospheres, which are called ethers and airs, from highest to lowest, that is, from the sun to the earth, are separated into such degrees; they are like simples, collections of simples, and again collections of these, which taken together are called a composite. Such degrees are discrete, because each has a distinct existence, and these degrees are what are meant by 'degrees of height'; but the former degrees are continuous, because they increase continuously, and these degrees are what are meant by 'degrees of breadth.' (Divine Love and Wisdom 184)


Doctrinal Papers p. 108


By the Reverend Karl R. Alden

Marriage in heaven is disbelieved in the Christian Church, because the Lord said there is no marriage in heaven, so we are in a very interesting position.

Swedenborg, whose claim is that he was twenty-seven years in the spiritual world and fully conscious there--not there just as to his eyes and his ears, but as to all his senses; not conscious there for a moment in a trance as spiritual mediums have intercourse with the spiritual world, but from the time that he was fifty-six years old until he died at eighty-four,--Swedenborg was continuously and consciously a citizen of both worlds. His claim is the most amazing that is made in history. No one else has ever claimed that and, of course, after we come to believe what he taught, it is not hard for us to believe absolutely and unshakably that he was actually in the spiritual world and conscious of the spiritual world for twenty-seven years.

We, too, are actually in the spiritual world as much as we will ever be in it, but we are not conscious of it. We are conscious of this world but not of the spiritual world. Swedenborg, however, was fully conscious of both worlds at the same time. He saw thousands of married people in the spiritual world. He says it is full of people who are married, and, in fact, with the exception of certain nuns and monks and people who, from religious conviction, had made vows against marriage, vows of celibacy, and who sincerely believed those vows, everyone in heaven is married.

My task is to show you that there is no real contradiction between what Swedenborg saw in the spiritual world, namely, many married couples, and the Lord's words that there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage in heaven.       I must give a little of the background in order for you to understand this situation.

Once I asked the late Bishop N. D. Pendleton, "How do you explain this neither marriage nor giving in marriage in the spiritual world to people who are not in the New Church?" "Well", he said, "the first thing is for you to understand it yourself." That is what I hope that you will be able to do--not that you will be able to convince someone else of it, but if I can make you understand it, then I shall be more than pleased. I have the temerity, the courage, or the brazenness to think I really understand it now, but it is not without many years of thought and study on it that I have arrived at the place where I think I really understand it. Whether I can explain it to you remains to be seen.


Doctrinal Papers p. 109

The Lord's words are recorded in the twenty-second chapter of Matthew (verse 30), also in Luke (20:35), and in Mark (12:25). His words were spoken the last week of His life, on the Tuesday before the first Easter. We know a great deal about what the Lord did during that last week of His life, with the exception of Wednesday.

On Tuesday the Lord had a long day of conflict with His enemies in the Jewish religion. The enemies were composed of the Herodians, who followed Herod, the Pharisees, who were the aristocrats, the better-than-you people of Jerusalem, the socialites, the type to whom other people would kow-tow--they knew that they were superior. The Sadducees were a sect of people who did not believe in any life after death. We would call them rank materialists. They believed that when. they died they were buried, and that was the end of life and nothing was beyond the grave. They also strove for the literal interpretation of the five Books of Moses and believed that if they obeyed those Books, Jehovah would bless them; but if they disobeyed them, He would curse them; and their heaven and hell would be in the world on earth, according to their attitude toward the Books of Moses.

This last Tuesday of the Lord's life, from morning to night, He talked in the Temple and told many famous parables: the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom were wise and five were foolish (Matthew 25:1-13); the parable of the talents, and the king who went away and left his servants one with five talents, one with two, and one with one (Matthew 25:14-30); and the parable of the king who let out his vineyard to husbandmen, and went away, and then, at the appointed time, sent for some of the wine, some of the increase, but the husbandmen stoned his servants, then he sent other servants whom they also stoned, and last of all he sent his only son and him the killed, saying, "Let us seize on his inheritance" (Matthew 21:33-41). All these parables were obviously directed against the priests, the scribes, the Sadducees, the Herodians, the people who had risen up in such violent opposition to Him, and who were planning and plotting and trying to lead one of His disciples astray to betray Him. The plot was gathering and reached its bloody climax on Good Friday.

The words about marriage were spoken on Tuesday. First of all the priests came to the Lord. You remember that on Palm Sunday He had ridden to Jerusalem on an ass's colt on which no man had ever ridden before. He rode into Jerusalem as the kings of old had ridden into Jerusalem,--as a king,--and the people spontaneously thought that now He was going to create a revolution, and they tore down palm branches and spread them and their garments in the way, and sang, Hosanna to the son of David, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." They were ready to make Him a king. So the populace were disappointed when He told them that His kingdom was not of this world. He then went into His Father's house, that He had been in at twelve years of age and called His Father's house, and He said, "You have made My Father's house a den of thieves", and He overturned the moneychangers' tables and drove out those who sold sheep and oxen from the temple. (Matthew 21:1-13)


Doctrinal Papers p. 110

Of course, those people were making huge profits. It was estimated that at the Passover in those days more than a million people came to Jerusalem. They came from all parts of the civilized world: from all around the Mediterranean basin. They came from Egypt, from Greece and Rome, proselyted Jews. They came for the yearly Passover. They had money Roman money, Greek money, Egyptian money, Parthian money--all sorts of money. The priests, however, had made a rule that you had to give a temple shekel. Your offering could not be in Greek money, Egyptian money, or Parthian money,--it had to be in temple shekels. So the priests were busily exchanging temple shekels for the money of those people who came; and that is how they made the temple a den of thieves because, in exchanging the money, they did not do it fairly. They cheated the people and did not give them the right amount of temple shekels for the money they gave them; and so the Lord said they had made His temple a den of thieves, and He ruthlessly went in and upset this money over the floor, and you can imagine what those Jews felt like, and they were filled with rage for they were making a fortune. This was their big time when they made the money for the whole year and to have all of this spoiled by this Reformer did not please them at all, so they came to the Lord and began to question Him.

You will see that the priests asked the Lord a series of three questions and wanted to trap Him in such a way that they could excite the hatred of the multitude against Him. He had just been acclaimed by the multitude, and in the multitude there were children whom He had cured of their diseases, and there were blind people who were seeing. There was Simon the leper who had entertained Him on Monday night at a banquet, whose leprosy had been cured. The Lord had done these things and He had a popular following and you cannot take a popular leader and crucify Him without stirring up a revolution; so the Jews were trying to get the Lord to discredit Himself with His followers. That was what was happening on this Tuesday.

First the priests, who were angry that the Lord had overturned their tables, came to Him and demanded, "By what authority doest Thou these things?" "Who gave you the right to come into the temple and upset tables and drive the cattle out?" Of course, all the people were around,--the great multitude,--and they were waiting to hear how the Lord would answer, and they chose a place where they could see Him. The Lord said to these rulers of the Jews, these priests, that He would answer that question if they would first answer Him. "The baptism of John", He asked, "was that from heaven, or was it of men?" They got together, and they whispered among themselves, and they knew that if they said that it was from heaven, He would say, "Why didn't you believe John?" And they knew if they said it was of men, the people would stone them because they thought John the Baptist was a prophet. John died a martyr's death. He was beheaded by Herod, and the people had acclaimed him as the last of the prophets, and he had been held in great honor by the common people, so these priests came back to the Lord and said they could not answer His question.


Doctrinal Papers p. 111 The Lord said, "Neither do I answer your question, by what authority I do these things." That put the people on the Lord's side--it seemed like good sportsmanship. "If you don't answer my question, then 1 don't have to answer your question"; and they did not answer His, so He did not answer theirs. (Matthew 21:23-27)

It was the priests who did that, and the next group that tried to trap the Lord in His speech were the Pharisees. You remember they came to Him and asked, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" At this time in the history of the world, somewhere around 30 A. D., Tiberius was Roman emperor, or Caesar (a title of Roman emperors), and he ruled over the whole Mediterranean basin. The Roman Empire was all the civilized world. Tiberius was absolute emperor of it, and his power was law in Jerusalem and in all the Roman provinces. On the other hand, the Jews were fanatically patriotic. They had lived through seventy years of captivity in Babylon and so strong had been their racial patriotism that they had refused to intermarry with the Babylonians, and the result was that they came back from Babylon an integral race, without losing their identity.

I heard a lecture recently in which the speaker pointed out that, if Nebuchadnezzar had really wanted to destroy the Jews, he would have sent his Babylonians into Jerusalem and provided the opportunity for the Jews to intermarry with the Babylonian women in Jerusalem, and they would soon have lost their identity; but by dragging them away into Babylon he gave them a loyalty and comradeship which is typified by the courage of Daniel, who braved the lions? den, and of Shadrach, Meshech and Abendego, who braved the fiery furnace, rather than have any part in the Babylonian life or worship.

The fanatical Jews wanted to throw off the yoke of Rome. It galled them to think that they had to pay tribute to Rome, and that they were not an independent nation; and they looked for a soldier king like David who would break the yoke of Rome, so the question, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" was very crafty, and the Pharisees had it figured that if He said, "By no means--don't give anything to Caesar", then they would just call in the Roman guards saying, "Do you hear what this man says?" Then He would be off as a traitor to Rome. On the other hand, if He spoke out boldly and said, Yes, give tribute to Rome", then the whole Jewish mob would be out to stone Him, and He would have lost His prestige with them, which is what the Pharisees wanted. But the Lord called for a penny and asked, "Whose image and superscription is this on the penny?" They said that it was Caesar's, and then the Lord said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's." The common people marveled at the answer, because there was no offense either to Caesar or to the rabid Jewish mob, and the Lord gave a law that is applicable in all of our businesses, and puts the correct emphasis on the things of the State and the things of God. The things of the State are to be rendered to Caesar, and the things of God to God. So for the second time, in the eyes of all this crowd, the adversaries failed to discredit the Lord.


Doctrinal Papers p. 112

Now comes the third class of Jewish attackers, the Sadducees, those skeptics, materialists, who did not believe in a spiritual world yet they drummed up a question about the resurrection which they thought would surely trap the Lord. I am going to quote this so that you will have it exactly as it is stated, because it is the explanation of this that I hope to give.

"The same day, (that is, Tuesday of the Lord's last week on earth) came to Him the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine." (Matthew 22:23-33)

There is no question whatsoever that the Lord said there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage, but let us look at the word marriage. We read the word "marriage", which is an Anglo-Saxon word, translation of the Latin nuptiae (the Greek words in Matthew are from meaning to marry, and from meaning to give away in marriage), and in each one of our minds there is an idea of marriage which we have gained through all our past experience. We have, each one of us, a certain idea of marriage, and when we read these words of the Lord that there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage, we naturally think that He meant .there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage such as we know marriage.

The first point that I make in explaining this is that the Lord was answering the Sadducees, and He was talking about the type of marriage that they had in their mind; and in the literal sense, there is in heaven, in the life after death, in the resurrection, no such marriage as the Sadducees had in their minds; and because there was no such marriage as that, I invite your intelligent consideration to the fact that that does not mean that there is not true marriage in heaven and that the Lord did not mean to rule out true marriage because He said they are as the angels of God, and the angels of God, we believe, are in conjugial or true marriage.

What did the Sadducees mean by marriage? Let's look at this. There are seven brothers, and all seven of them may be married when the oldest brother dies without having any child.


Doctrinal Papers p. 113 According to the law of Moses, for the sake of order in the representative of a church, which was purely external and where there was no conjugial love and where marriage was for the sake of procreation, it was permitted the people, the Lord said, for the hardness of their hearts, to have polygamy. It was permitted them to have the wife of a dead brother taken by another brother, to have a child raised up that would be called by the dead brother's name. (Deuteronomy 25:5-10) If that brother happened to be already married, we would call that polygamy at best, or else adultery. We would not call that marriage, would we? Certainly not! And yet this woman passed from one to the other of seven brothers successively, whether they were married or not; and the Sadducees asked the Lord to tell whose wife she would be in the spiritual world or resurrection, for all seven had her to wife.

We would not admit that any of the seven had her to wife. There had not been a marriage between any of the seven and this woman, according to all of the conceptions which are in our minds; so the Lord, in the literal sense, could not have answered that there was the kind of marriage in heaven that the polygamous Jews believed was correct. If He had answered that way, He would have established, in the very first days of the Christian Church, a sensualism which it could never have outlived. He would have debased the whole spiritual conception of the Christian Church; and so, to prevent that, and to answer the Sadducees on their own plane of thought, He said to them, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Imagine saying that to the Sadducees who thought they were the experts on the Scriptures. They thought they knew the Books of Moses better than anyone else.

I want to point out to you how the, Sadducees thought they were going to trap the Lord. They wanted to have Him discredited with the crowd so that they could crucify Him without causing a riot.       The crowd venerated the law of Moses. The law of Moses was the fundamental religious law, and the masses venerated it. It was written in the law of Moses, and can be found in the 25th chapter of Deuteronomy, that Moses says that, if a man dies and leaves a wife, a widow with no child, his brother shall take that widow and raise up children who shall be called by the dead brother's name and who shall inherit the property of the dead brother. That was called the law of the levirate. And if the Lord had said that the woman was the wife of anyone of the seven brothers, He would have left out the other six brothers and, according to the law of Moses, they were just as much the husband of this woman as anyone. He could not pick out one and say she was the husband of this one man. If He did, He would discredit the law of Moses.

On the other hand, the law of Moses forbade polyandry, that is, one woman to have seven husbands. That was forbidden by the law of Moses. (Numbers 5:20) No woman was permitted to have more than one husband. So if the Lord said she was married to all seven of them, He would break the law of Moses that way. So the Sadducees had a catch question and figured that either way the Lord answered, He would make a mistake, and they would discredit Him with the multitude.


Doctrinal Papers p. 114 But He answered them in a way they did not expect, and said that in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."

So much for the literal understanding of the Lord's words. I don't know if I have convinced you in any way, shape or form, but to my mind, as the Proverb says, you have to answer a fool according to his folly (Proverbs 26;5), and I think right on the literal sense that the Lord told those Sadducees exactly the truth, that there is no marriage,--no polygamous marriage--such as they had in their minds, in the kingdom of heaven. There could not possibly be.

Let us now go a step further and see if the Christian Church is justified in ruling out the idea of marriage as part of the concept of the life after death just from the evidence of the Scriptures themselves. When it came to instituting marriage, the Lord abolished polygamy. I don't know if you ever thought of it, but when He restated the marriage law in the Gospels, He said, "They twain shall be one flesh",--"You two", "twain", "you two shall be one flesh". "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." There could not be any polygamy--"you two", "ye twain". That's the way the Lord repeated this law of marriage in the New Testament and, of course, the whole Christian Church got this; and monogamy--one man and one woman--has been the marriage law of the Christian Church from its beginning. "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

The Christian Church has interpreted that, without any warrant that I can see, to mean that God puts man and wife apart by death, and that is not man putting them apart, but that is God putting them apart; so the Christian Church has taught that marriage lasts for this world, but that when death intervenes, that is God putting asunder the marriage covenant. Let's see if this will stand the light of logic and thought about it.


God's purposes don't change. God sees all the way through to the end of the problem. To see just to the first curve, and we have to wait until we get to the bend in the road before we can look around it, but God doesn't. He is all-wise, and He sees clearly through to the end of the problem. And if He sees fit to create humanity in two complementary forms, the form of the male and the female, neither one of which is complete without the other, and the two perfectly complement each other; and when He joins them together and says, "Let not man put asunder what God hath joined together", what logic is there to believe that they are put asunder by death and that man, waking up in the spiritual world, no longer needs to be complemented by woman nor woman any longer needs to be complemented by man?

I don't think there's any real reason to believe that God did :dean that death was the end of marriage, for I believe that what God bath joined together remains joined together.


Doctrinal Papers p. 115 That is irrevocable unless man himself, in his freedom, wishes to destroy his marriage which, of course, is possible. Any man can do that, but it does not mean that where man does not want to destroy his marriage, God will destroy it by death. We have to go back to the fundamental, to the way God has created everything, because it builds up a pile of evidence for marriage in heaven that is irresistible, and if you can see why the Lord spoke as He did to the Sadducees, why, then you can see how that sentence in Providence was given. The Lord knew that His words would make the Christian Church believe that death was the end of marriage. He knew that, and He spoke them advisedly in order to keep the Christian ideal of heaven from being a sensual ideal, and to keep it on a spiritual plane; and in Providence that was until the doctrine of conjugial love could be revealed.

Look at the whole scheme of creation. It seems to me we have an irresistible body of evidence for the continuance of marriage in the spiritual world. In the first place, we have talked in these classes about tracing the origin of the spiritual sense of the Word. We have talked about the two fundamental qualities in God Himself. They are the quality of love and the quality of wisdom. God Himself has these two qualities and they are married, as it were, in Himself, and are the source. of all creation; and we know that woman "is the form of love and man the form of wisdom. And just as God loved to create the universe, that love had to be married to His wisdom, to His ability to know how to create the universe, and without that ability to know how and without the love to do it, he could not possibly have created the universe. But He did create the universe and so in the very highest of all our thoughts and in the ideas of God Himself that we have, we have this expression of two halves of life. I don't care where you look, you are going to see two things which long to be conjoined and, until they are conjoined, and complement each other, each one is imperfect by itself.

Let me illustrate, perhaps, by speaking of a magnet.       You all know what a magnet is. A magnet has two poles, the positive pole and the negative pole. The poles attract each other so that if I have two magnets and put the positive to the positive they repel each other, but if I put the positive to the negative and the negative to the positive, they bind each other together. Let us think of the positive and the negative as the love and wisdom in God. And the Word does not just say that God created man in His image. It says, God created man in His image and in His likeness; male and female created He them. I like to think of the magnet, and the Lord is the Divine Human. You take a magnetits a horseshoe. We say we have a horseshoe magnet, and one end is positive and one is negative. I will just saw this off and this whole bar of the magnet will by positive and this whole bar will be negative, we might think, but strange to say it does not work. If I cut this off, to and behold, I have a positive and a negative end, and if I cut it again, I will still have a positive end and a negative end, and if I get down to one single molecule of the iron, it still has a positive end and a negative end.


Doctrinal Papers p. 116 And so, if you think of the love and wisdom in God as the great Creative of everything and man as a little tiny least particle of the iron, man still has his love and his wisdom, his will and his understanding. He still has that image and likeness of God. Where can you look that you don't find it?

Look at the map of the world. We see it is made up of land and water. Land is the feminine and water is the masculine and we spontaneously say "Mother Earth", don't we? and we say of the Mississippi river that it is the "Father of Waters", and "Tiber, father Tiber, to whom all Romans pray", Horatius said before he jumped that time and swam across it with all his armor on. We instinctively talk about rivers as masculine and the land as feminine and for a very good reason, because the earth receives the rain. Without receiving the rain it brings forth nothing. It is positively sterile. It is not until it receives the rain that it brings forth the grain. The earth is like the mother of everything.

We have this duality everywhere. We have it in the sun itself in heat and light, and then we get down into the chemical world. We have acids and bases and when you add them together, to and behold, you get salts which are like the children of the acids and bases. And then in the vegetable kingdom, you have bees flying from masculine blossoms to feminine blossoms, and if they don't fly, there is no fruit. The blossoms have to be pollinated. And you have sexes in plants. Then you come to the animals. From the very tiniest cellular animals, all the way down to man you have this division of sexes, you have the two, you have the male and the female. That is so universal. We cannot escape it, and it is that way because God Himself is love and wisdom and we are created in His image and likeness.

If the whole world is created in the image and likeness of marriage, and if the spiritual world is the continuation of life, and that is the logical thing that the spiritual world should be--no one wants to wake up in the spiritual world to be an angel which would be something different than we are,--we want to wake up in the spiritual world loving the things that we have learned to love with intense passion and interest in this world--we want to go right on loving them--that is what we want in the spiritual world--we don't want to be somebody different, even if we do have the name of an angel, we would just rather be ourselves; and the longer we are married, the more completely lost we feel when we don't have the consociation with our partner. And to contemplate an eternity where you would become a creature without that thing which in this life is the sweetest of all human experiences is abhorrent and unthinkable. To have the things that you don't have supplied by your partner who has them, and to give to your partner the things that your partner does not have--mutually complementing each other, mutually rendering things to the other partner that neither can render for themselves--is the delight itself of life. Just think of it--to come to a jumping-off place, and you jump off into eternity and suddenly you are all alone--you no longer have any marriage--it would seem to be running in the face of the whole scheme of creation, everything that we see everywhere--running in the face of all that evidence we have laid before you.


Doctrinal Papers p. 117 And so it seems to be very illogical to think that marriage should stop at death.

I have two more reasons for believing that marriage does not stop at death. The first one is that heaven is the same in greatests and in leasts just as human society here is the same in greatests and in leasts. The United States is a Grand Man. It has a head which we call the capital and it has its nerves--the telegraph and radios. It has its muscles which are its strong men--police and military forces to enforce the law and protect the country. It has its stomach - its great grain centers like Chicago. It has its veins, its arteries, which are the trains and trucks which bring food for the stomach all the way to Sonesen's store and at last to the individual house which is the individual cell. The whole country is a man. Pennsylvania is a man in smaller form. Montgomery County is too, and finally we come all the way down to the Borough of Bryn Athyn which has its Burgess, its Borough Council, that does all the thinking for it, and it has all those functions, and finally we come to the individual.

That is human nature. That is the way God planned it, and Swedenborg simply said that is extended into the spiritual world and the whole spiritual world is a man in the sight of the Lord--each heaven of the three heavens is a man. Each society in heaven is a man, and each individual angel. My point is just this. The Lord Himself talks about being the Husband, and calls the Church the Bride and Wife. That is all through Scripture. Just to quote a single passage: "I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2) That is in the last Book of the Bible. It is only one of many passages which treat of the Church as the wife and mother, and the Lord as the Husband and Father of the Church, and of the children of the Church; so that if marriage is holy enough so that it can be thought of as the Lord married to the Church, surely if the Lord is married to the whole Church, the institution of marriage must be something sacred that lasts, and it is. It is hard to say that there is a marriage of the Lord and the Church, if the people of the Church in the spiritual world are all sexless creatures that have no marriage. It doesn't sound sensible.

My last and concluding thought is just this: The Word says that "Without a parable spake He not unto them." (Matthew 13:34) Everything the Lord said was spoken with deeper meanings than just the meaning on the outside. The meaning on the outside was for the childlike state of the people to whom He talked. He talked to these Sadducees in a language they could understand, but within His conversation were eternal truths which will be valid and true years after the name of the Sadducees has perished from man's consciousness. And the deeper truth involved in saying there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage in the spiritual world refers to that marriage of the Church and the Lord which is produced when man takes the truths which he receives from the Lord in the Word and marries them to the goods of life, in his own life, in this world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 118 That is what we call putting oil in your lamps. That is what the wise virgins did who had oil with their lamps. They had taken the light of truth represented by the lamp - they had taken that lamp and they had taken oil too which represents good to which truth leads; and when truth leads to good in a man's life, it is said to be married to the good, conjoined to it, and that is the essence of conjugial love--to have this internal marriage of good and truth.

The spiritual meaning of the Lord's words is that in this life, here where we are free, we choose whether we will live the life of truth or whether we won't live the life of truth. If we live the life of truth, we are married--the goods and truths in our life are married together spiritually. After we go into the spiritual world it is too late to marry those goods and truths, and so spiritually, the Lord said, there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage in the spiritual world, because if we don't choose to do that here, in the spiritual world we are going to do the same things we chose to do here and we are going to choose not to marry them; and so, if you don't marry good and truth in this world through the process of regeneration, they won't be conjoined in the spiritual world.

Spiritually speaking, therefore, there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage in the spiritual world. And so, to sum up in my mind the Lord's words, do not bar the concept of eternal marriage in the spiritual world; first, because the Lord spoke on the literal plane in answer to the Sadducees whose thoughts were of polygamy or adultery and not of conjugial love or marriage; and secondly, because the whole scheme of creation from God Himself down to the least of the mineral kingdom is dual, and everywhere we see represented the feminine and the masculine nowhere complete unless conjoined together on whatever plane it may be--vegetable, animal, mineral, human--the masculine always complements the feminine and the feminine always complements the masculine. And thirdly, because I believe that the Lord could not liken the whole heaven to the Bride and Wife of the Lamb and Himself to the Husband and Father of the Church unless that marriage was universal and penetrated from the firsts which are of Himself down to the very lasts which are of the least angels. And lastly, I believe it because I can see so clearly that the spiritual sense refers to the marriage of good and truth in the individual life, that is, the applying in your life of the principles of truth which you believe. Here and now, this world is the place where that must be done, and if not done in this world, then in very deed it cannot be given in the spiritual world, and so, thinking in the spiritual sense, the Lord said that "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."


Doctrinal Papers p. 119

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What is explained in this paper may be found in: Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-38. The Lord's words are explained in Conjugial Love 41, 44.

It is said in Scripture that there shall be no marriages in heaven,, in the same manner as it is said,--1) That 'you shall not call any man father upon earth, nor anyone teacher or master.' 2) That it is as difficult for a rich man to enter into heaven, as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.' 3) That 'friends are to be made of the unrighteous mammon.' 4.) That 'when one cheek is smitten, the other cheek is to be turned to the smiter; that the coat also is to be surrendered to him who would take the cloak;' and that 'we are to go two miles with him who would compel us to go one. 5) That the adulteress was liberated by 'writing on the ground.' 6) That 'the eye is to be plucked out.'" (From Swedenborg's MSS. found at the end of the Index to the Scripture passages in the Apocalypse Explained; and published by Clowes in his Gospel of Mark, page 233, published in 1858.)

That spiritual nuptials are meant by the Lords words, that after the resurrection they are not given in marriage. (After quoting Luke 20:27-38 the number proceeds.) There are two things which the Lord taught by these words; first, that man (homo) rises again after death; and, secondly, that they are not given in marriage in heaven.... That no other nuptials are here meant but spiritual nuptials is very evident from the words which immediately follow, that they can no more die, because they are like the angels, and are sons of God, since sons of the resurrection. By spiritual nuptials is meant conjunction with the Lord, and this is effected on earth, and when it is effected on earth it is also effected in the heavens; wherefore, in the heavens, the nuptials are not repeated, nor are they given in marriage.... There is a spiritual meaning in all things, and in each thing which the Lord spoke." (CL 41)

Nuptials (or marriages) are given in the heavens, as in the earths, but to none others there than those who are in the marriage of good and truth, nor are any others angels; wherefore spiritual nuptials, which relate to the marriage of good and truth, are there understood. These are given in the earths but not after death, thus not in the heavens; as it is said of the five foolish virgins, who were invited to the nuptials, that they could not enter, because they were not in the marriage of good and truth, for they had no oil, but only lamps. By oil is understood good, and by lamps truth; and to be given in marriage is to enter heaven where that marriage is. (CL 44end)


Doctrinal Papers p. 120


By the Reverend Karl R, Alden

My subject is the immortality of the human soul, for man is a spiritual being I shall confine myself in this paper to showing from the Bible, and from common sense, and from the Writings, why the only logical belief that we can have is that man survives death and Gods purpose in creation is the spiritual purpose of a heaven from the human race. In another paper I shall take up how people pass into the spiritual world, the actual mechanism of it, which Swedenborg was permitted to experience in complete consciousness so that he could describe it. Then I will explain exactly what happens to the man or woman after he gets into the spiritual world, the different states that he passes through, and how he is prepared for his eternal lot either in heaven or in hell. And then also I shall endeavor to show how heaven is a kingdom of uses and how the people that are there are not shadowy angelic beings with no reality, such as we are inclined to think of when we mention the word "angel" in this world, but how all the angels--every one of them without exception--was a man on earth or a woman on earth, and how they are very human and very much like people in their external state; and how they cooperate to form vast marvelous societies capable of performing greater uses than we can perform in this world, and consequently a bringing of untold happiness to one another.

Now I want to read three passages from the Bible in preparation for this paper. After the Lord had said "they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30)--a verse which I spent some time explaining in a former paper - the Lord went on to say to the Sadducees, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matthew 22:31, 32; Mark 12:26, 27; Luke 20:36-38) The Sadducees were a sect which did not believe in any resurrection. They believed that when the body died, the soul died, and everything else died; and that was the end of that cycle of life. The Lord said to them, "Haven't you read how God said to Moses at the burning bush, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead but of the living." In other words, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were living at the moment, 500 years later, when God spoke to Moses at the burning bush.

And I want to read from the Gospel of Luke a parable very familiar to all of you: There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day, And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.


Doctrinal Papers p. 121 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abrahams bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things; and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. (Luke 16:19-26) The point of this lesson is that it is said, that the rich man died and immediately continued life in hell, and Lazarus died and was taken immediately into Abraham's bosom. There was no waiting around for any last day or Day of Judgment, no waiting to enter into the spiritual world, but immediately Abraham's bosom was filled with Lazarus and the rich man lifted up his voice from hell.

The last passage that I want to read is from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. But first note that it has been thought by some teachers in the Old Church that man enters into his natural body at the last day--that by some miracle the body which had been disintegrated is called together again then. They say that with man this would be impossible, but that with God all things are possible. But the truth is that man's natural body is not the man, but man's spiritual body is the man; and man's spiritual body continues in the spiritual world, and man's natural body is laid aside and is never taken again, and that is borne out by this passage from Paul.

Paul says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (that is man's natural body); "neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (That is, the body which is corrupted in the grave never inherits the incorruptibility of eternal life. "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." (I Corinthians 15:50-56) And in the same chapter (verse 14), we read, "Man is sown a natural body, but is raised a spiritual body." "It is sown a natural body. It is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body", Paul wrote.

Now the subject of life after death. Divine Providence always seems to lead and guide us in some sort of way.


Doctrinal Papers p. 122 I have been struck many times, when I have been meditating or thinking about a class or sermon that I had to give, how some illustration,--some practical illustration from life,--would give me an inspiration as to the vitalness of the thing under consideration.

I remember once I was speaking on this subject at Easter time, and as I walked up to my Church in Toronto in the spring, the little crocuses were just coming up; and out of one of the houses on Tyndale Avenue came a blind man and he was being led by the hand by a little boy. This little boy was telling him about the crocuses, and how the grass was turning green, and how everything seemed to be reborn and coning into new life again. I was right behind them and I could scarcely avoid hearing the conversation. I could see the delight on the face of the blind man at this world which he couldn't see but which he thoroughly believed in, because of the words of the little boy who ran beside him. And I thought, this is just a parable about what I am going to try to do with these people in my Church today. I am going to try and tell them about the beauties of the spiritual world not seen by their eyes but seen by the eyes of Swedenborg. Swedenborg has to be the little boy that tells us--we who are the blind man as far as actually seeing into the spiritual world goes. That was many years ago.

But just on Monday of this week I stayed with a fellow New Church minister in Patterson, N.J. and I happened to ask him how he came into the New Church. He had been a Christian Scientist practitioner and frankly he was the first Christian Scientist that I had ever heard of being converted to the New Church. He told me this story. I won't go into all of it but just the heart of it. He had been practicing in Akron, Ohio--he and another man, and their two wives were chummy. They formed a little group, and the daughter, Dorothy, of this other couple, took diphtheria and although her mother and father were Christian Scientist practitioners, Dorothy died. So the other Christian Scientist said that she couldn't have had real faith or her daughter wouldn't have died.

But the mother grieved and was pining away, and an older daughter felt that she must find some consolation for her mother who was grieving for Dorothy. She must find it somewhere. And she went into the Public Library and there was a shelf of books and she reached--she could never explain why she reached - but she reached for a book and this book was called, "Our Children in Heaven", by Dr. William H. Holcombe, of New Orleans, who was a New Churchman and a doctor. She brought this book to her mother who read it with the greatest of interest. The book referred to Swedenborg's "Heaven and Hell" and as a result of that, first the mother and then the mother's chum, the wife of the minister whom I was visiting this week, were interested in "Heaven and Hell." And later both her husband and the minister whom I visited not only came into the New Church but both of them became New Church ministers. And the thing that had brought them into the New Church was this doctrine of the spiritual world and the immortality of the soul.


Doctrinal Papers p. 123

The whole Christian world believes in the immortality of the soul. But it is such a vague belief without any particulars, and such an incomprehensible belief, that in this skeptical age in which we live today, many doubt and many are becoming agnostic--that is, they say there may be a life after death but if there is, no one can know about it. But it was this positive instruction concerning the life after death that led the women and their husbands to the Writings, and led the husbands to be ministers and to spread the Gospel about the spiritual world to other people.

So the idea of the spiritual world, and of man as a spiritual being, is intensely important. It will color our entire living because we are going to live our lives according to the end which we believe to be the most important. The Lord said in words that cannot be mistaken: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21). That is the point, where your treasure is. If our interest is in worldly things, if our interest is in social position or accumulating wealth or in the success of our children,--wherever our real love resides, that is where we are going to shape our lives.

Now isn't it almost peculiar, when we think of it for just a moment, that in a hundred years not one of us will be left in this world--a hundred short years, and some of us have. lived many of the hundred already, so that far fewer years than one hundred remain for many of us. Isn't it strange that in spite of that fact the spiritual world seems so vague and so many people with whom you want to talk about the spiritual world don't seem to be interested. It is a very peculiar thing. If they were going to take a trip to Europe, or some place where they had never been before, they would be thrilled and they would be getting timetables and maps, and would study the history and the customs of the people and of the places where they were going, but we are all going into the spiritual world inevitably and inescapably, so how very important it is to make it one of the great and moving forces of vitality in our lives.

Now let me first of all just show you what inspires a New Church minister in talking about the spiritual world. We believe, of course, Swedenborg's claims, and nobody can believe those claims until they see the truth in them. If I told you that. this lampshade is a sort of yellowish color, you would believe it because you see it is, but if I could show you a truth just as clearly, for example, if I say two and two are four, that is a truth. You see that clearly, and I don't have to argue it with you. Those of us who believe Swedenborg see these truths to be true just as clearly as I see the leaves on that plant to be green, and the only proof of the truth of Swedenborg's Writings is that they bring, to the mind the light of truth in which truth alone can be seen; just as we see the sun solely by the light of the sun.


Doctrinal Papers p. 124 When I see those flowers over there my mind is sure they are yellow and I don't have to argue, so those ministers of us who preach about the spiritual world are not asking anyone to believe it until they see it.

But I want you to know what we have on which to base our thoughts about the spiritual world. In the first place, Swedenborg claims that he was fully conscious in the spiritual world for twenty-seven years! Not for a sance--some of you perhaps have heard about spiritists. After a lot of rigamarole and being quiet and holding hands and incantations and whatnot, they may get a medium up that will give a few disjointed sentences - Swedenborg's contact with the spiritual world, the contact that he claimed, was not like that at all. He claimed to be there continuously, and to be conscious in both worlds at the same time, over a period of twenty-seven years.

Now twenty-seven years is a long time and during that time these are the things about the spiritual world that he wrote. He kept a diary. The Church calls it The Spiritual Diary. Swedenborg didn't name it and didn't mean it to be published. It was for his own use. It was written in his own handwriting and written in diaries--green back books, folio books, and after he had had spiritual experiences he would write down for his own eye the experiences that he had. But they have all been published now and translated into English, and they form a perfectly wonderful undesigned story about the spiritual world. It wasn't written with any thought of its ever appearing before the world. It was written by Swedenborg in that simple guileless way that was so characteristic of him. He just wrote down what he saw in the spiritual world and conversations that he had with men and women with whom he talked there. Well, there are five volumes of that Spiritual Diary.

Then in three of his works, Apocalypse Revealed, Conjugial Love, and The True Christian Religion, after each chapter he appends what the Church calls Memorable Relations. Now the Memorable Relations are accounts of things that happened to him in the spiritual world. And once a man named Cuno in Holland who thought a lot of Swedenborg said, "Why do you put these accounts about what you heard and saw in the spiritual world, don't you know people will think you are crazy, if you put them in these books in between the chapters--why do you put them in?" Well, Swedenborg said in his simple direct way that he put them in by command of the Lord and that he who cannot understand the geography and the relationships in the spiritual world, why he can't understand the Revelation of the New Church,--the two go hand in hand. It is quite impossible to believe the theology of the New Church about one God in one person who is the Lord Jesus Christ, and about shunning sins as evils against God, or Conjugial Love, or the spiritual sense of the Word:--it is impossible to understand any of those doctrines unless you believe that the spiritual world is all around us, that we don't go anywhere when we die but we merely put aside that natural body which enables us to live in this world, enables us to live in freedom as it were, enables us to live without the physical contact with God.


Doctrinal Papers p. 125 If we lived in the spiritual world, if we had been born in the spiritual world, freedom would be impossible, and so we could never become ourselves. But God's great problem was to leave men in freedom that the hand of the giver would never be seen in the gift. How unlike human beings because the most generous of human beings in some way or other almost always allows the hand of the giver to be slightly felt; but in all the Divine gifts we have--the life we breathe every minute is from God--and yet how utterly free, how utterly unconscious! We can only see Him when we want to see Him, and when we want to see Him then we can find Him in the pages of Revelation and Scripture where He is revealed but He doesn't force Himself upon us.

So the New Church minister has seventy-two of these accounts, The one in Conjugial Love that opens Conjugial Love is twenty-five pages long and there are many, many pages of descriptions of actual things about the spiritual world. The New Church minister has the five volumes of the Spiritual Diary; he has the seventy-two Memorable Relations; he has the work on Heaven and Hell, which is a volume devoted entirely to the spiritual world and life there. And then, in the course of Swedenborg's other Writings,--a course almost continual--mention is made of the spiritual world as a real world, a living world, a world of fact. Swedenborg comes to talk of the spiritual world just as naturally and simply as you and I talk of the natural world. Now the New Church minister has all of that wealth of truth from which to talk and whatever picture he gives of the spiritual world, remember it is no picture that he invents but, it is a picture that is revealed to mankind through the mind and experience of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Now it is a very interesting thing that when the Lord was on the cross He said to the thief that said he believed in the Lord: "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise," (Luke 23:43). That is very interesting for this reason--the thief's body was buried in this world, so that the "thou" denoted the personality of the thief who repented on the cross and whom the Lord said would be in the spiritual world. The Lord didn't say, "Half of you will be with Me in the spiritual world today." He didn't say, "Your spiritual body will be with Me in paradise today." He said: This day shalt thou, the ego, the man himself, be with Me in paradise." And so with all the clearness that could possibly be denoted bywords the Lord gave that thief to believe that he, the man himself who felt and thought and loved--that that man would be with Him in paradise. "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise."

It is really not hard to understand how that is, In winter we wear an overcoat. Our friends see us in the overcoat. We are encumbered by its weight, and we long for spring, and we long to throw off the overcoat so that our muscles can expand more freely and our actions can become much better. We even long for summertime and bathing suits, so that we can more easily express ourselves, And now just go one step further. The real man is still inhibited by his physical body in addition to his clothes.


Doctrinal Papers p. 126 If I think of the Canadian Northwest my body has to be carried there by an airplane or a train. I can't get to the Canadian Northwest like my mind can, unless my body is carried there. In order to overcome things like that, man says "All right, we will have telephone." I can go into the hall and call Mr. J. J. Funk in Winnipeg and in a few moments I can be talking to Mr. Funk in Winnipeg. I can be there as far as my voice goes. Or we could have a two-way television, and we could see each other and talk to each other, and I always make my religion classes laugh when I say, "Yes, it is not beyond the shadow of a possibility before you die that you will be able to shake hands with a person in Winnipeg and still be here, because every single impression that the hand made there could be made there by some mechanical device which would reproduce the exact same pressure."

But that is not the point of my argument. My argument is why do we, do that; why do I want to talk by telephone thousands of miles, why do I want to see things thousands of miles away, why do I want to touch them? Because that is the law of the spirit, and when I go to the spiritual world, when I put off this natural body, I will be able to see and talk and feel and be with people, with all my senses, at any d1s,tance whatsoever, so, long as we wish to be together. The law of attraction is the only thing there that can bring us together there. If there is no attraction, two spirits or angels cannot be together; but if there is attraction and love they can be; for thought brings presence, the Writings say, and love brings conjunction.

Now you are, not the same people as you were when you came into this room a few minutes ago. That is an actual fact. We have all been breathing industriously since we got in and each time we breathe we breathe out a little of our body that the blood has carried away, cells that have broken down and become oxidized in the lungs and that we breathe out. We actually do not have exactly the same bodies as we had when we came into this room. My point is this--that every seven years, scientists tell us, there is scarcely a particle in our body that we had seven years before. It is all done gradually and yet we remain the same person. What I am trying to show you is that the physical body has nothing to do with the personality, the real person, and if you live to be seventy years old you have had ten natural bodies.

Now what is the difficulty in believing that, if we die at seventy, we can leave ten different bodies in this world and still we go on into the spiritual world? That which has organized the ten bodies that we have had successively, gradually over the years, has all along been the spiritual body. It is that spiritual body which goes immediately at death into the spiritual world, and it carries into the spiritual world all our love and all our thoughts and every single experience, conscious or unconscious, which we have ever had.

Now Swedenborg discovered and made known quite a number of things years before scientists discovered them. For instance, before his spiritual eyes were opened, he discovered that the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and various areas of the brain control various parts of the body.


Doctrinal Papers p. 127 He discovered this long before it was acknowledged by the world. And now modern psychologists are talking about the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind, in Swedenborg's writings, is called the interior memory. The exterior memory is what you can recall consciously. Now psychologists are discovering that under certain stimuli, and forms of hypnotism, and various drugs, they can get a man to reproduce things from the subconscious memory which he can't reproduce from his conscious memory.

Every single sensation that comes to us forms a part of the spiritual man and goes into the spiritual world. So it is said that every man is his own bookkeeper; every man keeps the record of his own book of life. Each one of our books of life is our interior memory upon which is written every least detail of our lives--our conscious life, our willful life, and our environmental life. All of this is written upon man's interior memory, so that when he drops aside this natural material body which he has for purposes of freedom in this world (there are good reasons for having a natural body in this world), he loses absolutely nothing of his personality, of his mental capacity, of the broadness or depths of his loves. Nothing does he lose and nothing does he leave in this world of any essential value. The only thing he leaves is a material organism which is for the purpose of contact in this world, and that is its only purpose. And when he lays it aside the man himself within three days becomes completely conscious in the; spiritual world as to everyone of his faculties. "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise."

Some people have thought that God's original plan was to put men in this world and have them live here forever; but sin caused them to die. They sinned when they. ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Lord had said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17) Vary definite words, and yet the day that Adam and Eve ate thereof at the behest of the serpent, they did not surely die. No indeed--far from it. They were merely driven out of the Garden of Eden, and after that Eve had children, and after that Adam had to till the soil and earn his living in the sweat of his brow. But they didn't surely die. That is, physically. They died the death that was surely represented as the death of sin. So that I think it can be clearly shown that wherever people have thought that death meant the death of the body and soul and everything else, that it is the death of sin, if you study passages just like the one I have quoted. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die", and the day that they ate thereof they didn't surely die. This cannot be taken in that literal manner.

The Lord on the Thursday night before He was crucified, when He had that wonderful discourse with His disciples, said to them: "Let not your heart be troubled". (John 14:1) They were worried. They knew He was going to be taken from them. But He said: "Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God. Believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you.


Doctrinal Papers p. 128 And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3) Now that was just before He was-crucified, and just before Easter morning when they saw Him as the risen Lord. What a beautiful magnificent promise that is--that He goes to prepare a place for each one of us and that in His house there are individual houses for each one of us.

Now I have said just a word about the limitations of the body and how a spirit free from the body would be free to travel wherever it wanted. It would also be free to make of itself what it wanted in a way that we couldn't with our body. We know if our bodies are two or three pounds overweight with what terrific energy and application and fortitude and constancy we have to reject food in order to make our natural bodies conform to some standard which we think may be good for them. Then when it comes to other things, we can't do a thing about our natural body. The Lord said: Who by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature, or who can make one hair white or black? (Matthew 6:27; 5:36) But that is not so of the spiritual body. The natural body, indeed, can have an expression of peace, happiness and courage, and many things of the spirit do shine out in the natural body, even though the person may be wicked; but the spiritual body becomes beautiful if we live a life of goodness. But if we live a life of selfishness, the spiritual body becomes actually ugly and distorted.

I will give an illustration of how the spirit grows in strength. The Lord said on one occasion, when the disciples thought He had been fed by somebody whom they had not. seen, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. And when they questioned Him, He said: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me". (John 4:32, 34) Every time we do the will of God we build our character--that is, our spiritual man that lives to eternity. We build it. Obedience to the Commandments and courage and fortitude build spiritual stamina and increase the beauty of man's spirit.

One other line of thought. Throughout the Bible, wherever angels are said to have been seen, those angels have been men. You know how Michelangelo pictures angels with great white wings. I suppose he does it, among other things, to point out that they are different from men, but we do not believe that any of us have wings in the spiritual world. We are just people there, and the Word confirms this.

The first mention of angels in the Bible is where the angels appear to Abraham--three of them--and they were men, and he got a feast ready, and he gave them food, and they ate, and they talked to him. (Genesis 18) Later, two of them went down to Sodom and talked to Lot and took Lot by the arm and brought him forth out of Sodom. (Genesis 19) And then you remember in the Book of Revelation the angel who had taken John all over the Holy City said when John fell down to worship him, "See thou do it not. I am just one of the prophets." (Revelation 22:8, 9). It is so human, if you look at it in that way. Then take that little parable which came from the mouth of the Lord Himself.


Doctrinal Papers p. 129 It tells us in the first place that Lazarus was taken into Abraham's bosom. It is hard to think of a bosom without arms surrounding it, perhaps a head upon it and legs beneath it. You would think that if an angel wasn't a man, if our spiritual bodies weren't in the human form, the Lord would not have said that Lazarus was received into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man looking up from hell must have had eyes, because he saw Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham He must have had a mouth, because he talked to him; and he must have had a tongue, because he said: "Let Lazarus dip his finger in water and cool my tongue." Lazarus, by the way, must have had a tongue, and probably a hand, and an arm to connect his hand with his body. Well, I don't need to go any further. Or take the great Hallelujah scene that Handel portrays in his magnificent Messiah--where John sees thousands and thousands of angels and they have white robes. Now what do they have the robes on? Probably on bodies. It says they have palms in their hands, so they must have had hands waving those palms. But the whole picture given is a picture of people--of human beings--and no matter where you go in the world and where you read in the Word, wherever angels are spoken of, they are people.

So the thing that I wish to conclude with, is that the real man is spiritual. And when I say a "spirit", I don't mean a ghost. That is why in the New Church we don't say "the Holy Ghost". We say "the Holy Spirit" because ghost, through no fault of itself but just through a few hundred years of being badgered around in the English language, has come to mean an apparition--something that haunts a house, something that comes and goes and is not reliable; but a "spirit" is the will and the understanding, the love and the affections--everything that makes you to be you. That is the spirit of man, and that is independent of his body.

For example, if I should have a wretched accident and have to have my arm amputated, you would all feel slightly sorry for me, but you wouldn't feel I was any different person--not at all. You would just feel that I had a physical handicap to overcome. You could remove both arms and both legs; in thought you can see that I could lose an eye, and an ear; I could become blind; like Helen Keller I could be blind and deaf, and still the real person would be there. There are lots of people who know Helen Keller and who love her. Although she is deaf (but not any longer dumb; she has learned to speak) and blind, she has learned to appreciate color through the eyes of other people, and symphonies through the ears of other people, and people love her. Now they don't love the deaf ears or the blind eyes. They love the magnificent spirit within her which has triumphed over all of those things and she says in her book, "My Religion" "It is easy for me to see the spiritual world through Swedenborg's eyes and to hear its songs through his ears and to hear the voices of the angels through his ears", because, she says: "I have had to depend for all of my knowledge of this world on the eyes and ears of other people."


Doctrinal Papers p. 130



I think, as we grow older the thing that impresses us more and more is that we just feel to be ourselves. The old ego does not seem to change. Once upon a time I was on the Track Team of the Boys Academy and ran a quarter-mile in slightly less than sixty seconds. There were four of us that ran the mile in slightly less than four minutes. That would be something quite impossible for me to do now, unless, perhaps, someone was chasing me.

We recognize that the body gets limitations with age, but we dont feel the slightest bit different, and as we grow older it becomes more and more convincing to us that the real person is not the body which gets rheumatism and arthritis and stomach aches and things of that kind. The real person is our affections, the depts. Of our loves, our constancy, our courage, our willingness to accept duty, our ability to pull our weight in the boat and all those things which are spiritual qualities.

As we grow older, we come more and more to identify those immaterial and spiritual qualities with ourselves and for the very good reason that they really constitute ourselves. It is the thought of man and his will that make the real man and when we go into the spiritual world the Writings say, the only thing we leave on this side is the mortal body which is subject to decay and disease and death, but that in us which cannot be touched by death or explosions or atom bombs or any accident of that kind goes on living and it lives in the spiritual world.

What I want to make clear to you in this paper--as clear as I possibly can--is the scheme of things whereby the spiritual world seems like the natural place where we should want to go and where we should want to be forever, and not this world which is subject to time and space and all sorts of accidents which are not true of the spiritual world, and in order to make this clear we have to start at the beginning.

If we start at the beginning, we start with the idea that God is Love,--pure and total Love,--and, of course, this idea of God being Love was first voiced in the New Testament and has been accentuated in the Writings of Swedenborg who says that God is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself--Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.

If we took the Old Testament at its face value, which we do not in the New Church (we believe, as you know from former papers, that the Old Testament has within the letter a complete internal sense which adapts it to the rational :hind of the adult race);--but if we were bound by the letter of Scripture of the Old Testament, we would think that God is a God of wrath, a God who mocked His enemies.


Doctrinal Papers p. 131 It says in the Psalms, "The Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them". (Psalm 21:9) We would think that God is a God who would blot out those who were His enemies, and who would be revenged on those who did Him ill. Those ideas of the Old Testament are childish ideas, and revelation had to be adapted to the childhood of the race. But as the race grew up and came into youth at the time the Lord was on earth, He reversed all those old commandments. He did not annul them but reversed them, He said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also". (Matthew 5:38, 39) And the Lord said that we should love our enemies, and bless them that curse us, and pray for them who despitefully use us and persecute use (Matthew 5:44)

So, as we come down through the ages toward the New Church, the literal idea of God is changed with men, The New Church revelation is the revelation given to man in his rational state, and the proud motto that Swedenborg saw over a temple of wisdom in the spiritual world reads, "Now it is allowed to enter intellectually into the mysteries of faith." (TCR 508) We believe we are not compelled by our religion to have a blind faith in doctrines. We are not compelled to have a blind belief in the life after death. But we are enabled to see a rational and beautiful vista stretching out before each one of us a vista which makes every day of our life in this world more important and more significant because it leads up to something which is imperishable. If anything is needful in our life in this world to make it significant, it is the feeling that life is worth while. Every sacrifice we make, and every generous and altruistic motive we put forth, is worth while and is not brushed aside but is valuable and lasts to all eternity. And so I say, in order for me to make this clear to you all, I must go back to God and the fact that God is love and any appearance to the contrary can be explained by a thorough conviction and understanding of how God is love.

Let me sketch for you in briefest outline the creation of the world--the creation of the two worlds, because we cannot understand the creation of this world unless we understand that this world is but the outer garment for the real spiritual world which is everlasting and which is the purpose of God. The Writings of the New Church teach us that God did not create the universe out of nothing, which is what is stated in the creed of the orthodox churches. Swedenborg says that out of nothing, just exactly nothing comes. But since God was the only substance in the beginning, the only place He could get substance to create the world was from Himself; just as in our day and age the mother creates the child from substances from herself--she gives them--so God gave the substance from His own Infinite substance for the creation of the world He created the world just as you and I create anything.


Doctrinal Papers p. 132

Suppose I was the author of this Song Book. How did I create it? Well, first of all I would create it in my brain, in a realm that you would not be able to see at all. I would first create this in my mind, and then I would give it to the printer. He would get paper and ink and produce a book that you all could see, giving body to my thoughts; but the real book, the real thing is the man who thought "Steal away, Steal away, Steal away to Jesus,"--all these songs and all this music, all created in the spiritual world--all created in the realm of mind first.

And so God said, "Let there be life." It was His mind, it was His Divine wisdom, motivated by His Love that started the creation, and first of all He created this inner world of mind--this world of mind which is the everlasting world, which is the real world which is the life that will receive each one of us, which is the life we will receive when we pass out of this world. That is what He created firsts and in the very beginning of that world, He created the sun and we call that in the language of the New Church, the Sun of the spiritual world. The sun of the spiritual world does for our mind what the sun of the natural world does for our body; that is, it has light, and it has heat--only the light that gives light to the mind is truth.

You know that if there is a burglary committed and we are hunting for the person or seeking clues the thing that brings light is when we see the clues that lead step by step to the apprehension of the person who committed the robbery. That gives light to the mind. The truth gives light to the mind. Or, if I am doing a problem in income tax and am all bawled up and suddenly I see how to get the thing right--well a big light dawns in my mind, the light of truth. Truth is the light The spiritual sun is the sun that lightens the mind of every single man in this world as well as in the life to come, and the light which proceeds from that sun is the light of truth and the heat which proceeds from that sun is the heat of love.

I don't have to recall to your mind what we went over so carefully in studying the spiritual sense of the Word, but we saw that man's love is a warm thing. We say that this person is a warmhearted person--you can go into their house and you will be received with open arms. Well, we mean that they love you, they have an affection for you. They are not cold and distant and full of envy and hate and jealousy, but they really love you because love is the warmth of the spiritual sun. And so, this sun of the spiritual world which the Lard created and which rules in the whole of the spiritual world is a sun the very essence of which is love, and the very outgoing light which proceeds from it is wisdom.

The spiritual world has atmospheres and earth just as the natural world has, and the spiritual world, the Writings say, is in the natural world as the kernel of a nut is within the shell of the nut. In other words, there's no natural heat that does not have spiritual heat within it as its soul, and there is no natural wisdom or no natural light that does not have the light of truth as the mental thing that is above it and is enclosed within it as its very soul.


Doctrinal Papers p. 133 And so with every emotion that we have, every one of those emotions exists in the spiritual world and flows from this Divine Sun which is in the midst of the spiritual sun, and in the midst of which is Jehovah God Himself, according to our belief, sending forth His Wisdom as light and His Love as the heat of the whole spiritual universe. The spiritual universe is right here. It is the internal of our life here and we dont go anywhere when we die. We simply become aware of the spiritual forces in the midst of which we have been living all the time, and become unaware of the gross natural life that has so engrossed and engaged us when we lived in this world.

In the spiritual world we find the causes of everything. Swedenborg said the spiritual world is the cause of everything. All animals have souls and the souls of animals are the affections of human beings and the good affections produce good animals and evil affections produce evil animals but the real things that created them in the beginning are the human affections; and so with birds that wing their way through the firmament. They represent thoughts, man's thoughts, which can elevate him above the ordinary things of this world. Man has two kinds of thoughts, good thoughts which lead him to God and evil thoughts which lead him to selfishness and the love of dominion; but all of those thoughts are the souls, the spiritual things, the spiritual realities, which take on bodies and forms in this world and form the outer world in which we live so that there are really two worlds.

Right now there are two worlds--there is the world of nature in which we have our natural bodies, our natural jobs, our natural need for food, shelter and clothing; and we have within that natural world the spiritual world in which we all need to be fed, but not fed with material food, fed with things that make the mind grow. We know that education makes the mind grow. We know that going through temptations and going through the various difficulties of life--that makes character grow, and that spiritual body of ours has to be fed too. It has to be fed with truth and with good and it has to be clothed.

When the disciples went up the mount of Transfiguration, and the Lord opened the eyes of Peter, James and John and they saw Him as He really was--they saw Him clothed but not with the garments of earth, but in a shining garment, a marvelous white garment which shone just like the light because it was the very truth that reveals God that clothed Him on the mount of Transfiguration; and so, our spirits have to be clothed too and they are clothed. All our affections are clothed with garments that correspond exactly to the thoughts that we have, to the thoughts with which we clothe our affections, Suppose I have an affection for my neighbor, suppose it is a good affection. If it is a good affection, I clothe it with a thought and I say, "I love that man--I want to do something for him," and then I think what I can do for him, and that thought clothes the affection; and so in the spiritual world, the angels are clothed and they also have habitations just as we do.


Doctrinal Papers p. 134

The Lord said, "In My Father's house are many mansions,"--oh, many of them. "If it were not so," He said, "I would have told you. He would have told His disciples because there would have been no purpose of life in this world, no purpose in dying a martyr's death. certainly, if there were not mansions in the spiritual world. And He said, "I go to prepare a place for you." He pointed to each one of His disciples, as He said that He went to prepare a place for them. There are habitations in the spiritual world. Each one of us has his own habitation and that is a wonderful thing because when the Lord came here to dwell with us, He had no habitation, so He had to be born in a stable, but when we go to live with Him, we will have a habitation because He said He has gone before us to prepare a place for us, and that also should give us courage and a great deal of conviction in our faith in the reality of the spiritual world.

The Lord's scheme is to have a spiritual world, the laws of which are the laws of our human mind. If you want to know the laws of the spiritual world, examine your mind and you will find the exact laws of the spiritual world because the spiritual world is a world in which the mind of man is untrammeled. The mind of man can do freely all of those things that in this world it has to do with such exasperating slowness.       I just could not help noting in my worldly sort of way this fact--that each one of us--every woman here, wants to make her house look exactly the way she wants it. She wants it to correspond with her affections and so gradually she gets her husband to do this, that, and the other thing, and she does some of the things herself and gradually she makes that place as nearly correspondential to her desires as her means will provide. Mr. Ed Bostock used to live next door to us and his house corresponded to his affections. Somebody else buys the house and to and behold, they tear up trees here and bushes there, raise a lawn up a couple of feet, but what are they doing? They are trying to make that place correspond with them--they want it to be their home, and they have the means to make it correspond.

What I am telling you is this. In the spiritual world, that urge which we have in this world to make our earthly house correspond to the tastes which we have, in the spiritual world that will be the dominating force, and all of us will live in the houses in which we want to live, and if we want, because of the spacious quality of our mind, because of our generous impulses, our big interests, and so forth, only a big house in the spiritual world will house such a character; but, if we are going to be mean and groveling and think only of ourselves, then we are going to have a hovel which will exactly correspond to the character which we build up in our life in this world. It is so inevitable and completely inescapable.

In the world, we have two great theories of heredity and what controls the destiny of man. One of those theories is called the Mendelian Law of heredity.


Doctrinal Papers p. 135 Mr. Mendel was a philosopher who lived some fifty years ago and-developed a theory that is known as the Mendelian Law. He proved it with morning-glories, first of all, because he could get a generation every year and he could live to see the results. He planted white and pink morning-glories and cross-pollinated them and he found that in the offspring the next year he had one pink, one pure white and two mixed, so that became the Mendelian Law--that we have one pure recessive, one pure dominant and two mixed From morning-glories he went to white rats crossed with brown rats and worked that law up, and in natural things it works quite well. Then there came along a German biologist called Weissmann and he said, "Yes, but how do you account for the fact that although they can make it a white rat or a brown rat it's still a rat, or a white morning-glory or pink, its still a morning-glory. There is something that continues it; or take for instance the nose that is, characteristic of the Semitic race. It goes right on--father and mother, no matter--it goes right on from generation to generation. It may even skip a generation. The parents may not have any particularly large noses but to and behold in the offspring it comes out again. "How do you account for that?" asks Weissmann. He says it is due to the continuity of germ plasm. His theory is that the original germ plasm that went for the offspring was segregated even in the embryo before the child was ever born, so that from one generation to the other, this germ plasm was eternal and accounted for the continuity of the race.

The New Church tackles these problems, but it does not tackle the problems from the merely natural standpoint of counting how many this, that, or the other thing is born, but it tackles it from the standpoint of our philosophy which is that man not only has a heredity from his father and a heredity from his mother, but he has a Divine endowment. He has a heredity from the Lord and it is due to that. Divine endowment that we have continuity from generation to generation. For example, in every human being the Lord created two vessels, two things which enable man to be spiritual. One is called the understanding which enables man to think and reason and to see his God if he wants to, and to see the relationship with other men, and to think out the problems of his life. It is a wonderful thing, that rational faculty of man, It raises him above all the beasts of the earth, The other faculty that the Lord gives man is the faculty of loving. That is another wonderful thing. How barren and dry and utterly worthless life would be if we could not love, if we could not love tremendously. And we can get all sorts of loves, loves for various hobbies and so forth, but they are the things that make life interesting, that when our loves drive us forward, we have the understanding to satisfy those loves and teach us how to do the things that will satisfy those loves and so this will and this understanding which is the Divine endowment, according to the New Church scheme of things--that forms the very heart and that goes on from generation to generation, that is not dependent on the father's heredity or the mothers heredity but something which the Lord gives independently to every single child that is born into the world.


Doctrinal Papers p. 136

Where do we go when we go into the spiritual world? What is the purpose of it all? I wish to answer that and then I wish to say why people die at various ages because it is quite obvious that no particular span or no particular time in life is less dangerous than another, if you want to think of it as being dangerous to die. People die at all ages of life--there's no time in life when you are immune to death, I want to speak about why men die at various ages, but first I want to show where we go when we enter into the spiritual world, and why we go there.

Life comes from the Lord, and the Lord is above this sun of the spiritual world, which I have mentioned, and is the inmost of it, and the only thing that keeps any of us alive for a single moment is that we are connected with God all the time, unconsciously but nevertheless all the time we are connected with God and that is exactly what keeps us alive. What is the inmost form? You just have to look around the room and see how different we all are. It says that the face of man is the index of his mind It is quite obvious that no two of us have minds alike and why don't we have minds alike? There is more than just the hereditary factors that blend in the mother and father that were responsible for us. There is this Divine endowment, and we believe that there has to be an architect--there has to be an invisible former that created the body in its first formation, and that invisible former is the Divine endowment which comes down from the Lord-- tarts from the Lord but passes trough the heavens and, in passing through the heavens, it becomes Divinely aware of the needs of the heavens.

I am talking about the creation of an individual soul. An individual soul is a form, and it starts with God who is life itself, and it comes down through the heavens and becomes acutely aware of what the heavens need. Don't let any preconceived notion of heaven prejudice your thoughts. The heavens are an organization of just plain folks--men and women performing uses to help one another. That is what the heavens are, and the heavens aren't perfect--the heavens are getting more and more people and as they get more and more people they have more and more uses.

I cannot help giving this illustration that is not meant in any way to be personal, but when I first came to Bryn Athyn, by way of police protection we had a constable. He did everything--he rode at the head of the parade on the 4th of July, what dogs had to be killed he killed; but as we grew, we came to a time when we needed police protection, so we got a policeman. But then we grew and grew and grew and after a while, our very size made it necessary to have another policeman. That is the way with the heavens--because they are growing, the uses that are there are continually growing and there is a continual need for people.

In other words, the Lord. cannot miraculously feed the heavens, and clothe the heavens, and house the heavens, apart from people and individual human beings; just as individual human beings are absolutely necessary for this world, so are they absolutely necessary for the work of heaven.


Doctrinal Papers p. 137 Heaven cannot possibly get along without people. It gets out of balance. But here is our philosophy. This Divine life, coming down through the heavens, understands what is needed there and so the soul that is being created, the inmost form of that soul, takes on a form which will supply the need in heaven for one of those uses so that when that soul creates a body for itself in the womb of the mother, it creates a body which shall exactly correspond with it and which shall be the most perfect body in this world to provide the development of that eternal soul which is its life and which is the receptacle of God in the midst of it.

Science knows an awful lot. Scientists can tell you exactly what happens in the egg of a chick. Our own scientist, Mr. Finkeldey, now in the spiritual world, was a wonderful man and he took eggs about this time of the year and he made little windows in them and he put cellophane over them and many a time, under his instruction. I have watched that cell division all the way up until we could look into this window and see a little chicken starting to come. They never did quite live until they were born, but you could see that growth from day to day.

What the worldly scientist can never answer and you cannot find the answer - if you can, please show it to me because Ive looked hard for it,--but what they cannot say is who is the architect. Who is weaving that body? What says to this cell, "You go and become brain matter," and to that cell, "You go and become a claw to one of my toes." What says that? The New Church says that this Divine endowment of a soul from God which starts from God Himself and life from God and comes down through the heavens and takes on a form that shall be of eternal usefulness in the heavens, that that form is what builds the babe. That form, that spiritual soul, is what says to this cell, "You become brain," to this cell, "You become finger nail," to this cell, "You become artery," and to that cell, "You become stomach," and so forth. And that wonderful cell division, starting with one cell, one fertilized cell, divides into two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four and so on, and some become skin and some bone and some become viscera and some become heart and some become brains.

Our teaching is that that is not accidental. The first cell does not just do it. The soul, the invisible soul, the real thing that lives after death, that soul is directing the body and building it according to itself so that when we arrive in this world, we arrive with a Divinely appointed destiny. We have been so created that there is some use in the eternal scheme of things, some uses for which we are better fitted from the very creation of our bodies by our souls, better fitted to perform that use than anyone who was ever created before or that will ever be created afterwards, and that .is-the use toward which we must go. You say that is predestination, perhaps. Not predestination, because man is still free to perform that use from love or to perform that use from compulsion.


Doctrinal Papers p. 138 There is no question about it that a certain amount of predestination is simply a fact. All of us men here were predestined to be men and there's nothing we could do about it, and you women are stuck on the other side just as irrevocably. We can do nothing about it. And some of us had red hair at one time and we could not do anything about that, but age takes care of it in a rather nice way. But all you have to do is go a little farther and see that all sorts of other things are quite as thoroughly impressed upon us.

The point is that the Grand Man has many different uses to be performed and every use is just as important in the scheme of affairs, and all of the uses are different. If I take out my watch and take off the-back and look at it I may say, "Why, that's a great big wheel, it must be much more important than that little wheel right next to the fly wheel," and if I take the little wheel out, I get no time, and if I take the big wheel out, I get no time. You cannot say that any one wheel in a watch is more important than another wheel. They are all necessary to make up the scheme which tells time. And so in the spiritual world, the Writings point out to us, that form - that which is called a Grand Man, is the most perfect organization that we know of.

And every function of the body of a little man which is ourselves, a microcosm,--the tiniest little thing--we need all of the things that makes us to be a man. We don't think of our fingers or our ears or our eyes--we think of ourselves. We are made up of millions of cells, and the Grand Than of heaven in the same way is made up of millions of cells, and some day we are going to be one of those millions of cells and we are going to be able to do for that whole Grand Man what nobody else can do.

The Writings say that a gift is given to the whole of heaven when any one new angel comes there. That is a wonderful thing to give us dignity and to make us think of the really worthwhile things of life--to live our life and regenerate, which means that we perform the use for which we were created from love. If we do that we are bringing a gift to the whole of the heavens, and so there is not a single part of the heavens which is not intimately connected with this world and we, ourselves, are preparing every minute of every day for an eternal relationship, with all the men who have ever gone before--a wonderful society where each man's efforts count and bring greater happiness to the whole.

You may ask, "What about the person who does not love his use?" I must say just a word about that because you might misunderstand me. The use that we perform in the spiritual world may not be the job that we do here because men get caught up in all sorts of circumstances where they have to do jobs to support their families, but that does not mean that the job they are doing is necessarily their eternal use. We don't know about that, but whether their job here is their eternal use or not, through their job here and through their faithful performance of it, they are being prepared by the Lord to perform their eternal use, whatever that use may be.


Doctrinal Papers p. 139 If men are selfish and evil and live in disregard of the Commandments they still must perform uses. Even in this world they must perform uses. They have to perform uses in order to live, to eat, to have a house and clothing and food. You have to do it in this world, and similarly in the spiritual world.

Even the devils of hell have to perform uses and furthermore they have to perform the use for which they were created because that is the inmost form of their very being and the Writings say that in order to eat, in order for the evil spirits to eat, they have to perform uses, and for performing uses, they are given goods, and the only foods in the spiritual world are goods that build the spirit; and the evil spirits take, those, goods and they pervert them but it is the good that they pervert. I could illustrate it with marriage in heaven. There is nothing but conjugial love, but the evil spirits take conjugial love which is the good and they pervert it into adultery which is the evil, but it is the same thing perverted. There is no such thing as evil food. The devils dont live on evil food. It is the good perverted which becomes evil and in that sense it is evil food.

And so our whole scheme is whether we are good or evil and we are only evil if we wish to be because we love it, because we dont want anything else. That is the only, thing that takes a man to hell--because he wants to go there and still wants to go there. Nobody ever slips there accidentally--nobody goes through any trapdoors in the world of spirits and finds himself in hell. If he is in hell, he is in hell here before he ever goes there, because he loves evil things, and if he does not love it, then he does not go there. The Lord does not send anybody there as a punishment. Hell is just a way of life that evil people like and some evil people in this world, probably some people that we know, like an evil way of life and they love it and they don't want to do the things which are good, and they will frankly tell you so--some of them will. That is what hell is.

In conclusion a few words about the time when people die. The Writings tell us that there are four reasons for death and they must all concur, otherwise death won't take place. (See Spiritual Diary 5002, 5003, Arcana Celestia 6807, 7836)

The first is the man's state of regeneration itself. Nobody can die unless the Lord sees that that death at that time will be advantageous to that man's eternal living, whether he is good or bad. That is the point in time that he will be the happiest to eternity, from having died at that time.

The second, is the effect on the angels and spirits with whom he comes into contact when he goes to the spiritual world. They are just people there. Someone coming from this world has an effect on them.


Doctrinal Papers p. 140

The third reason is the effect on the people in this world. As a minister, I can vouch or it. I have seen many illustrations of it. Once, for instance, a man's wife died and he came soon after and told me that he and his children had been coming to Church and now he wanted to join it, to take it seriously. Well, that was just something in his life that made him take a step. Something else might have done so I don't know if that was why his wife was called to the spiritual world--heaven forbid that I should make any such judgment, but nevertheless, that is what did happen. And we can look back over history and we can make our own slight deductions, but I have seen many cases, many profound reactions on people in this world because of the fact that someone whom they loved had gone into the spiritual world. The Lord said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be." Take people who paid no attention to the spiritual world. Some little child of theirs dies and goes into the spiritual world and they begin to pay attention to the spiritual world. There's a little book called "Our Children in the Other Life," by the late Rev. Chauncey Giles, which is said to have brought more people into the New Church than any other human book. Heaven and Hell, of course, has brought more in. But of books written by men pure and simple "Our Children in the Other Life" has brought more people in because where their treasure is, they have been led to follow it. That is the third reason.

The fourth reason is man's eternal use. There are certain uses that have to be performed for the Grand Man by people who have not lived a long life in this world and. those are uses of innocence. The Writings tell us that in the first states of marriage, the Lord loans the couple a sphere of very high angels, celestial angels, who have the purest of thoughts, and they are with the couple, when they are married to give them the ideals that can be lived for, and these angels come from infants who have died and gone into the spiritual world in perfect innocence, who have never heard anything contrary, anything derogatory to marriage. All of us who grow up and reach adult age know what we have to go through, how many things we wish we had not heard. We cannot escape them, but those children go into the spiritual world purely innocent and they perform uses there that are dependent on that and the Lord makes use of that to bless the Grand Man in its uses. Then we have people dying in the idealism of youth--young men who have confidence that mountains can be moved and valleys filled in, about which, when we grow older, we become a little cynical for we have seen so many cases where mountains have famed to topple, and where valleys have remained great ditches. We get a little cynical as we grow older, but the Grand Man needs these young men who bring that spirit to the Grand Man, And then we have men dying in the very full tide of their manly powers, when their character is firm and set and they are leaders, and they are strong, and from this side of the picture we cannot see why the Lord takes them but it is because they are needed over there. They need men like that too, And then also in the kingdom of heaven it is necessary to have those who have had a long, full life here, who have all of this worlds life thoroughly impressed so that it is strong.


Doctrinal Papers p. 141 I was going to say, rigid, firm. It is like the bones of the Grand Man. It is unchangeable--that which builds a solidity and a continuity.

We cannot tell too much about it but we can see just from the outlines of it that no matter when death comes, theres a reason for it, and no one ever enters the spiritual world really by accident. The Lord is a God of Love and He directs human affairs for that greater end which is the perpetual increase and the beautiful, symmetrical growth of the Grand Man of heaven.

* * * * *

"Nature in itself is dead, being created in order that the spiritual may be clothed by it with forms that may serve for use, and thus may be terminated. Nature and life are two distinct things. Nature has its beginning in the sun of this world, and life has its beginning in the sun of heaven. The sun of the world is pure fire, and the sun of heaven is pure love. That which goes forth from the sun that is pure fire is called nature; and that which goes forth from the sun that is pure love is called life. That which goes forth from pure fire is dead, but that which goes forth from pure love is living. This shows that nature in itself is dead. That nature is serviceable in clothing the spiritual is manifest from the fact that the souls of beasts, which are spiritual affections, are clothed with materials that exist in the world. That their bodies, as well as the bodies of men, are material, is well known. The spiritual is capable of being clothed by the material, because all things that have existence in the world of nature, atmospheric, aqueous, or earthy, in respect to every atom thereof, are effects produced by the spiritual as a cause, and the effects act as one with the cause and wholly in agreement with it, according to the axiom that nothing comes forth in effect that is not in the cause. But there is this difference, that the cause is a living force because it is spiritual, while the effect is a dead force because it is natural. This is the reason why such things exist in the natural world as wholly agree with those in the spiritual world, and why the two can be closely conjoined. And these are the reasons for saying that nature was created in order that by it the spiritual might be clothed with forms, that might serve for use." (Apocalypse Explained 1207:2, 3)


Doctrinal Papers p. 142


By the Reverend Karl R. Alden

"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. And the same John had his, raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea; and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance; and third not to say within yourselves; We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire; whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but He will, burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto .John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him; Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. 'And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a doves and laughing upon Him; and to a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3)

That took place at the beginning of the Lord's ministry when He was about thirty years of age. At the end of His ministry, after He had been crucified and had risen on Easter, and had appeared again in His glorified Human to His disciples, He said unto them, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amen." (Matthew 28: 19, 20)

I would just point out that "Father" is the name of a relationship and "Son is the name of a relationship and "Holy Spirit" is the name of a relationship. Not one of them is the name, of the Lord. The name of the Lord is Lord Jesus Christ.


Doctrinal Papers p. 143

When we come to the disciples and the first Christian Church and putting into practice the Lords words, "Go ye and baptize all nations into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", we find this from The Acts of the Apostles:

"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Spirit. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto Johns baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." (Acts 19:1-6)


One of the questions I want to discuss with you is, Why is there need for New Church baptism? Since baptism was commanded by the Lord Himself when He was on earth, why, if a person joins the New Church, is it necessary to be re-baptized into the New Church?

Note that the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance. The Lord was circumcised as a child of eight days and then, on entering His public ministry, He again received the baptism which circumcision represented in the Jewish Church and which became the symbol of entrance into the Christian Church. But later on, all those disciples who had been baptized by John, after the Lord had formed and ordered the Christian Church and had established it,--those disciples were again baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in One Person, so that they, in joining the Christian Church, were re-baptized. (See TCR 690)

The fundamental belief of New Church people is that the New Church is as distinct and separate and new in relation to the Christian Church about us as the Christian Church was new and distinct and separate from the Jewish Church which was about it; and it took the Christian Church some time to learn that it was to be a distinct and a new church and separate from the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish Church.

At first in the early days of the Christian Church it was essential to be circumcised to be a member of the Christian Church. Saturday, as we call it, was a holy day in the early days of the Christian Church. It was essential to keep the Passover and to observe the rites of various washings, feast days, and sacrifices. Also it was necessary, in the early days of the Christian Church, not to eat swipes' meat; to eat only the meat of animals that chew the cud and who split the hoof, so that all those Jewish rites and ceremonies were carried over originally into the Christian Church.


Doctrinal Papers p. 144

Then one day Peter, who was the great Judaizing Christian, so called because Peter was strong in teaching that anyone who joined the Christian Church must fulfill all the rites of the Jewish law, received a great vision from heaven, and in a blanket were let down all sorts of meats from heaven, things to eat. To Peter's great astonishment, swines' flesh and other things that were forbidden to be eaten by the Jewish law were contained in this blanket, and Peter was instructed that he should eat freely of all of them, and in this manner, Peter was given to know that the Christian Church did not depend upon the rituals of the Jewish Church but that it had two sacraments of its own. (Acts 11)

Those two sacraments were the sacrament of baptism, instituted by the Lord Himself, and the sacrament of the holy supper, instituted by the Lord Himself, a sacrament in which He said, "This do in remembrance of Me." He, therefore, gave His direct command that the sacrament of the holy supper should be observed.

Into the sacrament of baptism were gathered all the rites of washing and they were multifarious in the Jewish Church. The Jews were given particular instructions how they should wash their garments, and how they should wash the dishes from which they ate, and how they should wash the beds in which they slept, and many other particulars were laid down as laws that they were supposed to observe, if they were to be good Jews and if they were to receive the blessings which Jehovah would shower on them. Everything that was spiritually signified by these washings, the Writings tell us, was gathered up into the sacrament of baptism by the Lord so that He abolished, when He came on earth, all these representative rituals that looked forward to the washing of baptism, and concentrated-all is that one simple sacrament of baptism.

The Jewish ritual was also filled with sacrifices. They had to sacrifice sheep and oxen and doves and meat offerings and wave offerings. The great and complicated ritual of sacrifices culminated once a year in the sacrifice of the paschal lamb at the time of the Passover when each family, according to the number of its people, had to sacrifice a lamb and had to eat that lamb under very specific and minutely prescribed circumstances. Everything that was represented by the sacrifices throughout the whole of Jewish history was gathered up into and made available in spiritual form in the institution of the sacrament of the holy supper where the Lord blessed the bread and said, "This is My body, take eat," and where He blessed the cup of wine and said, "This cup is a new covenant in My Blood." In the bread which was His body and in the wine which was His blood, He gathered up all the efficacy of the Jewish sacrifices.

In the early Christian Church, these two sacraments were practiced with the simple instruction which the Lord had given and in the spirit of primitive Christianity and the spirit of primitive Christianity was not a spirit of tri-personalism. It wasn't a spirit in which the sacrifice of Christ was looked to as a sacrifice given to appease the wrath of an angry Father.


Doctrinal Papers p. 145 In primitive Christianity, the Holy Spirit was looked upon as the very spirit of the Lord,--His magnetism, His instruction, His teaching to His disciples, His sphere going out through the Church. All of those were the Holy Spirit to the early disciples. And in the early, primitive church, the holy supper was celebrated frequently and it was celebrated as a feast of charity, and in the eating of that holy suppers, and in the eating of the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine, they thought simply of the life of the Lord on earth and of the unselfishness of that life and of the truths that He had taught them in such marvelous discourses as the sermon on the Mount when, seeing the multitude, He went up into a mountain and His disciples came unto Him and He opened His mouth and taught them saying. And then follows the three chapters of the sermon on the Mount.

The early Christians thought of those Divine truths as being the very life blood of Christianity, the truths which made Christianity, and they thought of the character of unselfishness which the Lord's commands built up--they thought of that character as being the very body of the Lord which builds the Church, because character is just exactly what does build the Church. And the Lord had said to them, pleadingly, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:13, 14) And so the body of early Christianity was built up on the simple belief of thane two sacraments--the sacrament of baptism as a gate of entrance into the Church, and the sacrament of the holy supper as a paeans of communion (it is often called communion) with their Savior.

In the course of time, however, primitive Christianity passed away, and that it was going to pass away, the Lord foresaw when He prophesied that He would have to come again to establish genuine Christianity--Christianity which is set down in the doctrines of the New Church He prophesied that in the 16th chapter of John, the 12th verse. He said to His disciples, uneducated men, crude fishermen, the product of their time just as we are the product of our time: I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever lie shall hear, that shall He speaks. (John 16:12, 13)

Of course, that strikes a chord of interest in us. In Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg disclaims any authority of that work for himself personally but he says it is the record of things heard and seen by an act of Providence through the opening of his spiritual eyes--heard and seen in the spiritual world. The Christian Church departed from these simple, clear tenets of Christianity and so the Lord said the time was going to come when there should be wars and rumors of war. He said that the day would approach when not one stone would be left on another of the great temple in Jerusalem, and He said that this generation would not pass until all these things come to pass.


Doctrinal Papers p. 146 And then he said that the sun would be darkened and the moon would riot give its light and the stars should fall from heaven and then should be seen the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and the angels coming, and the Lord with power and great glory. (Matthew 224)

And so, to His disciples, the Lord prophesied that the time would come when primitive Christianity, through the selfishness of men, through the love of dominion, through the impact of love of the world, should fall away from its original truth and should be darkened by beliefs which destroy the real idea of one God. This camp to pass as a focal point actually in time at the Council of Nicea which was held in 325 A. D. three centuries after the Lord had been crucified and risen from the dead.

At this time there had been great impact on the Church from outside sources. The old Greek culture which had led the world in its day, and which had led to one of the highest developments of the human mind under Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon, Pythagoras and other great Greek philosophers, had disintegrated and, under the name of the Gnostic philosophers, the Greek philosophy had had great effect on Christian. theology so that we have what is known as the Neo-Platonists and their effect on Christianity which was in effect to de-personalize God--to remove from man the idea of the Divine humanity and to make God an invisible spirit.

Then we have the effect on early Christianity of Roman thinking with its materialism. The Roman holidays and many other Roman things came into the Christian Church by adoption - the calendar that we have, for instance. Many of the names of our months, which started out with Christian names were taken after on from the Roman calendar. July, for example, is named after the great Julius. Sunday is taken, from the God of sun worship. We could mention many other things where the materialism of the Roman empire affected the Christian religion--the celebration of Easter, for example.

We ourselves carry many customs which are completely pagan in their origin, which have nothing to do with the real resurrection of the Lord. The countries in which Christianity spread already had those spring festivals, and their holidays with their bunnies and their eggs, and because Christianity spread in those countries, the old customs were taken into Christianity and so Christianity had many forces that were un-Christian working at it from within.

Finally the central doctrine of Christianity was attacked by an African Bishop named Arias Influenced by the materialism of :the world, the African Bishop said, "No man can be born of a virgin no man can come into this world save by the union of father and mother--the Church has been mistaken--Christ was the son of Joseph." Arias was a Bishop of the Roman Catholic which was the universal church, and those who were in Rome saw that if this doctrine prevailed, then the Christian Church would be destroyed because a Church cannot be founded upon a man.


Doctrinal Papers p. 147

A Church must be founded upon Divinity and Christians saw--especially Bishop Athanasius--that unless the Divinity of Christ was affirmed, Christianity would perish. The Council of Nicea was called and 318 bishops were there and they discussed the question of the Trinity and they tried to get a solution of the Trinity apart from that solution of primitive Christianity which had simply believed that the Lord was God and that the Father was His soul and that the Holy Spirit was His influence in the Church on earth among men; and the more they sought to solve the problem, the more difficult it became until they finally drew up what has been known as the Athanasian Creed, and that Athanasian Creed says that the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, yet there be not three Gods but one God. Then it goes on to say that the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit Is Lord, yet there be not three Lords but one Lord. And it goes on through the Creed, completely dividing the person of God into three persons and just as stoutly maintaining that although there are three persons in the Trinity, there is only one God. Then, because its contradictions are so palpable, the creed has this most curious statement that you would wonder how a great council of 318 bishops would ever give assent to: "For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity (that is, because we have to tell the truth) to acknowledge every person by Himself to be God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords." (Apocalypse Explained 1091; Doctrine of the Lord 56, 58)

The Writings tell us that that marked the spiritual death of the Christian Church. By that we dont mean that individuals in the Christian Church from then on were necessarily dead, but we mean that the fundamental accepted doctrine of the Christian Church, from that time on, was dead and that doctrine could not lead to any true theology because that doctrine, in the first place, involves a Father who, from infinite justice--so they say--sin having been committed, knows that a penalty must be paid because every sin must be wiped out by paying a penalty. Thus runs the idea of the theology. Humanity, in its aggregate, has committed innumerable sins, and each one of us has an indefinite amount of hereditary evil due to the fact that we have an indefinitely large number of ancestors, many of whom were doubtless not regenerated men or women. Therefore, not a single one of us, by anything we can do--so runs the doctrine--can pay a big enough penalty to atone for the evil which we have and which renders us detestable in the sight of God. But the Lord Jesus Christ, as a Divine and infinite Son of the Father, when He paid on the cross the penalty for sin, did not pay the penalty of mortal man but He paid an infinite penalty. He paid an infinite satisfaction to God the Father, so large--so infinitely big, that anyone who will take hold, and make use of the penalty that He paid, can be sure that all of his sins will be forgiven and blotted out because of his acknowledgment of the Lord as his Savior. Then after his sins are blotted out, the Lord will send to him the third person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who will regenerate and sanctify him.


Doctrinal Papers p. 148

You wont, perhaps, find many people who will realize that that is the teaching of the orthodox Christian Church, but you fine it in their rooks. I was looking at there today. You will find it in their Creed; and that is the fundamental scheme of the orthodox churches--the fundamental scheme of salvation--that we are saver a through no ability of our own to make restitution for our sins but through accenting the infinite sacrifice of Christ.

All of that leads us to the consideration of what Baptism is in he Christian Church and what baptism is in the New Church, for early in the history of the Christian. Church many people arose and said that Christian baptism, that is, baptism into any of the orthodox Christian Churches, was just the same as baptism by a New Church minister, baptism according to the forms prescribed in the New Church, and that it was impossible to have anything that we could call a distinctly New Church baptism. Let us see what happens in baptism.

Fortunately we are not left in any shadow of ignorance in the New Church as to what the New Church idea of baptism is because a whole chapter of the great theological work True Christian Religion (numbers 667 to 697), written at the very end of Swedenborgs life when he was 82 years old--deals with baptism. I want to set forth for you now what the teaching of this chapter on baptism is, in order to be able to contrast for you why we believe that entrance into the New Church must be through New Church Baptism and that Baptism by a person who believes in the Trinity of persons in God, who believes in atonement through belief in Christ's having paid the penalty for us,--that those beliefs cannot form the background for baptism into the New Church.

The first thing that the Writings tell us about baptism is that it cannot be understood without an understanding of correspondences. What is baptism? It is a washing--either sprinkling or total immersion with water, That is one element that is the sign of baptism and the ether element is what the minister or the priest says. The Writings point out that washing the body can in no way cleanse the soul - that the worst robber, the most hardened criminal, can wash his body fastidiously and can be perfectly clean as to his body, and perfectly evil as to his spirit; and that the washing of the body, whether by total immersion or whether it is a representative washing--that that washing in itself affects nothing whatsoever. But baptism, the Writings say, is powerful if we understand the science of correspondences, and if we understand what is represented by the water of baptism: then it becomes powerful to save mankind.

What is represented by the water of baptism? I don't know if you can go lack as far as our classes on the spiritual sense of the Word, but if you recall them with me, you will recall that the law of correspondences was simple, easy to grasp. I said that the spiritual thing to which the natural thing corresponds will do for the mind of man what the natural thing will do for his body. Water correspond to truth and, just as water cleanses the body and slakes the thirst, so the truth cleanses the mind of man, and the truth answers all of that mental thirst that we call curiosity or the love of truth--the love of understanding;


Doctrinal Papers p. 149 so that, as soon as we realize that the real function of water in baptism is not to external thing which is applied to the body but the truth which is applied to the mind, right here is where we first come to a sharp distinction between New Church baptism and baptism in the present Christian Church.

What does the water represent? The water of baptism in the New Church represents the truths that are revealed in the Writings of the Church which constitute the Lord in His second coming Those are the truths coupled, of course, with the truths in the Old and the New Testaments, but those are the truths which shall wash man and cleanse man and shall render it possible for man to be regenerated. On the other hand, if a person says that he subscribes to the creed of the former Christian Church, then the truths which he is representatively taking on through baptism are not truths at all but are the doctrines that teach that them are three persons, and that man can he saved by the atonement of Christ, and that there is no marriage in heaven, and that the world is coming to an end, and so forth. They are the doctrines of the present-day Christian Church which are represented by the waters of baptism--baptism which is performed by a minister of the old Christian Church, so that there is a vast difference. We don't admit that the physical act, although it looks the same, actually is the same.

And there is even a difference in the words that we use in baptizing. I was looking at the baptism services of the Church of England, of the Baptist Church, and of the Methodist Church today, and in the words they use are the words I read to you from Matthew 28:18, when the Lord said, go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. So, in the baptism service in the Anglican Church or the Episcopal Church and the, others I mentioned; the minister says, after immersing them as they do in the Baptist Church, or sprinkling them as they do in the others, "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." He does not mention any name. He just says that is baptism into three attributes, but not into any name; whereas in the New Church, when a minister baptizes a baby, we follow what the actual disciples did. I read this to you from Acts 19, where it says that certain disciples in Ephesus (not the twelve but converts) realized that the first baptism of John was not the baptism of Christ, but preparatory to it, and so they had Paul baptize them again, and it said they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus, and that is what we do--we baptize a child, and the minister says, "I baptize you into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Father, Son and Holy Spirit", that is, the one God, the one Person, in whom is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What are the uses of baptism then? we cannot understand the uses of baptism, the Writings say, without understanding correspondence, and when we apply correspondence to baptism, we see that it means the washing of truth and that involves the whole revelation upon which the New Church is based.


Doctrinal Papers p. 150

Then we read a little farther, and the second heading in the chapter is that the washing of baptism is a spiritual washing, and the third is that baptism was given to the Christian Church by the Lord in order to take the place of all the washings and circumcision of the Jewish Church, as a gate of entrance. And every single case where a person is converted to the Christian Church as recorded in Apostolic history, he is baptized, confessing his faith; for Christians recognized that baptism was a gate through which people came into the Church, and so is a spiritual ceremony which is, as it were, the gate to the Church.

Here I may say that gates to the Church are most important. Wherever the Church is described in the Word, either gates or doors are mentioned, as in the description of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle means the tent of congregation or the habitation that holds the Lord. It had one gate; one great gate in the outer court, and one gate in the Tabernacle itself, and then a veil between the holy place and the holy of holies. The same was true of Solomon's Temple, and the same is true of the New Jerusalem, which is described by John, coming down from heaven. The gates are mentioned--three gates on each side of the New Jerusalem. And the Lord likens the Church to the vineyard and says that the hedge is all. around the vineyard, protecting it, and that there are gates in it through which people come. And the Lord Himself said, I am the door. If by Me any man enter in, he shall find pasture," and He added, "The thief climbeth up some other ways and whosoever climbeth up some other way into the sheepfold, the same is a thief and a robber." (See John 10:1-18)

So the Writings say that baptism is the gate to the Church. It is the gate ordained by the Lord for the Church. And the holy supper, they further mention, is the gate to heaven because it represents the appropriation of Divine wisdom through the wine which represents His blood or His wisdom, and represents the appropriation of Divine love through the bread which is His flesh or His love. Thus the holy supper is the gateway to heaven, and in a beautiful passage in True Christian Religion 669 these two sacraments are likened to a two-story temple, and man first enters through baptism into the lower story where he learns of the Lord, and learns of His truth, and learns the way to heaven. And. when he has learned that, he finds the staircase which is behind the altar, and this staircase leads to a large upper room inhere he celebrates the holy supper, which is the gateway to heaven.

In the chapter on baptism (TCR 677-685), three uses of baptism are definitely given. First of all, that the person may be known as a Christians It is a sign of Christianity, if you are baptized into the Christian Church, and in number 680 many illustrations are given of how various insignia are signs of the office or use which is to be performed.


Doctrinal Papers p. 151 As the robes of judges, the miter that priests wear, the crowns that kings wear, the standards that mark the different divisions of an army, the insignia that captains, majors, and common soldiers wear. All those signs are for the preservation of order. And the first use does not end in this world, according to New Church doctrine, but it continues in the spiritual world and provides insertion there among Christians; that is, a person who is baptized has a sphere about him--he has an insignia in the spiritual world which makes it impossible for a Mahometan spirit, for a pagan spirit, or for an idolatrous spirit or any spirit but a Christian spirit to associate spiritually with a person who is baptized. (TCR 678) It also includes all of the teachings of Christianity so that a person, by New Church baptism, is not just introduced into a Christian sphere in the spiritual world, but is introduced into the new Christian spheres into the association of angels who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the one only God of heaven and earth, and that is the heart and the soul and the centre of that insertion in the spiritual world.

The second use is that the person who is baptized, or the parents of an infant, if it is infant baptism, may acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the God, of heaven and earth and follow Him.

And the third use, which is the final use and the very end which the Lord had in view in instituting baptism, is that the baptized person may be regenerated. The Lord points out in the Writings with utter clarity that baptism confers neither faith nor salvation. Some churches teach that an un-baptized infant cannot go to heaven. That, of course, is abhorrent to any of us. Some churches teach that baptism has a certain sphere of good fortune about it, and other churches teach that baptism is the very sign that man is saved; but the New Church teaches that baptism confers neither faith nor salvation, but it testifies that a man will be saved if he is regenerated. In other words, it is the very sign that salvation is possible to a person, but he has to shun his evils. He has first to examine himself and find those evil things in himself which render him detestable in the sight of God, and then he has to shun them, one at a time, as sins against God--not as sins against his own reputation by his own success in the world, but shun them as sins against God. And if he does that, then step by step the testimony of his baptism becomes evermore truly a reality.

With this thought I would close: We ministers do not say, "I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ", as if we were acting for the Lord in performing that sacrament. It is quite interesting that the Lord never baptized anyone. A minister does not act as the Lord in baptism. He acts as a servant of the Lord which is what the word minister means. And he baptizes into the name, not in the name,--but into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what the Lord saidYe shall baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Lord Jesus Christ--that is His name The name of the Lord is the most precious, the most holy thing that there is in the world because it is all-embracing.


Doctrinal Papers p. 152 It embraces His name, all His truth,--everything that points a finger to God is. His name, whether it be a truth of science that thrills us, or whether it be a truth of religion. If it indicates God, that is part of His name; and to baptize a child into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is to hope that his life, in some tiny mirror, may be an image of that life into whose name he was baptized, because we have been crewed into God's image and likeness and the Lord has told us to be perfect to be also perfect, "even as My Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) And so, when a child is baptized into the name of the Lord, we put him in a fundamental relationship to the two great documents from the Old Testament and the New Testament. The greatest document of the Old Testament in which the whole is summed up is the Ten Commandments, the second of which says, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him innocent that taketh His name in vain." (Exodus 20:7) And the great central doctrine that sums up the whole of the New Testament is the Lord's Prayer, the second sentence of which says, "Hallowed be Thy name." (Matthew 6:9)

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"Because the waters of Jordan signified the truths that introduce into the church, which are knowledges of truth and good from the Word, and washing therein signified purification from falsities, and consequent reformation and regeneration by the Lord, so baptism was instituted, which was first performed in Jordan by John. (Matt. 3:11-16; Mark l:4-13) This rite signified initiation into knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord, His coming, and salvation by Him; and as man is reformed and regenerated by the Lord by means of truths from the Word, baptism was commanded by the Lord (Matthew 28:19); for it is by means of truths from the Word that man is reformed and regenerated, and it is the Lord who reforms and regenerates.

"It was said by John, that he baptized with water, but that the Lord would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke 3:16; John 1:33) This means that John only inaugurated them into knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord, and thus prepared them to receive Him, but that the Lord Himself regenerates man by means of Divine truth and Divine good going forth from Him; for John represented the same as Elijah, namely, the Word; the waters with which John baptized signified introductory truths, which are knowledges from the Word respecting the Lord; the Holy Spirit signifies Divine truth going forth from the Lord; and fire signifies Divine good going forth from Him; and baptism signifies regeneration by the Lord by means of Divine truths from the Word.

"Washings were instituted in the ancient churches, and afterwards baptisms in their place, which nevertheless were only representative and significative rites, in order that heaven might be conjoined with the human race, and in particular with the man of the church; for heaven is conjoined to man when man is in outmosts, that is, in such things as are in the world in regard to the natural man, while he is in such things as are in heaven in regard to his spiritual man.


Doctrinal Papers p. 153 In no other way is conjunction possible. This is why baptism was instituted; also the holy supper; likewise why the Word was written by means of such things as are in the world, while there is in it a spiritual sense, containing such things as are in heaven; that is, the sense of the letter of the Word is natural, while in it there is a spiritual sense.

"But he is greatly mistaken who believes that baptism contributes anything to a man's salvation unless he is at the same time in the truths of the church and in a life according to them; for baptism is an external thing, which without an internal contributes nothing to salvation, but it does contribute when the external is conjoined to an internal. The internal of baptism is, that by means of truths from the Word and a life according to them, falsities and evils may be removed by the Lord, and thus man be regenerated." (Apocalypse Explained 475:14-21).

"John the Baptist was sent before to prepare the people for the reception of the Lord by baptism, because baptism represented and signified purification from evils and falsities, and also regeneration by the Lord by means of the Word. Unless this representation had preceded, the Lord could not have manifested Himself and have taught and lived in Judea and in Jerusalem, since the Lord was the God of heaven and earth under a human form, and He could not have been present with a nation that was in mere falsities in respect to doctrine and in mere evils in respect to life. Consequently, unless that nation had been prepared for the reception of the Lord by a representation of purification from falsities and evils by baptism, it would have been destroyed by diseases of every kind by the presence of the Divine itself; therefore this is what is signified by lest I come and smite the earth with a curse'. (Malachi 4:6) That this is so is well known in the spiritual world, for those there who are in falsities and evils are direfully tormented and spiritually die at the presence of the Lord.

"The baptism of John could produce such an effect because the Jewish Church was a representative church, and all their conjunction with heaven was effected by representatives, as can be seen from the washings there commanded; as that all who became unclean must wash themselves and their garments, and in consequence were accounted clean likewise the priests and Levites must wash themselves before they entered the tent of meeting and afterwards the temple and officiated in holy functions; so again Naaman was cleansed from leprosy by washing in Jordan. The washing and baptizing itself did not purify them from falsities and evils, but only represented and thus signified purification from them; nevertheless this was received in heaven as if they themselves were purified. It was thus that heaven was conjoined to the people of that church by means of the baptism of John; and when heaven was thus conjoined to them, the Lord, who was the God of heaven, could manifest Himself to them, teach them, and abide among them." (Apocalypse Explained 724:7, 8)


Doctrinal Papers p. 154



In this paper it will be my pleasure to write on the subject of the 19th of June. The 19th of June is New Church Days. We consider that the 19th of June, 1770, is the birthday of the New Church.

At Christmas time I wrote about the Christmas Story and how the birth as described by the Gospel of Matthew represented the birth of the Lord to our understanding,--and how the story of the shepherds, and the manger represented the birth of the Lord in our hearts, the Christmas Story in the external, we share with the world; but into the Christmas Story we put the internal sense which makes the coming of Christ on earth as the God and Savior a coming to each individual; coming to his heart--the shepherds, and a coming to his mind--the wise men.

Again at Easter we join with the whole Christian world in surveying the Easter Story, and at that time we took up the thirteen different appearances of the Lord after His resurrection and traced the history of the last few weeks of His life on earth, ending with the climax that the Lord Jesus Christ who had been born on earth of the virgin had put off all the body from Mary and that He had completely glorified it and risen in the Divine substantial body. As Paul said so many times in his beautiful epistles, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain", (I Corinthians 15:17) and my faith is vain. It was the fact that the disciples saw the Loral thirteen different times after He had risen from the dead that established the firm faith of Christianity. And in that simple faith of Christianity we join,--only we add to it the spiritual sense of the Word that is now revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg.

The 19th of June, the event to which I call your attention now, is believed only by. those who receive the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg as a Divine Revelation, There is no worldly evidence of the truth of the event which we celebrate. There is no external confirmation aside from the pages of Swedenborg of the actual fact which he describes. The actual event that he describes that took place in the spiritual world was the calling together of the twelve disciples who had followed the Lord, in the world, and the sending of those disciples out throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ doth reign and of His kingdom there shall be no end. (TCR 791)

This event is stupendous in its implications. In the first place it makes of the spiritual world a very real and natural place. Here are men who had worked on earth, who had given up their fishing and their receipt of taxes, as in the case of Matthew, and all their worldly occupations, and had devoted themselves, heart and soul, to preaching the gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ was the God of heaven and earth;


Doctrinal Papers p. 155 and calling people to repentance, and to be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to join the Christian religion. These twelve men had done that in this world, and in doing it in this world, they had incurred the wrath of the Roman empire and the wrath of the Jewish hierarchy, and eleven of the twelve disciples had died a violent death. Of course, the death of Judas was by his own hand and was in repentance and in remorse for the betrayal of his Lord for thirty pieces of silver and by means of a kiss; but, nevertheless, he and the other ten disciples--all except John--died martyrs' deaths, according to Christian tradition. Some died here and some died there. Thomas was said to have been crucified on an apple tree in Parthia. But the manner of their death does not matter. The fact remains that they died the deaths of martyrs in order to preach the gospel of the Christian Church. It is a very heartening and red-blooded sort of conviction to feel that these men made that preaching of the gospel of the Lord's kingdom the whole centre and core of their life--so strongly that they were willing actually to give their lives for it. But these men are not robbed of their glowing enthusiasm in their life after death--they were called together by the Lord in 1770 to proclaim throughout the whole spiritual world the same Lord Jesus Christ that they had followed in the world. for three and one-half years, that He is actually the God of heaven and earth and that His reign is forever.

I want to read first from Matthew about these twelve men. The Lord seeing the multitude, went up into a mountain, and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him, and He opened        His mouth and talked to them. Then follow the three chapters (5, 6 and 7) Of Matthew in which He gave the sermon on the mount, full of wonderful wisdom, said to be the most marvelous literary production ever flowing from the lips of anyone. Then in the tenth chapter we read: "And when He had called unto Him. His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve, apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the Publican. James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers raise the dead, cast out devils freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.


Doctrinal Papers p. 156 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you. It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." (Matthew 10:1-15)

With those ringing words the Lord sent forth His twelve disciples into this world on their first mission,--sent them throughout the whole known Mediterranean basin which was the very cradle and heart of civilization in their time, and they went forth and preached with utmost vigor and courage.

I hold in my hand the second volume of The True Christian Religion. This is the last great work of the Writings. Swedenborg began writing the Arcana Coelestia about twenty-seven years before he wrote this book, and the twelve volumes of the Arcana mark the beginning of the Revelation to the New Church; and this True Christian Religion, although followed by one or two small works--the Invitation to the New Church and the Coronisis really his last great work. Imagine his energy and virility when at the age of eighty-two, he wrote this book in two volumes! He finished the manuscript of it, (or the first draft, for he then wrote out a clean copy for the printer) on the 19th of June in 1770. At the bottom of the manuscript, after he had written the last number, he has N. B. which means note well: "After this work was finished, the Lord called together is twelve disciples, who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all out into the whole spiritual world, to preach the Gospel that the Lord God Jesus Christ-reigns, whose reign will be for ages of ages, according to        the prediction by Daniel, 7:13, 14. (TCR 791)

You will note that the sending forth of the disciples into the spiritual world depended upon the completion of the True Christian Religion in this world, and it is impossible to understand the significance of the 19th of June in the year 1770 without understanding a little bit of spiritual history and spiritual geography. You know that the spiritual world is a world of living men and women; that there is no one there except people who have been once on this earth. There are no angels create as angels apart from fife in this world. There are lots of angels there, but they have all been angelic people in this World, just as we know people who are already angels in this world; and the angels in heaven are just like those good people who are angels in this world, for in very fact, the Writings tell us, no one becomes an angel in the spiritual world who isn't an angel at heart, when he leaves this world. So the spiritual world to us is a very real world, populated by people who have the same interests, the same bad points, the same good points, that we observe among people in this world.

The Writings tell us that the spiritual world, which is everything after death, is divided into three great, provinces. There is heaven, which is the abode of people who love to do what is right; love to do it and who wouldn't do anything else.


Doctrinal Papers p. 157 If they wanted to do anything else, the Lord would gladly let them, but just as there are people in this world who love to live by crime, and who become professional criminals, and who really love it, and who set themselves against the law, and who live their lives as outlaws, so are there people in the spiritual world who really love the things that are opposed to every Divine law. Of these people the hells are composed; And the hells are formed, by the mercy, and the freedom of God, as a token of His love that men, rather than become machines, rather than be taken by the back of the neck, so to speak, and forced to do what they do not love, are provided a place they may pursue their evils and have only the sadness that comes from the reaction of evil; for, as evil seeks to destroy, thus it limits and causes the abundance of the life to be withdrawn.

The Lord came into this world to give life and to give it more abundantly and we know that wherever people are of a generous nature, wherever we have a group of people gathered together who help one another and are fond of one another and who shed the sphere of life toward one another, life becomes abundant. Where people are selfish; however, and "don't you dare put your foot on my lot, and after they do there is a nasty interlude,--all their life becomes restricted and narrow. That is the effect of evil--evil, narrows life, whereas good gives life and gives it more abundantly.

So we have those two great kingdoms in the spiritual world--on the one hand heaven, and on the other hand, hell, and in between these two kingdoms there is a great intermediate kingdom called the world of spirits. The world of spirits is where most of us go when we die, and the world of spirits is a place where the Lord has arranged that man may judge himself; that is, that man may be convinced of his actual loves.

In this world we are so. cramped as to our style by externals that we sometimes are not quite sure what our real loves are. For instance, we are restrained by-the law. If we want not to become outlaws, if we want to remain friendly with the law and not be pursued by the law, we have to obey the laws of our country. The whole force of the civil law helps us to do that. Then, even stronger than civil law, if we want to be thought to be decent members of our community, we have common moral law. That's what Mr. Jones thinks about us--what our neighbor in general thinks about us is very important, and that is called the moral law, and that impinges upon us and forces us to do certain things, if we respect it and have some thought for-our reputation. But the only thing that really counts, the Writings say, is the spiritual law which is learning, to shun evils as sins against God because He has told us that these things destroy human life. The sins against Him destroy the things which He has created and they make the beautiful ugly and the sweet bitter; and so; only when we really want to shun evils because they hurt Him--not because they will get us in goal or ruin our reputation--only because of Him do we shun them as a spiritual thing.


Doctrinal Papers p. 158

All of these different motives, the civil law, the moral law, and the spiritual law, are pretty well mixed up with us in this world, and when we get to the world of spirits, we have the opportunity of having these things clearly defined. In the first place, we come into a state of freedom, where we haven't the slightest feeling that anyone is watching us or cares at all what we do. We have the feeling we are in a country that has no laws that we can violate, and so the only law that governs us is our own conscience, and if we have a conscience, we take it to the spiritual world with us and we also come into a state of freedom in the world of spirits where we feel that no one is checking up on us. No neighbor is noting what we do, no wife will note what time we come in or what time we go out or anything else that we do. No child or any other relationship will have the slightest interest in what we do.

In other words, we come into a state of real freedom where we proceed to do what we really love to do and we do it freely, and if we have loved to do the things which are right and good and clean, those are the things that follow us into the world of spirits and those are the things which we do, and we find that we are associating with people who like to do those kind of things, too, and they are none other than angels. And if we like that then we are prepared--we make the decision ourselves--to go to heaven. That is our decision, because we love the things that the angels love. After we have made that decision, we are instructed by angel guides, and we are finally led to that part of heaven where we can perform the work for which we are fitted--the use to other men and other women which we are fitted for. On the other hand, if we have chosen evil, in order that there may not be a horrible mixture of good and evil, the Lord provides that we will be given an opportunity to get rid of the good that appears to stick to us, the good which our neighbors have thought was part of us but which in our inmost hearts was only put on to attract their attention and win admiration, which was not really part of our character; and, when all the good has been removed from us which had clung to the external, and our evil loves had, as it were, become naked and acknowledged by ourselves, then it is that we associate to ourselves evil people like ourselves and find eventually our abiding place in hell.

That is what the world of spirits is, and the world of spirits is intimately connected with this world. Each one of us lives in the world of spirits right now. That is where our mind breathes, that is where our thoughts come from. That is how our affections radiate and move other people just through our presence. You have all felt, coming into the presence of someone you feel heartily dislikes you--you don't have to have them open their mouth and say get out of here, I hate you,"--you can feel it in their sphere. We all have felt that kind of sphere; and we have also felt the sphere of love when we come among those people who are fond of us. That is because spiritually we are in the world of spirits right now.

My point is that the world of spirits is absolutely dependent on the Word.


Doctrinal Papers p. 159 The Writings bring out over and over again that the Word is the connecting medium between the spiritual world and the natural world, and, when I read "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want," from one of the Psalms, the angels perceive the spiritual sense of those words and they are delighted, and they are fed by the spiritual sense of those words, so that the Word is the actual connecting medium. It is the missing link which combines the spiritual within with the natural world without. That is important to understand, if we are to understand the 19th of June.

You have heard a lot about the Last Judgment, and men who read the Word and think only of the letter, and think that the letter of the Word is its final truth, have pictured that some day there will be a great last judgment and the end of the world, whereas the Writings tell us that the last judgment has now taken place. The Lord does teach there is to be a last judgment, but it is not the end of the physical world. It is the end of the spiritual world or of the Church which was started by the Lord when He was on earth, and which is described in the letter of the Word as the First Christian Church. At the time when the prophecies were made of the second coming there was to be a last judgment which was a spiritual judgment.

The nature of that judgment is just this. No one can get power over the hearts and minds of people--no clergyman, no church,--without having a Divine revelation, which they misconstrue in order to gain the power of the Church over the people over whom they wish to exercise rule. Take, as an illustration, the 16th chapter of Matthew, and the doctrine which the Catholic Church holds now, that Peter was the first pope, and into Peter's hands were given the keys of heaven and of hell, and Peter passed down that pourer to the popes ever since so that the pope has the power of closing heaven and hell, and the pope is Christ's vicar on earth. I first turned to the 28th chapter of Matthew, the 18th verse, and there I read what the Lord said to His disciples after He had risen from the dead. "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth," He said, and that was after He rose from the dead. That is the same gospel of Matthew. The Lord says to His disciples, to all of them--Peter included--that all power is given unto Him, in His Glorified Human with which He rose from the tomb on Easter morning and no especial power is given to Peter as Christ's vicar on earth, nor to any of the other disciples. We turn back now to the famous passage in the 16th chapter of Matthew where we read that the Lord says to His disciples:

"Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee. That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


Doctrinal Papers p. 160 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall, be loosed in heaven."

If that was all that was said, we might, perhaps, make a case for the fact that Peter was the first pope and that he did have the keys to the kingdom of heaven, but I will call your attention first to the fact that He says, Whom say ye that I am?" And Peter says "Thou art the Christ," and the Lord said, "Thou art Peter and upon this rock." Now, the rock is not Peter, but the rock is the confession of faith that He, the Lord, was Divine, that He was the Christ. It is on that doctrine of faith that the Church shall be build - not on the man Peter. However, if it were not for what the Lord says six verses later, that would not be so clear, but the story goes on, and the Lord said to the disciples how He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."

In the same chapter, within six verses; He calls Peter and says "Thou art Peter and on this rock will I build, My Church," and He calls Peter "Satan," and says, that he is an offence unto Him and "Get thee behind Me. "

I looked up the translation of the 23rd verse, "Thou art Satan," to see how they would translate it, the Catholic English version of the Latin Vulgate. They translated "Thou art Satan, Get thee behind Me," but they had a footnote by a learned Bishop who said that this meant that Peter was to become a follower and that the word Satan did not mean; the devil, as it was commonly understood; but when the Lord told Peter to get behind Him, He meant he was to be one of His followers and follow Him wherever He went. But I don't think that that explanation will satisfy the reasoning of an intelligent person. The explanation of the New Church is just this, that Peter the man was neither the rock on which the Lord built His Church, nor was Peter the man, Satan, but the declaration of faith that Christ was God was the rock on which the Church was to be built and the declaration that the Lord was not going to establish an earthly kingdom and therefore He was doing wrong by allowing them to crucify Him as Peter thought - (Peter saw all his hopes of becoming a worldly potentate vanish when the Lord said He was going to be crucified by the Jews)--and so Peter begged Him not to do it. "This shall never happen to you," he said; and the Lord said, "Thou art Satan, get thee behind Me; thou savourest of this world." It was not Peter, but the idea that the Lord's kingdom was a worldly kingdom, that it was of this world - that was what was of Satan. And that was what Satan wished the Lord would do when he tempted Him at the very beginning of His ministry, when he said, "If you fall down and worship me I will give you all the kingdoms of the world."


Doctrinal Papers p. 161

Just that much to show that the letter of the Word is capable of being misused to keep people in dominion. Thousands and thousands of people have been under the dominion of the Catholic Church and when those people go into the spiritual world they are stir under the dominion of it. And thousands more people have accepted the doctrine of salvation by faith alone and they have been kept under the dominion of that by their priesthood for many hundreds of years. And, because the letter of the Word was used to hold people under the altar, as it is described in the book of Revelation, a judgment was not possible because, until the spiritual sense of the Word was revealed, the power of the letter had nothing to tear it apart.

But then the Arcana Celestia was written and was finished in 1756, twelve volumes of it, explaining the internal sense of hundreds of passages in the Word. And this is our belief--that, when that had happened in this world, when the truth of the Trinity and the truth about the life after death and the truth about man's being saved through building a character which loves the things that the angels love, when those truths were revealed in all abundance in the Arcana Celestia then they had an immediate reaction in the spiritual world and they tore away what the Writings call the sham of the imaginary heavens that these evil people had been able to set up through their use,--their abuse I should say,--of the letter of the Word. And when the truths of the spiritual sense were revealed, in this world as they were in the Arcana Celestia, that made it possible for the Lord to effect, accomplish, produce the last judgment in the spiritual world and that. took place in the year 1757, at the end of the writing of the Arcana Celestia.

The Last Judgment, however, was not completed until 1770. That is a number of years later and, during that time, from the pen of Swedenborg but not from the mind of Swedenborg--from the inspiration of the Lord through the work of Swedenborg as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ--there flowed all of the rest of the Writings: Heaven and Hell, The Earths in the Universe, The Last Judgment, Divine Love and Wisdom, Divine Providence, The Apocalypse Revealed, The Apocalypse Explained, Conjugial Love, True Christian Religion--all of these great works of the Writings flowed from his pen. And so, when he comes to the last paragraph of The True Christian Religion, the end of the great work which the Lord had called Him to do, Swedenborg sees the twelve disciples called together by the Lord in the spiritual world.

All of the truths which establish a New Church in this world, the purpose of which was to bring to the minds of men the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only God of heaven and earth, had now been revealed. And the Lord did not send somebody else into the world to mediate for Him, but He the one God, came Himself to men--the promised second coming. He calls what He sends the "Holy Spirit" because it is His Spirit and it is holy;


Doctrinal Papers p. 162 but all of the doctrine of the Writings centers in that one great doctrine; so that when all of this truth had been revealed in this world, - the truth that established the fact that the sane Lord Jesus Christ is the God of heaven and earth and that the New Church is a re-preaching of that fundamental doctrine which started Christianity and for which the disciples gave their lives to preach in this world,--what could be more appropriate than that the Lord should call together His twelve disciples in the spiritual world and send them throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ doth reign and of His reign there shall be no end.

That, of course, is the first New Church sermon that was ever preached, and it was preached in the spiritual world; and this is why we call the 19th of June in the year 1770 the New Church birthday. And now, why were the twelve disciples who had followed the Lord in this world - why were they chosen for this high office in the spiritual world? Was it because they were better than anyone else? Just why was it that of the thousands and thousands of Christians who were in the spiritual world by 1770 the same twelve men should be chosen as were chosen in this world? We are not left without an answer to that. A study of the Writings tells us that Swedenborg met the twelve disciples in the spiritual world on March 13, 1748. He tells us in the Spiritual Diary (1316-1332) that there were thousands and thousands of people,--of angels,--in the inmost heaven of the spiritual world who were higher angels than the apostles ever became. The apostles went to the interior heaven, he said, and above the interior heaven is the celestial or inmost heaven, so that the disciples were not of the highest angels. So they were not chosen because of their personal virtue, because they were greater than other people.

When Swedenborg met the twelve apostles on March 13, 1748, the occasion was their descent from their heavens into the world of spirits for purposes of judgment; and when they came down into the world of spirits, they came into the external state in which they had been in this world. In this world, the Lord had said there would be twelve judges, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, and on one occasion, you remember, the disciples were quarreling together. They were tarrying, and the Lord was walking ahead; and He looked back and saw them quarreling, and it turned out when He read their thoughts that they were arguing among themselves who should be greatest in the Lord's kingdom, when He should come into His power. They were thinking then that He was going to be a worldly ruler and was going to break the yoke of Rome, and one of these twelve was going to be His prime minister, and they wanted to know who it was going to be. (Matthew 18:1; Mark 9:33; Luke 9:46; 22:24) On that occasion the Lord called a little child and put him in the midst of them and said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,"--let alone be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. On another occasion, the mother of James and John came to the Lord and desired that He allow James and John to sit at his right and left hand when He came into His kingdom. (Matthew 20:20-28) Again she was thinking of His worldly kingdom, when He should come into power, and the Lord said that position was reserved for those prepared for it by His Father which is in heaven.


Doctrinal Papers p. 163

And so, when these disciples came into the world of spirits, they came into the external state. Then it was that they thought that they should judge the tribes of Israel, and they thought that those who suffered martyrdom for the sake of their faith as they had done should be rewarded by being given heaven, and they had to be instructed that if martyrdom were the price of heaven, then in modern days, no one would be going to heaven because the days of physical death for religion are past--no one is dying for their religion at the present time; and Swedenborg points out that no one was coming into heaven if the apostles' criterion for entrance into heaven was correct.

The thing that interested me in reading that in The Spiritual Diary 1316-1332 was how absolutely human these men still were. They were still influenced by their thoughts, and it was not until they had been instructed and had been freed from these wrong ideas as to what makes them worthy of the kingdom of heaven that they were returned to the interior heaven which is their final abode. Why should they be called, since they are not celestial angels, since there are higher angels? The reason why they were called is that the genius of the New Church--it's a great gift to the world of thought--the great gift is that although God is Infinite, although He is Divine, although He is eternal, He can appear to us as a Divine Man-and He did appear to us as a Divine Man in His life in Galilee. And, of all the people in the whole of creation for all time, no one could know Him as a Man with the same vigorous impressions that these disciples had who had eaten with Him, slept with Him, listened to Him, talked to Him, and followed Him in this world. And the purpose of the 19th of June, which is the purpose of the New Church, is to preach the Lord Jesus Christ as a Divine Human Personal God who is interested in individuals and who can be worshiped, not as a cloud, not as a force of energy, but as a Divine Savior.

And so it said that the Lord called together the twelve disciples who had followed Him throughout this world and sent them each into his own province. What is meant by the twelve disciples? Why weren't there thirteen or six? The answer is for the same reason that there were twelve tribes of the Children of Israel. The number "twelve" has a spiritual meaning which is that a thing is complete. It is the meaning which we have adopted in the Cathedral in Bryn Athyn, for we go up to the high altar through twelve steps of regeneration. Twelve is a combination of three and four: three representing the truth in its fullness and four representing conjunction or good. The combination of the two represents everything that the marriage of good and truth can bring to the life of the Church, and the twelve disciples represent all of the elements of good and truth which go to make up a true Church.

There is one other little passage from Swedenborg I want to call to your attention, about these twelve disciples. Swedenborg was writing a chapter on Faith in the True Christian Religion,--a beautiful chapter,--and in that chapter he tries to bring before us in every possible way, from many different angles, how the Lord is one Person and one God.


Doctrinal Papers p. 164 He quotes many passages from the Word: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."--God with us--"I and My Father are One". "Before Abraham was I am." And he quotes many more beautiful passages which teach the oneness of God. At the end of number 339 he says, "These words were written in the presence of the Lord's twelve apostles who, while I was writing them, were sent to me by the Lord." The Lord had drawn to Swedenborg the very company who knew Him as a Man and who had followed Him in this world in order that their sphere of absolutely knowing Him might be present with Swedenborg so that he could produce in the chapter on Faith of the True Christian Religion a living faith in one God in one Person who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is an interesting fact. When Swedenborg finished number 791 of the True Christian Religion, he says the Lord called together the twelve disciples. This bothered me at first because, when you go back to numbers 4 and 108, you read in both numbers that sometime since, the Lord called together the twelve disciples and sent them throughout the whole spiritual world. As his practice was to write a book and then copy it page by page as fast as the printer could print it, the explanation is that when he came to recopy the True Christian Religion for the printer, the 19th of June was an accomplished fact. In adding this news to numbers and 108, he said the Lord had sent His disciples out and each into his own province.

What is meant by "each into his own province"? I shall try to give you just a brief idea of what that means.

You recall that the Lord's first miracle was turning water into wine which represents turning natural truth into spiritual purpose. That was at the marriage feast at Cana of Galilee. When the description of that miracle starts, it says, "And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage, so we can see that in order for this first and most important miracle in the lives of all of us to take place, both Jesus and His disciples must be present at the marriage feast, and if they are present, then the miracle of changing water into wine can take place. Well, when we see that the disciples represent that thing which brings the worship of the Lord down to the individual,--that principle in your life,--and they come to represent the principles of good and truth whereby you make your religion something--not of your mouth and your tongue and your lips, but of your heart, and of the actions of your daily life. The disciples do that--they take the wine which the Lord has made out of the water, and they distribute it everywhere, and the principles which flow from our religion--the truths and the goods represented by the disciples--they take the worship of the Lord and the Revelation from the Lord and make it work in every spot of their lives.

We can see in every action of Peter's life, the principle of faith. You and I know that at some moments of our lives, faith seems very vital; and so Peter cried out on the eve of the crucifixion, as he sat by the Lord at the Last Supper and says, "Though I should die, I won't ever betray you," and a few hours later, he denied Him three times in the palace of Caiaphas the high priest.


Doctrinal Papers p. 165

We can see the principle represented by Thomas who cannot accept things that he does not see and does not understand. To be able to see by rational demonstration is a God-given faculty. When the Lord said, "And the way ye know," Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we know not the way." He came out and confessed his ignorance, so the Lord said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." (John 14:5, 6) Later, when the Lord appeared to ten of His disciples on the night of Easter, Thomas was not there, and when the disciples told him about it Thomas said, that unless he put his finger in the print of the nail and thrust his hands in the Lord's side, he wouldn't believe that the Lord had risen again. So one week later, the Lord appeared again and said to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." And so by rational demonstration the Lord convinced Thomas, and then doubting Thomas, so frank and so honest, knelt down and said, "My Lord and my God." (John 20:24-29)

Or we could take up the beloved disciple, John. How constant he was, unlike Peter who denied the Lord! John never denied the Lord. True, all the disciples forsook the Lord and fled, when the Lord was said. (Matthew 26:56; Mark 141:50-52) But John and Peter returned and followed the Lord even to the palace of the high priest (Matthew 26:58; Mark 14:54; Luke 22:54), and John went into the palace. (John 18:15)

Or we might talk about Philip whose name means "love of horses," or whose spiritual correspondence represents the study of the letter of the Word and connects up with the fact that the Lord was born and laid in a manger where horses are fed.

We could take up any one of the disciples, and all of them, and as we studied them we could see that the principles they represented are the principles which have to be established, if the Lord is to be proclaimed throughout all the heavens. Each principle or disciple has to be established in his own province.

And so, as New Church men, when the 19th of June comes, that is just exactly what our prayer is, that as the disciples knew the Lord, as they knew Him better than anyone else, they were chosen for this high office, not that they are higher angels, but that they had that actual contact with the Lord, The real thing to think about is what they spiritually represented, namely, the Lord present in every faculty of man, in all of his loves and in all of the goods which he strives to do, that His disciples in us may preach the gospel to each and everything we do and think and contemplate and will, that the Lord Jesus Christ doth reign and of His kingdom there shall be no end.


Doctrinal Papers p. 166



Read first the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-20, 57-64; 2:1-14 and in Matthew 1:13-25; 2:1-12.

* * * * *

The beauty of the view Church Christmas is that as the Lord was born into the world two thousand years ago, corcespondentially, spiritually, He may be born into the heart of each one of us; and as we trace the story of the Lord's actual birth into the outer world, into this world in which we live for a short time,--as we trace His history and all the events connected with it,--it is possible from the Writings of Swedenborg to draw what Swedenborg calls a spiritual sense, which applies to the way in which the Lord may be born into the hearts of each one of us; because the second coming of the Lord, actually the real coming of the Lord, is the coming to each individual person.

Looked at in one way, there are only individuals in the world. We talk of masses of people; but the Lord's love, and His attraction, and His understanding, and His penetrating thought is about each individual person. In the eyes of God we are not just a mass of humanity, but we are individuals--we are Tom and Dick and Harry. We are people He knows, whose every problem and effort He knows. The Writings say the whole end of His Divine providence is that there may be builded a heaven from the human race, that we may some day, all of us, take up a use, something we love to do, and perform that use for our fellow angels.

And remember there are no angels created as such. All angels are just people, just like us. They are people who have fought the battle and regenerated, and who have been able to take their places in the Grand Man which is the organization of all the people who go to heaven--myriads and myriads of people, all organized according to uses. Heaven is not a land of idleness, it is a land of intense interest because the things that we do are the things that we love to do and the things we are prepared to do and the things we know that by doing we are best serving our fellow men. That is the kingdom of heaven.

And the Christmas story, when understood in its spiritual sense, is the story of how the Lord may be born into the heart and into the mind of each one of us. There is nothing more clear, if we think about it, than the fact, that we have thoughts and we have things that we love. Swedenborg tells us there are two compartments of the mind that take care of these things.


Doctrinal Papers p. 167 The will of man, he says, is an organ which is capable of loving. When he says it is an organ capable of loving, he means that is just what it can do. The ear is not adapted to sight but it is adapted to hearing, and the eye is equally useless as far as hearing goes but it is well adapted to sight.

And man spiritually has an understanding which is adapted to thought and wisdom and reason, and he also has another faculty or ability to do, which is called will, and this is capable of loving. That is where our love is. The will corresponds to our heart, so when we love somebody, we feel it in our heart. We really do feel it in our heart because the will which is a mental thing corresponds to our heart in our body and the understanding or the ability to think corresponds to our lungs. Just as soon as your lungs stop functioning, rational conscious thought ceases. People have almost been drowned; as soon as water fills their lungs, they instantly become unconscious. When the dentist fills your lungs with laughing gas, you become unconscious. The lungs are the organ of consciousness, and so the baby, before it is born, although the heart beats and although the child moves, he is not conscious until he comes into the world and with that first breath begins to cry and becomes conscious of the world about him because the lungs in the body correspond exactly to all our thought processes.

The deepest psychology we can learn is the interaction between our lungs and our heart and the more we study that, the more interesting things we find. For example, if a man has pure thoughts, every action that he does has to be passed through his intellectual thoughts just as the blood in our body passes right through the lungs. If your lungs are healthy and clean and functioning, the lungs purify the blood. And every deed that you do of the will, which is the bloodstream of man's spiritual life--the stream of his deeds--has to be passed through the understanding. If a man is ignorant, he cannot shape those deeds by wisdom but they are instead the deeds of ignorance. If, however, he is wise--if he reads the Word, if he fills his mind with the Word,--every deed that he does has to be purified by the Word of God and his understanding; so the interaction is absolutely complete.

In this paper I speak of the will and the understanding for this reason: There are two accounts of the Lord's birth, one in Matthew and the other in Luke, and as we look over humanity we discover the interesting fact that it is made up of two entirely different kinds of creatures, one called men and the other women. Neither of them quite understand each other but they are irresistibly attracted toward each other and nothing very much worthwhile is accomplished in life without the close cooperation between husband and wife. These two great classes of beings, men and women, have been created by the Lord in order that the angelic heavens might be populated and so it is of Divine order that children should be born of husband and wife.


Doctrinal Papers p. 168 That is the greatest of their uses, the bringing of children into this world, and the careful raising of their children in order that they, in their day, may become angels of heaven. The husband and wife have to act conjointly in this use.

There are men and women in the world because man has these two faculties of the will and understanding, and we cannot do a thing, we cannot as much as lift an ash tray, without the marriage of the will and the understanding; that is, without the union of them. I have to want to lift it--that's the will, and I have to know how to reach out my hand and lift it. If you will notice a baby, he does not know how to reach out his hand. You will see a baby looking at something bright and pawing the air, and he thinks the moon is just as close as the ash tray. He does not know how to reach the ash tray. That is a thing of wisdom which some two or three years enable us to know.

But it doesn't matter what you do--you must have this marriage of the will and the understanding. You have to know how to do a thing and you have to want to do it. That is often seen in musicians. We give our daughter piano lessons and we have company in and we want to show her off; and, "No, she doesn't want to play,"--the understanding is there. She knows her pieces, but she doesn't want to play them, so there is no marriage of the understanding and will, and so there is no music. My father would have loved to play a musical instrument, but he was a half orphan very young and had to earn his living and never had the opportunity to study music and so, although he always loved it, he could not play because he could not marry the will and the understanding. He had the will but he didn't have the know how. You must have both of them together to accomplish anything.

And so it is with the Christmas story. In order to describe how the Lord comes to man fully, it describes how He comes both to man's will or his affections and to his understanding or reasoning faculties--the first story, the story of the will as contained in Luke, and the story of the understanding as contained in Matthew. The broad generalities are very clear. Women, of course, represent love, and men, wisdom. Not that all women are loving or that all men are wise but, in general, men reason things out and women, through perception and love, arrive almost instantaneously at conclusions; and so right in the very letter of the Gospel, we find that Luke explains the birth of the Lord to Mary and it has been called, by non New Church people, the women's Gospel because, when the angel told Mary that she was to have a child without an earthly father, she said, "How can this be--there is no father." And the angel said that "The spirit of the Highest shall come upon thee, the Holy Spirit shall overshadow thee, therefore that Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Mary who was the central figure in this drama was completely convinced by the simple statement of this angel that she Was to be the virgin mother of One who was to be great in the history of Israel.


Doctrinal Papers p. 169 How great, she had no conception, of course, but she thought that this Son of hers was to be the Messiah, perhaps a great warrior king who should free them from the yoke of Rome that was so distasteful to that freedom loving people.

On the other hand, Joseph, who represents the man and the coming of the Lord to the understanding, is described in the Matthew story. Joseph, being a just man, and not wishing to make a public example of Mary when he found that she was to have a child, was going to put her away privily but then the angel came to him and what more beautiful words could you want? When the angel came, he said, "Fear not to take Mary because that which is conceived within her is of the Holy Spirit." That is the greatest proof of the virgin birth. Joseph was completely convinced, by this angelic vision that he had, that Mary's child was of the Holy Spirit and so he obeyed the angel and took Mary and knew her not until after she brought forth her firstborn Son and called His name JESUS.

And so we see in the women's Gospel, in Luke wherein the details are described, how the Lord captivates and comes and takes hold of man's will and lodges there and becomes a living part of the actions of his life--how in the Luke gospel that is all made clear to Mary who was to be the mother of the Lord. And we see how in the Matthew gospel it was all made clear to Joseph, who was not the father but who was betrothed to Mary, that Mary's child was the Son of God also. Joseph understood it.

The Luke gospel starts before the birth of the Lord. It begins with a venerable priest who says he is old and well stricken in years--a priest of the Jewish Church of the house of Aaron--and his fathers had been priests before him for fifteen hundred years, all the way back to the days of Mt. Sinai when Moses and Aaron were given the rites of ordination by the Lord Himself on Mt. Sinai and Aaron, the first priest, was consecrated there in the wilderness. Zacharias came from this long, long line of priests and he came of a people who had seen angels.

Abraham entertained three angels under the oak of Mamre, you know, who told him that he should be a father at ninety-nine years of age, and Gideon saw angels beside the altar which he had made. And we find angels appearing to Daniel and angels appearing to John on the Isle of Patmos. All through the Old Testament story we find angels, and so Zacharias wasn't so much surprised that he should see an angel, although there had been no open vision in Israel for four hundred years, but being a priest he knew the history of the race. He was surprised, however, that the angel should come to him and he was filled with fear.

The old Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the conception that the Jews had of Jehovah, was of a fearful God, a God of vengeance, a God of righteousness, but a God of terrific vengeance upon His enemies and so Zacharias, it is said, was filled with fear.


Doctrinal Papers p. 170 But the first thing the angel said to him, even as the first thing the same angel said to Mary, was "Fear not," because the Lord was to be the Prince of Peace and He was to win men, not through fear and not through the sternness of the Mosaic Law, but He was, to win them through the gospel of love--God is love--and He was to show men how God is love, and that men should love their enemies and bless them that curse them and pray for those who despitefully use them and persecute them.

But Zacharias, doubted, as well he might (a man well stricken in years and his wife was well stricken in years) when Gabriel told him that he was to be a father in his old age and Elisabeth was to be a mother. He doubted, and the angel told him that as a sign to him that it would surely come to pass, he should be dumb. What a beautiful thing! The priest of the old dispensation should speak no more! The angel had told him of the birth of the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and as a sign of the truth of this, the old priest, the priest of the religion which was to be supplanted by Christianity, was silent until the words of the angel came true.

And surely enough, in due course of time, Elisabeth bore a son. All the relatives wanted to call his name Zacharias after his father but, no, he had been named by the angel--John; and so they gave a tablet to Zacharias and he wrote "His name is John, John means the grace of God. The law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, and not until that which represented the grace of God came into the world was speech restored to the mouth of the priest and so Zacharias spoke. John the Baptist grew to be a wonderful man. He was a Nazarite. He drank neither wine nor strong drink and grew up in the wilderness, eating locusts and wild honey; and just before the Lord was ready for His public ministry, thirty years after the event we're talking about now, John stood in the river Jordan and he saw the Lord coming and he said to his disciples, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world." Every man who is a preacher, a leader, a teacher, loves his disciples and he loves to be followed by his disciples, and John had been preaching and, he had a large following by this time and when he said, as the Lord approached him through the shallow waters of Jordan, "Behold the Lamb of God," some of John's disciples left him and went to the Lord, and John urged them to do so. He said, "One cometh after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose," and he went on and said, He must increase but I must decrease.

Spiritually understood, the thing which brings the Lord to us, without which we cannot possibly have the Lord, is the letter of the Word, of the Bible, the Old and the New Testaments--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and so forth, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Revelation. They are where the Lord resides as far as we are concerned. If we had never heard of the Bible, we would never have heard of the Christmas story. Of course, we might have met some people who had heard of the Bible, but if we had never met anybody who had heard of the Bible, or read it ourselves, we would not have been able to hear the beautiful Christmas story that we have heard tonight, because it is through the letter of the Word that the Lord is brought to us.


Doctrinal Papers p. 171

Just as John preached in the wilderness repentance and that the great Messiah was cominghe prepared the way of the Lord, he said, I am the voice of One crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the solitude a highway for our God.so the reading of the word in the letter prepares us to receive the Divine vision of the Lord in the Spirit. And so the Writings tell us that John the Baptist represents the letter of the Word. That is what he signifies his relation to the Lord is the same as the relation of the letter of the word, the bible as we read it, to the spiritual sense which is contained within those words that we readthe spiritual sense which ministers to our souls and our spirits. And so John went before the Lord, and all that preparation for receiving the Lord is told us in the gospel according to Luke.

Let us look at a few of the features of the Gospel according to Luke so that we can see how that is primarily a coming of the Lord to our affections. I was just looking over the number of sermons that have been published for childrenChristmas sermons, and the texts on which they have been preached. There are about four or five sermons, Talks to Children, that have been published from the story in Like to every one that there is on the Matthew story. Of course, that has no significance except it is interesting that ministers who are free to choose the text that they want, when invited to preach to children, seem by common consent to have found that the Luke story appeals to the heart of children. It is easier to get across to the affections of children than is the Matthew story. That is only natural because the Luke story is a story of the affections, and of how the Lord is born in our heart and in our affections rather than how the Lord comes to us in rational manner or is born to the understanding; and the Luke account comes first and it is only in the Luke account that we know that the Lord was in a house, when the wise men got there, but in Luke He is born and is in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger because there was no room for Him in the inn.

The inn had plenty of room for the wealthy Pharisees. They were the aristocrats of the Lords daythey had wide bands on the border of their garments to show that they were somebodythey were the people who had the means and the culture and were looked up to by the lower class people, and who were very conscious themselves of their own superiority. There was room in the inn for the Pharisee, and for the Sadducees, who were the skeptics of the Lords Day. They denied any life after death and said, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die. There is no life after death. There was room in the inn for the learned scribe and also for the priests who were venerated. The inn-keeper found room for all of those people in his inn, but when Mary and Joseph knocked at his door, he said, There is no room for you in the inn.

The Writings tell us that the inn represents the education of the Jewish Church because just as the body is fed and housed in an inn, so the mind of man is fed by the education of his day and nourished by it and that is where he lives--in the inn of his day--the spiritual inn of his day which is the education of his day.


Doctrinal Papers p. 172 The education of the Lord's Day taught that the Messiah would be a great King, a national hero, a fighting-man, a victorious conqueror--one who would break the yoke of Rome from off their neck. That was the education, that was what the people expected in their Messiah and that is why they rejected our Lord; except for a handful of people, his own people rejected Him because there was no room for Him in the education of His Day. We who are striving for New Church education think there is a close parallel today. The schools of today have room for success. They can make fine business men. They can give boys educations that will enable them to earn good livings. They can make masters and doctors out of them. They can take girls and put them in a finishing school and give them the social graces and dancing and music and enable them to get along smoothly with their fellow men; but in all our public schools, because of their very nature, religion is ruled out--absolutely ruled out. There is no room for the Lord in the inn of our modern education except in those religious educations such as our own where we separate from the public schools and bear the expenses of our own education in order that there may be room in the inn of our education for instructing our children that there is One God in One Person who as the Lord Jesus Christ; and this fundamental truth shall enter into geography, mathematics, history and everything we teach, everything--that the Lord shall be in all of the instruction that we give--everything that we give, whole-souledly. That is what we believe and that is what we strive in our heart and soul to do. So the Lord could not be born in the inn because it represented the education of His day. In a beautiful passage from the Writings, in the Apocalypse Explained, it says, "If the Lord had willed, He could have been born in a magnificent palace and laid in a jewel-bestudded bed, but then there would have been no correspondence to the actual way in which He is born into our hearts." (AE 706:12) He must be born-into that with us which shelters the innocent affections.

Animals that help men represent men's good affections and animals that kill men (the wolf, the tiger, the lion) represent the things that kill men's spiritual life--envy, pride, hatred, murder,--the affections for evil. The Lord cannot be born in the affections for evil but He can be born in a stable, in the spiritual stable of each one of us; that is, He can be born in whatever is in us that shelters and makes possible the life of innocent affections and especially the affection represented by the horse because the horse has a very high correspondence. It represents the understanding of the Word. So when we turn to the vision of the Apocalypse, we find the Lord described as a horseman, riding a noble white steed followed by thousands of angels on white horses, all of which represent the understanding of the Word.

And the Lord was laid in a manger. First He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, the simplest of all garments which represent the simple truths. By the simplest truths I mean the truths in which the Lord comes to us originally.


Doctrinal Papers p. 173 For instance, that there just is a God as we teach our children. "Well, where did the world come from?" "Where did I come from?" "God made you." "Where does our food come from?" "God made it." Simple truths like that that we teach our children are like the swaddling clothes. And then He is laid in a manger because the horse eats, and the manger provides the food, and the manger represents the Word which feeds the ideas of the Lord to our mind as the Lord grows upon us from infancy, gradually, to adult life.

And then there were the shepherds. After the Lord was born and wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, there were the shepherds in the lonely hills of Bethlehem. The shepherds were keeping watch over their flock by night. I cannot think of anything more wonderful to be written of a man after he is gone than the epitaph that the Scriptures have given to those shepherds. They were keeping watch over their flocks by night. All of us have responsibility. Those of us who are teachers have children for whom we are responsible. Those of us who are parents have children, and those of us who are adults also have the coming generation whether they are our particular children or not because the Lord said to Peter, "Feed My Lambs, which are children, as well as "Feed My Sheep," and so we all have responsibilities.

I am just speaking for myself--you will have to translate it into terms of your own occupations. It is awfully easy to enjoy teaching, for example, when the boys are bright and smiling and when you are doing the things that the boys like you to do and you don't have to correct them. That is like tending your sheep in the daytime when there are no dangers. But then there come the disciplinary troubles and the things you have to tell the boys that they cannot do and the resistance of their will and often you come into states of pretty black despair. If you can still keep boldly forward and keep watch over your flocks by night, then in some slight measure you are following in the footsteps of those shepherds whose epitaph is that they were men who kept watch. They were not asleep, they kept watch over their flocks by night. We know that king David from whom the Lord was descended, on those very hills of Bethlehem keeping watch over his flocks by night, slew both a lion and a bear with his bare hands and this was told to prove to king, Saul that he could kill Goliath--not that he could, but that the Lord would give him the strength to do so. And so the shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night, and then suddenly on this particular night, one beautiful angel appeared to them in the sky and told them that the Savior of the world had been born and that they would recognize Him because He would be wrapped in the simplest of garments. He would be in a stable and would be lying in a manger.

The Writings tell us that an angel represents the truth and the shepherds saw the simple truth of the birth of the Lord and it says that as that simple truth was pouring in on that one, angel, suddenly there was with the angel,--the one angel,--a multitude of the heavenly host.


Doctrinal Papers p. 174 The whole heavens were filled with angels praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, Peace, Good Will toward men." That will be the experience, and has been the experience, of every New Church man. He just gets one idea from the Writings at first. In my Church in Philadelphia I had a man who saw first of all the truth of Conjugial Love. He doubted all the rest of the Writings. He went through awful states, but he never doubted Conjugial Love. He was happily married, and when he read the truths in that wonderful work of Swedenborg, he said, "This is Divine--I don't know about the rest of it but this is Divine." He saw that the truth of Conjugial Love, he saw that the vision of marriage that Swedenborg portrays in the work on Conjugial Love, is a true vision and a beautiful vision and something worth striving for with everything that we have. He would never let go of that and in the end he was like the shepherds out there on the hills of Bethlehem--one angel first told him about the Lord and suddenly there was a multitude of angels of the heavenly host. Eventually the rest of the Writings opened up to him and he saw the spiritual world and the spiritual sense of the Word and the doctrine of regeneration by shunning evils as sins and all of the rest of the doctrines opened up to him from having seen this one. And so it has been a thousand times with every student of the Writings. He sees one truth and he follows it. He pursues it hungrily to see where it will lead. The angels said to Swedenborg, "Follow the light and you shall find," and Swedenborg followed the light. And when you follow the light of one truth, the first thing you know it illumines a hundred others. "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host and so they came and found the infant Lord in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes."

That host of angels that appeared in the plains of Bethlehem was, of course, seen in the spiritual world. The spiritual eyes of the shepherds were opened, and at the same time those same angels were seen by the spiritual eyes of the three wise men. (Coronis 41) They saw His star while they were in the east.

In the spiritual world, the east is where the Lord is. The Lord is the center there and He appears as the sun. The angels always think of the east as where the Lord is and everything is oriented by where the Lord is in the spiritual world. And when it says in the letter of the Word that wise men saw the Lords star in the east, it represents those who are striving for something higher than materialism, striving for God, hunting for Him, longing to see Him. They saw His star in the east. Well, then, from their astrology and from the prophecies that had come down to them from the Ancient Word, they knew that He was to be born in Jerusalem; so they went to Jerusalem and when they arrived at Jerusalem, they found Herod upon the throne

I do not know of any contrast in the whole Word between good and evil so sharp and so clear, so dynamic, as the one we have here. Herod had murdered three sons, a brother, and a wife.


Doctrinal Papers p. 175 His nameless evils of which we are unaware may be even more horrible. But Herod was jealous and, when the wise men told him that they had seen the vision in the east and been told that a Messiah had been born in Jerusalem, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him and he inquired from the scribes and found out that the Lord was to be born in Jerusalem of Judaea.

Remember this is the gospel as it comes to the understanding. Wise men--a star which is light, the light of the mind--kings who represent truths,--Bethlehem which represents the house of bread, and bread is what feeds the mind--spiritual bread is what feeds and builds the mind. That is where the Lord is to be born. Judea is the southern country and represents love; the love of understanding things is Bethlehem, and that is where the Lord is born. And after Herod had found that the Lord was to be born there, he called the wise men very craftily, and even in the letter, Herod's craftiness and love of dominion is seen. When he has the priests who were his puppets, he demanded of them where Christ should be born, and then he meets these wise men,--these oriental kings who were as great in their own country as Herod was in his--and he inquired diligently of them,--very politely, diligently,--what time the star appeared; that is, how many weeks or months or days ago the wise men had seen it and started on their journey, because Herod had already fixed murder in his heart and had already decided that all the babes in Bethlehem should be killed, should he not find the right one, so that he would be sure to destroy his rival.

Herod represents our hereditary evil, that which we all have, that with which we are born. We are not responsible for it unless we make it our own and here, trembling on the lips of two such different people was the same question: Where Christ should be born: the wise men searching to find where He should be. born so that they could whip Him, and Herod seeking Him that he might destroy Him. Just picture with me the physical scene: here is Herod and his court, and his private interview with the wise men. And then it is said, "And having heard the king, they departed." Having heard the king they departed as if the voice of conscience within us is the wise men within us; and having heard and seen where our hereditary evil will lead us if we confirm it, if we make it our own and learn to love it. "Having heard the king they turned their back on the king and they departed from the king." And every step they went put distance between them and the king. That is like the momentous decisions that we make in our lives. When we decide to leave evil and to follow the Lord, to seek spiritual values in our life, come what may, whatever it costs in popularity, in wealth or whatever the cost, we, turn our back on Herod the king and depart from him. And then as soon as Herod was behind and they were moving away from him, it is said, "And lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them till it came and stood over where the young child was." And when they saw the star, "They rejoiced with exceeding great joy."


Doctrinal Papers p. 176

So it will be with us, in those great decisions when we decide to give up some particular evil. Not a shotgun method that says, "O I am hopelessly evil" and do nothing about it. But no--we say, "I have been jealous of so and so. I will fight against that jealousy, or against this or that evil." We see some particular evil in ourselves that is real and actual and fight against that evil. Then it is that we depart, we turn our back on Herod, and we progress, and then the star of truth that first awakened the conscience in us, will go before us and it will lead us to the place where the Lord is. And we, too, will rejoice as the wise men did. And when they were come into the house, they found the Babe with Mary, His mother.

I love that sentence. The Catholic Church, in its treatment of Mary, has brought a certain sadness. The Lord was born into the world of Mary and we owe Mary love and certainly a type of veneration, not saint worship, because to Swedenborg it was granted to see Mary in the spiritual world and Mary said that indeed the Lord had been born of her but that everything that she had given Him had been put off and she worships Him solely as her God--not as her Son, as her God,--as all the other angels worship Him. But Mary, in the letter of the Word, to the New Church represents the Church because into the hearts of our children and into our hearts, the Lord is born through the Church.

The Church provides the means whereby ministers may be instructed and educated and consecrated and ordained and set apart for their duties of teaching and preaching the Word of God. All of the ministrations of the Church are for the purpose of bringing the Lord into the hearts of men--bringing the Vine on earth, the Writings say, and that is all the office of Mary. It is Mary who brings the Lord into the world physically, but just as Mary, according to the New Church, becomes nothing so that in the after life she is just an angel like the rest of us may become, so we never worship the Church. We respect the Church and support the Church because it is a means, but the Church is never the end of our veneration as it is in some religions. It is always just the means for coming closer to the Lord and having the Lord born in our hearts. And so the wise men went in and they found the young Child with Mary, His mother. No mention of Joseph now, and they come into the house, not the stable, and it is some weeks or months or maybe a year later. We don't know the exact length of time between the wise men's journey and visit and the shepherds, but we know there was a time interval between them. They came into the house and they found "the young Child with Mary His mother." He is mentioned first. And spontaneously they fell down and worshiped Him, and after that first act they rose and opened their treasures, that is, the thing that was dearest of all to them.

They opened their treasures and one presented Him with gold. Gold, from time immemorial, has been the most precious of metals. Gold has been used for the crowns of kings, and gold has been used on the domes of temples to honor God because of its high correspondence. It represents the highest and purest of loves of which the human heart is capable.


Doctrinal Papers p. 177 The Writings call that love celestial love and so the first wise man proffered his deepest love to the Savior.

The next wise man came, forward and he offered frankincense. Frankincense which was used in their sacrifices on the very altar of incense which Zachariah had been feeding when the angel came to him represents all of our spiritual loves. Spiritual loves are our intellectual interests--the things about which we think--the things that we plan, dream, our imagination. All of those are represented by the frankincense, and the second wise man offered his understanding and everything in it to the service of his God.

The last wise man gave myrrh which was the lowest of the sacrificial elements and represents the natural degree In men. The natural degree is everywhere characterized by obedience. Those angels who go to the natural heaven in contradistinction to the spiritual or celestial heaven are the type of people who do things that are right, who obey things that are right because they believe that the Lord has commanded them. They may not understand them, they may not love them, but they love the Lord and they love to obey the Lord and do them from obedience. And so the third wise man offered myrrh to the Lord as though obedience, natural obedience, is the stepping stone of love to the Lord and indeed it is for the Lord said, "He that loveth Me, keepeth My commandments."

The wise men offered gifts that run the whole gamut of a man--his celestial loves, his spiritual loves and his natural loves, all given without restraint to the Lord as an offering. And then night fell and these wise men dreamed a dream--a dream that is so important to all of us.

After we have seen the light, and after we have worshiped the Savior, and after we have rendered Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh, Herod is not dead and he is still in the kingdom. He is still in our kingdom and the chances may be that he may still come back into our hearts and so the angel gave the parting instruction of wisdom to these wise men in a dream for we read that Being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.