1. I. The Sacred Scripture, or the Word, is the Divine Truth itself.
It is generally agreed that the Word is from God, is divinely inspired, and therefore holy; but hitherto it has remained unknown wherein its divinity resides; for the Word in the Letter appears like common writing in a strange style, lacking the sublimity and brilliance which are apparently features of the literature of the world. For this reason the man who worships nature instead of God, or in preference to God, and who consequently thinks from 1 himself and his proprium 2 and not from 1 heaven from 1 the Lord, may easily fall into error respecting the Word and into contempt for it, and say within himself as he reads it, What does this mean? What does that mean? Is this Divine? Can God, to whom belongs infinite wisdom, speak in this way? Where is its sanctity, or whence derived but from man's religious credulity?
1. The prepositions ex and a, both translated "from," are here used in contrast, a indicating the responsible agent or originating source, and ex an instrumental agent, or intermediary, contributing to the performance of an action, but not itself the source.
2. The Latin word proprium means "what is one's own." Swedenborg uses it in a special sense involving "what is of the self."