By Rev. John Clowes M.A.
Verses 1-6. That the evil of sin cannot be discovered by any external signs, nor can it be removed but by sincere repentance, and therefore all ought to explore it in themselves, and to desist from it.
Verses 6-10. That to the Jewish nation appertained only the external of the Church, and whereas external worship without internal is not worship, and with the wicked is evil worship, therefore to them there did not appertain any natural good.
Verses 10-14. That the affection of truth in the Church, which was unable to elevate itself to the eternal truth, is rendered capable of elevation, through communication with the Lord's Divine Human principle.
Verse 14. But that they who are principled in external representative worship are offended at such elevation, as being contrary to the law relating to the sabbath.
Verses 15-16. Until they are instructed that the law relating to the sabbath does not prohibit good works, or works done under Divine influence, but evil works, or such as are done under the influence of selfish and worldly love.
Verse 17. Which instruction is rejected by those who are in evils and falsities, but is gladly received by all who are principled in truth and good.
Verses 18-19. For the Church in man begins from a little spiritual good by truth, because at that time he thinks to do good from himself, but as truth is conjoining to love, it increases, so that things intellectual are multiplied in scientifics.
Verses 20-21. Yet this increase cannot be effected but by spiritual combat, which is that of what is false with what is true, in which case what is false is separated, and thus truth is purified.
Verses 22-24. That many learn the doctrines of faith, who are not so obedient as they ought to be to a life of charity.
Verses 25-27. For unless a belief in the doctrines of faith be attended with repentance and the good of life, it is a mere external profession, which cannot open any communication with heaven.
Verses 28-29. So that they who have the knowledges of truth without the love of good perish through direful falsities, whilst they who are in the good of life, of every degree, are of the Lord's Church and kingdom, according to the degree of good in which they are, be it celestial, spiritual, or natural.
Verse 30. For all they who profess the doctrine of faith alone without charity place merit in their works, and thus are not accepted of the Lord like those who are in the good of faith, and who consequently ascribe all merit to the Lord.
Verses 31-32. That the subjugation of the hells, and the glorification of the Lord's Human principle are the most satisfactory proofs of the Lord's Divinity, in opposition to the fallacies of self-derived intelligence.
Verse 33. And that these proofs are in perpetual operation in the Church, in which nevertheless when it becomes corrupt, the Divine Truth is extinguished.
Verse 34. When yet the Lord, in His Divine mercy, is willing to conjoin truth to good in every one, and thus to conjoin every one to Himself.
Verse 35. But man, from his unwillingness to comply with the Divine purpose, deprives himself of all good and truth, since no one can have his understanding opened to the light of spiritual truth, unless his will be disposed to exalt the Divine Human principle of the Lord.