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True Christian Religion, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771], tr. by John C. Ager [1906] at

True Christian Religion


It would be tedious to show from the Word that there are such dual expressions in the Word, which seem like repetitions of the same thing, for to do so would fill many pages. But to remove doubt, I will cite some passages where "nation" and "people," and "joy" and "gladness," are mentioned together. "Nation" and "people" are mentioned in the following passages: Woe to the sinful nation, to a people laden with iniquity (Isa. 1:4). The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, thou hast multiplied the nation (Isa. 9:2, 3). O Assyria, the rod of mine anger, I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge (Isa. 10:6, 8). It shall come to pass in that day that the nations shall seek the root of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the people (Isa. 11:10). Jehovah smiteth the peoples in wrath with a stroke not curable, ruling the nations in anger (Isa. 14:8). In that day shall a present be brought unto Jehovah of Hosts of people scattered and peeled, a nation meted out and trodden under foot (Isa. 18:7). The strong people shall honor Thee, the city of the powerful nations shall fear Thee (Isa. 25:3). Jehovah shall swallow up the covering cast over all peoples and the veil over all nations (Isa. 25:7). Come near, ye nations, and hearken, ye peoples (Isa. 34:1). I have called thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations (Isa. 42:6). Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled (Isa. 43:9). Behold I will lilt up mine hand to the nations, and set up my standard to the peoples (Isa. 49:22). I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and lawgiver to the nation (Isa. 55:4, 5). Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation from the sides of the earth (Jer. 6:22, 23). I will not cause thee to hear the shame of the nations any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the peoples any more (Ezek. 36:15). All peoples and nations shall worship Him (Dan. 7:14). Let not the nations make a byword of them, and say to the peoples, Where is their God? (Joel 2:17). The remnant of my people shall spoil them, and the residue of my nation shall inherit them (Zeph. 51:9). Many peoples and numerous nations shall come to seek Jehovah in Jerusalem (Zech. 8:22). Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light for revelation to the nations (Luke 2:30-32). Thou hast redeemed us by Thy blood, out of every people and nation (Apoc. 5:9). Thou must prophesy again over peoples and nations (Apoc. 10:11). Thou shalt set Me for the head of the nations, a people whom I have not known shall serve Me (Ps. 18:43). Jehovah bringeth the counsel of the nations to naught; He overthroweth the thoughts of the peoples (Ps. 33:10). Thou makest us a proverb among the nations, a shaking of the head among the peoples (Ps. 44:14). Jehovah shall subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet; God reigneth over the nations the willing ones of the peoples are gathered together (Ps. 47:3, 8, 9). Let the peoples confess Thee, Let the nations sing for joy; for Thou shalt judge the peoples with equity, and lead the nations upon the earth (Ps. 67:2-4). Remember me, O Jehovah, with the favor that Thou bearest unto Thy people that I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation (Ps. 105:4, 5); and elsewhere. Nations and peoples are mentioned together, because by nations those are meant who are in good, and in the opposite sense those who are in evil; and by "peoples" those are meant who are in truths, and in the opposite sense those who are in falsities. Therefore those who are of the Lord's spiritual kingdom are called "peoples," and those who are of the Lord's celestial kingdom are called "nations;" for in the spiritual kingdom all are in truths, and in consequent intelligence, while in the celestial kingdom all are in goods, and in consequent wisdom.


It is the same with many other words; for example where "joy" is mentioned, "gladness" also is mentioned, as in the following passages: Behold, joy and gladness, to slay an ox (Isa. 22:13). They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away (Isa. 35:10; 51:11). Gladness and joy are cut off from the house of our God (Joel 1:18). The voice of joy and the voice of gladness shall be taken away (Jer. 7:34; 25:10). The fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah for joy and gladness (Zech. 8:19). Be glad in Jerusalem, and rejoice in her (Isa. 66:10). Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom (Lam. 4:21). Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice (Ps. 96:11). Make me to hear joy and gladness (Ps. 51:8). Joy and gladness shall be found in Zion, confession, and the voice of melody (Isa. 51:3). There shall be gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth (Luke 1:14). I will cause to cease the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride (Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10). Again there shall be heard in this place, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride (Jer. 33:10, 11); and elsewhere. Both joy and gladness are mentioned, because joy is predicated of good and gladness of truth, or joy of love and gladness of wisdom; for joy belongs to the heart and gladness to the spirit, or joy to the will and gladness to the understanding. That there is also a marriage of the Lord and the church in these words is evident from the expression: The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride (Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:10, 11); for the Lord is the Bridegroom, and the church is the bride. That the Lord is the Bridegroom may be seen, Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19, 20; Luke 5:34, 35; that the church is the bride, Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17. Therefore John the Baptist said of Jesus: He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom (John 3:29).


Owing to the marriage of Divine good and Divine truth in every particular of the Word, the expression, Jehovah [and] God, Jehovah and the Holy One of Israel very frequently occur as if they were two, when yet they are one: for by "Jehovah" the Lord in respect to the Divine good of the Divine love is meant, while by "God" and the "Holy One of Israel," the Lord in respect to the Divine truth of the Divine wisdom is meant. That Jehovah and God, and also Jehovah and the Holy One of Israel, are mentioned in many places in the Word, and yet One only is meant, may be seen in the Doctrine respecting the Lord the Redeemer.


X. HERESIES MAY BE DRAWN FROM THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD BUT TO CONFIRM THEM IS HURTFUL. It has been shown above, that the Word cannot be understood without doctrine, and that doctrine is like a lamp to make genuine truths visible, and this because the Word is written by pure correspondences; consequently, many things in the Word are appearances of truth, and not naked truths; and many are written according to the understanding of the merely natural man, and yet are so written that the simple may understand them simply, the intelligent intelligently, and the wise wisely. Such being the nature of the Word, these appearances of truth, which are truths clothed, may be taken for naked truths; and when confirmed they become fallacies, which in essence are falsities. From this, that appearances of truth have been taken for genuine truths and confirmed, have sprung all the heresies that have existed and still exist in the Christian world. Heresies themselves do not condemn men. Men are condemned by their confirming from the Word, and by means of reasonings from the natural man, the falsities that are in heresy, and by living wickedly. For everyone is born into the religion of his country or parents and is initiated into that religion from infancy, and afterward he holds to it; and because of worldly business, and the weakness of his understanding in the investigation of truths of that kind, he is unable to withdraw himself from its falsities. But what condemns a man is living wickedly and confirming falsities to such an extent as to destroy genuine truths. For he who holds to his religion, who believes in God (or if within the Christian church believes in the Lord), who regards the Word as holy and from a religious motive lives according to the commandments of the Decalogue, does not commit himself to falsities, and therefore when he hears truths, and in his own way has a perception of them, he is able to embrace them, and thereby be delivered from falsities. But it is not so with one who has confirmed the falsities of his religion; since confirmed falsity is permanent and cannot be rooted out. For falsity after confirmation is as if one had sworn to it, especially when it adheres to his love of self or to the pride of his own intelligence.


I have talked with some in the spiritual world who lived many centuries ago and who had confirmed themselves in the falsities of their religion; and I found that they still continued steadfastly in them. I have also talked with some there who had been of the same religion and had thought in the same way, but had not confirmed in themselves its falsities; and I found that after having been taught by the angels they rejected the falsities and accepted truths; and that such were saved, while the former were not. Everyone is instructed after death by angels, and those are received who see truths and from truths see falsities; but truths are seen only by those who have not confirmed themselves in falsities. Those who have confirmed themselves are unwilling to see truths, or if they see them they turn themselves away and either ridicule or falsify them. The real cause of this is that confirmation enters the will, and the will is the man himself and disposes the understanding at its pleasure. But bare knowledge enters the understanding only, and this has no authority over the will, but is in man only as one who stands in the hall or doorway and is not yet in the house.


But let this be illustrated by an example: In many places in the Word anger, wrath, and vengeance are attributed to God and He is said to punish, to cast into hell, to tempt, and other like things. He who believes this in simplicity like a child, and in consequence fears God and avoids sinning against Him, is not condemned for that simple belief. But he who so far confirms these things in himself as to believe that anger, wrath, vengeance, and all like things that proceed from evil, are in God, and that God punishes man and casts him into hell from anger, wrath, and vengeance-he is condemned, because he has destroyed the genuine truth, which is, that God is Love itself, Mercy itself, and Good itself, and such a Being cannot be angry, wrathful, or vengeful. These things are attributed to God in the Word, because such is the appearance. These are appearances of truth.


That many things in the sense of the letter of the Word are appearances of truth, which conceal within them genuine truths, and that it is not hurtful to think in simplicity, and also to speak, according to appearances of truth, and yet it is hurtful to confirm them, since by such confirmation the Divine truth concealed within them is destroyed, may also be illustrated by an example in nature, which is presented because what is natural illustrates and teaches more clearly than what is spiritual. To the eye the sun appears to be borne around the earth daily, and also annually; and in consequence the sun is said to rise and set, causing morning; noon, evening, and night; and also spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and thus days and years. Nevertheless, the sun stands motionless, for it is a fiery ocean, and the earth revolves daily and is carried around it yearly. The man who thinks in simplicity and ignorance that the sun is carried about the earth does not destroy the natural truth, which is that the earth rotates upon its axis and is yearly borne along the ecliptic. But he who confirms this apparent motion of the sun by reasonings from the natural man, and still more he who does so by the Word, because the sun is there said to rise and set, weakens the truth and destroys it, and afterwards is hardly able to see it, even though ocular proof be given him that the whole starry heaven is daily and yearly carried about in appearance in like manner, and yet not a single star is moved from its fixed place relative to another. The apparent truth is that the sun moves, the real truth is that it does not move, and yet everyone speaks according to the apparent truth, saying that the sun rises and sets; and this is permissible, for he cannot do otherwise; but to think according to that apparent truth after confirming it blunts and darkens the rational understanding.


The essential reason why it is hurtful to confirm the appearances of truth that are in the Word, which thereby become fallacies, and thus the Divine truth concealed within the appearances is destroyed, is that each thing and all things of the sense of the letter of the Word, communicate with heaven. For it has been shown above that within each thing and all things of the sense of the letter there is a spiritual sense, and this sense is opened in passing from man to heaven. All things of the spiritual sense are genuine truths; so when man is in falsities and applies the sense of the letter to those falsities, the falsities enter into that sense, and when they enter truths are dissipated, which is done on the way from man to heaven. This may be compared to a shining bladder filled with gall which is thrown towards another, and which bursts in the air before reaching him, and the gall is scattered about; whereupon the other, when he smells the air infected with the gall, turns away, and shuts his mouth lest it should touch his tongue. Or it may be compared to a leather bottle girt with wicker-work of cedar and containing vinegar full of worms, and the bottle bursts on the way, and its stench is perceived by the other, who is nauseated by it and instantly fans it away that it may not enter his nostrils. It is also like an almond shell, within which instead of an almond is a newly-born snake, and the shell being broken, the little serpent appears to be carried by the wind towards the eyes of another, who obviously would turn away to avoid it. It is the same when the Word is read by a man who is in falsities, and who adapts to his falsities something of the sense of the letter of the Word, in which case it is rejected on the way to heaven, lest any such thing should flow in and infest the angels. For when falsity touches truth, it is like the point of a needle touching the fibril of a nerve or the pupil of the eye; it is known that the fibril instantly coils itself up spirally and withdraws within itself and that the eye at the first touch covers itself with its lids. All this makes clear that truth falsified takes away communication with heaven and closes heaven. This is why it is hurtful to confirm any heretical falsity.


The Word is like a garden, and may be called a heavenly paradise, in which are delicacies and delights of every kind, delicacies in its fruits and delights in its flowers; and in the middle of the garden are the trees of life, and near them fountains of living waters, with forest trees round about the garden. The man who from doctrine is in Divine truths is in the center where the trees of life are, and is in the actual enjoyment of the delicacies and delights there; while the man who is in truths not from doctrine, but only from the sense of the letter, is in the parts round about, and sees only the forest. But he who is in the doctrine of a false religion, and has confirmed in himself its falsity, is not even in the forest, but is outside of it on a sandy plain, where there is not even grass. That this is the state of such after death, has been shown in the work on Heaven and Hell.


It must be understood, moreover, that the sense of the letter is a guard for the genuine truths concealed within it, that they may not be injured. It is a guard in this way, that it may be turned hither and thither, and explained according to each one's understanding of it, and yet without injury or violence to its internal. For no harm is done when one person understands the sense of the letter in one way, and another in another way; but the harm is done when falsities are brought in which are contrary to Divine truths, and this is done only by those who have confirmed themselves in falsities. In this way violence is done to the Word. This is what the sense of the letter guards against, and it does this for those who are in falsities from their religion, but do not confirm these falsities. The sense of the letter of the Word as such a guard is signified in the Word by "cherubs," and is there described in this way. This guard is signified by the cherubs that were placed at the entrance to the garden of Eden, after Adam and his wife had been expelled from it, about which we read as follows: When Jehovah God had driven man out He made cherubs to dwell at the east of the garden of Eden and the flame of a sword turning every way to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:23, 24). [2] No one can see what this means, unless he knows what is signified by "cherubs" and by "the garden of Eden," and by "the tree of life" there, and finally by "the flame of a sword turning every way." These particulars are explained in the exposition of this chapter in the Arcana Coelestia, published at London, namely, that "cherubs" signify a guard; "the way of the tree of life" signifies entrance to the Lord, which man obtains through the truths of the spiritual sense of the Word; "the flame of a sword turning every way" signifies Divine truth in outmost things, like the Word in the sense of the letter, which sense may be so turned. The same is meant by, The cherubs of gold placed at the two ends of the mercy-seat, which was over the ark in the tabernacle (Exod. 25:18-21), "the ark" signifying the Word, because the Decalogue, which it contained, was the primitive of the Word, and the "cherubs" signifying a guard. Therefore between the cherubs the Lord spoke with Moses (Exod. 25:22; 37:9; Num. 7:89); and he spoke in the natural sense, since the Lord does not speak with man except in fullness, and Divine truth is in its fullness in the sense of the letter (as may be seen above, n. 214-224). Nor is anything else signified, By the cherubs upon the curtains and the veil of the tabernacle (Exod. 26:1, 31); for the curtains and veils of the tabernacle signified the outmost things of heaven and the church, and thus of the Word (as may be seen above, n. 220). So again, By the cherubs carved on the Walls and doors of the temple at Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:29, 32, 35) (see above n. 221). By the cherubs in the new temple (Ezek. 41:18-20). [3] Because "cherubs" signify a guard, that the Lord, heaven, and Divine truth such as it is interiorly in the Word, be not approached immediately, but mediately through outmosts, it is said of the king of Tyre: Thou sealest up thy measure, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. Thou cherub, the spreading out of one that protects; I have destroyed thee, O protecting cherub, in the midst of the stones of fire (Ezek. 28:12-14, 16). "Tyre" signifies the church as to knowledges of good and truth and therefore "the king of Tyre" signifies the Word, in which and from which those knowledges are; and here the Word in its outmost is evidently signified, and protection by "the cherub," for it is said, "Thou sealest up thy measure," "every precious stone was thy covering," "thou cherub, the spreading out of one that protects," also, "O protecting cherub." The "precious stones" there mentioned mean the things belonging to the sense of the letter (as may be seen above, n. 217, 218). Because "cherubs" signify the Word in outmosts, and also a guard, it is said in David: Jehovah bowed the heavens and came down, and rode upon a cherub (Ps. 18:9, 10). O Shepherd of Israel, thou that sittest upon the cherubs, shine forth (Ps. 80:1). Jehovah sitteth upon the cherubs (Ps. 99:1). "To ride upon cherubs" and "to sit upon them" means upon the outmost sense of the Word. Divine truth in the Word, and what it is, is described by the four animals that were also called cherubs (Ezek. 1, 9, 10); also by the four animals in the midst of the throne and round about the throne (Rev. 4:6 seq.). (See Apocalypse Revealed, published by me at Amsterdam, n. 239, 275, 314).


XI. THE LORD WHEN IN THE WORLD FULFILLED ALL THINGS OF THE WORD, AND THEREBY BECAME THE WORD, THAT IS A DIVINE TRUTHS EVEN IN THINGS LAST. That the Lord when in the world fulfilled all things of the Word, and thereby became Divine truth, or the Word, even in things last, is meant by these words in John: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:4). "To become flesh" is to become the Word in things last. What the Lord was as the Word in things last, He showed to His disciples when he was transfigured (Matt. 17:2 seq.; Mark 9:2 seq.; Luke 9:28 seq.), where it is said that Moses and Elias appeared in glory, "Moses" meaning the Word written through him, and in general the historical Word, and "Elias" the prophetical Word. The Lord as the Word in things last was also represented before John in Revelation (1:13-16), where all things in the description of Him signify the outmosts of Divine truth, or of the Word. Before this the Lord was indeed the Word or Divine truth, but in things first, for it is said: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word (John 1:1, 2); but when the Word became flesh, the Lord also became the Word in things last. This is why He is called: The First and the Last (Apoc. 1:8, 11, 17; 49:8; 21:6; 22:13; Isa. 44:6).


That the Lord fulfilled all things of the Word is evident from the passages where the Law and the Scripture are said to have been fulfilled by Him, and all things finished, as in the following. Jesus said: Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17, 18). Jesus entered into the synagogue, and stood up to read then was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of Jehovah is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me; He hath sent Me to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book and He said, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:16-21). That the Scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel upon Me (John 13:18). None of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled (John 17:12). That the Word might be fulfilled which He spoke, Of them which thou gavest Me I lost not one (John 18:9). Jesus said to Peter: Put up thy sword into its place. How then shall the Scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be? But all this is come to pass that the Scripture might be fulfilled (Matt. 26:52, 54, 56). The Son of Man goeth as it is written of Him, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled (Mark 14:21, 49). Thus was the Scripture fulfilled, which said, He was numbered with the transgressors (Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37). That the Scripture might be fulfilled, They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots (John 19:24). After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled (John 19:28). When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished [that is, fulfilled]. (John 19:30). These things came to pass that the Scripture might be fulfilled, A bone in Him shall ye not brake. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced (John 19:36, 37). That the whole Word was written concerning Him, and that He came into the world to fulfill it, He also taught His disciples before He went away, in these words: He said to them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken. Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27). Again Jesus said, that all things must needs be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning Me (Luke 26:41, 45). That the Lord when in the world fulfilled all things of the Word, even to the most minute particulars, is plain from His words: Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished (Matt. 5:18). From all this it can now be clearly seen that the Lord's fulfilling all things of the law does not mean that He fulfilled all the commandments of the Decalogue, but all things of the Word. That all things of the Word are meant by the Law can be seen from these passages: Jesus said, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (John 10:34). This is written in the Psalms, 82:6. The multitudes answered, We have heard out of the law that the Christ abideth forever (John 12:34). This is written in the Psalms, 89:30, 37; 110:4; Dan. 7:14. That the Word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause (John 15:26). This is written in Psalm 35:19. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fall (Luke 16:17). By the law in this passage, as frequently elsewhere, the whole Sacred Scripture is meant.


Few understand how the Lord is the Word; for they think that although the Lord can enlighten and teach men through the Word, He cannot on this account be called the Word. But let it be understood that every man is his own will and his own understanding, each man being thus distinct from every other; and as the will is the receptacle of love, and thus of all the goods of that love, and the understanding is the receptacle of wisdom, and thus of all things of truth belonging to that wisdom, it follows, that each man is his own love and his own wisdom, or what is the same thing, his own good and his own truth. For no other reason is man a man, and nothing else than this in man is man. In respect to the Lord, He is love itself and wisdom itself, thus good itself and truth itself; and this He became by fulfilling all the good and all the truth in the Word. For he who thinks and speaks nothing but truth becomes that truth; and he who wills and does only what is good becomes that good; and as the Lord fulfilled all the Divine truth and Divine good contained in the Word, both in its natural sense and in its spiritual sense, He became good itself and truth itself, that is, the Word.


XII. BEFORE THE WORD THAT IS NOW IN THE WORLD, THERE WAS A WORD THAT WAS LOST. From what is told in the books of Moses it is manifest that worship by sacrifices was known, and that men prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah before the Word was given to the Israelitish nation through Moses and the prophets. That worship by sacrifices was known is evident from the following: The sons of Israel were commanded to overturn the altars of the nations, to dash in pieces their statues, and to cut down their groves (Exod. 34:13; Deut. 7:5; 12:3). In Shittim Israel began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab; they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods, and the people did eat (Num. 25:1-3). That Balaam, who was from Syria, made them to build altars, and they sacrificed oxen and sheep (Num. 22:40; 23:1, 2, 14, 29, 30). He also prophesied of the Lord, saying that a Star should come forth out of Jacob, and a Scepter should rise out of Israel (Num. 24:17). He also prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah (Num. 22:13, 18; 23:3, 5, 8, 16, 26; 24:1, 13). All this shows that there existed among the nations a Divine worship, almost like that instituted by Moses in the Israelitish nation. That it also existed before the time of Abraham, is clear from the words in Moses (Deut. 32:7, 8), but conclusively from what is said of Melchizedek, king of Salem: That he brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abraham, and that Abraham gave him tithes of all (Gen. 14:18-20); also that Melchizedek represented the Lord, for he is called the priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:18); and it is said of the Lord in David: Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4). It was for this reason that Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine as the most holy things of the church, as they are the holy things in the Holy Supper. These and many other things are clear proofs that before the Israelitish Word there was a Word from which such revelations as these were derived.


That there was a Word among the ancient people, is evident from Moses, who mentions it and took certain things from it (Num. 21:14, 15, 27-30); its historical parts were called "the Wars of Jehovah," and its prophetical parts "Enunciations." From the historical parts of that Word the following is quoted by Moses: Wherefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of Jehovah, Vaheb in Suphah and in the streams of Arnon, and the valley of water-courses that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and leaneth upon the border of Moab (Num. 21:14, 15). By the wars of Jehovah in that Word, as in ours, the conflicts of the Lord with the hells, and His victories over them when He was about to come into the world are meant and described. The same conflicts are meant and described in many places in the historical portions of our Word, as in what is said of the wars of Joshua with the nations of the land of Canaan, and the wars of the judges and the kings of Israel. [2] From the prophetical portions of that Word the following passages were taken: Wherefore the Enunciators say, Come ye to Heshbon; let the city of Sihon be built and established; for a fire is gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it hath devoured Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon. Woe to thee, Moab thou hast perished, O people of Chemosh; he hath given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. We have destroyed them with weapons; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba (Num. 21:27-30). Translators render this "composers of proverbs" [or "they that speak in proverbs"]; but the rendering ought to be "Enunciators," or "Prophetic Enunciations," as can be seen from the signification of the word Meschalim in the Hebrew tongue, which means both proverbs and prophetic enunciations (as in Num. 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15), where it is said that Balaam "uttered his enunciation," which was a prophecy that also referred to the Lord. This enunciation is called Maschal in the singular. Moreover, what Moses quotes therefrom is not a proverb but a prophecy. [3] That this Word was in like manner Divinely inspired is evident from Jeremiah, where almost the same things are said: A fire is gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and hath devoured the comer of Moab, and the crown of the head of the sons of tumult. Woe be unto thee, Moab: the people of Chemosh have perished; for thy sons are taken away captive, and thy daughters into captivity (Jer. 48:45, 46). In addition to all this a prophetic book of the ancient Word, called the Book of Jasher or the book of the Upright, is mentioned by David and Joshua; by David as follows: David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan; and he wrote, To teach the sons of Judah the bow. Behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher (2 Sam. 1:17, 18). And by Joshua: Joshua said Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. Is not this written in the Book of Jasher? (Josh. 10:12, 13).


From all this it can be seen that there was in the world, especially in Asia, an ancient Word before the Israelitish Word. It will be seen in the third Memorable Relation at the end of this chapter on the Sacred Scripture that this Word is preserved in heaven among the angels who lived in those times; and moreover, that it is still in existence at the present day among the nations of Great Tartary.


XIII. THAT THROUGH THE WORD THERE IS LIGHT ALSO TO THOSE WHO ARE OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH AND DO NOT POSSESS THE WORD. No conjunction with heaven is possible unless somewhere on the earth there is a church that has the Word, and by means of the Word the Lord is known; for the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and without Him there is no salvation. That conjunction with the Lord and affiliation with the angels is effected by means of the Word may be seen above (n. 234-239). It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word is; and although it consist of comparatively few, the Lord nevertheless is present by means of it throughout the whole world, since by means of it there is a conjunction of heaven with the human race.


But it shall be told how there is a presence and a conjunction of the Lord and heaven in all the earth by means of the Word. In the Lord's sight the whole angelic heaven is as a single man; so also is the church on earth. That these actually appear as a man may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 59-86). In that man the church where the Word is read, and by means of it the Lord is known, is like the heart and lungs, the Lord's celestial kingdom like the heart, and His spiritual kingdom like the lungs. As from these two fountains of life in the human body all the remaining members, viscera, and organs, subsist and live, so from the conjunction of the Lord and heaven with the church by means of the Word, do all those subsist and live in all the earth who have a religion, and who worship one God and live well, and are thereby in that man, such having relation to the members and viscera outside of the thorax which contains the heart and lungs. For the Word in the Christian church is life from the Lord through heaven to the rest of the world, just as the life of the members and viscera of the whole body is from the heart and lungs; and there is a like communication; and this is why Christians, among whom the Word is read, constitute the breast of that man. Such are in the center of all, and round about them are the Papists, and around these the Mohammedans who acknowledge the Lord as the greatest prophet and the son of God. After these are the Africans, while the peoples and nations of Asia and the Indies form the outmost boundary.


That this is true of heaven as a whole may be concluded from what is similar in each society of heaven; for each society is a heaven in a less form, and is also like a man (that it is so, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 41-87). In each society of heaven those who are at the center have a like relation to the heart and lungs, and with them there is the greatest light. The light itself with the consequent perception of truth spreads out from that center towards the circumference, in every direction, thus to all who are in the society, and constitutes their spiritual life. It has been shown that when those who were at the center and who constituted the province of the heart and lungs, and with whom there was the most light, were taken away, those who were round about them had their understandings obscured, and had so feeble a perception of truth that they were grieved; but as soon as the others returned light appeared, and their perception of truth was the same as before. This may be compared to the heat and light of the sun of the world, which causes trees and plants to vegetate, even those out of their direct rays or under clouds, provided the sun is above the horizon. So is it with the light and heat of heaven from the Lord as a sun there, that light being in its essence Divine truth, the source of all wisdom and intelligence to angels and men. It is therefore said of the Word: That it was with God, and was God; that it lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and that its light shineth even in darkness (John 1:1, 5, 9). The Word here means the Lord in respect to Divine truth.


From all this it can be seen that the Word which is in the possession of the Protestant and Reformed churches, enlightens by spiritual communication all nations and peoples; also that the Lord provides that there shall always be on earth a church where the Word is read, and thereby the Lord is made known. Therefore when the Papists had almost wholly rejected the Word, by the Lord's Divine Providence the Reformation took place, whereby the Word was drawn as it were from concealment and brought into use. So when the Word had been wholly falsified and adulterated by the Jewish nation, and, as it were, made of no effect, it , pleased the Lord to descend from heaven, and to come as the Word, and fulfill it, and thereby to restore and reestablish it, and give light once more to the inhabitants of the earth, according to the words of the Lord: The people that sit in darkness saw a great light; and to them that sit in the land and shadow of death, to them did the light spring up (Isa. 9:8; Matt. 4:16).


As it was foretold that again at the end of this church darkness would arise from not recognizing the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and from the separation of faith from charity, lest in consequence of this the genuine understanding of the Word and with it the church should perish, it has pleased the Lord to reveal at this time the spiritual sense of the Word, and to make manifest that the Word contains in that sense, and from that sense in the natural sense, things innumerable, by means of which the almost extinguished light of truth from the Word may be restored. That the light of truth would be almost extinguished at the end of this church, is foretold in many places in the Apocalypse. This is the meaning also of these words of the Lord: Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall 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 they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 24:29, 30). By "the sun" here the Lord in respect to love is meant; by "the moon" the Lord in respect to faith; by "the stars" the Lord in respect to knowledges of truth and good; by "the Son of man" the Lord in respect to the Word; by "a cloud" the sense of the letter of the Word; by "glory" the spiritual sense of the Word, and its shining through the sense of the letter, and by "power" its potency.


I have been permitted to learn through much experience, that man has communication with heaven through the Word. While reading the Word from the first chapter of Isaiah to the last of Malachi, and also the Psalms of David, and keeping my thought fixed upon the spiritual sense, a clear perception was given me that each verse communicated with some society of heaven, and thus the whole Word with the entire heaven; which showed clearly, that as the Lord is the Word, heaven is also the Word, since heaven is heaven from the Lord, and the Lord through the Word is the all in all thing of heaven.


XIV. IF THERE WERE NO WORD THERE WOULD BE NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, OF HEAVEN AND HELL, OR OF A LIFE AFTER DEATH, STILL LESS OF THE LORD. As there are some who hold, and who have thoroughly convinced themselves, that man may know without the Word of the existence of God, and of heaven and hell, and of other things taught by the Word; such cannot properly be appealed to from the Word, but only from the light of natural reason, since they do not believe in the Word, but only in themselves. Inquire then, from the light of reason, and you will find that there are in man two faculties of life, which are called understanding and will, and that the understanding is subject to the will, but not the will to the understanding; for the understanding merely teaches and points out what ought to be done from the will; and for this reason many who are of an acute genius, and who understand better than others the moral principles of life, still do not live according to them; but if their will favored them it would be otherwise. Inquire further, and you will find that man's will is his selfhood [proprium] and that this is evil from birth, and that from this comes the falsity in the understanding. When you have found out these things, you will see that man of himself has no wish to understand anything except what is from the selfhood of his will, and if this were his only source of knowledge, he would have no wish from his will's selfhood to understand anything but what pertains to self and the world; and everything above this would be in thick darkness. For instance, in looking at the sun, moon, and stars, if he should think about their origin, he could not think otherwise than that they exist from themselves. Could he raise his thoughts higher than many of the learned in the world, who while knowing from the Word that all things were created by God, yet acknowledge nature? If these had known nothing from the Word what would they have thought? Do you suppose that the ancient wise men, such as Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, and others, who wrote about God and the immortality of the soul, obtained this knowledge primarily from their own understanding? No; they obtained it from others by its having been handed down from those who first knew of it from the ancient Word, of which above. Neither do the writers on Natural Theology derive any such knowledge from themselves; they merely confirm by rational deductions what they knew from the church where the Word is, and possibly some among them confirm and yet do not believe.


It has been granted me to see people who were born on islands, and who were rational in civil matters, but knew nothing whatever about God. In the spiritual world these look like sphinxes; but as they were born men, and thus have a capacity to receive spiritual life, they are instructed by angels, and are made alive by knowledge about the Lord as a Man. What man is of himself is made clear from those who are in hell. Among these there are some leaders and learned men who are not willing even to hear about God, and therefore cannot even utter the word God. These I have seen, and I have talked with them. I have also talked with some who burned with anger and fury when they heard anyone speaking about the Lord. Consider then, what kind of man one would be who had never heard anything about God, when such is the character of some who have talked about God, written about God, and preached about God. Such they are from their will, which is evil, and which, as before said, leads the understanding, and takes away any truth there is in it from the Word. If man of himself had been able to know that there is a God and a life after death, why has he not known that man is a man after death? Why does he believe that his soul or spirit is like mere wind or ether, having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no mouth to speak, until it is joined with and made one with its corpse and skeleton? Given therefore, a doctrine hatched solely from the light of reason, would it not teach that self should be worshiped? This has been done for ages, and is still done now by those who know from the Word that God alone ought to be worshiped. From the selfhood of man no other worship can spring, not even the worship of the sun and moon.


It was not from themselves nor from their own intelligence, but from the ancient Word (see above, n. 264-266), and afterwards from the Israelitish Word, that from the most ancient times religion has existed, and the inhabitants of the earth everywhere have had a knowledge of God, and some knowledge of a life after death. From these two Words religious systems spread into the Indies and their islands; through Egypt and Ethiopia into the kingdoms of Africa; from the maritime parts of Asia into Greece, and from Greece into Italy. But as the Word could be written only by representations, which are such things in the world as correspond to and thus signify heavenly things, the religions of these nations were turned into idolatries, and in Greece into fables; and the Divine attributes and properties were turned into as many gods, over whom one was made supreme, whom they called Jove, possibly from Jehovah. It is known that they had a knowledge of Paradise, of the flood, of the sacred fire, and of the four ages, from the first or golden age, to the last or iron age (as described in Daniel 2:31-35).


Those who believe that a knowledge of God, of heaven and hell, and of the spiritual things pertaining to the church, can be gained from their own intelligence, do not know that a natural man, viewed in himself, is opposed to the spiritual, and therefore desires to extirpate the spiritual things that enter, or to involve them in fallacies, which are like the worms that consume the roots of herbs and grain. Such may be likened to men who dream that they are seated upon eagles and are borne up on high, or are mounted on Pegasus and are flying over Mount Parnassus to Helicon; while actually they are like the Lucifers in hell, who still call themselves there "sons of the morning" (Isa. 14:12). They are also like the men in the valley of the land of Shinar, who attempted to build a tower, the head of which should reach to heaven (Gen. 11:2-4); and like Goliath they trust to themselves, not foreseeing that like him they might be prostrated by a sling-stone buried in the forehead. I will tell what lot awaits such after death. At first they become as if drunk, then like fools, and at last they become stupid and dwell in darkness. Therefore let men beware of such madness.


To this I will add the following Memorable Relation First: One day I was wandering in the spirit through various places in the spiritual world, for the purpose of observing the representations of heavenly things that are there exhibited in many places; and in a certain house where there were angels, I saw large purses containing a great quantity of silver; and as the purses were open, it seemed as if anyone might draw forth the silver there stored, and even purloin it; but near the purses sat two youths who were guards. The place where the purses were stored looked like the manger in a stable. In the next room modest virgins with a chaste wife were seen; and near that room stood two little children, and it was said that they were not to be played with in a childish way, but treated wisely. Afterwards a harlot appeared, and then a horse lying dead. Having seen these things, I was taught that they represented the natural sense of the Word, within which is the spiritual sense. The large purses filled with silver signified knowledges of truth in great abundance; their being open and yet guarded by youths, signified that anyone may obtain knowledges of truth therefrom, and yet care must be taken that the spiritual sense, which contains pure truths, be not violated. The manger like that in a stable signified spiritual nourishment for the understanding, a manger having this significance, because a horse, which eats from it, signifies the understanding. The modest virgins who were seen in the next room signified affections for truth, and the chaste wife, the conjunction of good and truth. The little children signified the innocence of wisdom, for the angels of the highest heaven, who are the wisest of angels, appear at a distance like little children because of their innocence. The harlot with the dead horse, signified the falsification of truth by many at the present day, whereby all understanding of truth perishes; a harlot signifying falsification, and a dead horse no understanding of truth.


Second Memorable Relation: There was once sent down to me from heaven a little paper with Hebrew letters inscribed on it, but written as with the ancients, with whom those letters which at the present are formed in part of straight lines were curved, with little horns turned upward; and the angels who were with me said that they recognized complete meanings in the very letters, perceiving them especially from the curves of the lines and apexes of the letters. They also explained what the letters signified both separately and conjointly, saying that the letter H, which was added to the names of Abram and Sarai, signified the infinite and eternal. They also explained to me the meaning of the Word in Ps. 32:2, from the letters or syllables alone, saying that their meaning in brief is that the Lord is merciful even to those who do evil. They told me that the writings in the third heaven consist of letters bent and variously curved, each one of which contains a certain meaning; and that the vowels there stand for the tone of the voice, which corresponds to affection; also that they are unable in that heaven to pronounce the vowels i and e, but use in their place y and eu; and that the vowels a, o, and u were in use among them, because they have a full sound. They also said that they pronounce none of the consonants roughly, but only softly, and that this is why some Hebrew letters have points within them as a sign that they are to be pronounced softly; adding that the rough sounds of letters are in use in the spiritual heaven, because there the angels are in truths; and truth admits roughness, but the good in which the angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom or of the third heaven are, does not. They said, moreover, that they have a Word among themselves written with curved letters with little horns and apexes that are significative. This makes clear what these words of the Lord signify: One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished (Matt. 5:18) also of these: It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fall (Luke 16:17).


Third Memorable Relation: Seven years ago, when I was collecting what Moses wrote in the twenty-first chapter of Numbers from the two books called The Wars of Jehovah and Enunciations, some angels were present who told me that those books were the ancient Word, the historical parts of which were called the Wars of Jehovah, and the prophetic Enunciations; and they said that this Word is still preserved in heaven, and in use among the ancient people there who had this Word when they were in the world. These ancient people, among whom that Word is still in use in heaven, were in part from the land of Canaan and the neighboring countries, as Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Chaldea, Assyria, Egypt, Sidon, Tyre, and Nineveh; the inhabitants of all of which kingdoms had representative worship and consequently a knowledge of correspondences. The wisdom of that time was from that knowledge, and by it men had interior perception, and communication with the heavens. Those who knew the correspondences of that Word were called wise and intelligent, and afterward diviners and Magi. [2] But because that Word was full of such correspondences as remotely signified things celestial and spiritual, and consequently began to be falsified by many, in course of time by the Lord's Divine Providence it disappeared, and another Word was given, written by correspondences not so remote, and this through the prophets among the sons of Israel. In this Word many names of the places, both in the land of Canaan and round about in Asia, are retained, all of which signified things and states of the church; but the significations were from the ancient Word. For this reason Abram was commanded to go into that land, and his posterity through Jacob were led into it. [3] Of that ancient Word which existed in Asia before the Israelitish Word, I am permitted to state this new thing, namely, that it is still preserved there among the people who dwell in Great Tartary. In the spiritual world I have talked with spirits and angels from that country, who said that they have a Word, and have had it from ancient times; and that they conduct their Divine worship according to this Word, and that it consists solely of correspondences. They said, that in it also is the Book of Jasher, which is mentioned in Joshua (10:12, 13), and in 2 Samuel (1:17, 18); and that they have also among them the books called the Wars of Jehovah and Enunciations, which are mentioned by Moses (Num. 21:14, 15, and 27-30); and when I read to them the words that Moses had quoted therefrom, they searched to see if they were there, and found them; from which it was evident to me that the ancient Word is still among that people. While talking with them they said that they worshiped Jehovah, some as an invisible God, and some as visible. [4] They also told me that they do not permit foreigners to come among them, except the Chinese, with whom they cultivate peaceful relations, because the Chinese Emperor is from their country; also that the population is so great that they do not believe that any region in the whole world is more populous, which is indeed credible from the wall so many miles in length which the Chinese formerly built as a protection against invasion from these people. I have further heard from the angels, that the first chapters of Genesis which treat of creation, of Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, their sons and their posterity down to the flood, and of Noah and his sons, are also contained in that Word, and thus were transcribed from it by Moses. The angels and spirits from Great Tartary are seen in the southern quarter on its eastern side, and are separated from others by dwelling in a higher expanse, and by their not permitting anyone to come to them from the Christian world, or, if any ascend, by guarding them to prevent their return. Their possessing a different Word is the cause of this separation.


Fourth Memorable Relation: I once saw at a distance walks between rows of trees, and groups of youths assembled there, forming as many companies discussing matters of wisdom. This was in the spiritual world. I went towards them, and as I drew near I saw one whom the rest venerated as their primate, because he excelled them in wisdom. When he saw me he said, "I wondered when I saw you approaching, that at one time you came in sight and at another you dropped out of sight, or I could see you and then suddenly I could not. You are certainly not in the same state of life as we are." Smiling at this I said, "I am not a stage-player, nor a Vertumnus, but I am alternately in your light and in your shade; thus here I am both a foreigner and a native." At this the wise man gazed at me and said, "Your words are strange and marvelous; tell me who you are." And I said, "I am in the world in which you once were and from which you came, which is called the natural world; and I am also in the world in which you now are, which is called the spiritual world; consequently, I am at the same time in a natural state and in a spiritual state, in a natural state with men on earth, and in a spiritual state with you; and when I am in a natural state I am not seen by you, but when in a spiritual state, I am seen. That I am such is granted me by the Lord. To you who are enlightened it is known that a man of the natural world does not see a man of the spiritual world, nor the reverse; therefore when I had let my spirit down into my body I was not visible to you, but when I raised it out of the body I was visible. This comes from the distinction between the spiritual and the natural." [2] When he heard the words, "the distinction between the spiritual and the natural," he said, "What is the distinction? Is it not like that between the purer and the less pure, that is, that the spiritual is simply a purer natural?" I answered, "Such is not the distinction. By no sort of refinement can the natural so approximate the spiritual as to become the spiritual; for the distinction is like that between the prior and the posterior, between which there is no finite ratio. For the prior is in the posterior as a cause in its effect; and the posterior is from the prior as an effect is from its cause. Therefore the one is not visible to the other." At this the wise man said, "I have meditated on this distinction, but thus far in vain; I wish I could perceive I replied, "You shall both perceive and see the distinction between the spiritual and the natural." And I then said, "You are in a spiritual state when you are with your associates, but in a natural state when with me; for with your associates you speak in a spiritual language, which is common to every spirit and angel; but with me you speak in my native tongue, for every spirit and angel when speaking to a man uses the man's own language; thus, French to a Frenchman, Greek to a Greek, Arabic to an Arabian, and so on. [3] If therefore you would know the difference between the spiritual and the natural in regard to language, do this: go to your companions and there say something; retain the words, return with them in your memory, and utter them to me." This he did, and returned to me with the words in his mouth, and uttered them; and they were words wholly strange and foreign, such as are not found in any language in the natural world. By this experiment several times repeated, it became clearly manifest that all in the spiritual world have a spiritual language that has nothing in common with any natural language, and that every man comes of himself into that language after death. I also found on one occasion that the very sound of spiritual language differs so much from the sound of natural language, that even a loud spiritual sound could not be heard at all by a natural man, nor a natural sound by a spiritual man. [4] After this I asked the spirit and those standing about to go among their companions, and write some sentence upon paper, and then come out to me with the paper and read it. This they did, and returned with the paper in their hands; but when they came to read it, they could not, because the writing consisted solely of some alphabetical letters, with curves over them, each one of which meant something pertaining to the subject. Inasmuch as each letter of the alphabet there stands for some meaning, it is plain why the Lord is called "the Alpha and the Omega." When they had gone in again and again and had written and returned, they found that the sting involved and comprehended innumerable things which no natural writing could possibly express; and they were told that this is so because the spiritual man's thoughts are incomprehensible and ineffable to the natural man, and that they can be put into no other writing or language. [5] Then as the bystanders had no wish to understand that spiritual thought so far exceeds natural thought as to be comparatively ineffable, I said to them, "Make an experiment; enter your spiritual society and think of some subject, retain it, and return and express it in my presence." They entered, thought of a subject, retained it, and came out; and when they tried to give expression to it they could not; for they could find no idea of natural thought adequate to any idea of purely spiritual thought, and thus no words to express it; for the ideas of thought become words in speech. Afterwards they entered again, and returned; and became convinced that spiritual ideas are supernatural, inexpressible, ineffable and incomprehensible to a natural man; and they said that being so supereminent, spiritual ideas or thoughts in comparison with natural are ideas of ideas and thoughts of thoughts, and therefore by them the qualities of qualities and the affections of affections are expressed; consequently that spiritual thoughts are the beginnings and origins of natural thoughts; and from this it is evident that spiritual wisdom is the wisdom of wisdom, and is therefore inexpressible to any wise man in the natural world. [6] Then it was said from the higher heaven that there is a still more interior or higher wisdom which is called celestial, the relation of which to spiritual wisdom is like the relation of this to natural wisdom, and that these inflow in order according to the heavens from the Lord's Divine wisdom, which is infinite. Thereupon, the man speaking with me said, "This I see, because I perceive it, that one natural idea is the containant of many spiritual ideas; also that one spiritual idea is the containant of many celestial ideas. From this it follows as a consequence, that what is divided does not become more and more simple, but more and more manifold, because it approaches nearer and nearer to the infinite, which contains all things infinitely." [7] After all this had taken place, I said to the bystanders, "From these three experimental proofs you see what kind of distinction there is between the spiritual and the natural, and also the reason why a natural man is not visible to a spiritual man, or a spiritual man to a natural man, although both are in a complete human form, and from that form it seems to each as though he might see the other. But the interiors Which belong to the mind are what constitute that form; and the minds of spirits and angels are formed out of spiritual things, while the minds of men so long as they live in the world, are formed out of natural things." After this a voice was heard from the higher heaven, saying to one who stood by, "Come up hither." He went up, and returned and said that the angels had not before known the differences between the spiritual and the natural, because the means of comparison had not previously been furnished in a man who was in both worlds at once, and without comparison and relation those differences are unknowable. [8] Before we separated we talked again about this matter, and I said, "These distinctions come solely from this, that you in the spiritual world are substantial but not material, and substantial things are the beginnings of material things. What is matter but an aggregation of substances? You therefore are in principles and thus in the least particles, while we are in derivatives and compounds; you are in particulars, while we are in generals; and as generals cannot enter into particulars, so neither can natural things, which are material, enter into spiritual things, which are substantial; just as a ship's cable cannot enter or be drawn through the eye of a sewing needle, or a nerve cannot be drawn into one of the fibers of which it is composed. This then is why the natural man cannot think the thoughts of the spiritual man, and therefore cannot utter them. So what Paul heard from the third heaven he called ineffable. [9] Add to this, that to think spiritually is to think apart from time and space, while to think naturally is to think in accord with time and space; for to every idea of natural thought there adheres something from time and space; but it is not so with any spiritual idea, and for the reason that the spiritual world is not in space and time, as the natural world is, but is in the appearance of these two. In the same way do the thoughts and perceptions of the two worlds differ. For this reason you are able to think of the essence and omnipotence of God from eternity, that is, to think of God before the creation of the world, because you think of the essence of God apart from time and of His omnipotence apart from space; and thus you can comprehend such things as transcend man's natural ideas." [10] I then told them that I had once thought about the essence and omnipresence of God from eternity, that is, about God before the creation of the world; and because I was not then able to separate spaces and times from the ideas of my thought I became anxious, since the idea of nature in place of God pressed in. But it was said to me, "Separate the ideas of space and time and you will see;" and I was permitted to separate them, and I saw; and since then I have been able to think of God from eternity, but by no means of nature from eternity, because God is in all time apart from time, and in all space apart from space; but nature in all time is in time, and in all space is in space; and nature with its time and space must needs have beginning; but not God who is apart from time and space. Therefore nature is not God from eternity, but is from God in time, in connection with its own time and space.


Fifth Memorable Relation: As it has been granted me by the Lord to be in the spiritual world and in the natural world at the same time, and thus to talk with angels the same as with men, and thereby to become acquainted with the states of those who after death pass into that hitherto unknown world (for I have spoken with all of my relatives and friends, and with kings and nobles and with learned men who have met their fate, and this now continually for twenty-seven years), I am able from living experience to describe the states of men after death, what the states are of those who have lived well and of those who have lived wickedly. But here I will only mention some things respecting the state of those who have confirmed themselves in falsities of doctrine from the Word, and especially those who have done this in support of justification by faith alone. The successive states of such are as follows: (i.) After death and when they are reviving in spirit, which usually takes place on the third day after the heart has ceased to beat, they seem to themselves to be in a body so like that which they had in the world that they do not know but that they are still living in the former world, yet not in a material body, but in a body that is substantial and that appears to their senses to be material; but it is not. [2] (ii.) After some days, they see that they are in a world where various societies are formed, which world is called the world of spirits, and is intermediate between heaven and hell. All the societies there, and they are innumerable, are wonderfully arranged in accordance with good and evil natural affections; the societies arranged in accordance with good natural affections communicating with heaven, and those arranged in accordance with evil affections communicating with hell. [3] (iii.) The novitiate spirit or spiritual man is conducted and transferred into various societies, both good and evil, and is examined as to whether he is affected by what is good and true, and how, or by what is evil and false, and how. [4] (iv.) If be is affected by what is good and true, he is led away from evil societies, and is led into good societies, and into different ones until he comes into a society that is in correspondence with his natural affection, and there he enjoys the good that corresponds to that affection, and this until he has put off his natural affection and put on a spiritual affection, and then he is raised into heaven. This takes place with those who in the world had lived a life of charity, and thus a life of faith also, which is believing in the Lord and shunning evils as sins. [5] (v.) But those who have confirmed themselves in falsities by means of reasonings, especially by means of the Word, and so have lived a merely natural and thus an evil life (for evils accompany falsities and adhere to falsities), inasmuch as they are not affected by what is good and true, but by what is evil and false, are led away from good societies and into evil societies and into different ones, until they come into some society corresponding to the lusts of their love. [6] (vi.) But because these in the world had feigned good affections in externals, although in their internals there were only evil affections or lusts, they are kept by turns in their [good] externals. Those who in the world had presided over communities, are appointed over societies here and there in the world of spirits, either over a whole society or a part according to the extent of the offices they had filled in their former life. But as they have no love for what is true or what is just, and cannot be so far enlightened as to know what is true and just, after a few days they are deposed. I have seen such transferred from one society to another, and official authority everywhere given them, but always taken away after a short time. [7] (vii.) After frequent dismissals, some from weariness do not wish, and some from fear of losing their reputation do not dare, to seek office any more; and therefore they withdraw and sit in sadness and afterwards are led away into a desert, where there are huts into which they enter, and there some work is given them to do, and as they do it they receive food. If they do not do it, when they become hungry they receive no food and are thus compelled by necessity. The food there is similar to the food in our world, but is from a spiritual origin, and is given from heaven by the Lord to all according to the uses they perform. To the idle none is given because they are useless. [8] (viii.) After a while they become disgusted with work and leave their huts. If they had been priests they wish to build; and immediately heaps of cut stone, bricks, beams, and boards appear, also piles of reeds and rushes, of clay, lime, and bitumen. When they see these a strong desire to build is kindled in them, and they begin to construct a house, taking now a stone, and then a stick, then a reed and then some mud, and placing one upon the other without order, but to their sight in regular order. But what they build during the day falls down at night; and the next day they gather up the material from the rubbish and build again; and this goes on until they grow tired of building. This takes place from correspondence. The correspondence is that they have heaped up texts from the Word to prove what is false in faith, and their falsities do not otherwise build the church. [9] (ix.) Afterward from weariness they go away and sit solitary and idle; and as no food is given from heaven to the idle, as before said, they begin to grow hungry, and to think of nothing but how to get food and satisfy their hunger. While they are in this state persons come to them from whom they ask alms; but these say, "Why do you sit here idle? Come home with us, and we will give you work to do and will feed you." Then they rise up gladly and go home with them, and each one is there given his own task, and for doing it he receives food. But since none of those who have confirmed themselves in the falsities of faith are able to do works that have a good use, but are able to do only such works as have an evil use, and are unable to do these faithfully, but only fraudulently and also unwillingly, they abandon their work, caring only to visit, talk, walk about, and sleep. And as they can no longer be induced by their masters to work they are dismissed as useless. [10] (x.) When they have been dismissed their eyes are opened and they see a road leading to a certain cavern. When they come to it a door is opened and they enter and ask if there is food there; and when told that there is they beg permission to remain there, and they are told that they may, and are introduced and the door is closed behind them. The overseer of the cavern then comes and says to them, "You can go out no more; you see your companions; they all labor, and according to their labor food is given them from heaven; I tell you this, that you may know." Their companions also say to them, "Our overseer knows for what work each one is fitted, and assigns such work to each one daily. The days you do this work, food is given you, and if you do not do it, neither food nor clothing is given. If anyone does harm to another, he is thrown into a corner of the cavern upon a bed made of accursed dust, where he is sorely tortured, and this until the overseer sees in him some sign of repentance, and then he is released and is ordered to do his work." [11] He is also told that everyone, after his task is done, is permitted to walk about, to talk, and afterward to sleep. And he is conducted further into the cavern where there are harlots, and each one is allowed to select one of these, and to call her his woman; but promiscuous harlotry is forbidden with penalties. Of such caverns, which are nothing but eternal workhouses, hell consists. I was permitted to enter into and see some of them, in order that I might make the facts known. All who were there seemed degraded; not one of them knew who he had been or what his employment had been in the world. But the angel who was with me said to me, "This man was in the world a servant, this a soldier, this a general; this was a priest; this a man of rank, and this a man of wealth, and yet not one of them knows but that they had been, then as now, slaves and boon companions. This is because they had been inwardly alike, although outwardly unlike, and all in the spiritual world are affiliated according to their interiors." [12] In regard to the hells in general, they consist solely of such caverns and work-houses; but those where satans are differ from those where devils are. Those are called satans who had been in falsities and consequently in evils; and they are called devils who had been in evils and consequently in falsities. Satans in the light of heaven appear livid like corpses, and some black like mummies; but devils in the light of heaven appear dusky and fiery, and some black like soot; while in features and bodily form they are all monstrous. But in their own light, which is like the light of burning charcoal, they do not look like monsters but like men. This is granted to render them capable of association.


CHAPTER 5 THE CATECHISM OR DECALOGUE EXPLAINED IN ITS EXTERNAL AND ITS INTERNAL SENSE. There is not a nation in the whole world which does not know that it is wicked to murder, to commit adultery, to steal, and to bear false witness, and that kingdoms, republics, and every form of organized society, unless these evils were guarded against by laws, would be at an end. Who then can suppose that the Israelitish nation was so stupid beyond all others as not to know that these are evils? Anyone therefore may wonder that laws so universally known in the world should have been promulgated from Mount Sinai by Jehovah Himself in so miraculous a way. But listen: they were promulgated in so miraculous a way to make known that these laws are not only civil and moral laws, but also Divine laws; and that acting contrary to them is not only doing evil to the neighbor, that is, to a fellow citizen and society, but is also sinning against God. Wherefore these laws, by their promulgation by Jehovah from Mount Sinai, were made also laws of religion. Evidently whatever Jehovah commands, He commands in order that it may be a matter of religion, and thus some thing to be done for the sake of salvation. But before these commandments are explained, something must be premised respecting their holiness to make it evident that religion is in them.


IN THE ISRAELITISH CHURCH THE DECALOGUE WAS HOLINESS ITSELF. The commandments of the Decalogue were the first fruits of the Word and therefore the firstfruits of the church about to be established with the Israelitish nation, and as they were in a brief summary the complex of all things of religion, whereby there is a conjunction of God with man and of man with God, they were so holy that nothing could be holier. That they were most holy is clearly manifest from the following facts: That Jehovah Himself, the Lord, descended upon Mount Sinai in fire, accompanied by angels, and promulgated these laws therefrom by a living voice [and that the people were three days preparing themselves to see and hear], and that bounds were set round about the mountain, lest anyone should approach and die; and that neither the priests nor the elders drew near, but Moses only. That these commandments were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. That when Moses brought those tables down the second time his face shone. That the tables were afterward deposited in the ark, and the ark was placed in the inmost of the tabernacle, and over it was placed the mercy-seat, and over this the golden cherubs; and that this inmost in the tabernacle, where the ark was, was called the holy of holies. That outside the veil, within which was the ark, various things were arranged representing the holy things of heaven and the church, namely, the table overlaid with gold on which was the bread of faces, the golden altar for incense, the golden lampstand with seven lamps, also the curtains round about, made of fine linen, purple and scarlet. The holiness of the whole tabernacle was from no other source than the law which was in the ark. On account of the holiness of the tabernacle from the law in the ark, the whole Israelitish people by command encamped around it in order according to their tribes, and marched in order after it; and there was then a cloud over it by day and a fire by night. On account of the holiness of that law, and the presence of Jehovah therein, Jehovah talked with Moses above the mercy-seat between the cherubs; and the ark was called "Jehovah there." That Aaron was not permitted to enter within the veil except with sacrifices and incense, lest he die. Also on account of the presence of Jehovah in and about the law, miracles were wrought by means of the ark which contained the law; as that the waters of Jordan were divided, and so long as the ark rested in the midst of the river the people passed over on dry ground; the walls of Jericho fell by the carrying of the ark around them; Dagon the god of the Philistines first fell on his face before it, and afterward lay upon the threshold of the temple with his head and the palms of his hands cut off. Because of the ark the Bethshemites were smitten to the number of several thousands; and Uzzah died because he touched it. The ark was brought by David into Zion with sacrifice and jubilation, and afterwards by Solomon into the temple at Jerusalem, of which it constituted the sanctuary; besides many other things. From all this it is clear that in the Israelitish church the Decalogue was holiness itself.


What has been above presented respecting the promulgation, holiness, and the power of that law, is found in the following passages in the Word: Jehovah descended upon Mount Sinai in fire, and the mount then smoked and trembled, and there were thunderings, lightnings, a thick cloud, and the voice of a trumpet (Ex. 19:16-18; Deut. 4:11; 5:22-26). Before the descent of Jehovah the people prepared and sanctified themselves for three days (Ex. 19:10, 11, 15). Bounds were set round about the mount, that no one might approach or come near its base, lest he die; not even a priest, but Moses only (Ex. 20:12, 13, 20-23 24:1, 2). The law was promulgated from Mount Sinai (Ex. 20:2-17 Deut. 5:6-21). The law was inscribed on two tables of stone, and was written by the finger of God (Ex. 31:18; 32:15, 16; Deut. 9:10). When Moses brought the tables down from the mount a second time, his face shone so that he covered it with a veil while he talked with the people (Ex. 34:29-35). The tables were placed in the ark (Ex. 25:18; 40:20; Deut. 10:5; 1 Kings 8:9). The mercy-seat was put upon the ark, and over it the golden cherubs were placed (Ex. 25:17-21). The ark with its mercy-at and the cherubs was placed in the tabernacle, and was made the first and inmost part of it; the table overlaid with gold, on which the bread of faces was placed, the golden altar for incense, and the lampstand with its golden lamps, made the outer part of the tabernacle, and the ten curtains of fine linen, purple, and scarlet, its outermost (Ex. 25; 26; 40:17-28). The place where the ark was, was called the holy of holies (Ex. 26:33). The whole Israelitish people encamped around the tabernacle in order according to the tribes, and marched in order after it (Num. 2). There was then a cloud over the tabernacle by day and a fire by night (Ex. 40:38; Num. 9:15-23; 14:14; Deut. 1:33). Jehovah spoke with Moses above the ark between the cherubim (Ex. 25:22 Num. 7:89). Because of the law within it it was said of the ark that Jehovah was there; for when the ark moved forward Moses said, Rise up, O Jehovah; and when it rested, Return, O Jehovah (Num. 10:35, 36; 2 Sam. 6:2; Ps 132:7, 8; 2 Chron. 6:41). Because of the holiness, of that law, Aaron was not permitted to enter within the veil, except with sacrifices and incense (Lev. 16:2-14, seq. ). Because of the presence of the Lord's power in the law which was within the ark, the waters of Jordan were divided; and while the ark rested in the midst of the river, the people passed on dry land (Josh. 3:1-17; 4:5-20). When the ark was carried around them, the walls of Jericho fell (Josh. 6:1-20). Dagon, the god of the Philistines, fell to the ground before the ark, and afterward lay upon the threshold of the temple with his head broken off and the palms of his hands cut off (1 Sam. 5). The Bethshemites on account of the ark were smitten to the number of several thousands (I Sam. 5, 6). Uzzah died because he touched the ark (2 Sam. 6:7). The ark was brought into Zion by David, with sacrifices and jubilation (2 Sam. 6:1-19). It was introduced by Solomon into the temple at Jerusalem, where it constituted the sanctuary (1 Kings 6:19, seq.; 8:3-9).


Because by that law there is a conjunction of the Lord with man and of man with the Lord, it is called "The Covenant" and "The Testimony;" the covenant because it effects conjunction, and the testimony because it confirms the articles of the covenant; for "covenant" signifies in the Word conjunction, and "testimony" the confirmation and witnessing of its articles. For this reason there were two tables, one for God and the other for man. Conjunction is effected by the Lord, but only when man does what is written in his table; for the Lord is continually present and wishes to enter in, but man, by the freedom which he has from the Lord, must open to Him, for the Lord says: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me (Rev. 3:20). That the tables of stone on which the law was written, were called the tables of the covenant, and because of them the ark was called the ark of the covenant, and the law itself was called the covenant, may be seen in Num. 10:33; Deut. 4:13, 23; 5:2, 3; 9:9; Josh. 3:11; 1 Kings 8:21; Rev. 11:19, and elsewhere. Since "covenant" signifies conjunction, it is said of the Lord, That He shall be a covenant for the people (Isa. 42:6; 49:8, 9). He is called also the messenger of the covenant (Mal. 3:1). And His blood is called the blood of the covenant (Matt. 26:28; Zech. 9:11; Exod. 24:4-10); and therefore the Word is called the Old and the New Covenant [Testament]; for covenants are made for the sake of love, friendship, affiliation, and conjunction.


Such great holiness and power were in that law, because it was the complex of all things of religion. It was written on two tables, one of which contained in the complex all things that look to God, and the other in the complex all things that look to man. Therefore the commandments of that law are called the "Ten Words" (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4). They were so called because "ten" signifies all, and "words" signify truths; for they were more than ten words. That "ten" signifies all things, and that tithes (tenths) were instituted on account of that signification, may be seen in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 101); and that that law is the complex of all things of religion, will be seen in what follows.


IN THE SENSE OF THE LETTER THE DECALOGUE CONTAINS THE GENERAL PRECEPTS OF DOCTRINE AND LIFE, BUT IN THE SPIRITUAL AND CELESTIAL SENSES IT CONTAINS ALL PRECEPTS UNIVERSALLY. It is known that in the Word the Decalogue is called by way of eminence the Law, because it contains all things of Doctrine and life; for it contains both all things that look to God, and all things that look to man. For this reason the law was written on two tables, one of which treats of God, the other of man. It is also known that all things belonging to doctrine and life have reference to love to God and love towards the neighbor; and all things pertaining to these loves are contained in the Decalogue. That in the whole Word nothing else is taught can be seen from these words of the Lord: Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God from all thy heart, and in all thy soul, and in all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37, 39-40). "The law and the prophets" signify the whole Word. And again: A certain lawyer, tempting Jesus, said, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. And Jesus said, This do, and thou shalt live (Luke 10:25-28). Since then, love to God and love towards the neighbor are the whole of the Word, and the first table of the Decalogue contains in a summary all things pertaining to love to God, and the second table all things pertaining to love to the neighbor, it follows that the Decalogue contains all things of doctrine and life. From these two tables so regarded it is plain that they are connected in such a manner that God from His table looks to man, and man from his table in turn looks to God, thus the looking is reciprocal, that is, it is such that God on His part never ceases to look to man and to make operative such things as relate to man's salvation; and when man receives and does what is written on his table, a reciprocal conjunction is effected; and then comes to pass what the Lord said to the lawyer, "This do, and thou shalt live."


In the Word "the law" is frequently mentioned; and what is meant by the law in a strict sense, in a broader sense, and in the broadest sense, shall now be told. In a strict sense the law means the Decalogue; in a broader sense it means the statutes given by Moses to the children of Israel, and in the broadest sense it means the whole Word. That the law in a strict sense means the Decalogue, is well known. That the law in a wider sense means the statutes given by Moses to the children of Israel, is evident from the particular statutes, each of which in Exodus is called a "law;" as also [in Leviticus]: This is the law of the guilt offering (Lev. 7:1). This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offering (Lev. 7:7, 11). This is the law of the meat offering (Lev. 6:14 seq.). This is the law for the burnt offering, for the meat offering, and for the sin offering, and for the guilt offering, and for the consecrations (Lev. 7:37). This is the law of the beast and of the fowl (Lev. 11:46 seq.) This is the law for her that beareth, a son or a daughter (Lev. 12:7). This is the law of leprosy (Lev. 13:59; 14:2, 32, 54, 57). This is the law of him that hath an issue (Lev. 15:32). This is the law of jealousy (Num. 5:29, 30). This is the law of the Nazarite (Num. 6:13, 21). This is the law of cleansing (Num. 19:14). The law respecting the red heifer (Num. 19:2). The law for the king (Deut. 17:15-19). Indeed the whole book of Moses is called the law (Deut. 31:9, 11, 12, 26; likewise in the New Testament, as in Luke 2:22; 24:44; John 1:45; 7:22, 23; 8:5; and elsewhere). That Paul, by the works of the law, means these statutes, where he says, That a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law (Rom. 3:28), is clearly manifest from what there follows, as also from his words to Peter, whom he accuses of Judaizing, when he says three times in one verse, That no man is justified by the works of the law (Gal. 2:14, 16). That the law in the broadest sense means the whole Word, is plain from the following passages: Jesus said, Is it not written in your law, Ye are Gods? (John 10:34). This is written, Ps. 82:6. The multitude answered, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth forever (John 12:34). This is written Ps. 89:29; 110:4; Dan. 7:14. That the Word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause (John 15:25). This is written, Ps. 35:19. The Pharisees said, Hath any of the rulers believed on Him but the crowd which knoweth not the law? (John 7:48-49). It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fall (Luke 16:17). The law here means the whole Sacred Scripture; also in a thousand places in David.


In the spiritual and celestial senses the Decalogue contains universally all the precepts of doctrine and life, thus all things of faith and charity, because the Word in each and all things of the sense of the letter, or in general and in every part of it, conceals two interior senses, one called the spiritual sense and the other the celestial; also Divine truth in its light and the Divine good in its heat are in these two senses. And because the Word in general and in every part of it is so constituted, the ten commandments of the Decalogue must needs be explained according to these three senses, called the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial. That the Word is such can be seen from what has been shown above (n. 193-208), in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture or the Word.


Unless one knows the nature of the Word, he can have no idea that there is an infinity in every least particular of it, that is, that it contains things innumerable, which not even angels can exhaust. Each thing in it may be likened to a seed that is capable of growing up from the ground to a great tree and producing an abundance of seeds, from which again similar trees may be produced, these together forming a garden, and from the seeds of this other gardens, and so on to infinity. Such is the Word of the Lord in its least particulars, and such especially is the Decalogue; for this, because it teaches love to God and love towards the neighbor, is a brief summary of the whole Word. That such is the nature of the Word, the Lord also teaches by a similitude, thus: The kingdom of God is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; which indeed is less than all seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and lodge in the branches thereof (Matt. 13:31, 32; Mark 4:31, 32; Luke 13:18, 19; compare also Ezek. 17:2-8); That such is the infinity of spiritual seed or of truths in the Word, can be seen from angelic wisdom, which is all from the Word. This increases in the angels to eternity, and the wiser they become, the more clearly do they see that wisdom is without end, and perceive that they are merely in its outer court, and cannot in the smallest particular attain to the Lord's Divine wisdom, which they call a great deep. Since, then, the Word is from this great deep, because it is from the Lord, it is plain that there is a kind of infinity in every part of it.


THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. THERE SHALL BE [WITH THEE] NO OTHER GOD IN MY PRESENCE These are the words of the first commandment (Exod. 20:3; Deut. 5:7). In the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, the meaning nearest the letter is that idols must not be worshiped; for there follows, Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them nor worship them; for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God (Exod. 20:4-5). In the sense nearest the letter this commandment means that idols must not be worshiped, for the reason that before this time and after it down to the Lord's coming, idolatrous worship prevailed in a great part of Asia. The cause of this worship was that all churches before the Lord's coming were representative and typical; and these types and representations were such, that Divine things were set forth under various figures and sculptured forms; and when the meanings of these were lost the common people began to worship them as gods. That the Israelitish nation was also in this worship when in Egypt, is evident from the golden calf which they worshiped in the desert instead of Jehovah; and that afterwards they were not wholly alienated from that worship is evident from many passages both in the historical and in the prophetic Word.


This commandment, "There shall be no other God in My presence" means also in the natural sense, that no man dead or living should be worshiped as a god. This, too, was done in Asia and in various surrounding countries. Many of the gods of the heathen were simply men, as Baal, Ashtaroth, Chemosh, Milcom, Beelzebub; and at Athens and Rome, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, Pallas, and so forth. Some of these were worshiped first as saints, then as divinities and finally as gods. That they also worshiped living men as gods, appears from the edict of Darius the Mede, That for thirty days no man should ask anything from God, but from the king only; otherwise, he should be cast into a den of lions (Dan. 6:8-28).


In the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, this commandment means also that no one except God, and nothing but what proceeds from God, is to be loved above all things, which also accords with the Lord's words (Matt. 22:35-37; Luke 10:25-28). For any person or thing that is loved above all things is God and is Divine to the one who so loves. For example, to one who loves himself or the world above all things, himself or the world is his God; and this is why such persons do not in heart acknowledge any God, and in consequence are conjoined with their like in hell, where all who love themselves and the world above all things are gathered.


The spiritual sense of this commandment is, that no other God than the Lord Jesus Christ is to be worshiped, because He is Jehovah, who came into the world and wrought the redemption without which neither any man nor any angel could have been saved. That there is no God beside Him, is evident from the following passages in the Word: It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him that He may deliver us; this is Jehovah; we have waited for Him, we will rejoice and be glad in His salvation (Isa. 25:9). The voice of one that crieth in the desert, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make level in the wilderness a highway for our God. For the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Behold, the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength; He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (Isa. 40:3, 6, 10, 11). Surely God is in thee there is no God besides. Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel the Savior (Isa. 45:14, 15). Am not I Jehovah? and there is no God else besides Me; a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me (Isa. 45:21, 22). I am Jehovah; and besides me there is no Savior (Isa. 43:11; Hos. 13:4). That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Savior and thy Redeemer (Isa. 44:26; 45:16). As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts is His name (Isa. 47:4, Jer 50:34). O Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 19:14). Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God (Isa. 48:17; 43:14; 49:7; 54:8). Thus said Jehovah, thy Redeemer, I am Jehovah that maketh all things alone by Myself (Isa. 44:24). Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer Jehovah of Hosts; I am the First, and I am the Last, and beside Me there is no God (Isa. 44:6). Jehovah Of Hosts is His name, and the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:6, 8). Though Abraham knoweth us not; and Israel doth not acknowledge us; Thou Jehovah art our Father, our Redeemer; from everlasting is Thy name (Isa. 63:18). Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Mighty, Father of eternity, Prince of peace (Isa. 9:6). Behold the days come, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch, who shall reign a King and this is His name, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-16). Philip said to Jesus, Lord, show us the Father. Jesus said unto him, he that seeth Me seeth the Father. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? (John 14:8-10). In Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity bodily (Col. 2:9). We are in the True, in Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:20, 21). From these passages it is very evident that the Lord our Savior is Jehovah Himself, who is at once Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator. This is the spiritual sense of this commandment.


The celestial sense of this commandment is, that Jehovah the Lord is infinite, illimitable, and eternal; that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; that He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, who was, is, and is to be; that He is love itself and wisdom itself, or good itself, and truth itself, consequently life itself; and thus the one only Being from whom all things are.


All who acknowledge and worship any other God than the Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah God Himself in human form, sin against this first commandment. Those also sin against it who persuade themselves of the actual existence of three Divine persons from eternity. For as they confirm themselves in that error, they become more and more natural and corporeal, and at length are unable to comprehend interiorly any Divine truth; and if they listen to it and accept it, they still defile it and cover it up with fallacies. They may therefore be compared to those who dwell in the lowest story or the cellar of a house, and in consequence hear nothing of the conversation of those who are in the second and third stories, because the floor above their heads keeps the sound from penetrating to them. [2] The human mind is like a house of three stories, in the lowest of which are those who have confirmed themselves in favor of three Gods from eternity, while in the second and third stories are those who acknowledge and believe in one God under a visible human form, and that the Lord God the Savior is He. As the sensual and corporeal man is merely natural, and viewed in himself is wholly animal, and differs from a brute animal only in being able to talk and reason, so he is like one living in a menagerie, where there are all kinds of wild beasts, and there he now acts the lion, now the bear, now the tiger, the leopard, or the wolf; and he may even act the lamb, but then in heart he laughs. [3] The merely natural man thinks of Divine truths only from the things of the world, and thus from the fallacies of the senses, for he is unable to raise his mind above these. Therefore the doctrine that he believes may be compared to a pottage made of chaff, which he eats as a dainty. Or it is like the bread and cakes that Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to make by mixing wheat, barley, beans, lentils, and fitches, with cow's or human excrement, thus representing the church as it was with the Israelitish nation (Ezek. 4:9 seq.). So is it with the doctrine of a church that is founded and reared upon a belief in three Divine persons from eternity, each one of whom singly is God. [4] Who would not see the monstrosity of that faith if it were presented as it is in itself in a picture before his eyes? For example, if the three were to stand in order beside each other, the first distinguished by a scepter and crown; the second holding a book, which is the Word, in his right hand, and in his left a golden cross spattered with blood; the third, encircled with wings, standing upon one foot, ready to fly forth and do his work, and above the three the inscription-these three persons, being so many Gods, are one God. What wise man seeing the picture would not say to himself, "Alas, what hallucination!" But he would say otherwise if he were to see a picture of one Divine Person with rays of heavenly light about His Head and with the inscription over it, This is our God, at once Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator, and therefore the Savior. Would not that wise man kiss this picture, carry it home in his bosom, and by the sight of it gladden his own mind, and the minds of his wife and his children and servants?


THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF JEHOVAH THY GOD IN VAIN; FOR JEHOVAH WILL NOT HOLD HIM GUILTLESS THAT HATH TAKEN HIS NAME IN VAIN. In the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, to take the name of Jehovah God in vain means the name itself, and its abuse in various kinds of conversation, especially in false speaking or lying, and in useless oaths or oaths to exculpate one's self in evil intentions (that is, oaths with imprecations), also when employed in juggleries and incantations. But to swear by God and His holiness, by the Word or the Gospel, at coronations, inaugurations into the priesthood, and inductions into offices of trust, is not to take the name of God in vain, unless he who takes the oath afterwards discards his promises as vain. But the name of God, because it is holiness itself, must be used continually in the holy things pertaining to the church, as in prayers, psalms, and all worship, also in preaching, and in writing on ecclesiastical subjects. This is so because God is in all things of religion, and when He is solemnly invoked He is present through His name and hears. In such ways is the name of God hallowed. That the name of Jehovah God is in itself holy is evident from that name, in that the Jews since their earliest age have not dared and do not dare to utter the name Jehovah; and for their sake the writers of the Gospels and the apostles were unwilling to use it, and used the name Lord instead, as is evident from various passages transferred from the Old Testament into the New, where the name Lord is used instead of Jehovah (as in Matt. 22:37; Luke 10:27, compared with Deut. 6:5, and other passages). That the name of Jesus is in like manner holy is known from the saying of the Apostle that at this name every knee is bowed or should be bowed in heaven and on earth; and furthermore from this, that no devil in hell can utter that name. There are many names of God that must not be taken in vain, as Jehovah, Jehovah God, and Jehovah of Hosts; the Holy One of Israel, Jesus and Christ, and the Holy Spirit.


In the spiritual sense, the name of God means everything which the church teaches from the Word, and by which the Lord is invoked and worshiped. All such things in the complex are the name of God. "To take the name of God in vain," means, therefore, to introduce any of these things into frivolous conversation, into false speaking, lying, imprecations, juggleries or incantations; for this too is reviling and blaspheming God, thus His name. That the Word and whatever the church has from it, and thus all worship, is the name of God, can be seen from the following passages: From the rising of the sun My name shall be invoked (Isa. 41:25; 26:8, 13). From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, My name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense is offered unto My name. But ye profane My name in that ye say, 'The table of Jehovah is polluted; and ye snuff at My name, in that ye bring that which is torn, and the lame, and the sick (Mal. 1:11-13).' All peoples walk each in the name of its God; but we, let us walk in the name of Jehovah our God (Micah 4:5). They were to worship Jehovah in one place where He would place His name (Deut. 12:6, 11, 13, 14, 18; 16:2, 6, 11, 16, 18); that is, where He would establish His worship. Jesus said, Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. 18:20). As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to them that believe in His name (John 1:12). He that believeth not hath been judged already, because be hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). Those who believe shall have life in His name (John 20:31). Jesus said, I have manifested Thy name to men and I have made known unto them Thy name (John 17:6, 26). The Lord said, Thou hast a few names in Sardis (Apoc. 3:4); besides many other passages in which, as in the foregoing, the "name of God" means the Divine that goes forth from God, and by which He is worshiped. But the name Jesus Christ means everything of redemption, and everything of His doctrine, and thus everything of salvation, "Jesus" meaning every thing of salvation through redemption, and "Christ" everything of salvation through His doctrine.


In the celestial sense, "to take the name of Gods vain means what the Lord said to the Pharisees: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven (Matt. 12:31, 32), "blasphemy of the Spirit" meaning blasphemy against the Divinity of the Lord's Human, and against the holiness of the Word. That the Divine Human of the Lord is meant by the name of Jehovah God in the celestial or highest sense, is evident from the following passages: Jesus said, Father, glorify Thy name. And there came a voice out of heaven, saying, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again (John 12:28). Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if ye shall ask anything in My name, that I will do (John 14:13, 14). In the Lord's Prayer, Hallowed be Thy name (Matt. 6:9) has the same meaning in the celestial sense. The same is true of "name" (Exod. 23:21; Isa. 63:16). As blasphemy of the Spirit is not forgiven unto men (according to the words in Matt. 12:31, 32), and as this is what is meant by this commandment in the celestial sense, it is added, "for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless who taketh His name in vain."


That the name of anyone means not his name alone but his every quality, is evident from the use of names in the spiritual world. No man there retains the name he received in baptism, or that of his father or ancestry in the world; but everyone is there named according to his character, and angels are named according to their moral and spiritual life. Such are meant in these words of the Lord: Jesus said, I am the Good Shepherd. The sheep hear His voice, and He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out (John 10:11, 3). Also in these words: Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, that have not defiled their garments. He that overcometh, I will write upon him the name of the city New Jerusalem, and My new name (Apoc. 3:4, 12). Gabriel and Michael are not the names of two persons in heaven, but by those names all in heaven who are in wisdom respecting the Lord, and who worship Him are meant. The names of persons and of places in the Word do not mean persons and places, but the things of the church. Nor in the natural world does a name mean the person's name only, but his character also, because this adheres to his name; for in common conversation it is customary to say, "This he does for the sake of his name," or "for the fame of his name," or "this man has a great name," meaning that he is celebrated, for such things as are in him, as for talents, erudition, merits, and so on. Who does not know that he who disparages and calumniates anyone in name, also disparages and calumniates the actions of his life? In idea the two are joined together, and the fame of his name is thus destroyed. In like manner one who utters the name of a king, a noble, or any great man, with great disrespect, also casts opprobrium upon his majesty and dignity. So again he who mentions the name of another in a tone of contempt, at the same time belittles the acts of his life. This is true of everyone. According to the laws of all kingdoms it is not lawful to sully and wound with slander anyone's name, that is, his character and consequent reputation.

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