My Introduction to this work and why I think it is so important will be found here.
For the table of contents to the 6 Fascicles please click here.
Start of Volume 1, Fascicle 1
DE HEMELSCHE LEER
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE
DEVOTED TO THE DOCTRINE OF GENUINE TRUTH
OUT OF THE LATIN WORD REVEALED FROM THE LORD
ORGAN OF THE GENERAL CHURCH OF THE NEW JERUSALEM IN HOLLAND
EXTRACTS FROM Nos. I TO 8, JANUARY TO AUGUST, 1930
PSALM 51 : 15
0 Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.
NOTE BY THE PUBLISHERS
The publication in English translation of these extracts from the Magazine of the General Church in Holland has been made possible through the generosity of the Reverend Theodore Pitcairn.
Acknowledgement is due to Mr. Horace Howard, of Colchester, for his much appreciated services in reading the proofs.
THE SWEDENBORG GENOOTSCHAP LAAN VAN MEERDERVOORT 229 THE HAGUE. HOLLAND.
DE HEMELSGHE LEER
EXTRACTS FROM THE ISSUE FOR JANUARY 1930
In THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.
AT THE FIRST APPEARING OF "DE HEMELSCHE LEER"
EDITORIAL BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER. - From the beginning of .the New Church her true members could be distinguished from her false members, in that the former accept the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg as the Word of God, while the latter deny this fundamental truth. The Lord's words in John: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (3 : 36), in the New Church have no other meaning. The crowning thesis of this belief is that the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE must also be applied to these Writings.
Everything that is taught in the Latin Word concerning the Doctrine of the Church:' That the Lord is also the Doctrine of the Church, as He is the Word, and all Doctrine is from the Word (A.E. 19; A.C. 2859); that the'Doctrine is spiritual from celestial origin, and that in its origin the rational is not consulted (A.C. ch. 20); that in the present-day Christian churches the dogmas are not from the Word, but from their own understanding, and are consequently patched up from falsities and confirmed by a few things from the Word, but that in the New Church the doctrinal things are one series of connected truths which by the Lord have been laid bare by means of the Word, and that it is therefore permitted to enter with the understanding and to penetrate into all their arcana and also to confirm these by the Word (T.C.R. 508); that the Word without Doctrine is not understood; that the Doctrine must be drawn from the literal sense of the Word; that the Divine
6 AT THE FIRST APPEARING
truth, which belongs to the Doctrine, appears to no one except to those who from the Lord are in illustration; furthermore that therefore those who read the Word without Doctrine, or who do not acquire for themselves a Doctrine from the Word, are in darkness as to all truth, and that the Word without Doctrine is as a candlestick without light (8.8. 50-61); that the Church takes its existence from the understanding of the Word according to the Doctrine, and that consequently it is not the Word that makes the Church, but the understanding of the Word (8.8. 76; A.C. 10763; H.D. 243); that the words in the Revelation of John: "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered" (12:2) signify the Doctrine of the New Church in its state of birth, and the difficult reception on account of the opposition of those who are signified by the "dragon" (A.E. 535; A.E. 710, 711); and that the words: "And she brought forth a man child" (Rev. 12 :5) signify the Doctrine of truth, which is for the New Church, which is called the New Jerusalem; and that "the man child" is the genuine truth of the Church and therefore also its Doctrine, the truth of the Church from the Word being its Doctrine, as this contains the truths which are for the Church (A. E. 724; A.R. 543); that "The New Jerusalem" signifies the New Church with regard to its Doctrine; that "the town", "the field", "the carriage", "the ship", "weapons''; signify the Doctrine and the doctrinal things of the Church; - everything that is said in these and similar places concerning the Doctrine has regard to the Doctrine of the Church, such as it has been developed by the Church during the progress of its regeneration, and what is said with reference to the Word and the literal sense of the Word has regard not only to the Old and the New Testament but also to the Latin Testament.
It is true that in many passages of the Latin Word a strong appearance is created as if in the statements quoted, the Writings themselves were meant by "the Doctrine". And by "the Word and the literal sense of the Word" only the Old and the New Testament, and it is on this account that among the English speaking members of the General Church the expression "the doctrines and the letter of the Word" has become general, in which by "the doctrines"
7 OF "DE HEMELSCHE LEER"
the Writings and by "the letter of the Word" only the Old and the New Testament are understood. Plain examples of passages in the Writings that create this appearance are the Titles of the FOUR DOCTRINES, and especially a passage such as this in n. 7 of THE NEW JERUSALEM AND ITS HEAVENLY DOCTRINE: "But I proceed to the Doctrine itself, which is for the New Church, and which is called the Heavenly Doctrine, because it was revealed to me out of Heaven; for to deliver this doctrine is the design of this work"; and also a passage such as this in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED: "By the male child is signified the Doctrine of that Church; the Doctrine here meant is The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, published in London, 1758; as also The Doctrines concerning the Lord, concerning the Sacred Scripture, and concerning Life according to the Commandments of the Decalogue, published in Amsterdam. When these Doctrines were written, the dragonists stood around me, and endeavored with all their fury to devour them, that is to extinguish them" (n. 543; A. E. 711).
But if one bears in mind the truth that the Writings are the Word or the Sacred Scripture itself, it clearly appears that even in these the Heavenly Doctrine, as well as in the Old and the New Testament, is covered with the veil of a literal sense. It is said in n. 7 of THE NEW JERUSALEM AND ITS HEAVENLY DOCTRINE: "that the Doctrine of the New Church is from the spiritual sense of the Word, and that the spiritual sense of the Word is the same with the Doctrine which is in Heaven". That there by "the Doctrine of the New Church" and by "the spiritual sense of the Word" and by "the Doctrine which is in Heaven" are not signified the Writings, appears clearly from this, that they are full of natural ideas taken from the world, from the kingdoms of nature, from history and from ecclesiastical history, which we know are not understood in Heaven, but are at once changed into corresponding spiritual ideas. Of all that concerns the natural ideas in the letter the Angels know nothing. It is surprising that it has been possible for the idea to maintain itself so long, that, while in regard to all natural ideas in the Word of the Old and the New Testament, such as countries, cities, peoples, persons, it is expressly taught that in the internal sense they have a purely spiritual significance. This law
8 AT THE FIRST APPEARING
should be of no effect in -the Latin Testament. It is, however, an undeniable truth that the Angels can have no other but a purely spiritual idea of such ideas in the Writings as "the Jewish nation", "Roman Catholics", "Protestants", "the Dutch", "the English", "the Germans", "Paul", "Luther", "Calvin", "Louis XIV", "Empress Elisabeth and Count de la Gardie", "Charles XII", "London", "Amsterdam", "Paris", "Vienna", "Venice", "Naples",and "Rome"; furthermore that they can have no other but a purely spiritual idea of all those countless illustrations of doctrine by things taken from the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human body, with which especially the tissue of the work THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION is impregnated. We therefore believe that also in the words quoted above from THE NEW JERUSALEM AND ITS HEAVENLY DOCTRINE, n. 7' that the Doctrine of the New Church is from the spiritual sense of the Word, and that the spiritual sense of the Word is one and the same with the Doctrine which is in Heaven, by "the Doctrine of the New Church" not the Latin Word but the Doctrine of the Church should be understood, and by "the spiritual sense of the Word", not only the spiritual sense of the Old and the New Testament, but in the first place also the spiritual sense of the Latin Testament. From this it follows that by "the Doctrine which is in Heaven", that is by "the Heavenly Doctrine", not the literal sense of the Latin Word, as has been thought hitherto, but its spiritual sense is meant.
Every Church must from the Word acquire for itself its Doctrine. It is not its Doctrine that is given to any Church by immediate revelation, but the Word in a literal sense is given, from which its Doctrine must be developed according to order; for in no other way can the holy, spiritual and celestial contents of the Word remain protected. The Christian Church might have acquired for itself from the Old and the New Testament a genuine Doctrine. The New Church must acquire its Doctrine for itself from the Three Testaments.
Erom this it follows that the Doctrine of the New Church, likewise, will be either true or false. Examples of a false doctrine are all teachings of CONFERENCE and CONVENTION, as far as they are based on the denial of the Divine Human essence of the Writings. An example of the true Doctrine of the Church are the PRINCIPLES OF THE
9 OF DE HEMELSCHE LEER
ACADEMY, as far as in tlie future they will prove to be imperishable. To those parts of the PRINCIPLES OF THE ACADEMY a purely Divine origin, a Divine essence and Divine authority must be ascribed.
The concept that the Heavenly Doctrine is the Doctrine of the Church and that the Writings of Swedenborg are that Heavenly Doctrine and that Doctrine of the Church itself, and that the revealed truths concerning the nature of the literal sense of the Word should apply only to the Old and the New Testament, has up to the present kept the Church as a whole in a purely natural state. Whereas the Divine qualities and prerogatives which the Latin Word ascribes to the Doctrine of the Church, have been claimed exclusively for the Latin Word itself, the Lord Himself, because He Himself is that Doctrine, has as it were remained unthroned in the Church. The Doctrine of the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION concerning the Holy Spirit can be seen in its real light and in its real sense only there, where the Doctrine of the Church is acknowledged as purely Divine and therefore as the Lord Himself. Only along this way can the Church gradually enter into the celestial state, which has been foresaid for it by the Lord; only along this way can the human race return to the Adamic state of a new Golden Age. And this is also the only way along which the men and women of the Church can be led back to the state of love truly conjugial, of which it is said that with the Most Ancient it was one and the same with their religion, and with the celestial Angels one and the same with their heavenly felicity. This and nothing else is the internal sense of the words: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife has made herself ready (Rev. 19 : 7).
PROF. DR. CHARLES H. VAN 0s. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book; if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book; and if any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book." This is what we read in the 22nd chapter of the Revelation of John,
10 AT THE FIRST APPEARING
verses 18 and 19. In the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 957 959, the internal sense of these verses is explained. "Hearing the words of the prophecy of this Book" signifies reading and knowing the truths of Doctrine. "Adding unto these things" and "taking away from these words" signifies adding or taking away something on which account the truths of Doctrine would be extinguished. "The plagues that are written in this Book", signify the evils and falsities into which they fall who put the essence of religion in external things, such as a blind acceptance of the literal sense of the Word; these are they who are meant by the dragon. That "his part is taken out of the Book of life, out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book" signifies that such a one can receive no wisdom from the Word and from the Doctrine of the Church, and that in reality he does not belong to the Church. "The Book of life" is the Word, as from it comes all spiritual life for Angels and men. "The Holy City" signifies the Doctrine of the Church. "The things which are written in this Book" signifies the Church of the New Jerusalem, for of this Church does theRevelation of John treat in the internal sense.
In these verses therefore the Doctrine is treated of, and the great responsibility we bear for the preservation and the development of the Doctrine. We are admonished not to add anything to the Doctrine, nor to take away anything, even though when so doing, we should appeal to the literal sense of the Word. The fatal results for ourselves, if we should act contrary to this admonition, are pointed out to us.
There are, as we know, different degrees of the Doctrine. In the highest degree the Doctrine is the Lord Himself, who continually tries to inflow with genuine truths into the Heaven and the Church. In a lower degree the Doctrine is the Heavenly Doctrine, that is the whole of the truths that are known in the Heavens, and of which the thoughts of the Angels consist. This Heavenly Doctrine is the same as the internal sense of the Word. In the next degree the Doctrine is the Doctrine of the Church, that is the whole of the truths that are known in the Church, and of which the thoughts of the members of the Church consist. The Doctrine of the Church therefore is the Heavenly Doctrine as far as this has clothed itself in human words, and has
11 OF DE HEMELSCHE LEER
thereby descended into the natural world. Now as the natural is always the basis for the spiritual, the Doctrine of the Church is the basis for the Doctrine in all its degrees. From this is evident the great importance of the development of the Doctrine of the Church. The development of the Doctrine of the Church must take place by the cooperation of all the members of the Church who receive any illustration from Heaven. This development must take place in continuous contact with the literal sense of the Word, for this too, is a natural basis for the Heavenly Doctrine, only come into existence by a different way. To this development our monthly magazine shall be dedicated.
The word "doctrine" (leer), in the Dutch language, also signifies a "ladder". And the Doctrine of the Church in reality is a ladder, by which our thoughts may ascend to Heaven, that is to the internal sense of the Word. May it be given to us to make this ladder long and broad, so that the Angels may ascend and descend along it, and that influx and reflux by means of the Doctrine may go to and fro between Heaven and earth.
H.D.G. GROENEVELD. Every member of the Church will welcome with great joy the appearance of the new monthly magazine, and be moved by the thought that in the Lord's Providence it has been appointed that now for the Church in reality the Heavens will be opened. After a period of preparation or of reformation of the Church, which reached its summit in a natural-rational understanding of the Third Testament, and on account of which a natural regeneration of the Church was possible, the Church has now come to a state by which a spiritual understanding of the Word and therefore a spiritual regeneration of the Church is possible. During the state of reformation the conjunction of the Lord with the Church is from the side of the Lord alone. By the birth of the Doctrine of the Church the Church has prepared itself, on account of which the conjunction now is from the side of the Church as well.
Just as everything which is has an internal and an external, so the Doctrine of the Church or the Doctrine of the Divine Human of the Lord has an internal and an
12 AT THE FIRST APPEARING
external. It is the internal Doctrine of the Church or the Doctrine of Genuine Truth, which is the Lord Himself, by which the Church is to be built. It is the celestial Doctrine descending from God out of Heaven. This Doctrine is free from all space and time, and purely spiritual from celestial origin. It is only by this Doctrine that Heaven does come down to earth, and that the Church does become truly Church. This Doctrine as a seed will be received by the Church continually more and more internally, and by the Church it will be made life. This seed from the Third Testament, that is from the Divine Doctrine, will be opened by the Lord in the rational of the male of the Church and be made life by the female of the Church. By this the Church will come into the possession of internal things, which have never before been given to the human race. This internal Doctrine of the Church can only be opened by the Lord in the rational of the male if the rational has been prepared for it, which happens only after heavy combat. It is now by means of the external Doctrine of the Church that this combat takes place and it is the male of the Church that must fight the combat. A heavy combat awaits the male, for the hells with all their might will rebel to maintain their power, and ever more fierce will be their assault. They will so beset the understanding that it will seem to the male as if its thought were taken from it. The male will continually have to remain impressed with the fact that the Lord alone fights through it. After perseverance in this combat the victory will be certain, as appears from the Lord's words in the 33rd verse of the 16th chapter of the Gospel of John: "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world". Then the infernal spirits will be cast down to earth, and the Lord will be able through the rational of the male to give to the Church the celestial Doctrine.
From the side of the female of the Church great cooperation is required. It is necessary for the female to give its devotion, by the sacrifice of all love of self and all love of the world. By its love of the Church it should give the male strength to accomplish the combat it must fight. All its delight of conjugial love depends on the victory in this combat. More and more will the female perceive this, and more and more will it be able by its love to
13 OF "DE HEMELSCHE LEER"
assist the male. And when after the combat the celestial Doctrine will be given to the Church by the Lord, the female should receive this Doctrine with love and bring it to life. Then will the Church become more and more internal, and then will the most beautiful things be given to it. Then will this new Magazine be the place where the lord will openly speak to us.
FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
The Transactions are preceded by the following quotation from CONJUGIAL LOVE, n. 132:
I once conversed with two Angels, one from the eastern Heaven, the other from the southern Heaven, who, when they perceived that I was meditating on the arcana of wisdom concerning Conjugial Love, said: "Do you know anything about the schools of wisdom in our world?" I answered: "Not as yet." And they said: "There are many. And those who love truths from spiritual affection, that is who love truths because they are truths and because by means of them is wisdom, come together at a given signal, and consider and form conclusions respecting such matters as require a more profound understanding."
The declaration of principle of the SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP is the following: "We, the undersigned, have united into a SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP for the purpose of cooperating towards the internal and external upbuilding of the Church by the explanation of the Word in the light of the Doctrine of the Church, and by our devotion to the principles of that Doctrine."
The Transactions contain further the minutes of the constituent meeting and of the preceding preparatory meetings. An English translation of the essential contents of these minutes, as they have been published in DE WARE CHRISTELIJKE GODSDIENST, January 1929, will be found here below in the Appendix.
14 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
Extract from the Minutes of the Meeting of Saturday, February 2nd, 1929.
The memorandum calling this meeting together reads as follows: Subject, The Doctrine of the Church, (The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, n. 5061; Arcana Coelestia, Twentieth Chapter; n. 24962588; 27602763; 28552859).
The Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer gave a short introduction to the subject "The Doctrine of the Church". The purpose of these discussions should be to show that the Doctrine of the Church, if it is obtained according to order, is from the Lord alone. The difference between "the Heavenly Doctrine". which is the Word itself *, and "the Doctrine of the Church", should be clearly illustrated. The possibility and the danger of the doctrine of the Church being false, should be considered, and the means of guarding against this danger. The truth derived from the Writings "that the Doctrine of the Church also is the Lord", in its full significance has scarcely been seen by the Church up to the present, and of recent times has greatly influenced the thought of our Society.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
ADDRESS BY H. D. G. GROENEVELD
According to ARCANA COELESTIA, n. 2106 and 2666, the human begins in the inmost of the rational and the Divine Human in the inmost of the Divine Rational. The Divine Rational or the Word therefore is the conjunction or the mediator between God the Father or Infinite Love and Wisdom and the human race. Only in the Divine Itself is Good itself and Truth itself, whereas the Divine Rational inflows into appearances of Good and Truth. The Divine Rational or the infinite Rational, because it expresses itself in appearances, can accommodate itself to the rational of man. The human race as a receptacle of the Divine Rational can therefore only be in appearances of Good and Truth. From the Good of the Divine Rational man receives good
* It appears from this sentence that at that time the difference between "the Heavenly Doctrine" and "the Writings" was not yet realized. EDITOR.
15 OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
or love, from the Truth of the Divine Rational truth or wisdom. Without the Divine Rational or the Divine Human of the Lord the human race could receive no love and no wisdom, whereas without reception of the Divine Rational in the rational of man, he could have no love and no wisdom. That the Divine Rational is, in other words that God is a man, is therefore the beginning of all wisdom. The rational of man therefore must be developed or opened for the influx of the Divine Rational. This opening is described: 1. in Abram's going to Egypt,
2. in Abraham's going to Abimelech,
3. in Isaac's going to Abimelech.
Abram's going into Egypt is the instruction of the internal man in the cognitions of the Word. The Lord's internal man was Jehovah, therefore Good and Truth itself. The internal man with man is above his rational. Abram therefore in man stands for the influx of good through the soul and Sarai for the influx of truth through the soul. Abram's going into Egypt is therefore the influx of good into the cognitions. Abram calls his wife his sister, which means that the influx of truth takes place into the understanding of man. Man then regards the truths of the Word as purely intellectual truths and has a desire, in this instance a natural desire, to multiply these with himself. Later on he recognizes that these cognitions are to serve for uses and therefore are to be vessels for the reception of truths. By this an opening of the first rational of man takes place, for from the conjunction of Abram with Hagar, or from the influx of good into the affection of cognitions, Ishmael or the first rational is born.
Abraham's going to Abimelech is the influx of good into the doctrine of faith. Abraham calls his wife Sarah his sister, which now means that the influx of truth takes place into the rational truth of man, that rational truth which has come into existence by the birth of Ishmael, or the first rational. Man now tries to construe for himself a doctrine, as he wishes to see the cognitions he has gathered in a certain order. Without a certain order the cognitions remain a chaos. The man walks in darkness and as there is no light, he first knocks up against one thing, and then against another. A doctrine also is like a king, who governs
16 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
the affairs of his country according to a certain order. The man now tries to construe for himself a doctrine by consultation of and by conjunction with the rational he has acquired by cognitions. The man with an open mind is inspired with a certain fear of conjoining himself with that rational, and he then perceives that in this way no doctrine is obtained and that the rational truth is to be no more than a receptacle of spiritual truth. The doctrine therefore takes existence only from the influx of good into spiritual truth. The influx then takes place into the rational truth of man, for we are here speaking of that rational which is born by the influx of good into the affection of cognitions, therefore of the spiritual man or the spiritual Church. In this instance Ishmael, as appears from the Writings, stands for the spiritual Church. The doctrine for the spiritual man or the spiritual Church is of vital importance, for by the doctrine the man or the Church can now develop the truths, by which new truths arise which will determine the life of the man or of the Church. These new truths also are present in the literal sense of the Word, for the doctrine must rest upon the literal sense of the Word, but they had not been seen before because they are there implied in more general truths. All progress of the spiritual man and of the spiritual Church therefore depends on the development of the doctrine.
All order or the doctrine is from the Lord alone. The true doctrine of the man or of the Church is the Lord in a certain state of His Divine Human. In that state the doctrine is infallible, at any rate in a relative sense, for in an absolute sense only the Word, which is the Doctrine itself, is infallible.
Isaac's going to Abimelech finally is the opening of the rational of the celestial man. Isaac stands for the influx of the good of the Divine Rational and Rebecca for the influx of the truth of the Divine Rational, or Isaac stands for the good of the inmost rational of the man or the good rational, and Rebecca for the truth belonging thereto or the true rational. Rebecca as a sister then stands for the rational truth or the rational of the spiritual man. The spiritual man, who has not yet an internal perception, and with whom therefore his intellectual stands foremost, does not yet see that all Divine truths in man become rational
17 OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
truths. It is true he says that all good and all truth belong to the Lord, but when he receives this good and this truth into his rational, he looks upon this good and this truth as belonging to himself. The celestial man has an internal perception of good and truth, and he acknowledges that all good and truth belong to the Lord and inflow- into his rational. '
That Isaac says of his wife Rebecca that she is his sister therefore means that the spiritual man considers every truth which he sees as belonging to him, because in his thought he grasps it as a rational truth. When a man begins to become celestial, he acknowledges that truth belongs to the Lord alone, and that all that he can receive are rational truths only and even only then, if good and truth from the Lord inflow into his rational. His doctrine is nothing but a confirmation of this. His doctrine is his life and his life is his doctrine.
THE NEW YEAR
ADDRESS BY H. D. G. GROENEVELD, AT THE NEW YEAR'S BREAKFAST OF THE FIRST DUTCH SOCIETY, JANUARY IST 1930.
As we know from the Third Testament the commencement of a new year signifies the beginning of a new state. It therefore certainly is no coincidence that now for the first time we are together on the first day of the New Year, for in our Society we may now speak of the beginning of an entirely new state. If the Lord were to open our eyes, we all would be deeply moved by everything which now, still as in a seed, is present in the Church, Then we would see what internal things have now been given by the Lord to the Church, and to what deep spiritual insight the Church may now attain. The old state has reached its fullness; a state in which the Church was in a natural spiritual light; a state in which the conjunction with the Lord was from the side of the Lord alone. Furthermore a state in which we indeed were in the Church, but the conjunction was from the side of the Church alone. In the new state the conjunction with the Lord will be from the side of the Church as well, while our conjunction with the Church will no longer be from the side of the Church
18 H.D.G. GROENEVELD. THE NEW YEAR
alone. The Church will be in us and will determine the whole of our lives. No thoughts will arise and no actions will occur, but they will be penetrated by the things of the Church. The Church will be the soul of our life.
The seed that has now been given to the Church contains within it the Doctrine of the Church, within which is present the celestial Doctrine. What has been revealed in the 22nd verse of the 21st chapter of the Revelation of John will be actually true: "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it". For no longer will the truths such as they appear in the literal sense of the Word be the basis for the Church, but the spiritual things that are enclosed therein. It is the celestial Doctrine, therefore the Lord Himself, who will guide the Church.
All the rest depends on the development of the Doctrine of the Church, It is the male of the Church that has to
open these things, while it is the female of the Church that has after that to bring these things to life. In an entirely new light will the male view the Third Testament anew; there will be an entirely new gathering of cognitions. No longer will the attention be fixed on the natural things of the Word. The literal things of the Word will become vague and the spiritual things will appear, by which the deepest rational things will then be given to the Church. We shall be in the Heavens here on earth.
Unavoidably in the future there is a heavy combat awaiting the Church, which combat can be carried on only if we devote ourselves entirely to the Church. Therefore on this day let us be impressed with this, that in our lives we put the Church in the first place, and that we devote ourselves to her with all our strength, by the sacrifice of the love of self and of the love of the world, in order that the new state into which the Church has now been brought may be developed and attain to life.
DE HEMELSGHE LEER
EXTRACT FROM THE ISSUE FOR FEBRUARY 1930
EDITORIAL BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER.
The title and the text of the HEAVENLY ARCANA begin with the Latin words Arcana Coelestia and by this the whole essence of the form and of the contents of the Word is indicated, in accordance with the general law ruling the style of the Word, namely that the essence and the quality of the beginning pass over into all that follows. From the choice of these words as a title and as a beginning it appears that the ARCANA COELESTIA are the Word in the same complete sense as the Old and the New Testament. It is
the nature of the Word that, proceeding from the Lord, it has both a complete internal or spiritual, and a complete external or natural sense, being in perfect correspondence the one with the other. This nature is indicated' by the words Arcana Coelestia. By the word arcana the form of the Word, the external or natural, is characterized, by the word coelestia its contents, the internal or spiritual. Both words together indicate that in the Word the contents, being spiritual and celestial, lie hidden in a form which is natural.
The word arcanum is derived from the Latin verb arceo. This in some places has the meaning of to enclose, to close off, to surround, to restrain, and in many other places it has the meaning of to drive off, to keep off, to prevent, to guard, to protect, to shield, to save from. In the dictionaries we find the following examples: alvus arcet quod recipit (CICERO), "the abdomen encloses what it receives"; arcere capias hostium (CICERO), "to keep off the enemy's troops"; arcuit omnipotens (OVID), "the Almighty has prevented it"; arcere aliquem ab injuria (CICERO), "to save
20 "ARCANA COELESTIA"
some one from disaster"; arcere oestrum pecori (VIRGIL, "to drive off the flies from the cattle"; and very well known is the saying by HORACE, odi profanum vulgus et arceo, "I hate the common people and I keep it off from me". From these examples it plainly appears how by the word arcanum, which is derived from the root of arceo, the essence and the function of the literal sense of the Word in comparison, with and in its relation to its internal sense are strikingly characterized. It is the literal sense that encloses the internal sense, that closes it off, surrounds it and keeps it within bounds; and it is the literal sense that guards the internal sense, that protects and shields it, saves it from violence and damage, that wards off and keeps off the unprepared, the unauthorised, the not well disposed, and that prevents the genuine truth and the genuine good of the internal sense from being falsified and profaned. This is the reason of the literal sense in respect to this function being represented by "the Cherubim, whom Jehovah God made to dwell from the east against the garden of Eden, and the flame of the turning sword, to keep the way of the tree of lives", also by the curtains of the tabernacle, by a cover or a veil, by garments, by "a great stone rolled to the door of the sepulchre" (Matth. 27 : 60; 28 : 2), and also by the watch at the grave of the Lord (Matth. 27 : 66).
In Greek there is the verb aqxew with the same meaning as in the Latin, to drive off, to keep off, to prevent; many examples may be quoted from the dictionaries. But it has a further meaning there as well, which brings out the nature of the literal sense in respect to still another quality. It also has the meaning of to perform, to fulfil, to be strong, to be able, to be enough, to be sufficient. A few examples to illustrate: aoxeiv to un ou vaveiv (SOPHOCLES), "to prevent that some one perish"; aoxeiv pirois (SOPHOCLES), "to assist the friends"; aoxeiv raioiv (EURIPIDES), "to help the children"; ot ouxet aoxei (SOPHOCLES), "as it is no longer of avail"; aoxeow lvnoxovoa (SOPHOCLES), "it will suffice that I die"; aoxei (PINDARUS, AESCHYLUS), "it suffices", "it is enough". Hence the participle aoxwr, "enough", "sufficient", ra aoxouvra exeiv (XENOPHON), "to have what one needs".
On comparing these examples with the Latin, it clearly appears that bv the Latin etymology the negative, rejecting,
enclosing, protective nature of the literal sense is indicated, whereas the Greek etymology also recognizes these significations indeed, but adds, as of equal importance, the positive, accommodating, assisting, mediating, saving nature of the literal sense. The importance here, however, is principally laid in the idea of being enough, able, strong, suitable for mediation, just sufficient for assistance, delivery, salvation. By this especially the real nature of the literal sense is characterized, for it is founded on a law of Providence, that the Lord extends to fallen man, by way of an outstretched hand, no more than what is just enough and sufficient to effect mediation with the well-disposed and thus to re-establish conjunction. The Lord cannot possibly offer to man in that state the genuine truth itself. The ill-disposed would immediately falsify and profane, it, but even the well-disposed would not be able to accept it without preparation; and instead of redeeming man and saving him, the Lord would bring man to perdition by the truth; the salvation of the human race would become an utter impossibility. By this consideration it becomes perfectly clear that what man takes to himself from the literal sense of the Word, even from the Latin Testament, are never truths in themselves, but only scientifics, that is vessels of truth. With the man who is being regenerated the Lord fills these later on with truth, and later still this truth with good. A deeper examination will show that this truth is nothing but the essential spiritual sense, and this good nothing but the essential celestial sense. For the man who is in the essential truth, he alone is in the spiritual sense, and the man who is in the essential good, he is in the celestial sense. The man who is not well-disposed on the contrary turns the scientifics or vessels to himself, and fills them with evils and falsities. That man may turn the scientifics of the literal sense away from the Lord and to himself, and that still the genuine truths hidden therein do not suffer damage is represented by "the turning sword" of the Cherubim at the garden of Eden (S. S. 97). This is a universal provision of the Lord in respect to the Word, and that it is applicable to the Latin Testament, may be clear beyond doubt to any one who with judgment discerns the history and the present state of the New Church.
22 "ARCANA COELESTIA"
Besides the verb there are in Latin and in Greek a number of nouns and adjectives, derived from the same root, and which in many respects throw a remarkable light on the nature of the literal sense. The adjective arcanus in its concrete use means "closed": the Word in its Three Testaments for most men is a closed book, sealed with seven seals, and this on account of the qualities of its literal sense. Many have thought that the Word in the Old and iii the New Testament only was sealed with seven seals, and that these seals in the Writings by Emanuel Swedenborg have been completely taken away, and that the Word there is now opened and that the Lord there now "shows plainly of the Father" (John 16 : 25). But that the Word also in the Third Testament is closed and sealed, and that in reality the veil has become still thicker and the arcana still deeper, and that "the opening of the seals" must have a deeper signification, this is proved by the history of these 150 years, which have shown that the human race, in spite of the publication of these Writings, has withdrawn more and. more from the Word, and moreover, this conception is expressly confirmed by the doctrine that genuine truth appears to those only, who are in illustration from the Lord. In its abstract use arcanus means "silent", and it is used for instance by OVID for the description of the night. The Word, also as to its literal sense is the Lord Himself, therefore the Divine Man, but as long as man is not in the way of regeneration, has not been healed of his spiritual deafness and has not learnt to listen, it is entirely silent. That is why we so often hear, especially from cultured people, after they have been reading one or other book by Swedenborg: "It says nothing to me". However, in the measure that a man becomes susceptible to the Wisdom of the Lord and to the Love of the Lord, he hears in the Word "a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder" (Rev. I : 15; 14 : 2; Ezech. 43 : 2). In the Word the Lord for him "raises His voice, a mighty voice" (Ps. 46 : 6; 68 : 33). From the Word there proceed to such a man "lightnings and thunderings and voices" (Rev. 4 : 5), which signify illustration, perception and instruction (A. R. 236, 614, 615). As expressed in the title and in the commencement of the text of the Arcana Coelestia, there are for him in every detail
23 "ARCANA COELESTIA'
Mirabilia inseparably connected with the Arcana, that is Wonderful Things from the world of spirits and from Heaven. It is for this reason that the Lord in Isaiah (ch. 9 : 6) is called Mirabilis, that is, "Wonderful". OVID'S expression arcana nox, "the silent night", also has a deep internal sense. The complex of his cognitions of good and truth by an Angel can appear to him as an immense starry firmament, whereas the realization of the fact that behind the little he knows, there is an abyss of Divine realities, appears to him as a deep night; for the Arcana of the Divine Truth in the Word are infinite, and the more deeply the Angel or the man is convinced of the night of his ignorance, the brighter and more beautiful do his cognitions shine. Furthermore the adjective arcanus was applied even by classical authors to religion and worship: sacra arcana (OVID), "the hidden holy things", and from this is derived the noun arcanum (HORACE), "that which is hidden", "the mystery", "the secret".
To the noun arca, "the cupboard", "the box", "the shrine", a very wide meaning is attached. Arca vestiaria (CATO) "the wardrobe": the garments of the Angels signify their truths which they have derived from the Word. Area is used as meaning "money-chest" (JUVENALIS, CICERO): the truths from the literal sense of the Word and from the Doctrine, that have become generally acknowledged in the Church and as it were have become current money, are in the internal sense signified by "money". The area later under the Roman emperors also meant "the imperial treasury", "the exchequer": the Emperor in the internal sense is the Lord; from His Word proceed all truths, and to His Word do all truths return. Area is used in the sense of "cistern", "water tub" (VITRUVIUS): that waters signify the truths of faith is generally known, and they are all gathered together and contained in the literal sense. ARCA in general means everything in the shape of a box, "the shrine", "the ark": the literal sense is like a beautiful shrine, the work of a Divine Master, filled with Divine treasures. By Noah's ark, the ark of the child Moses (Exod. 2 : 3) the ark of the testimony (Ex. 25: 10; 37: 1). "the ark of Thy Strength" (Ps. 132 :8) the as yet unrevealed arcana of the Word are indicated (A. C. 639). In contradistinction to the favorable sense in the passages
24 "ARCANA COELESTIA"
just quoted, area sometimes has an unfavorable signification. Area may mean "a prisoner's dungeon", "the cell" (CICERO), and it even means "the coffin" (HORACE): the heretic is imprisoned in his letter, and the aversely disposed fills the scientifics of the literal sense with the evils of his proprium; the proprium is death, hell. Of an analogous signification is the Greek word n aoxus, "the net", "the snare", "the danger"; aoxues eiopous (EURIPIDES), "the danger of the sword", "the danger of perishing by the sword"; the literal sense, indicated by the Cherubim and the flame of the turning sword. In the Roman art of surveying the word area occurs in the meaning of "a square borderstone", and also with a similar sense the words arcatura and arcella: it is the literal sense of the Word that fixes the borders of genuine truth; the Doctrine of the Church is to be drawn from the literal sense of the Word and to be confirmed thereby; the borderstone is square because in the genuine Doctrine of the Church there exists a marriage of good and truth, there is as much of good as of truth. In GELLIUS we find, likewise derived from area, the word arcera, "a carriage covered over": the arcana of the Doctrine..
In accordance with the difference above indicated between the Latin and the Greek etymology of the root arc we find in Greek the adjective aoxios, "something on which one may depend", "what is sure", "being able", "sufficient"; thence ra aoixa, "medicaments", "medicines", and the noun ro aoxos, "the medicine": the literal sense for him who reads it in illustration, is reliable, sure, sufficient, the only source of truth on which one may depend; it is the medicine for him who thus far has been destitute of the truth (A.R. 936). Furthermore we cite n aoxeois, "help", "assistance", aoxtos, "sufficient", aoxouvews, "enough".
Although the purely philological etymology may perhaps be regarded as doubtful, it still appears from the internal sense that also the word o aoxos and o aoxios "the bear", are in connection with this same subject. Bears signify the literal sense of the Word, separate from its internal sense, and they, who carry through this separation in the spiritual world are seen as bears (A.R. 47). "His feet were as the feet of a bear" (Rev. 13 : 2), means the delusions derived from the literal sense of the Word.
25 'ARCANA COELESTIA
which one has read, but has not understood (A. R. 573; C. L. 193). In the plural ai aoxtoi means the constellations of the Big Bear and the Little Bear, and thence the North Pole and the North: in the spiritual world the north signifies the sensual and the natural, in contradistinction to the spiritual and the celestial (A. C. 426), or with regard to the Word, those who are in the literal sense only and do not see the internal sense; thence the bear, who has a similar signification, both in the natural and in the spiritual world, is a beast of the north (C. L. 78).
From the passages cited it clearly appears what a remarkable light the etymology of the word "Arcana" throws on the nature of the literal sense of the Word.
In Mythology, moreover, we find an inexhaustible wealth of particulars that further illustrate this subject. Areas, the ancestral parent of the Arcadians, the country of Arcadia, but especially Mercury, the God of Mediation, who bore the surname of Areas, belong here; their Mythology is nothing but a hidden description of the nature of the literal sense of the Word.
DE HEMELSGHE LEER
EXTRACTS FROM THE ISSUE FOR MARCH 1930
FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
Extract from the Minutes of the Meeting of Saturday. October 5th, 1929
The subject of the evening is "The Doctrine of the Church". The following gentlemen took part in the deliberations: Prof. Dr. Charles H. van 0s, H. D. G-. Groeneveld, Em. Francis, J. P. Verstraate.
REV. ERNST PFEIFFER gave a summary of the origin and the growth of the problem, which principally amounts to the following; In the course of the last few years we have more and more come to see that the Latin Testament contains a literal and an internal sense just the same as the Old and the New Testament. The crowning view of this subject was at last attained in the thesis, that the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, without any difference or reserve, should be applied also to the Latin Word. What is there said concerning the nature of the literal sense, namely that it serves for protection, that it derives its life from the internal sense, etc., therefore also applies to the Writings. Just as the literal sense of the Old Testament was falsified in the Israelitish church, and the literal sense of the New Testament in the old church, so the literal sense of the Third Testament may be falsified in the New Church. In a certain sense the entire history of these churches will repeat itself in the New Church. All the heresies that have existed in those churches, will force themselves upon the New Church, and the Church will have to meet and overcome them all. The Christmas Story, the Story of the Crucifixion and the story of the Resurrection will repeat themselves
28 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
also in the New Church. In the literal sense, even of the Writings, everything, but also nothing, has been given to man. The well-disposed man fills the literal sense with the spiritual and the celestial, the man who is not well disposed, fills it with his proprium. Even the most internal truth of the literal sense, for instance, that the entire Trinity is in the Lord, may, by the man who is not well disposed, be filled with coarse falsities. This nature of the literal sense is indicated by the word "Arcanum", if one understands it according to its etymology. This word is derived from a verb, which in the Greek has the meaning of "to ward off", "to keep off", but also of "to assist", "to help", "to protect", "to perform", "to fulfil", "to be enough", "to be sufficient"; the word "ark" is also derived from it; in other 'words: in an "arcanum" you never have the thing itself, but only, as it were, a shrine in which the thing lies hidden. From this it plainly appears that the term "Arcana Coelestia" has a much deeper signification than has thus far been realised. This is the deeper
reason why it is said: "The Word without Doctrine is as a candlestick without light". In the true interpretation of this passage from the Writings the nature of this new view most clearly appears. So far one has thought that here by "the Word" only the Old and the New Testament were meant, and the Writings were taken for that Doctrine which gives light to "the Word". It is clear, however, that the Writings, which indeed for a long time have been acknowledged by the Church as "the Word", in this respect, too, belong to the Word, whereas the Doctrine, which gives the light, is the Doctrine of the Church, which, keeping
pace with the Church's regeneration, slowly develops within the Church.
That the Doctrine is the Lord is taught in many places in the Writings, but it has always been thought that the Writings were meant by this Doctrine. Rev. Pfeiffer relates, how in connection with the publication of the third volume of the ARCANA COELESTIA in Dutch, when reading the revision of the twentieth chapter treating of Abraham and Abimelech, it became clear to him that by that Doctrine not the Latin Testament but the Doctrine of the Church is meant. It is this Doctrine which determines the nature of a Church, therefore not immediately the Word itself,
29 OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
but the understanding of the Word, that is the Doctrine of the Church. It is her Doctrine which determines the nature of the G-ENERAL CHURCH, and it is the doctrine of the CONVENTION which determines the nature of that religiosity, which appears plainly from the fact, that both, although they differ so essentially, claim the Writings as their foundation. In the existence of CONVENTION and CONFERENCE a clear proof may be seen what coarse, essentially anti-christian heresies have been able to arise in the New Church, if one will appeal to the letter only, without a true Doctrine. This was the origin of the false and the evil that has destroyed all the preceding churches, namely that the ultimates of the Word, proceeding from the Lord, which the men of the Church ought to have filled with the spiritual and the celestial, by them were diverted from their true destination, and were filled with the evil and the false of the love of self and of the world. And the history of the New Church also, and of each society of the Church provides many examples showing that there is a continual pressure from the hells to make men mix the truths and the spiritual interests of the Church with their proprial interests. Every member of the Church, as regards the non-regenerated provinces of his spirit, continues to turn towards his own interests everything that he derives from the literal sense, without really being aware of this fact, and if we could see every one's internal character, it would often appear that the devotion to the Word and to the Church does not go beyond that which favours his proprial interests; and that the devotion ceases as soon as a real sacrifice is called for. It is only the Doctrine that in the long run will lead the Church to overcome all these unavoidable temptations. It will be the principal task of the Doctrine of the Church in the future to prevent that any one should refer to the literal sense, without being able to show that his understanding thereof is interiorly opened even to the Divine Human of the Lord.
30 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
solution of the problem is to be found in the internal sense of the representation of Sarah as a wife and Sarah as a sister, and in the teaching "that the Doctrine is spiritual from celestial origin, and that in its origin the rational is not consulted". Mr. Groeneveld's exposition was directed straight to this core of the matter, and it must be acknowledged that already in his paper of February 2nd, 1929 *, he pointed out all essential details, although it is a fact that his extremely brief style sometimes renders it difficult to immediately follow his argument. A further elucidation of the greatest importance was given by Mr. Groeneveld in his address at the Social Supper, of September 29th, 1929 **, and this address would perhaps therefore have better fitted into the frame of the Swedenborg Gezelschap than that of a social supper. The great merit of this address is that, based on Swedenborg's reply to Hartley concerning his question relating to the Rational Soul of the Lord conceived by the mother Mary, it was shown that the Doctrine, which is the Lord Himself, precedes the application of the Doctrine, that is the life of the man of the Church, therefore also his charity, comparatively as the human seed contains the entire soul of the child to be conceived, and the mother (who in this connection corresponds to the application in the life) adds nothing that is internal, but only clothes it with the external or the natural. By these explications the Doctrine of the Church as to its purely Divine nature has been placed in a perfectly clear light.
Rev. Pfeiffer gives expression to his opinion that by this new view the Church will receive an entirely new inspiration. It will now for the first time become possible in the Church to develop the Doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit in its real importance. What has been said by some of the other speakers contains valuable remarks, running parallel as it were with the core of the question, but yet at a certain distance. This impression Rev. Pfeiffer has especially from the remarks of Prof. Dr. Charles H. van 0s. Although these do not touch the core of the matter, they are still in no way at variance therewith, and they throw an important light on many subordinate phases of
* See above, page 14. ** See below, page 38.
31 OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
the problem. By Mr. Groeneveld's last mentioned address however, it has been. clearly shown that the attempt which has been made by some of the speakers to refer to life and charity as being more important than "the Doctrine alone", is, in reality, contrary to a true conception of the problem; and it cannot be denied that he who should confirm himself in that attitude would there by draw the suspicion upon himself, that he wishes to oppose the rise of the Doctrine of the Church and thereby the Advent of the Lord Himself.
DE HEMELSCHE LEER
"ARCANA UNA CUM: MIRABILIBUS"
EDITORIAL BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER.
The title of the ARCANA COELESTIA in Latin reads in the main as follows: Arcana Coelestia quae in Scriptura Sacra seu Verbo Domini sunt, detecta, una cum Miratilibus quae visa sunt in Mundo Spiritnum et in Coelo Angelorum; in English: Heavenly Arcana in the Sacred Scripture or the Word of the Lord, disclosed; together with the Wonderful Things, seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels.
On the back of the title-page there is the following quotation from Matthew 6 : 33: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you".
On page 3 there follows an elucidation of the title, which in Latin reads, in the main, as follows: Arcana Coelestia, quae in Scriptura Sacra seu Verbo Domini detecta sunt, continentur in Explicatione, quae SENSUS INTERNUS Verbi est; de quo Sensu qualis sit, videantur quae de illo ah Experientia ostensa sunt, et praeterea in Contextu. Mirabilia quae visa in Mundo Spiritnum, et in Coelo Angelorum. cuivis Capiti praemissa et subnexa sunt; in English: The Heavenly Arcana in the Sacred Scripture or the Word of the Lord disclosed, are contained in the Explanation. which is the INTERNAL SENSE of the Word. As to the quality of this sense, see what has been shown concerning it from experience, and moreover in the text. The Wonderful Things seen in the world of spirits and in the Heaven of Angels, are prefixed and subjoined to the chapters.
belonging thereto contain an internal sense, is clearly seen upon closer investigation. In the literal sense not more is said but that the Sacred Scripture contains arcana, that these are disclosed in this book, and also that wonderful things are related, which Swedenborg has seen in the world of spirits and in Heaven. Such small value has therefore been attached to this elucidation that for instance in the edition of the LONDON SWEDENBORG SOCIETY it has simply been omitted. In the internal sense, however, this title with the elucidation contains a complete description of the nature of the Word and of the Doctrine of the Church.
That the words Arcana Coelestia indicate all the essence of the form and of the contents of the Word has previously been shown *. By the word arcana the form of the Word, the external, is characterised, by the word coelestia its contents, the internal or spiritual. Both words together indicate that in the Word, the contents, which are spiritual and celestial, lie hidden in a form, which is natural. According to the literal sense of the title and the elucidation, it might be supposed that the disclosure of the arcana of Genesis lies in the exclusively literal sense of the work, for it is said: "the Heavenly Arcana disclosed". From the internal sense of the title and the elucidation, however, it appears that here also the arcana can only be seen with due observance of the same conditions as are laid down in the DOCTRINE OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURE for the disclosure of the internal sense of the Word. It then appears that also in the Writings the arcana of the Word are covered by their literal sense with a natural veil, and that the whole and all the details thereof are open anew to the exegesis of an internal sense. This finds a curious confirmation in the fact that according to the general custom of the Church the ARCANA COELESTIA are always quoted by the name of "the 'Arcana", and never by the name of "the Arcana Disclosed", and that it has scarcely been realized in the Church that the title does not speak of "arcana", but of "arcana disclosed". Indeed, not only the ARCANA COELESTIA, but all the Writings, like the Old and the New Testament, contain nothing but arcana, and in the elucidation to the title of the ARCANA
* See here above, page 19.
35 "ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABJLIBUS"
COELESTIA the conditions have been indicated, subject only to which the arcana may be disclosed. Perhaps the remark will be made, that even granting the possibility of an internal sense in the title, its literal sense could not to such an extent be at variance with the truth, and an explanation may be asked for why the title speaks of "arcana disclosed", while it is said that nevertheless the text contains nothing but arcana and by no means arcana disclosed. The answer to this question is, that indeed even in the literal sense of the Writings the arcana have been disclosed, but only "if one regards the literal sense not from without, but from within or from the spiritual rational" (H. D. G. GROENEVELD. The Coming of the Lord in the Doctrine of the Church *; for he, who is able to do this, when reading one or other passage, is conscious of what in other places of the Latin Word has been said about the internal sense of the various words, which occur in this passage, and therefore he does not cling to the letter; he is able, in the light of other passages to make the internal sense rise from the letter. For the Doctrine of the Church, the task of which it is to develop the internal sense, cannot find a single truth, except in the literal sense of the Word, for the Doctrine must be drawn from the literal sense and must be confirmed thereby. In this the Divine nature of the Writings clearly appears: for the natural man they contain nothing but arcana, the Divine contents for the unauthorised remain entirely hidden; for the spiritual man the literal sense is suitable and sufficient to introduce him into Heaven and to lead him to the Lord. The denial of the internal sense of the Writings therefore involves the proof that these are seen only from without, and that they are therefore understood in a purely natural way. But as soon as one realizes that also the Latin Testament has an internal sense one begins to attach a
new weight to each of its expressions. Then when reading the words of the title of the ARCANA COELESTIA and of the elucidation belonging thereto, it appears they are all significant, that is words of a significant nature, and even direct correspondences, as clearly appears from the word "seen". Of this nature is the whole and each separate
36 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
expression; all these words: "disclosed", "explanation",
see , experience , "text", "wonderful things", "chapters", "prefixed", "subjoined" are seen to have an internal sense, which is explained in the Writings, and if one is able to grasp all the singular things according to their internal order as a whole, there arises from a seemingly unimportant editorial note a spiritual vision of the Word and of the nature of the Doctrine of the Church. (To be continued).
FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
Extract from the Minutes of the Meeting of Saturday, December 7th, 1929
The memorandum calling this meeting together, reads as follows: 1. General renewal of the membership. 2. The Doctrine of the Church. Discussion of the papers read at the meeting of October 5th.
REV. ERNST PFEIFFER proposes to prefix to the Transactions for the new year an extract from the numbers 9023 and 9025 of the ARCANA COELESTIA, this to be followed by the thesis of the Doctrine of the Church: "that in the passage quoted by "the Word" not only the Old and the New Testament but also the Latin Testament must be understood."
These passages from the ARCANA COELESTIA have been quoted in the Transactions as follows:
FROM THE WORD:
"And when men shall dispute" signifies contention among themselves about truths; "and a man shall smite his companion with a stone, or with his fist," signifies the invalidating of some truth by some scientific or general truth;.... "he shall give his cessation", signifies indemnification; "and healing he shall heal him", signifies restoration (Exodus 21 : 18, 19). What is meant by invalidating any truth of the Church by means of a scientific or general truth, shall be explained. By scientific truths
37 OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
are meant truths which are from the literal sense of THE WORD. General truths therefrom are such as are received among people generally, and consequently are in general discourse. There are very many such truths, and they prevail with very much force. But the literal sense of THE WORD is for the simple, for those who are being initiated into the interior truths of faith, and for those who do not apprehend interior things; for this sense is according to the appearance before the sensual man, thus is according to the apprehension. Hence it is that in this sense things frequently appear dissimilar, and as it was contradictory, to each other.... As such truths are from the literal sense of THE WORD, they are called scientific truths, and they differ from the truths of faith which are of the Doctrine of the Church; for the latter arise from the former by explanation; for when they are explained, the man of the Church is instructed that such things have been said in THE WORD for the sake of apprehension, and according to the appearance. Hence also it is that in very many cases the doctrines of the Church depart from the literal sense of THE WORD. Be it known that the true Doctrine of the Church is that which is here called the internal sense; for in the internal sense are truths such as the Angels have in Heaven.
Among priests, and among the men of the Church, there are those who teach and who learn the truths of the Church from the literal sense of THE WORD; and there are those who teach and who learn from Doctrine drawn from THE WORD, which is called the Doctrine of faith of the Church. The latter differ very much from the former in perception, but they cannot be distinguished by the common people, because they both speak from THE WORD nearly alike. But those who teach and who learn only the literal sense of THE WORD without the Doctrine of the Church as a guide, apprehend only those things which belong to the natural or external man; whereas those who teach and who learn from true Doctrine drawn from THE WORD. understand also things which are of the spiritual or internal man. The reason is that THE WORD in the external or literal sense is natural, but in the internal sense it is spiritual. The former sense is called in THE WORD a cloud, but the latter sense is called the glory in the cloud (A. C. 90239025).
38 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
FROM THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH:
By THE WORD in the passage above quoted not only the Old and the New Testament, but also the Latin Testament must be understood.
The declaration of principle (see here above, page 13) was then signed by all the men present.
THE COMING OF THE LORD IN THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
ADDRESS BY H. D. G. G-ROENEVELD AT THE SOCIAL SUPPER OF SEPTEMBER 29TH, 1929, AND READ AGAIN BEFORE THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP AT THE MEETING OF DECEMBER 7TH, 1929.
The second of the nine questions put to Swedenborg by Rev. Hartley reads: "Had the Lord a rational soul from Jehovah the Father, to which was united the Divine Esse, whence He became very God and very Man?" __ The reply was: "The Lord from eternity (that is, Jehovah) was Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, and He then had a Divine Celestial and a Divine Spiritual, but not, before He assumed the Human, a Divine Natural. And as the rational is predicated solely of the celestial and spiritual natural, it follows that by the assumption of the Human, Jehovah the Lord did also put on the Divine Rational. He had a Divine Rational before the assumption of the Human, but by means of influx into the Heaven of Angels; and when He manifested Himself in this world, He did so by means of an Angel whom He filled with His Divinity. For the purely Divine Essence (which as just said was purely Divine Celestial and Divine Spiritual) transcends both the angelic and the human rational. But that Divine Rational existed by means of influx."
Before the Advent of the Lord on earth therefore there was no question of a Divine Rational of the Lord Himself, because on earth there was not yet present a Natural Human of the Lord. It was creation which formed the Human of the Lord in this world, therefore sensual and corporeal thing. It is well known that the Adamic Church
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possessed no written Word. The men of that Church were interiorly open even unto the Lord; they possessed an interior rational, which rational is the first receiver of the influx from the Lord. In all things of nature they saw the internal things of Heaven. It was nature that was the basis for all their thought, that is, nowhere but in nature could they perceive the things of life, or deepen their thought from the most internal to the most external.
The men of the subsequent Church, the Noachic Church, as is known from the ARCANA COELESTIA, had an exterior rational. The interior rational with them was closed. For this reason there had to be given to this Church a Word on earth, taking the place of that interior rational which they lacked. With the men of this Church also nature and corporeal things were the basis for their thought, and this in such a way that, when expressing their thoughts they always made use of natural and corporeal things. It was this Church which laid down on earth a number of correspondences of internal things, as we have seen from the various fairy tales, which have come down from those times.
In the subsequent Churches up to the Advent of the Lord it was always nature and corporeal things which formed the basis for the thought of men. It is therefore evident why the Old Testament speaks only of natural and corporeal things, and why the Jewish people, by the various miracles in the natural world, could be brought to represent a Church on earth.
At the Lord's Advent this was changed. The birth of the Lord from the virgin Mary interiorly seen is not so mysterious as it would appear to the natural man. As we know from the Writings, man receives the soul from his father and the body from his mother. The seed of the man contains the rational from the soul down to the natural, therefore the rational from the most internal to the most external, whereas this seed is clothed by the woman with the natural, with both the internal and external natural. It is therefore the man's rational, descended even into the natural that is given to the woman, whereas the woman by the conjugial love given to her makes this rational nature and life. It is the male which internally lays itself down in the female, whereas the female externallv conjoins itself
40 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
with the male. The external conjunction of the female with the male again by the male is made to a deeper rational, for the rational is always formed from the natural. It is always the essence of the rational of the male to lay itself down in the female and there to become life, as on this depends the deepening of the rational. The laying down of this rational is determined entirely by the male, on which account the conjunction of the male with the female is not constant, whereas the enclosure of the male by the female, from her natural, is always present, for which reason also conjugial love has been given to her. If therefore one says that not the rational understanding but the life only is of essential importance, one regards an appearance of the rational, but not the pure rational. To deny this essential importance of the rational, is to deny the Divine Human of the Lord, yea, interiorly seen it is to deny that the Lord is the Creator of Heaven and earth.
The seed conceived by the virgin Mary had in it not only the infinite soul of the Father, but also all the rational that since creation had been given to the human race, but now in a natural of His own.
Concerning the Lord's birth the following has been revealed to us in Luke 1:35: "And the angel answered and. said unto her: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God." Taken generally the Holy Spirit is the Divine that goes forth and proceeds from the Lord. Now it is clear that as the Lord is infinite and omnipresent it is not possible to speak of the Divine that goes forth and proceeds, unless there be a receiver, which is the Human from which the Divine proceeds. But whence does the Holy Spirit from the Human proceed, from the rational or from the natural? Whereas in the passage quoted from Luke it is said to Mary "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee" it is evident that the Holy Spirit existed before there was a Natural Human of the Lord. It is therefore from the* seed to be conceived by Mary that the Holy Spirit proceeds, therefore as has been stated from the Divine Rational laid down in the Natural. In the reply to the seventh question by Hartley it is said that creation is an attribute of the Divine Esse, redemption of the Divine
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Human from the Divine Esse, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit being the first power or operation out of the Divine Human from the Divine Esse. Whereas in the verse quoted from Luke it is said: "that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God", it is evident, that in the time between the conception and the birth of the Lord there was a process of regeneration, redemption and creation, seeing the Son of God, as we know from the Writings, is the Divine Human of the Lord. The Holy Spirit and the Divine Human however, were present only in germ, seeing the Holy Spirit in its fullness and the Divine Human in its entirety were only actual when the Lord had made Divine His Rational and had glorified His Human.
The Advent of the Lord by the conjunction of the Human with the Divine purposed to bring into the world His Divine Human, namely the Natural of His Divine Human, both the internal and the external. By this the Lord brought for the human race an actual basis for their thought. No longer, as they had been previous to the Advent of the Lord, were nature and corporeal things the basis for men's thought, but now instead the Divine Human of the Lord. The New Testament carries man's thought above the world of the senses, but yet it remains in natural things, as the Lord in that Testament always speaks in parables. It never carries us into the rational things. If at that time a revelation of the rational things had taken place, man's rational gradually would have been entirely destroyed, and the human race would have perished for ever.
First it was necessary that all evils and falsities which could possibly arise in the natural mind, resulting from the Divine Human of the Lord being the basis for the thought of the human race, should have come to fullness before a revelation of the rational things was possible and the building up of a new natural on that basis. This revelation has now been given to the human race by means of the Third Testament. By this revelation it will now be given to the New Church to see in the New Testament the truly natural and in the Old Testament the truly rational things. Whereas the human race by the Advent of the Lord had been given a basis for the natural, and that generation lacked the rational things, and an influx thereof
42 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
was indispensable, the miracle took place which is treated of in the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, namely the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The human race has not kept itself to the basis of the Divine Human, but has again taken the things of nature and the corporeal things for its basis, even to such a degree that the Word no longer is a basis for the men of the Roman Catholic church, but instead the doctrine of that church. A recovery to some extent took place by the Reformation, when the Word again was taken as a basis, but then purely the letter of the Word became the basis, without however the real basis, namely the Divine Human of the Lord.
To rest on the letter of the Word without the basis of the Divine Human of the Lord is purely sensual and of this world. Numberless evils and falsities have in consequence beset the natural mind. When these evils and falsities had become such that no longer anything of the natural, for which the Lord by His Divine Human, had laid the basis, was present in the world, and the human race therefore would have perished, the Lord made His Second Coming by the revelation of the rational things, by which
a new natural may be built. The Second Coming is the opening up of the evils and falsities, which since the Lord's Advent into the world have beset the natural mind. The Third Testament therefore never refers to natural and corporeal things, or to persons as such, but to internal things, to those evils and falsities. More than ever must the thought of the human race now be based on the Divine Human of the L-c-rd, in this instance on the Third Testament, and less than ever may one now refer to the letter of the Word, if the thought be not borne by the Divine Human of the Lord.
The Third Testament reveals to us the rational things, and in itself the Divine Rational laid down in the natural, therefore the Rational from the most internal to the most external. From this Divine Rational, as has been stated, proceeds the Holy Spirit. The New Church therefore requires no pouring out of the Holy Spirit, seeing to her has been given a Word, from which proceeds the Holy Spirit. It is also this Word which has reference to the Holy Spirit, but the New Testament to the Son, and the Old Testament to the Father. Whereas the Third Testament
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is the Rational laid down. in the Natural, this Testament in the letter is so rational, that in the beginning the natural rational of the Word was considered to be the internal sense, whereas this natural only serves to clothe the spiritual rational things. Indeed the Third Testament is the revelation of the internal sense of the Word, but only if one regards the literal sense of that Word not from without, but from within or from the spiritual rational.
The Divine Rational laid down in the Natural or the Divine Doctrine is the "city", for by this is the salvation and the protection of the human race, and it is the "bride" for by it a basis has been given in the world for the truly human and therefore for the building up of the Heavens.
What the Divine Doctrine is in respect to the Divine Human of the Lord, the Doctrine of the Church is in respect to the Life of the Church. The Doctrine of the Church therefore is the rational understanding of the Word laid down in the natural and therefore the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church, whereas the reception of the Doctrine of the Church by the natural mind is the
presence of the Son of Man. By the Doctrine of the Church the man of the Church is protected, so that by not following this Doctrine, the man of the Church withdraws himself from a protection and exposes himself to great dangers. The Doctrine of the Church also is the "bride" for by it the basis is laid for the building up of the true natural and of the Church, with which the Lord can conjoin Himself. With the Doctrine of the Church therefore one may for the first time speak in reality of the Advent of the Lord.
DE HEMELSGHE LEER
EXTRACTS FROM THE ISSUE FOR MAY 1930
"ARCANA UNA CUM: MIRABILIBUS"
EDITORIAL BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER.
The states of love or of good which a man has actually experienced are, in the Word, indicated by the word "great", and the states of faith or of truth that have actually been experienced are indicated by the word "wonderful" (A. R. 656). The words "Arcana una cum Mirabilibus", in English "Arcana together with Wonderful Things", therefore signify that for those who read the Word according to order, that is from within, in all particulars there are inseparably connected to the arcana of the letter actually experienced states of a spiritual faith, or actually experienced states of a spiritual insight into the Divine nature of the things that constitute the Church and Heaven. This is the real and living internal sense, of which it is said that it is the soul of the Word; "deprived of such life, the Word in respect to the letter is dead" (A.C. III). As regards the Lord the word "wonderful" indicates His Divine Providence (A.E. 927), and in that sense therefore the words Arcana una cum Mirabilibus signify the laws of the Divine Providence in respect to the form and contents of the Word; innumerable arcana concerning the laws of protection, the laws of mediation, in that sense lie involved in those words. The Word as to its letter and its contents is of such a nature, that thereby the infinite Divine ends are infallibly attained: the judgment and the government over the evil and the hells, the redemption and salvation of the good and the Heavens: these laws of Providence are infinitely wonderful:
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the Divine Providence is the government of the infinite Divine Love and the infinite Divine Wisdom.
The idea of "Wonderful Things" is further always accompanied by the idea of awe experienced by the mind perceiving these things, and hence it signifies the awe bordering on dismay of man when he sees the internal things of the Word, in which everywhere there are involved infinite and ever deeper arcana of the Heavens, which before were unknown to him (A. E. 1051). It is here said awe bordering on dismay, because only to the degree in which he penetrates to the realization of internal things does a man really come under the impression and in the fear of the Divine Human, acknowledging his own nothingness and dependence. What this awe bordering on dismay is. the Church in its former state, previous to the birth of the Doctrine of the Church, could scarcely see, and they who, when the Doctrine arises, do not go along with it, will never see. Only here and there a vague and distant glimpse of the essentially Divine could heretofore be recognized in the Word, as long as the Divinity of the Latin Testament was only felt as from a distance, and was understood rationally only in generals, but not in particulars. "The Lord's Word is an abyss of truths from which comes all angelic wisdom, although to the man who knows nothing of its spiritual and celestial sense, it appears like the water in a pitcher" (T. C. R. 350). This applies especially to the Latin Testament, of which so far the spiritual and celestial senses were unknown, and their existence denied. The awe bordering on dismay of the man of the Church for whom, in the measure that the 'literal sense fades away, the spiritual things of the Word appear, is indicated by the words una cum Mirabilibus. It is for this reason that the Lord in Isaiah (ch. 9 : 6) is called Mirabilis, that is "Wonderful".
If the man of the Church even now at first sight could read the Word from within (which in a more or less distant future will certainly be the case), then, when reading the words of the title of the ARCANA all the internal truths would be present to him which in the Writings have been revealed concerning the nature of the miracles of the Old and the New Testament. We read that the Church with the Israelites could not be established
47 "ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS'
or kept in existence as long as was necessary, otherwise than by manifest miracles; and with the Christian Church something similar took place in the beginning. At the establishment of the New Church however, no manifest miracles occur, but invisible miracles, which make an impression only on those men, who by their regeneration have been made susceptible thereto, because they have become sensitive to the realities of the spiritual world. Of this kind are the Wonderful Things of the internal sense, and to these does the title of the ARCANA COELESTIA refer.
Concerning the difference between external and internal miracles we read in the Writings as follows: "Manifest miracles are not wrought at the present day, but miracles not manifest, or not visible; which are such as not to inspire what is holy, or take away man's freedom" (A. C. 4031); this clearly refers to the Wonderful Things in the internal sense of the Word. "Manifest miracles have ceased, and miracles have succeeded which are unknown to man, and do not appear but to those to whom the Lord reveals them" (MEMORABILIA 2434), clearly also concerning the internal sense of the Word brought to the light by the Doctrine of the Church.
The great disadvantage of the manifest miracles lay in their compulsory character and in the danger of profanation resulting from a holiness laid on from without. The regeneration of man and the upbuilding of the Church are based on the mutual conjunction of the external man with the internal man in a state of freedom.
The external man is conjoined with the internal man, according as the man fills the vessels of the literal sense of the Word with the genuine truth of the living internal sense. By the internal sense being hidden, it has been provided that this conjunction is brought about in a state of perfect freedom; only by this freedom is the durability of the conjunction safeguarded. And yet the Wonderful Things of the internal sense perform a part in man's regeneration which clearly corresponds to the part formerly played by the manifest miracles. The quality and the quantity of the faith that must be able to make the man overcome in temptation, depends on the quality and the quantity of the Wonderful Things he has experienced; for, as indicated
48 "ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS'
above, the "Wonderful Things" signify the states of faith that have actually been experienced. For this reason in the elucidation to the title of the ARCANA it is said, that the Wonderful Things are not only subjoined, but also prefixed to the chapters. What the "chapters" in this connection signify will be shown in what follows. We read that the Israelites succumbed in all temptations, as often as they saw no miracles (A. C. 4317); the literal sense here refers to manifest miracles, and their insufficiency for establishing a real Church is clearly shown; but in the internal sense the Israelites signify the men of the New Church, and it is said that they will succumb in all internal temptations, if they will not advance beyond the letter and have no part in the Wonderful Things of the internal sense.
A far greater danger than that of the indurability of a conjunction brought about by a manifest miracle in an un-free state is the danger of profanation; for as soon as the miracle and the un-free state cease, the man returns to his previous affections and then the holy of faith is conjoined with the evil and the false of the man. It is for this reason especially that at the present day manifest miracles no longer occur for establishing the Church, but the invisible wonders, that are here spoken of. And yet it is seen in this respect as well, how the external miracles and the internal miracles perfectly correspond; for it is clear, that as soon as the Doctrine of the Church leads the man to the internal things of the Word, meant by the Wonderful Things, a danger of internal profanation occurs that has not existed before. The Doctrine of the Church is the very dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit; the danger of the sin against the Holy Spirit really only takes its beginning with the coming into existence of the Doctrine of the Church. This clearly shows how the Wonderful Things of the Third Testament perfectly correspond to the miracles of the Old and the New Testament.
We further read concerning the difference between external and internal miracles, in the CORONIS: "For many reasons this new Christian Church is not being established through any miracles as the former was; but, instead of them, the spiritual sense of the Word is revealed, and the spiritual world disclosed, and the nature of both Heaven
49 "ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS"
and hell manifested; also, that man lives a man after death; which things surpass all miracles" (First Summary, 50, 51); here also it is clearly spoken of the internal things of the Word, which are accessible for those only who, guided by the Doctrine of the Church, enter the Word according to order; the spiritual sense of the Word has been revealed only for those who are able to read the letter of the Latin Word not from without but from within. It has long been the opinion, even of the well-read members of the New Church, that in a book such as HEAVEN AND HELL the quality of the spiritual world and of Heaven and hell has been made known in naked truths. In reality,
man can see no single genuine internal truth there, unless he be - able to read the book from within. A man, who denies the Divinity of the Third Testament, can there see no single genuine truth; yea, a man who denies the Divinity of the Doctrine of the Church, thereby shows that he sees no single genuine internal truth concerning the essence of the Lord, the spiritual world, Heaven, and hell; his thoughts concerning these things are entirely natural. By the words that "man lives a man after death" the really living man of the New Church is described, who according as he rises from the grave of the letter, becomes a Man, that is an image and likeness of the Lord, who alone is Man. We further read in the CORONIS: "In place of miracles, there has, at this day, taken place a manifestation of the 'Lord Himself, an intromission into the spiritual world, and enlightenment there by immediate light from the Lord, in such things as are interior things of the Church. But chiefly, the opening of the spiritual sense in the Word, in which the Lord is in His own Divine light" (First Summary; Lastly, about Miracles)', this also clearly relates to the illustration of the man of the New Church, who through the Doctrine of the Church takes part in a spiritual vision of the Lord and in the internal things of the Word. In the ARCANA COELESTIA: "Be it known that the miracles wrought by the Lord all signify the state of the Church, and of the human race saved by His coming into the world, namely, that those were liberated from hell who had received the faith of charity. Such things are involved in the Lord's miracles. In general all the miracles recorded in the Old Testament signify the