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101                PLAIN STATEMENTS OF DOCTRINE

 

the Writings is that it is inimical and destructive of the attitude which brought about the ACADEMY  and the GENERAL CHURCH. This we cannot see. We regard it as a development of the ACADEMY attitude, as a further opening up of the perception that the Writings are the Word of the Lord. Instead of destroying, it will perfect the first ACADEMY attitude.

  But, Bishop de Charms does not like it. He thinks it is  wrong  and  that  it  has  no  support  in  the  Writings themselves. How far his loyalty to the attitude which, as he says, is the essence and soul of the ACADEMY, and therefore of the GENERAL CHURCH which he indentifies with that attitude, has prompted his opposition to the new attitude, no one can know, but it is quite evident that he appeals to that loyalty in others; and, as it seems to me, judging from what he says in his address, it has prevented him from understanding the meaning of those who have the new attitude of mind and have written in DE HEMELSCHE LEER. His presentation of the teachings contained in that magazine, shows at any rate that he has not understood them. It would make this paper entirely too long if I were to enter into particulars to prove this. But any intelligent man who with an unprejudiced mind will read Bishop de Charms's address and compare it with the remarks of Rev. Pfeiffer in the discussion of it will understand what I mean. I will only mention here one point in his presentation of what is taught in DE HEMELSCHE LEER that shows such a misunderstanding, and which he, like Dr. Acton, makes much of. He says: "Certainly the idea of the Writings which is presented in DE HEMELSCHE LEER is entirely different from our own. The ostensible purpose of the new doctrine is to exalt the Writings, and to reveal a Divinity and an Infinity in them which has never been seen before. Yet, in order that they may be so considered, not as a sun, but as an earth, they must first be reduced to a dead letter. The living internal, the spirit, cannot arise in or through that letter, but must enter the mind from another source. Great emphasis must be placed upon the idea that the Writings are an ultimate completely opaque. They are dark and cryptic. In them the light of heaven is not 'revealed', but 'reveiled'. Not the least of spiritual light can possibly enter

 

102                 REVEREND ALBERT BJORCK

 

the mind from them, for this would involve a 'physical influx', such as the Writings declare to be impossible. It was indeed a fatal error of the ACADEMY to suppose that light could come from them. Only after the Writings have been reduced to a dead letter, from which no light can come, can the eyes of the Church be turned from them in search of light from another source. Only then can we be induced to look within ourselves, to our own soul as the sun, or as the medium through which the light must be received".

  Now, I claim that this shows a complete misunderstanding of what DE HEMELSCHE LEER teaches, and therefore is a misinterpretation of what the Hague position stands for. Even when I was opposed to some of the new doctrinal thoughts published in the magazine, I could not see that meaning in what has been said there.

  To those who have the new attitude toward the Writings as the Word of the Lord to His New Church, the Lord in that Word is the Sun. The Lord in His infinite Divine Human, speaks in and through the new Word to men and guides men to heavenly light and life. But the ultimate or natural form of the Word is a cloud by which the inner Glory of the Lord is tempered to the state of the natural man, so that his understanding, or natural rational, can by its plain words see and be guided to the heavenly light and life in the first Heaven, which is spiritual-natural or celestial-natural, that is, a natural that partakes of the qualities of the truly spiritual or celestial by correspondence, but which is as discretely distinct from them, as the first Heaven is distinct from the higher.

  By regeneration of the natural degree of the mind a spiritual rational is begotten and grows in man, receiving influx from the second Heaven. The light from that Heaven is then shed on the teaching of the letter of the Word; it pierces the cloud, the literal sense of the Word then no longer hides the Glory of the Lord, but becomes a mirror, so that man sees the Glory of the Lord in it. Then the ideas from the interior sense of the Word which make the second Heaven, and are that Heaven, are seen by man's spiritual rational plainly stated in the ultimate natural words of the Word. The ultimate sense of the Word, which is  the  Divine  Natural  of  the  Lord,  then  gives  Divine

 

103                PLAIN STATEMENTS OF DOCTRINE

 

sanction and authority to the truths seen in the light from that higher Heaven, and they become to the man of the Church the Doctrine of the Church, spiritual out of celestial origin.

 

 THE LORD'S OWN WITH MAN

 

    BY THE REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN.

 

  It has been repeatedly stated that DE HEMELSCHE LEER teaches that man is Divine. This statement by itself is totally misleading, for there is but one sense in which it can be said that man is Divine, a sense clearly taught in the Latin Word, but a sense in which the word Man is used in a special meaning which is entirely different from the usual meaning. It is only when Man is used with the meaning defined in the following number that he may be said to be Divine: "In the Most Ancient Church, with the members of which the Lord conversed face to face, the Lord appeared as a Man; concerning which much may be related, but the time has not yet arrived. On this account they called no one Man but the Lord Himself, and the things which were of Him; neither did they call themselves men but only those things in themselves, as all the good of love and all the truth of faith, which they perceived they had from the Lord", A. C. 49.

  That the goods of love and the truths of faith which are from the Lord with man, and which are essentially Man, are Divine even in the natural mind, is taught as follows: "In the present chapter in the internal sense the subject is the natural, and how the Lord made it Divine in Himself. Esau is the good thereof and Jacob the truth. For when the Lord was in the world He made His whole Human Divine in Himself, both the interior Human which is the rational, and the exterior Human which is the natural, and also the very corporeal; and this according to the Divine Order, according to which the Lord also makes man new or regenerates him. And therefore in the representative sense the regeneration of man as to his natural is also here treated of, in which sense Esau is the good of the natural, and Jacob the truth thereof, and yet both Divine, because all the good and truth in one who is regenerate are from the Lord", A. C. 3490.

 

104                     REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN

 

  In the above number the infinite difference between the Lord and man is evident. This difference consists not only in this, that the good and truth in the Lord was infinitely above the good and truth with man; but also in this that Good and Truth with the Lord was in and from Himself, and was therefore intrinsically in Him and was His Own or His Proprium. While man has no good or truth which is  in  and  from  himself, that is intrinsically in him, for man's proprium, that is what is his own, is nothing but evil and falsity, wherefore all good and truth which are with man as if they were his own are from the Lord, yea from His Proprium. Wherefore we read that "Angels are withheld from their proprium, .and are kept in the Lord's Proprium which is Good Itself", H.H. 591. Because the Lord made His Proprium Divine -from Himself therefore He said of the Father: "All Mine are Thine and Thine are Mine", JOHN 17 : 10; while it is said of man that "the Divine can be with man, but not in his proprium; for the proprium of man is nothing but evil; and therefore he who ascribes what is Divine to himself as his own profanes it. What is Divine is exquisitely separated by the .Lord from the proprium of man, and is elevated above it and never immersed in it", A.R. 758. Hence we read: "For the Lord is not conjoined with the proprium of man, but with His Own with him. The Lord removes the proprium of man, and gives from His Own and dwells in it", A.E. 291.

 Another difference between the Lord and man is involved in A.C. 3490, quoted above, namely that the Lord made the very corporeal in Himself Divine, while with man the corporeal is not regenerated.

  As the Most Ancient Church called only the Lord and the good and truth with them from the Lord "Man", with the fall of that Church this truth was profaned into the idea that they themselves as men were Divine, and therefore like gods. This profanation is described as follows: "There were Nephilim in the land in those days; and' especially after the sons of God went in unto the daughters of man, and they bare to them, the same became mighty men, who were of old, men of renown. This signifies that they became Nephilim when they had immersed the doctrinals of faith in their cupidities", A.C. 582. Concerning these perversions we are told that they were of a more

 

105                        THE LORD S OWN WITH MAN

 

interior nature than any that have existed in the world since, and for this reason that they were a perversion of celestial troth. While the New Church will not be able to see celestial truth proper until it returns into the celestial state, and therefore will, before that time, not be able to have an interior idea concerning the perversions spoken of, we can nevertheless see certain of their truths and their perversions as in an image.

  It was a remnant of this perversion that passed down through the Indian religiosities and passed into Europe by means of Theosophy. As a result of this influence it is believed by many that man is Divine and has as his soul a spark of the Divine, which idea involves that man has something intrinsically Divine within him. In the history of the New Church related falsities have arisen and have seduced certain of its members. On account of these perversions a fear is aroused when the Divine with man is spoken of, yet while seeing the danger from the possibility of the perversion of a truth, we must not let this deter us from acknowledging the truth. A genuine truth always has the effect of bringing man into a state of humility before the Lord, while its perversion into a falsity has the effect of exalting man in the pride of his own conceit. If it is acknowledged from the heart that man is nothing but evil and falsity, and therefore that the Lord cannot dwell in anything proper to man, but that He can dwell only in His Own with man, that is in His own goods and truths with man, which being the Lord's are Divine, man is brought into a state of humility in which he realizes his dependence on the Lord, not only in general, but in everything of his life. Whether it is said that goods and truths with man are the Lord's and not man's own, or whether it is said that they are Divine, it is the same thing, wherefore it is just to the extent that a man acknowledges that the goods and truths with him are Divine, that he can come into genuine humility. On the other hand to the extent that a man  believes  that the  good  and  truth  with  him  are not Divine, to the same extent he denies that they are the Lord's, and to the same extent man comes into the pride of his own intelligence.

  The object of regeneration is to remove the things of man's proprium. In so far as these are removed man is in

 

106                 REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN

 

the Lord's Proprinm, for we read: "The internal man of the Angels . . . in so far as their proprial things do not hinder, is the Lord", A.C. 1745; and again: "This is the celestial proprium, which in itself is of the Lord alone appropriated to those who are in good and thence in truth", A.C. 3813. It is the nature of man's proprium to wish to have goods and truths as its own, and as none but Nephilim dare to claim the Divine as their own, therefore with others it is of the proprium to deny that goods and truths with them are Divine, in order that they may believe that in some sense the goods and truths with them are theirs.

  While the goods and truths with man from the Lord are Divine, they are not the Infinite Divine as they were with the Lord after Glorification. Concerning the Divine truth which constitutes the wisdom, intelligence, and science of Angels and men we read as follows: "Divine truth in its descent proceeds according to degrees, from the highest or inmost to the lowest or ultimate. Divine Truth in the highest degree is such as is the Divine that proceeds most nearly from the Lord, thus such as is the Divine Truth above the Heavens; and as this is infinite, it cannot come to the perception of any Angel. But Divine Truth of the first degree is that which comes to the perception of the Angels of the inmost or third Heaven, and is called celestial Divine Truth; from this is the wisdom of those Angels. Divine Truth of the second degree is that which comes to the perception of the Angels of the middle or second Heaven and constitutes their wisdom and intelligence, and is called spiritual Divine Truth. Divine Truth of the third degree is that which comes to the perception of the Angels of the lowest Heaven and constitutes their intelligence and science, and is called celestial-natural and spiritual-natural Divine Truth. But Divine Truth of the fourth degree is that which comes to the perception of the men of the Church who are living in the world, and constitutes their intelligence and  science;  this is  called natural  Divine Truth, and its lowest is called sensual Divine Truth", A.E. 627.

  That the Divine Truths which constitute the wisdom, intelligence, and science of Angels and men, refer to truths when received and not to truths before reception, is taught as follows: "The Lord is nothing but Divine Good; that

 

107                THE LORD'S OWN WITH MAN

 

"which proceeds from His Divine Good and inflows into Heaven, in the celestial kingdom is called the Divine celestial,  and in the spiritual kingdom the Divine spiritual; thus the Divine spiritual and the Divine celestial are so called relatively to receptions", A.C. 6417. See also A.E. 496, where, speaking of Divine Love celestial and Divine Love spiritual, it says: "But the Lord's Divine love in the Heavens is called celestial and spiritual merely from the reception of it by the Angels". Further concerning the reception of good and truth with man, as being the Lord's with him, we read as follows: "The Lord cannot love and dwell with man unless He is received; . .. to enter to any one, and remain, with whom there is no reception is impossible. As the reception and the reciprocal in man are from the Lord, He says abide in Me and I in you", Doc. LIFE, 102. And again: "The Father in the Heavens flows in equally with the evil and the good. but the reception of it must be on man's part, yet not on man's part as from man, but as if from man, for the ability to receive truth is given to man continually, and it flows in to the extent that man removes the evils that oppose, and does this also from the ability which is continually given; the ability appears to be man's although it is the Lord's", A.E. 644. Hence when it states in the number quoted at the commencement of this paper that "they did not call themselves men, but only those things in themselves as all the good of love and all the truth of faith which they perceived they had from the Lord", the reference is not to the goods and truths which flow in with the good and evil alike, but to substantial forms of good and truth which were created and are continually preserved in them from the Lord, and which are the actual "sons of God" as distinguished from what is called in the number "they themselves", see A.C. 2022, 2023.

  It is indeed profane to say that man is Divine, unless by the word Man is understood solely what is from the Lord, who is the only Man.

 

DE HEMELSCHE LEER

 

EXTRACTS FROM THE ISSUE FOR DECEMBER 1933

 

        MATTHEW XXIII : 37-39

 

ADDRESS BY H. D. G. GROENEVELD AT THE SOCIAL SUPPER OF OCTOBER 29TH, 1933.

 

  0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee. How often would I have gathered thy children, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under the wing's, and ye would not!

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

 For I say unto you: Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

                             MATTHEW XXIII : 37-39.

 

  Jerusalem represents the Church where the Word is, and in particular the Church where the Writings are accepted as the Divine Doctrine or the Word, and more singularly the Church where the Doctrine of the Church is seen as spiritual out of celestial origin. The mentioning twice of the word Jerusalem indicates the things of the celestial kingdom and the things of the spiritual kingdom or the things of the good and the things of the truth of the Doctrine. From the words , one hears the deep sorrow arising from the love for the Church, and especially for the Church where the Doctrine of the Church is seen as spiritual out of celestial origin, and they implore retreat and repentance. The Prophets signify the doctrinal things of the Word, and being sent indicates the human things in which the doctrinal things are present and by which they come to the outside. To kill has reference to the will, and to stone to the understanding. Thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, thus signifies  that the  Church,  where the Doctrine  of the Church is seen as spiritual out of celestial origin, destroys with the will and combats with the understanding the doctrinal things of the Word which in the human things come to the outside and which thereby are clearly shown.

 

110                 H. D. G. GROENEVELD

 

It  is  the  evil  of  the  will  that  deprives  the  essential  or the internal of the doctrinal things of life, and it is the falsity of the understanding that with the hardness of natural reasoning directs itself against the external or the body of the doctrinal things.

  Man has two faculties which are the Lord's with him, namely the faculty of freedom or that of the will and the faculty of rationality or that of the understanding. By these, man has life as if from himself. Since man with regard to the human things is born into evil, he therefore in the natural has an evil will. Evil charms him, and in it he feels his freedom. Every infringement upon his will is an attack on his freedom. As long therefore as no regeneration of the will has taken place, whereby man comes into what is actually free from the Lord, the freedom of evil is  regarded  as  freedom  itself.  Every  restriction  from outside of the evil of the will brings a feeling of compulsion and thus a deprivation of life as from one's self. The compelling of the evil of the will therefore ought to be done by the man himself with the help of the understanding; for which reason the Lord, "for the sake of regeneration, has separated the will and the understanding in man. Man, from the faculty of rationality given to him, which is the Lord's, by his understanding can receive into himself the truths of the Word and of the Doctrine of the Church, and in that light discern the evil of his will. He then, as from himself, should strive against the evil of his will. This is the true strife of life which every man has to carry on, if he wishes to enter into the Lord's Kingdom. Every reception with the understanding should, however, take place for the exclusive end of learning to. know the evils of the will and to combat them. In this also lies the essential of Baptism, because man then confesses that the Lord is the Creator of Heaven and earth and acknowledges that evil must be shunned as sin against the Lord. In every reception with the understanding for any other end, for instance of the gathering of knowledge only for the sake of knowing the things, the essential for conjunction with the Lord is lacking. In such a reception the understanding does elevate itself above the will, but since the essential for conjunction is lacking, the understanding remains in the service of the evil will. The evil

 

 111             MATTHEW XXIII : 37-39       

 

of the will then uses the scientifics acquired by the understanding as means to combat in the natural the essential things of life. Thus they have the appearance of truths, but since the essential for conjunction is lacking, they are as lifeless things. These are the stones by which the body of the doctrinal things has now been wounded to the quick.

  By receiving with the understanding the truths of the Word and of the Doctrine of the Church, man is indeed willing to be in conjunction with the body of the Church, but he desires no conjunction of the body of the Church with him. As long as the will is not on the way of regeneration, man suffers no interference with the affairs of his will, since he desires no interference with his freedom in the human things, bound as he is to the lusts of the evil of his will, while it is just the will that is on the way of regeneration that desires the conjunction of the body of the Church with him, in order that they be one in the Divine Human of the Lord. The evil will does not desire to breathe with the heart of the Church and therefore does not seek charity in the spiritual things but in the natural things. It does desire conjunction with the Divine things but not with the human things from the Lord, as a consequence of which it does desire the Doctrine but not the life, while yet the Doctrine is the Lord's, who is Life itself, and has only life for end. The man who desires no conjunction of the body of the Church with the human things, does not accept the cleansing of the human things and therefore not regeneration. He does acknowledge the Father but not the Son and consequently not the Lord as the Creator of Heaven and earth. Innumerable are the excuses when the conjunction of the body of the Church with the human things is at issue. All the excuses find their origin in the love of self and the love of the world, that is in the affections and thoughts of the man in the human things. It is the natural body which alone is of essential significance to him and not the spiritual body. All things of the natural body, however, should be directed to and made subservient to the things of the spiritual body. Here lies the strife of life for man and not in the things of the natural body, while it is just there that the fight is carried on and considered of essential importance. Not to acknowledge the possibility of deliverance of the

 

112              H. D. G. GROENEVELD

 

human things is not to acknowledge the Glorification of the Lord and therefore not to acknowledge that the Son is one with the Father.

  For the conjunction with the body of the Church and thus with the Divine 'Human of the Lord, no excuse can apply on the strength of things of the natural body, whatever those things may be. It is thus not of essential importance whether one takes up the truths of the Word and of the Doctrine of the Church, if one does not have 'for an end the conjunction with the body of the Church and thus with the Divine Human of the Lord. In the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel by Luke the excuses, and indeed the three degrees thereof, are described. We read in verses 15 to 20 as follows: "And when one of them that sat with Him  heard these things,  he said unto Him: Blessed is he that eateth bread in the Kingdom of God. Then said He unto him; A certain man made a great supper, and bade many; and sent his servant at supper time to say unto them that were bidden: Come, for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee, have me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come".

 The 15th verse describes to us the man who takes up the truths of the Word and of the Doctrine of the Church and rejoices in them because they give him the food of the real things of life and thus of the Divine Human of the Lord. That this, however, is not sufficient, appears from the 16th verse, where the invitation is spoken of to partake of a great supper, by which is indicated the conjunction of the body of the Church or the Divine Human of the Lord with the human things. That it is just the conjunction with the human things that is at issue appears also from the servant being sent.

  The first excuse is: "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it". To buy a piece of ground signifies with the understanding to come into the possession of a Doctrine out of the Word in the natural. To go and see signifies to remove one's self and to further

 

113                MATTHEW XXIII : 37-39

 

investigate with the understanding. The first excuse is thus expressed by the man who with his understanding has come into the possession of a Doctrine out of the Word in the natural and removes himself from the body of the Church, in order to investigate that Doctrine with his thinking only. He will only pass on to the shunning of evil and the application of the truths in his life, if he has certainty and confirmation of the truths of the Doctrine. Since thus the essential is lacking there is no will for the conjunction of the human things with the body of the Church. The excuse in its essence comes from the man who sees life only in the entering of the thinking into the problems of life. The understanding and not the will is regarded as the essential of man. The shunning of evil as sin against the Lord and thus the purification of the human things is not seen as of direct importance, since the elevation and thus the salvation of the human race is expected only from the understanding. That the understanding in the actual things of life is dependent only on the conjunction of the human things with the body of the Church, is felt as a limitation and thus as a deprivation of the freedom of the understanding, since the understanding is considered capable by its faculty, of bringing the man anywhere, thus also outside of the body of the Church, into the possession of the actual things of life. In the desire for wisdom the will or the love for conjunction, and thus the actual conjugial is lacking.

  The second excuse is :"l have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them". An ox signifies the natural good and five yoke of oxen signifies few goods and truths of the natural good. To prove means, if possible, to apply them to life. The second excuse is therefore uttered by the man who with his understanding has come into the possession of few goods and truths of natural good and removes himself from the body of the Church in order, if possible, to apply them to life, in order to practice charity and to do uses so-called. Here therefore, the will is active; not the will however for conjunction of the human things with the body of the Church, but the hidden will of the proprium, for not the spiritual life, but only the natural life is considered as of essential importance.

 

114              H. D. G. GROENEVELD

 

  The third excuse is: "I have married a wife". A wife signifies love in the most exterior or the sensual things, in this instance the love of self and the love for the world. To be married signifies to be conjoined. The third, excuse therefore is uttered by the man who is conjoined with the love of self and the love of the world in the most exterior or the sensual things, thus by the man with whom the evil of the will is active. Here the will alone comes to the fore, for which reason also the reply follows that he cannot come. According to the natural signification of the words many have felt in life the bond where the wife is the ruling one in the conjunction, but an unfolding in the spiritual sense would show every one how he is riveted to the evil of his will and that by that evil he is in conjunction with his deepest hells. The evil of the will is always conjoined with the most exterior or the sensual things. It there shows itself in an innocence, gentleness, and beauty, with so much cunningness and craftiness that on the outside it has the appearance of being innocence, gentleness, and beauty itself. It brings such a charm that man cannot think otherwise but that therein lies the actual life. In these things is the power and thus the might of the will. Man becomes powerless and cannot maintain himself against this song of the sirens, unless he clings to the principles, that for him are irrefutable, of truth out of the Word and the Doctrine of the Church, or above it hears the song of the Angels concerning the conjunction of truth and good in the Divine Human of the Lord, or the truly conjugial love. from these things also the charity of man springs forth. The not-favoring of these things is seen as a lack of a feeling for the needs of the neighbor. All charity is directed towards the most exterior or the sensual things, because it can only express itself in these, and also considers only these things as of essential importance. In this way man clothes himself with an appearance of charity, since the evil of the will and thus the love of self is present therein. This love oppresses and encompasses the neighbor, and thus deprives him of his freedom. All affections and thoughts of man must be directed to his conjunction with the body of the Church or the Divine Human of the Lord. The charity proceeding from the heart of the Church views only the actual human things from the Lord. Man there-

 

115                MATTHEW XXIII: 37-39

 

fore should get loose from his conjunction with the most exterior or the sensual things. He must not, however, despise the sensual things, for the Lord has given these things to man to possess them as from himself, and therein to have a life of joy and blessedness into the eternal. The joy and blessedness therefore does not consist in the possession of the sensual things in themselves, but in the use or soul thereof, that is in the Divine Human of the Lord. The evil of the will is bound fast to all things of the life of man in the natural world. The words "I have married a wife", therefore interiorly contain the things that are the actual cause of the killing and stoning of the doctrinal things of the body of the Church.

  "How often would I have gathered thy children", signifies that in  the truths  which have been  given to the Church where the Doctrine of the Church is seen as spiritual out of celestial origin, the Lord was always present with the effort of gathering the human things into the body of the Church. "Even as a hen gathereth her chickens under the wings", signifies that there was the effort of the Lord, because in the essential or internal of the doctrinal things in the natural, the warmth or love is present to gather the human things under the power and thus the protection of truth in the external or the body of the doctrinal things. "And ye would not", signifies that there was no retreat and repentance, and thus no affection of being taken up into the body of the Church. "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate", signifies that the Church and the man of the Church with the understanding shall acknowledge that evil remains in the will. "For I say unto you: ye shall not see me henceforth", signifies that it is an irrefutable truth that nothing more of the things of the Divine Human of the Lord shall come into the light of the thinking of the Church and of the man of the Church; "till ye shall say: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord", signifies until the Church or the man of the Church shall acknowledge from the heart or from the will that it is just in the human things which flow forth from the truths of the Word and the Doctrine of the Church, which truths essentially are no other than the actual human things wherein the reception must take place of good and truth from the Lord, if conjunction with the

 

116            REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN

 

body of the Church is to be possible and thus with the Divine Human of the Lord.

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          JACOB AND RACHEL

 

A SERMON BY THE REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN. *

 

And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept.

                                     GEN. XXIX : II.

 

  The signification of Jacob kissing Rachel, and his weeping, is given in the ARCANA COELESTIA as follows:

    "3800.  And Jacob kissed Rachel; that this signifies love towards interior truths, is evident from the signification of kissing as being unition and conjunction from affection, consequently love, because regarded in itself love is unition and conjunction from affection;  and from the representation of Rachel, as being the affection of interior truth. Hence it is evident that by Jacob kissing Rachel, is signified love towards interior truths.

    "3801.  And he lifted up his voice and wept; that this signifies the ardor of love, is evident from the signification of lifting up the 7'01Ce and weeping, as being the ardor of love; for weeping is of sorrow, and also of love, and is the highest degree of each of them".

  There is nothing more important to the man of the Church than to know what is meant by the affection of interior truth and to know how to pursue it. Jacob, we read, labored twice seven years to win Rachel, and it seemed but a few days for the love he bore her. If we are to become a spiritual Church, the New Jerusalem, in fact as well as in name, we must serve with ardor twice seven years to win the affection of interior truth. If we do not win this affection of truth, We cannot win spiritual or celestial good; for the reason that a man's truth qualifies his good. This idea is expressed in the ARCANA as follows: "Good does not become the good which is called the good of charity until truths are implanted in it, and such as are the truths that are implanted in it, such does the good become. For this reason the good of one person, although it

  * This sermon was sent ns by Mr. Pitcairn with the remark: "Written 5 or 6 years ago" (Ed )

 

117            JACOB AND RACHEL

 

may appear precisely similar to that of another, yet is not the same".

  Let us first consider what the affection of interior troth is not.

  First it is not curiosity about interior truths. Curiosity is a quality of the normal mind before regeneration. It may be a means of leading a man to spiritual truth; but it must be dropped and left behind before a man can come into the affection of truth. Just as the love of the sex is said to be like the matrix of a precious stone in which conjugial love, like a jewel, may be formed, so curiosity may be a matrix in which the affection of truth may grow, but the matrix must be destroyed before the jewel can appear. The Angels are not curious.

  Neither is the affection of truth the love of understanding interior truth. This love, like curiosity, is innate in many men. The love of understanding is a natural love; it is something for which a man does not necessarily have to strive. A man may love to understand truth, even to understand interior truth for many reasons. This love may give him a certain mental satisfaction; it may give a sense of elation to his natural conceit, or it may come from more ulterior motives. Like curiosity, it may be instrumental in leading man towards the affection of truth, but in itself, it is a natural love, and does not necessarily introduce man to the spiritual affection of truth.

  The affection of interior truth, represented by Rachel, is a state of mind in which a man is affected by interior truth, when he is moved by a feeling of delight and love on beholding it; when he sees interior truth in all the beauty of its form, exceeding beautiful to behold, so that from the .love he feels towards it, he will gladly serve twice seven years to possess it as his own. To have the affection of interior truth is the same as to be deeply moved at its presence, to be moved as a young man is moved on beholding a virgin of exceeding great beauty, whom he loves. In the days of our fathers they at times actually wept for joy at seeing the beauty of the heavenly arcana.

  We live in a day and age when the cold intellect and the animal passions are worshipped. Really deep affections are apt to be despised and called sentimental. We of the New Church are ever in danger of being affected by this

 

118         REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN

 

point of view. If a man were to lift up his voice and weep on hearing a profound spiritual truth, this sceptical generation could scarcely believe in his genuineness.

  In the early days of the ACADEMY, Jacob indeed rolled the stone from the well's mouth. The well is the Word. It was the recognition of the Lord in the Writings of the New Church that rolled the stone from the well's mouth. And immediately after this act, Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept, this is, the members of the Church were profoundly moved at the beauty of internal truth, which they then beheld.

  But what of our generation? Our fathers planted the seeds; these seeds have grown. There is considerable interest in the Doctrines of the Church. Discussion of its teachings are not infrequent. There is a certain willingness and desire to work ?or the Church. But this is not all that is necessary. These things by themselves do not denote the affection of interior truth, the power of being deeply moved at its presence. In a way our generation has a more difficult task before it in acquiring this affection than did our fathers. There is little merit in a man loving a beautiful maiden on beholding her. It was the fourteen years of willing service that Jacob served that won him his reward. I-f a man has been brought up in the presence of interior truth, if he has 'known it many years and still loves it, and is still moved at its presence, then there is reason for rejoicing. But this kind of love does not come without labor and earnest serving.

  We must serve the Church; we must do its work, for in serving the Church we serve the Lord. But like Mary, we must choose the better part. The part of Martha by itself is not sufficient. We must sit at the Lord's feet and hear His Word. We must strive to hear it with great delight. How often the reading of the Writings seems tedious. How difficult it is to read them with a delight that surpasses all other delights. When we read that Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed as a few days for the love that he bore her, this ideal seems impossible; yet it is an ideal  which we must all pursue.  It is the object which the Church must ever keep in mind in its education and in all its teaching.

  There is possibly no better illustration of the nature

 

119                JACOB AND RACHEL

 

of the affection of truth than that which we find in the Prologue of Swedenborg's ANIMAL KINGDOM, where we read: "To rightly constituted minds, truths are not only pleasing, but also ineffably delightful, containing in them, as it were, the charms of all the loves and graces".

  "Whenever a truth shines forth, the mind exalts and rejoices".

  "Above all, it behooves the mind to be pure and regard universal ends, as the happiness of the human race and thereby the Glory of God. Truth is then infused into our mind from Heaven, whence as from its proper fountain, it all emanates. Plato used frequently to say, so the philosopher relates, that when his soul was engaged in contemplation, he seemed to enjoy the supreme good, and incredible delight; that he was in a manner fixed in astonishment, acknowledging himself as part of a higher world; at length wearied, he relapsed into Fantasy, and became sorrowful. ... Again the soul, as it were freed from the body, ascends, and is enlightened". Swedenborg concludes: "But this may appear like a mere fable to those who have not experienced it", thereby implying that h6 himself had been in such a state. Swedenborg's love was always the affection of internal truth, represented by Rachel; but like Jacob, after seven years of service, he found himself married to Leah, the affection of external truth. If in this state while writing the ANIMAL KINGDOM he valued the affection of truth so highly, finding in it an ineffable delight, we can well imagine what intense delight he must have sustained when the spiritual sense of the Word was opened to him, and he beheld Rachel in all her beauty.

  But how are we to win this affection of internal truth? Truths we can learn; truths we can teach to our children; but the affection of truth we can neither learn nor teach. The affection of internal truth must grow in the mind.. We are, however, able to hinder or aid its growth.

  Some of the hindrances Swedenborg mentions in the Prologue of the ANIMAL KINGDOM. To quote: "The way to the principles of truth involves an innate love of truth, an eager desire of exploring it, a delight in finding it; also the ability to recall the mind from the senses, from the lusts of the body, the enticements of the world and

 

120        REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN

 

its cares, all which are distracting forces, and of keeping it on its own higher sphere".

  Every man has a certain amount of what we might call psychic energy, or energy of the soul. If this energy is applied in one direction it detracts from the energy that can be applied in another direction. As this energy is applied, so is the mind formed. The scientist who applies all his energy to acquiring facts, loses the power to see truth; the man who applies all his mental energies to achieving success, loses the ability to be affected by truth. With nearly all men their mental energy is divided into various channels. If a man is to become spiritual, a reasonable amount of life force must be used for meditating on spiritual things; if a man is not willing to give a part of his very life for this purpose, there is no hope of his acquiring the affection of spiritual truth.

  Success in modern life requires mental energy; preparation for life in the world requires mental activity. The great danger is that we will use up this vital stream in the things of this world; that we will not save sufficient for quiet meditation to enable the spiritual mind to grow; and that 'in our school system we will over develop the scientific and practical mind so that the spiritual mind becomes dwarfed. But some may ask, did not Swedenborg have an enormous amount of scientific learning; did he not know nearly all the facts of his time? True, but this was part of Swedenborg's work; besides which, with Swedenborg, facts were merely a means to a spiritual end. The search for the soul, the knowledge and the praise of God were the ever active motives in his mind. Nothing which did not reveal some spiritual law interested him. He seemed to scarcely turn his face a moment from beholding God. His eyes were continually on God as the soul and life of His creation. If he beheld the human body with his earthly eyes, his mind saw the soul and the life of the soul, namely God.

  Swedenborg's whole life was centered upon acquiring the affection of internal truth. When therefore this truth was revealed to him, he rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

  On the other hand, we are apt to pursue unorganized dead knowledge with such energy that the affection of internal truth has no chance to grow; added to which, our

 

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life in society is want to grow so complicated that internal thought becomes as a small voice that is drowned in the noises of the day.

  We all have a love for the Church, implanted in many of ns from childhood, but if we give expression to this love, we are, may be, too apt to give it all in the way that we are accustomed to live in the world, namely externally, forgetting the better part of Mary who sat at the feet of the Lord.

  When we go to classes or attend Church, our minds are often distracted from the main purpose by pondering over problems, by reasoning in ourselves about this and that, instead of giving all our attention to beholding the Divine Truth in its beauty, in marvelling at the comeliness of Rachel.

  Reasoning about spiritual truth, and discussion, has its place, but if it is over-indulged, it destroys the perception of truth, and finally the affection of internal truth. Reason is a God-given means of learning truth, but if we reason too much, if we do not see the truth, and seeing love it, but continue ever to reason about it, then does reason become a destroying fire. If we over-emphasize reason so that we wish to know the reason of everything instead of delighting in what God has revealed in the nature of His creation, we can destroy innocence, and with innocence the Church.

  To train youths in external loyalty to the Church is not so difficult as might be imagined. To impress upon them the importance of keeping the Ten Commandments in their external form can be accomplished in most cases, but to aid the growth in them of the internal affection of truth which gives spiritual life to the keeping of the Commandments, is indeed a difficult task, but still an all-important one. Without this affection a man is relatively dead, even though he may be admitted to the lower regions of Heaven after death. Spiritual life must characterize the New Church, and spiritual life is a manifestation of the affection of internal truth. If we have this affection. we are spiritually living. All good must have this affection as its foundation. Preparation for the implantation of this affection is therefore of paramount importance, and it is the duty of every minister and teacher to reflect and meditate on what will best conduce to this end.

 

122             REVEREND THEODORE PITCAIRN

 

 The ACADEMY recognized from the beginning that spiritual truth and good are the neighbor, and that charity in its essence looks towards these. This was their first love. Let us ever heed the warning of the  Church of Ephesus, that we lose not our first love. And if we do, that we repent and do the first works, lest He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, come quickly, and remove our candlestick out of its place. Amen.

 

123   

 

DE HEMELSCHE LEER

EXTRACT FORM THE ISSUE FOR JAN.-MARCH1934.

 

THE ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETINGS 1933

 

    THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS

 

    A REPLY BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER.

 

 The Word of the Third Testament contains much teaching on the difference between the Word and the Doctrine of truth existing in the Church out of the Word. The essence of the .new doctrinal position which has been advanced in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, is that that teaching applies also to the Third Testament itself. It is therefore a fundamental principle of the new position that the Word itself teaches the reality and the importance of that difference; and it has been pointed out from the beginning that a concept which cannot be confirmed by the very letter of the Word cannot be maintained. So the issue for July 1930 of DE HEMELSCHE LEER contains the following statement: "The Doctrine of the Church in order to establish its authority, will never refer to its own literal sense, but always exclusively to the literal sense of the Word itself". First Fascicle, p. 121, and in order to show that this principle has governed our thought even at the time of the first appearance of DE HEMELSCHE LEER, I wish to quote the following passage from a letter of April 18th 1930 from the present writer to the Bishop: "May I take this opportunity to emphasize that it is the very basis of our thought that the letter of the Word is the one only source and foundation of all truth, and that a concept which cannot manifestly be shown to have its origin in the letter of the Word and which cannot be confirmed by the letter of the Word, must be rejected as untenable".

  To one who has come to see that the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Third Testament of the Word of the Lord, the Word in a new letter, the Divine Truth revealed in lasts for the rational mind, and who at the same time

 

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realizes the difference between the Word and the Doctrine of truth existing in the Church out of the Word, these Writings in fact begin to teach and to confirm those theses in every singular statement. It then becomes plain that the three discrete degrees of truth into which man can come by the opening of the three degrees of the mind, are the natural rational, the spiritual rational, and the celestial rational; that these three degrees of truth in the letter of the Latin Word are all together, according to the teaching "that the celestial and the spiritual senses of the Word are simultaneously in the natural sense of it", S.S. 38, since "in the outermost or last things all interior or higher things are simultaneously", D.P. 230; but that the letter to man yields just that degree of truth which belongs to the degree of the mind which by regeneration with him has been opened. This is meant by the teaching that the Doctrine must be drawn out of the letter; for the Doctrine is the genuine truth existing in the Church, and there are three discrete degrees of genuine truth which can be drawn out of the letter, where all degrees are together in lasts. In DE HEMELSCHE LEER hundreds of passages have been quoted to confirm the truth of the necessity of applying those laws to the Third Testament. All these confirmatory quotations, however, have made no impression upon those who are opposed to the new position. But this is not surprising if one is beforehand confirmed in the negative, for it is a law that a truth cannot be seen if a negative attitude is taken. On the other hand to one who is affirmative the testimony of the Latin Word to the truth of this  view becomes  overwhelming  practically  in  every single statement.

  May I be allowed to illustrate this with the experience of a fellow-minister who has accepted the position. In a letter of July 25th 1933 to the Rev. Theodore Pitcairn the Rev. Elmo C. Acton says: "The truth of the position as presented in DE  HEMELSCHE LEER becomes clearer and clearer every day, and is seen confirmed on every page of the Writings". The same writer in a letter to the Rev. Albert Bjorck says: "The Word is the final court of appeal in discovering the truth of any doctrine drawn by the Church, but when the Doctrine in this way has been seen to be true, then the Word in the letter must be read in the

 

125                A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER

 

light of the Doctrine, and unless it is so read the Word is a closed book, and the spiritual sense for ever remains hidden and buried in the letter. . . . The authority always rests in the letter". And another minister, the Rev. Hendrik W. Boef, in a letter of July 12th 1933 writes: "I am convinced now of the truth of the theses in DE HEMELSCHE LEER. To me they are simply the teachings of the Writings. I have been astonished at the abundance of passages in the Writings which, in their literal sense, teach those truths. If I should deny them, I feel that I would deny the Writings themselves".

  For still further confirmation that this is the experience of all those who are not obscured by misunderstanding but who really have grasped the essence of the issue, may I be allowed to quote here also the testimony of the Reverend Albert Bjorck. His ultimate experience ensuing from the correspondence between him and us, which was published in the Fourth Fascicle, is already known. He then, under the date of October 29th 1932, wrote: "But I can also claim that I have made efforts to understand your position, and . -. with the understanding has also come the conviction that your position is in agreement with the teaching of the Third Testament. This is of course what matters", Fourth Fascicle, p. 141. And in a letter of March 5th 1933, Mr. Bjorck writes: "I am more than ever convinced of the truth of your position, and see everything said in the Latin Testament in a new light streaming out from the position you hold". The Reverend Theodore Pitcairn, in a  letter  of  March  18th  1930,  expressed  his  first  experience in the following words: "I have pondered the things which you have presented and have come to feel that the position you have taken is true. With this realization has come a wonderful new light; in fact it has thrown a new light on everything".

  While on the one hand we must maintain that the actual position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER as to all its essential concepts is drawn out of and confirmed by the very letter of the Latin Word, on the other hand we readily admit that the position which has been ascribed to DE HEMELSCHE LEER in the Bishop's address certainly could not have been so drawn and confirmed. When we, including the Reverend Theodore Pitcairn and the other ministers

 

126                 THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS

 

who have understood the principles involved, were listening to the Bishop's presentation, we stood aghast at what we heard. Truly, it was difficult to believe our ears, and I cannot help solemnly declaring that practically every single statement of that address ascribes to us ideas which are the very opposite of what we actually hold. The position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER may be summarized in the three leading theses which have been prefixed to the third and fourth of the English fascicles and which read as follows:

  1.   The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Third Testament of the Word of the Lord. The DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE must be applied to the three Testaments alike.

  2.   The Latin Word without Doctrine is as a candlestick without light, and those who read the Latin Word without Doctrine, or who do not acquire for themselves a Doctrine from the Latin Word, are in darkness as to all truth, cf. S.S. 5061.

  3.   The genuine Doctrine of the Church is spiritual out of celestial origin, but not out of rational origin. The Lord is that Doctrine itself, cf.  A.C. 2496, 2497,  2510, 2516, 2533, 2859; A.E. 19.

  These theses present the true aspect of our faith, but they have found no consideration in the Bishop's address, the essence of which is a repetition of the arguments which in the history of the New Church very justly have been brought forward against the absurdities of celestialism. That the Bishop should not have seen the immense difference, namely that celestialism is a result of the negation of the Word, while the above quoted theses are in fullness drawn out of and confirmed by the very letter of the Word, is difficult for us to understand. The end of celestialism is that the proprium may rule, but the end of these theses is that the Word outside of man may also become the Word within man, in order that, the proprium being removed by regeneration, the Lord may rule.

  After an introduction in which the Bishop expresses the idea that a Church which has the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg should not have a stated creed, and that therefore the GENERAL CHURCH has never authorized a formal statement of its belief, to which are added some remarks

 

127                A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER

 

on the concept of the Writings of Swedenborg as the Word, as it existed in the ACADEMY and in the GENERAL CHURCH, the Bishop says: "A new doctrine has developed within the borders of the General Church which calls itself the 'Doctrine of the Church' ", p. 268. A little further on, in the same page, the Bishop says: "As it is given, the New Doctrine so far is purely spiritual. It has come down from heaven", etc. And in a similar style the address is full of remarks, the tendency of which is to bring the thought concerning the teaching on the essence of the Doctrine drawn by the Church out of its Word, which has been brought forward in DE HEMELSCHE LEER in an abstract way from the very Word itself, on the external plane of specific statements of Doctrine which for this very reason could not be understood. The quotations made by the Bishop are confined to a few pages of the First Fascicle, to which a direct reference is given only in the case of pp. 7880. It is in that very place where the following passages occur: "Also in the New Church a distinction must be made between the Divine Doctrine itself and the Doctrine of the New Church or the Doctrine of Genuine Truth, that is, the genuine rational, spiritual and celestial truths, which the Church gradually acquires by the orderly opening of the literal sense of the Writings. ... The Church cannot possibly interiorly understand the Writings, unless it form for itself according to order a Doctrine which shall show it the way", p. 7677. Is it not evident from this quotation that our problem was an abstract one, which concerns the Doctrine wherever and by whomsoever it is drawn?

  The Bishop on p. 268 says: "This Doctrine teaches that the Writings, because of their accommodation to worldly ideas and language, are heavily sealed, ... and that, because of this sealing or veiling, the Writings must themselves be opened by means of a correspondential resolution of their direct meaning". This presentation does not even touch the reasons for our belief in the application of the science of correspondences to the Latin Word, reasons which have been fully developed and demonstrated m DE HEMELSCHE LEER, and which indeed have been the main subject of my address on the first day of the Council meetings. These reasons are that in the letter of the Third

 

128                 THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS

 

Testament all discrete degrees of the rational, the celestial rational, the spiritual rational, and the natural rational, are together. This is the real reason why we believe in discrete senses in the Latin Word.

  The Bishop adds: "And this by and with the indispensable aid of the New Doctrine, which is now for the first time born into the church". Our reference to the teaching of the Word itself, namely, that the Word without Doctrine is not understood, and that there are three means to open the Word, namely the science of correspondences, the Doctrine of genuine truth, and illustration from the Lord, is here again brought on the purely external plane of  specific  statements  of  Doctrine.  Every  man  must for himself make Doctrine; only if he has made it himself, can he enter into the interiors of the Word. Simply to accept Doctrine which has been made by others, would never help him to raise his mind above the natural. We are surprised that this our real meaning should not spring forth before the reader from every page we have published.

  The expression that "the Doctrine has been born with us", which occurs in two or three places in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, and which apparently has so greatly aroused the indignation of our opponents, has entirely been misunderstood. This expression with us came into use as a result of our experience of one or two years, when the concept that the Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture should be applied to the three Testaments alike, which was first conceived as a new seed of truth, still deeply hidden and difficult to grasp, had at last taken such visible and tangible form, being seen confirmed on every page of the Word, that then it could be said to have been born. That there is such a difference between a concept first being conceived and later being born, can be plain from the teaching of the Word. When it is born it has become self evident and indispensable in use, with those with whom it is born.

  It seems that the Bishop has developed his argument exclusively under the impression which he has received from the statement which has indeed been made in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, namely, that unless this new truth be seen of the necessity of applying the Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture fully to the Third Testament, the

 

129                A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER

 

Church would remain only in the natural sense of that Testament. The fact that this new concept was first conceived and born with us, seems to have so entirely engaged his thoughts, that he could not see the essential thing involved, namely that every man must make his Doctrine for himself. So, it seems to us, the Bishop has come to the unjust charge that we claim that we now have made the Doctrine for all, a Doctrine which everybody simply has to accept, while in truth our position is just the opposite, namely that in so far as a man accepts a Doctrine made not by himself but by anyone else, he cannot enter into the interiors of the Word.

  But as to the fact that it has indeed been said in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, that unless this new truth of the necessity of applying the Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture to the Third Testament be seen, the Church cannot see the interior senses of that Testament, this either is a Divine truth or it is not. The only thing which matters therefore would have been to prove that it is not true. But not even an attempt has been made to disprove the reasons which have been given, First Fascicle pp. 3843, 8295, 127131; Third Fascicle, pp. 86108. Is the view that if the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Word, their true essence can only be seen in the light of what has been revealed about the essence of the Word, in itself so absurd that it does not even need disproving? What is gained by raising the question of human superiority? If it is a Divine truth, it is not our truth but the Lord's.

  The Bishop adds: "Once born, this 'Doctrine', we are told, will live and grow throughout the unending ages". If the difference is seen between the Word, which is infinite, and the Doctrine existing in the Church out of that Word, it is self-evident that the New Church will increasingly draw its genuine Doctrine out of the Third Testament. The statement of this simple truth which has been advanced in DE HEMELSCHE LEER in a purely abstract way, cf. Second Fascicle, p. 152, is here turned into a meaning which is entirely foreign to our thought and whereby its real contents remain unseen.

  The Bishop adds: "But/being in itself purely spiritual and Divine, it must, even like the Writings, be expressed in natural ideas and language, in order that it may be of

 

130             THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS

 

service to the church. This, of necessity, forces upon the New Doctrine a heavy veiling which, it is indicated, will not be lifted until the advent of a promised Celestial Doctrine, which will sooner or later be on the way, if it be not now at hand". The subject is the three discrete degrees of truth, the natural rational, the spiritual rational, and the celestial rational. That the spiritual Doctrine of the Church, which is the spiritual rational, cannot be seen in its own proper form by the natural rational man, and that the celestial Doctrine of the Church, which is the celestial rational, cannot be seen in its own proper form by the spiritual man and the natural man, but only in a corresponding spiritual rational or natural rational form, again is a simple and self-evident truth, which can only be denied by one who denies the three discrete degrees of truth. It is evident that if the spiritual Doctrine in its own essence is hidden before the natural man, the celestial Doctrine will be even more hidden. There is of course no relation at all between the celestial Doctrine and the lifting of the veiling of the spiritual Doctrine. That the celestial Doctrine is most hidden and the spiritual Doctrine also very hidden is explicitly taught in the Latin Word, N.J.C.D. 107. This is the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER with regard to the relation of the three discrete degrees of Doctrine. The celestial Doctrine is even far more hidden, than the spiritual Doctrine. Compare with this the idea which the Bishop here ascribes to us, namely "that the veiling of the spiritual Doctrine will be lifted with the advent of the celestial Doctrine". We are at a loss to explain how the Bishop could even say "that this has been indicated". Note further the remark "if it be not now at hand", for which not the least occasion can be found in DE HEMELSCHE LEER. No statement has there been made with regard to the time in which the celestial Church will take its rise; except that it has been said that this "lies in a far distant future", Third Fascicle p. 43, again the very opposite of what is suggested in the Bishop's words.

  Further on, page 268, the Bishop ascribes to us the assertion that the belief in the GENERAL CHURCH on the subject of the Writings being the Word "was defensively made, and as such it was a self-made doctrine". Certainly we do not doubt for one moment that it is from mis-

 

131                        A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER

 

understanding that the Bishop has been induced to such a  serious  misinterpretation.  From  the  beginning  and throughout we have emphasized that the belief in the Writings as the Word, such as it has been the very soul of the ACADEMY and of the GENERAL  CHURCH, was a genuine, and therefore Divine, Doctrine of the Church. In the very first article published in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, First Fascicle, pp. 89, this has been indicated in the words: "An example of the true Doctrine of the Church are the PRINCIPLES OF THE ACADEMY". In later articles it has been shown and elucidated that if the correspondence is seen of the history of the New Church with the history of the human race, it appears that the belief of the ACADEMY and the GENERAL CHURCH in the Writings as the Word, corresponds to the Coming of the Lord on earth, Third Fascicle, p. 6; Fourth Fascicle, p. 18. From the latter passage we quote: "The essence of the next state of the New Church, which corresponds to the Coming and Sensual Presence of the Lord on earth, lies in this that the Church begins to see and to acknowledge that the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Word itself for the New Church". How then could it be ascribed to us that we consider this belief as a self-made doctrine, while we see it as a Coming of the Lord? Our real point on p. 78 of the First Fascicle to which the Bishop evidently refers, is that any. "Doctrine concerning the Third Testament" which is a different doctrine from the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE must be a self-made doctrine; and then two actual cases of such self-made doctrine are there pointed out, namely the view "that the sense of the letter of the Writings is the spiritual sense itself", and the view that because "the Writings were a revelation in a clothing of rational truths, there was no occasion for the application of the means which in the Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture have been given for the opening of the literal sense of the Word". Certainly the faith of the ACADEMY and of the GENERAL CHURCH in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg as the Word of the Lord, which was from the Holy Spirit and which even can be seen as a Coming of the Lord, cannot be identified with these two fallacies of the natural mind, which involve a neglect of the law that a

 

132                    THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS

 

Revelation of Truth, or the Word, cannot be given unless it be given in lasts, and  of the law that there are three discrete degrees of the rational accessible to man, two views therefore which are in evident opposition to the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE. These two fallacies are later ideas, and the fact that they have become especially prevalent at the present time, is the only reason why we have pointed to them. On the other hand it certainly cannot be said that the original faith of the ACADEMY and the GENERAL CHURCH in  the  Writings  was  in opposition  to  the  DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE; we have never entertained such a thought and so too we have never entertained the thought that that faith was based upon or the result of a self-made doctrine. From this it follows that the words of the Bishop occurring in the same place, namely that "the belief in the General Church on this subject was defensively made", involve the same misunderstanding. What we consider the motive which led to the faith of the GENERAL CHURCH may be seen on p. 15 of the Fourth Fascicle, namely the perseverance in the combat against the proprium, and the affection of truth, which has led to a Coming of the Lord. We have never entertained the thought that the faith of the GENERAL CHURCH has been defensively made, nor have we ever expressed it.

  What confusion must arise from such a misunderstanding is illustrated by the further words which the Bishop adds: "Yet to this one 'self-made' doctrine the General Church owes 'all its prosperity up to the present time', and all its 'internal life' ". The statement of DE HEMELSCHE LEER is that the Church owes its prosperity up to the present time to the Divine truth that the Writings of Swedenborg are the Word, -which has been given it from the Holy Spirit; nothing whatever is said which could justify the conclusion that the Church owes its prosperity to the above mentioned self-made fallacies.

 The same confusion is manifest in the words which follow a little further on, p. 269:  "None the less, as indicated, this 'self-made' doctrine was sufficiently rational in form to receive the New Doctrine". The thought which is here under consideration is that of the progress from the general perception that the Writings of Swedenborg are

 

133                    A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER

 

the Word to the clear realization in particulars that the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE is the only possible Doctrine concerning the Third Testament. Even by those who are unable to see this thought, it should be admitted as a most important possibility,  and  worthy  of  serious  consideration.  That those fallacies of the natural mind, namely that the letter of the Writings of Swedenborg is the spiritual sense itself, and that the rational does not admit of discrete degrees and thus of correspondences, are not rational at all, and could therefore, if confirmed, never receive a truly rational vision of the essence of the Latin Word, is plain.

  The same confusion occurs again at the bottom of that page (269) in the words: "The New Doctrine takes but the one golden possession of the General Church, namely, the 'self-made' 'cognition' that the Writings are the Word, which, because of the motive which entered into its making, did not, in spiritual verity, belong to the General Church".

  That, however, the faith of the ACADEMY and of the GENERAL CHURCH was the result rather of a genuine general perception that the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Word, than of a realization of the rational principles involved, could not have been proven in a more conclusive way than has been  done by the quotation from the WORDS FOR THE NEW CHURCH in the introduction to the Bishop's address. All the details of that quotation plainly show this. We note especially the statement: "Nor are the Writings equal to the Sacred Scripture", to which the Bishop adds the comment: "That is, not equal in the sanctity and power of their ultimates. Certainly the editor did not mean that they were not equally Divine", pp. 266 267. To any one who realizes the truth "that the Divine Truth in the sense of the letter of the Word is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power", S.S. 3749, Heading, and especially the significance of the passage: "The spiritual sense and the celestial sense are not the Word without the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter. for they are as spirit and life without a body", n. 39, the argument that though the Writings of Swedenborg "are not equal to the Word in the sanctity and power of their ultimates" nevertheless they are not "not equally Divine", must plainly appear to be in contradiction with the

 

 

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teaching of the Word; for in the measure one restricts the holiness of the letter of the Writings of Emannel Swedenborg, one also restricts their Divinity. The words "that they were not an enlargement of the volume of parables, types and correspondences", p. 266, clearly indicate that it was not seen that essential correspondences are between the discrete degrees of truth, and in the rational Third Testament, therefore, between the natural rational, the spiritual rational, and the celestial rational.

  It is a universal law that a truth must come to a Church first as a general celestial perception, and that only in the course of a long process, which is compared with the growth of man from infancy to old age, can the Church come into the full rational possession of that truth. This does not belittle in the least the first states with which it necessarily ha8 to begin and the states through which it necessarily had to pass. We therefore regret the interpretation which the Bishop gives to our thought in the next following words, on p. 269: "The church made some advance, but it was an 'unmerited advance', like that of a child". This presentation cannot but create with those who do not understand the principles involved an impression which is altogether contrary to the spirit of our thought. But quite apart from this, the sense in which the word advance has been-used by us, is misunderstood. It has not been used in the sense of progress but in the sense of a preliminary advance of goods and truths to be fully acquired later on. That the truth with the Church as long as it is in the outward or descending development, which comprises the ages of infancy, boyhood, and adolescence, cannot be called truly rational, and that in these states the truth is as it were an unmerited advance, is a simple truth clearly taught and described in the Word. It is only with the beginning of the inward return or ascending development, which comprises the ages of early manhood, manhood, and old age, .that the Church enters into the genuine rational, and indeed during early manhood into the natural rational, during manhood into the spiritual rational, and during old age into the celestial rational. Not only every Church as a whole must pass through this development, but even every single concept of a new truth in the Church. And so also the concept of the Writings of Swedenborg as the

 

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Word must pass through this development. These laws are the orderly means for the Church, offered by the Word itself, of the understanding of which it necessarily must avail itself, to gain a comprehension of the past and of the possibilities of the future.

  May I be allowed here to suggest that the fact of the faith of the ACADEMY having been rather a general celestial perception than a rationally developed concept, also explains the disinclination of the Church towards a stated creed. Not the fact that they made creeds in the first Christian church was wrong, but that their creeds were false. So the first stated creed of that Church, the APOSTOLIC CREED, often is referred to in the Third Testament as a document of Divine truth. Has the APOSTOLIC CREED not been given in Providence, and of necessity, and from the Holy Spirit? And certainly the necessity was not only because the Lord foresaw the coming false creeds, as might be suggested, but because no Church can ever continue to exist without making creeds; for it is one of its essential tasks to make Doctrine. A Creed or Credo simply means a Faith. Faith is defined in the Word as "the internal acknowledgment of truth", and it is said that the faith is perfected with the increase of truths, for in the genuine faith of a man all the multiplicity of the truths he acknowledges internally, is orderly arranged in order together as in fascicles. A Church, even though it has a Word, if it has no Creed, has no Faith. The reason is because the Word without Doctrine is not understood, and those who read the Word without Doctrine which they have made for themselves from the Holy Spirit, remain in darkness as to all truth of the Word, however often and extensively they may read it. So, for instance, the Word in A.E. 119 speaks of "those who believe that they are in the cognitions of good and truth because they have the Word, and yet they are not". A false doctrine, and thus a false creed, is made out of the proprium, but a true Doctrine, and thus a true Creed, is made from the Holy Spirit. There can really be no doubt that this must apply also to the New Church and the Third Testament which has been given it as its Word. The fact that the Word for the New Church in the statements of the letter itself is so evidently rational, has for a long time kept the Church from seeing the necessity of the full appli-

 

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cation of this law. But there are three discrete degrees of the rational, and even the lowest degree, which is that of the natural rational, with man is not genuine unless it is both out of the Word and from the Holy Spirit. That which distinguishes and divides the different bodies in the New Church, is not the Writings of Swedenborg, but the differing understandings of those Writings, or the differing doctrines which have been developed, that is, the differing creeds. Whether a Church is willing or ready to state it "in a fixed formula" or not, it cannot help having a creed. If-it had no creed, it would have no faith, and it would be no Church. That the Church should have a creed and that it should also state and teach it, is not in disagreement with the teaching "that the government and dominion over the Church is a predicate of the Word alone", and that the Church should "not confide in any council, but trust in the Word of the Lord, which is above all councils", p. 265, for it is  not  the Word  which  makes  the  Church  but  the understanding of the Word. It is true indeed that the Word alone should govern the Church, but the Word cannot possibly do this except from the Holy Spirit. Outside of the Holy Spirit the understanding of the Word is false. If the Church is governed by an understanding of the Word which is not from the Holy Spirit, an understanding which in reality is not the Lord's, while it is given the Church to feel it and to act from it as if it were its own an understanding therefore which is not Divine it is not governed by the Word but by the proprium of man. It is a vain claim of the Church to say that the Writings of Swedenborg themselves as the Divinely given Word are its Doctrine and its Creed, for this would involve that the Church in itself is God Himself. The Writings of Swedenborg indeed will more and more become the Doctrine of the Church, but only in the measure they have Divinely been received. While giving the understanding such a great power, the Word itself has provided a sufficient safeguard that the Church should not, fall a prey to the proprium of man. For we are taught that the Doctrine of the Church must be confirmed by the letter of the Word, and specifically: "That the Doctrine of the Church, unless collected and confirmed out of the sense of the letter of the Word, has no power, ... but the Doctrine out of the sense of the letter, and together with

 

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it",  ON  THE  SACRED  SCRIPTURE  FROM  EXPERIENCE, XVIII. While, therefore, the New Church also will be bound to make and to continually develop its Creed and to state it,  it must at the same time have  the basis for its  Creed in the letter of the Latin Word, and it must not expect any one to accept it unless it is plainly seen to be confirmed in the very letter. And so we believe that the thought of the Writings being the Word may very justly be called a Creed or Credo of the GENERAL CHURCH, and as such it ha-s been stated in so many words innumerable times at every possible occasion, officially and not officially. We, therefore, cannot help feeling that the denial that the faith of the ACADEMY and the GENERAL CHURCH in the Writings of Swedenborg as the -Word of God. is their stated Creed, would not do justice to the fact that the existence of these bodies is due to the presence of the Holy Spirit. That, however, it was refused to give to the PRINCIPLES OF THE ACADEMY as a whole the aspect of a creed, is quite another matter, and easily to be understood. For the PRINCIPLES OF THE ACADEMY also contain elements which may prove perishable, being perhaps rather the subject of historical contingencies, than of fundamental and remaining issues. That the Creed of a Church in its first states, which correspond to the ages of infancy, boyhood, adolescence, and early manhood, should be very primitive and undeveloped, is also clear, for the making of Doctrine is essentially the task of the age of manhood.

  The Bishop continues: "We see, then, that this 'Doctrine', as presented, is complete in its own spiritual verity. It is sustained from within and above. By virtue of this, its high endowment, it is commissioned . . . to extract from the Writings their internal sense", pp. 269270. The real point here again is that every man must make for himself Doctrine, and that if he makes it not out of his proprium but from the Holy Spirit, he thereby can come into the internal degrees of truth contained in the Latin Word, first into the genuine natural rational, then into the spiritual rational, and at last even into the celestial rational. That every member of the Church is so commissioned can be clear from n. 10584 of the ARCANA COELESTIA, which has been quoted several times in DE HEMELSCHE LEER: "Those are said to see the back parts of Jehovah and not His face.

 

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who believe and adore the Word, but only its external which is the sense of the letter, and do not penetrate more interiorly, as do those who have been enlightened, and who make for themselves Doctrine oat of the Word". It certainly is greatly to be regretted that the Bishop should present these new principles of truth, which are taken out of the Word itself, and which are concerned with the regeneration and enlightenment of every individual member of the Church, as if they were a merely human claim. There is nothing unusual or astonishing in the idea that the man of the  New  Church is commissioned  to  extract,  by the orderly means given, the internal sense from the Old and the New Testaments; and if it is seen that the Third Testament contains the three discrete degrees of the rational, it is not any more unusual or astonishing that the man of the New Church is also commissioned to do the same with regard to the Third Testament. It is a misinterpretation to make it appear as if the realization of this possibility and necessity were an exceptional and amazing claim, amounting to the giving of a new revelation comparable with the giving of a new Word. This again is the very opposite of what we actually have brought forward. If the principles involved are understood, it will be plain that the endeavor to enter into the interior degrees of the Third Testament is an orderly thing, laid upon every member of the Church by the Lord Himself as a vital task.

  The Bishop adds: "And, in so doing, repeat the mode employed by the Writings in drawing the internal sense out of the former Testaments". It has been said in DE HEMELSCHE LEER that "the Word of the Latin Testament is an infinite unfolding of truth, but the Doctrine is only a finite unfolding of truth", First Fascicle, p. 120. A comparison is here made between the Word and the Doctrine drawn by man out of the Word. It can be plain again that with that Doctrine the Doctrine is meant which every man must draw. It can also be plain that there is a correspondence between the way in which the Word is given and the way in which Doctrine is given, just as there is a correspondence between the Glorification of the Lord and the regeneration of man. But it certainly cannot be said that man must "repeat the mode employed by the Writings". These words are entirely foreign to our thought. "The

 

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mode employed by the Writings" is an infinite mode which no man can understand. The mode to be employed by- man to enter into the interiors of the Word, is given in the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE; it is that mode which we have in mind, namely the science of correspondences,  the  Doctrine  of  genuine  truth,  and illustration from the Lord.

  The Bishop continues: "In this work the New Doctrine is confronted with conditions in the letter of the Writings not unlike those which the Writings met in interpreting the former Scriptures". Here again it can be clear that DE HEMELSCHE LEER has not been concerned with "conditions with which 'the New Doctrine' is confronted", but its concern was to understand and point out in the light of the teaching given in the Latin Word the conditions with which every member of the Church is confronted, who wishes to enter into the discrete degrees of truth in that Word. It is the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER that it is contrary to the rational understanding to speak of "the Writings interpreting the former Scriptures"; this cannot be the language of those who see that the Writings of Swedenborg are a new Word, the revelation of the Rational of the Divine Human. To call this revelation, which followed the revelation of the Natural of the Divine Human given in the New Testament, an interpretation, must appear inappropriate to any one who understands the principles involved. This is rather the language of those who deny that the Writings are a new Word, but consider them to be a commentary on the Word. Similarly it is not according to reason to call an interpretation, the Doctrines of the interior discrete degrees of truth contained in the Third Testament, into which every member of the Church should endeavor to enter. That the term "interpretative doctrine" used for the Doctrine of the Church, as well as the term 'derivative doctrine", is a misnomer, has been pointed out in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, fifth Fascicle, p. 17.

 The Bishop adds: "That is, there are teachings in the direct sense of the Writings which confirm the New Doctrine, and those which do not. Those which directly confirm are said to be 'open', and those which do not must be resolved by a correspondential interpretation to bring out their  inner concordance  with  the teaching of  the  New

 

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Doctrine. Note here that correspondences always yield to the doctrine which guides them". We are at a loss to explain how the Bishop could come to this amazing statement. The subject is the teaching of the Latin Word that the Doctrine must be drawn out of the letter and confirmed by it. In the first place it must here be said again that the subject discussed in DE HEMELSCHE LEER is not "the New Doctrine" but the Doctrine which every man must himself draw out of the letter. In the sense of the letter all the discrete degrees of truth are contained together as in lasts. To the celestial man all the direct teachings of the letter are open even as to their celestial contents, and to the spiritual man all the direct teachings of the letter are open as to their spiritual contents. But to the natural man all the direct teachings of the letter are closed as to their spiritual and celestial contents. The process of the unfolding of the discrete 'degrees of truth in the letter  of  the  Latin  Word  has  been  described  in  DE HEMELSCHE LEER in many details. It is too complex to be repeated here. But it is evident that nothing of what has been said about this subject has been understood by our opponents. To draw Doctrine out of the letter is the same thing as to open the letter as to the discrete degrees of truth; if this is done according to order, that is. if man in making the Doctrine does not consult his own rational but follows the genuine rational which is spiritual out of celestial origin, whereby the man comes into the true Spirit of the Word, it will appear that the whole letter in its direct teachings does confirm such a genuine Doctrine. The revealed order according to which the Church can be sure to come into its genuine Doctrine, and the revealed safeguards against the dangers of a false doctrine, are the essential subject of DE HEMELSCHE LEER; and it is essential to its position that the Doctrine should be confirmed by the direct statements of the literal sense, and never by the spiritual sense. This is the teaching of the Word, and it is the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER, declared in many places in a direct and intelligible way. The use of the words "those which directly confirm are said to be 'open'," etc. creates the impression that the statement ascribed to us is based on actual quotation, while nothing whatever of this kind has been said; this statement

 

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again is the exact opposite of our position. Never has it been in. our thought and never has it been said that teachings in the direct sense of the Writings which do not confirm ths Doctrine "must be resolved by a correspondential interpretation to bring out their inner concordance with its teaching". If the teaching of the Latin Word on the order of the making of Doctrine out of the Word is understood, it can be seen that we have never given an occasion for the warning "that correspondences always yield to the doctrine which guides them". It is just to point out this danger that DE HEMELSCHE LEER has brought forward the teaching out of the Word that also the Latin Word without genuine Doctrine is not understood, and that those who do not from the Holy Spirit for themselves make Doctrine, remain in darkness as to all truth contained in that Word.

  The Bishop continues: "We observe further that since the New Doctrine is in itself of Divine origin, Essence, and Authority, it (to quote) is 'the only and indispensable basis for imparting the Holy Spirit, and that without this Doctrine the Writings remain a dead letter, and the interior degrees of the mind remain closed' (DE HEMELSCHE LEER, First Fascicle, p. 80)". The Bishop here combines an actual but only partial quotation with his own words, whereby the meaning is utterly changed. That the Bishop must have misunderstood the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER here becomes fully evident. The full quotation begins with the words: "The Doctrine of the Church is the only and indispensable basis for the imparting of the Holy Spirit", etc; the Bishop, however, uses the words: "The New Doctrine is 'the only and indispensable basis for  imparting the  Holy  Spirit',"  etc;  in  other words the Bishop ascribes to us the claim that our doctrinal position is the only and indispensable basis for imparting the Holy Spirit. Never has such a thought been in our minds, and never has it been expressed. It has been brought forth in DE HEMELSCHE LEER out of the Latin Word, that just as with the Lord the Holy Spirit proceeds from the  Divine  Rational the Holy  Spirit according to LUKE I : 35 having existed before there was a Natural Human of the Lord so with man the essential dwelling place of the Holy Spirit is the interior or celestial rational,

 

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while the lower degrees of the rational, being in the natural, namely the spiritual rational and the natural rational, receive only an unconscious influx of the Holy Spirit. This is the reason why only a celestial man is in the continuous realization of the presence of the Lord, and therefore in the essential love of the Lord. And since the genuine rational is the same as the genuine Doctrine of the Church, namely, the interior or celestial rational the same as the celestial Doctrine, the exterior or spiritual rational the same as the spiritual Doctrine, and the interior natural or the natural rational the same as the natural Doctrine which. is the same as the sense of the letter of the Word, it can be plainly seen that the Doctrine of the Church is indeed the indispensable basis for imparting the Holy Spirit. This Doctrine, however, is not the doctrine which a man has received from others, but the Doctrine which he has made himself. This has been developed in clear and the simplest possible language in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, First Fascicle, pp. 38-43; 82-95; 127-131: see especially p. 40. I do not believe that at present it could be presented in a more simple and more intelligible way, and yet it is evident that this new and all-important truth, which is plainly taught in the Latin Word, has remained entirely beyond the grasp of our opponents. With every man the discrete degrees of the genuine rational are the basis for the Holy Spirit. Instead of entering upon a consideration of this truth, which thus far has been deeply hidden, although it is plainly stated in the very letter, our presentation of it is turned into such an enormity as that we should have claimed that our Doctrine is the basis for the Holy Spirit. The same applies to the rest of the quoted passage, namely, "that without this Doctrine the Writings remain a dead letter, and the interior degrees of the mind remain closed". The real meaning of this is also very simple and can be plain. The Writings are opened and vivified in the first degree, when the first degree of the rational, the genuine natural rational, has been formed; they are opened and vivified in the second degree, when the second degree of the rational, the spiritual rational, has been formed; and they are opened and vivified in the third degree, when the third degree of the rational, the celestial rational, has been formed. And similarly it can be plain that if the discrete degrees of the

 

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rational are not formed, the interior degrees of the mind remain closed. "That the Word of the Lord is a dead letter, but that it is vivified from the Lord in the reader according to the faculty of each one", is literally taught, A.C. 1776, cf. MEMORABILIA 1877: "The Word of the Lord in itself is dead, toy it is only a letter; but in the reader it is vivified from the Lord, according to the faculty to understand and to perceive of each one, given from the Lord; thus it is living according to the life of the man who reads". How heavily veiled and how deeply hidden in the Third Testament are the spiritual rational and the celestial rational arcana which are accessible to man, may here clearly be seen. For this Testament appears so rational, so self-explanatory, and so living, that many at first hearing, with indignation reject the idea that also the Latin Word "is a dead letter but that it is vivified from the Lord in the reader according to the faculty of each one". But once the reality of the three discrete degrees of the rational is seen, it becomes self-evident that this teaching applies to the three Testaments alike.

  The Bishop adds: "The importance of this announcement is manifest, and to none is of more immediate concern than to the members of the General Church, whose primitive conception of the Writings as the Word was as a mother to the New Doctrine. The proponents of this 'Doctrine' have noted this fact in saying (to quote), In the measure in which the Church will now acknowledge the Divine origin, the Divine Essence, and the Divine Authority of its genuine doctrine, acquired as from itself, it will, from its  state  of  infancy be introduced  into  its adult state, with its genuine rational, spiritual and celestial things'. (DE HEMELSCHE LEER, First Fascicle, p. 80)". Although the quotation is given in full, and its meaning can be clear, here again the 'appearance is created as if with the words "its genuine doctrine" the doctrinal position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER were meant, while the words clearly indicate that all genuine doctrine is meant which the Church will acquire as from itself. This fact is sufficient to prove that the concepts involved which have been brought forward in DE HEMELSCHE LEER out of the Word itself, have not been understood. They have been pointed out in great detail in DE HEMELSCHE LEER;

 

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we must here confine ourselves to a few remarks. If the Word is Divine in its natural rational sense, it is of course also Divine in its spiritual  rational sense and in  its celestial rational sense, for it is Divine throughout. That the Church in its orderly first states, which are natural and correspond to the ages of 'infancy, boyhood, adolescence, and early manhood, cannot but believe that the Word itself is the Doctrine of the Church, and that the spiritual state, which is that of its manhood, is characterized by the making of Doctrine, has been proven with a great number of quotations from the Word.

  The Bishop continues: "Here also there can be no argument, save to say that if this be so or not depends upon the verity or non-verity of the two prior announcements or enunciations, first, that the General Church has been in a purely natural state, and second, that the New Doctrine is the result of an opening of the spiritual degree of the mind in the church, i.e., somewhere therein". It is not feasible and it cannot be expected that we should here repeat the many passages which have been quoted in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, to show that the Church in its natural  state cannot but identify  the Word with  its Doctrine, and that the literal sense of the Word unites man with the ultimate Heaven. It is only in its spiritual state, which corresponds to the age of manhood, that it can consciously enter upon making as of itself its Doctrine out of the Word. These are abstract problems of truth, plainly taught in the very letter of the Latin Word, and as such they have been. treated in DE HEMELSCHE LEER. Never has it been said in DE HEMELSCHE LEER "that the GENERAL CHURCH has been in a purely natural state"; this again is an incorrect quotation. The Bishop evidently refers to a statement on page 9 of the First Fascicle, which reads: "The concept ... that the Writings of Swedenborg are ... that Doctrine of the Church itself, ... has up to the present kept the Church as a whole in a purely natural state". We did not think at all of the GENERAL CHURCH when  we wrote that passage, but of the history of the New Church as a whole, which as every Church has to go through all the ages of a man, involving a progress from a natural through a spiritual to a celestial state. And since the natural state,

 

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according to the teaching of the Word, is characterized by the fact that the Church then takes its Word to be its Doctrine, not being aware of the difference between the Word and the Doctrine existing in the Church out of the Word, it is an orderly and inevitable conclusion that a Church to which such a description applies, is, as to the basis for its thought, in a purely natural state. It should be evident, however, that this in no way implies a personal judgment; for in every state of a Church as a whole there may be natural men, spiritual men, and celestial men. Nor does DE HEMELSCHE LEER contain an "announcement or enunciation ... that the New Doctrine is the result of an opening of the spiritual degree of the mind". DE HEMELSCHE LEER has advanced the position that the letter of the Third Testament contains all the discrete degrees of the rational, and that the natural man is in its natural  rational sense,  the spiritual  man in its spiritual  rational  sense,  and  the  celestial  man  in  its celestial  rational  sense.  These  interior senses  must be drawn out of the letter and confirmed by it. The interior senses once being confirmed by the letter can be seen to be true by all who are willing to see; for the discretely more interior rational concepts then take a corresponding form in the discretely more exterior rational thoughts. The exegesis of the letter as to the interior senses is a most important task laid upon the Church by the Lord Himself. If then an endeavor is made of such an exegesis, and that which is believed to be an interior sense is brought before the Church, the only orderly thing for the Church to do is to go to the Word and see whether it is true. If it is not true it will be possible to point it out; the proof that it is not in agreement with the Word is the only orderly means for the invalidation of a pretended interior truth; but it is in itself a disorderly thing to raise the question of the regeneration of the exponents, for in doing so, that which should be considered as an abstract problem of truth is made a purely personal thing. Any thought of  person  at  once  brings  obscurity  upon  the  truths involved.  It can therefore be clear that the  question whether the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER, including its conclusions with regard to the historical development of the Church, is true or not, depends exclusively upon

 

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the verity or non-verity of its fundamental thesis, of which it firmly believes that it is the teaching of the Word itself, namely that the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE is the only source of light in which the essence of the Word given to the New Church and the essence of the Doctrine drawn by the Church out of that Word can be seen.

  The Bishop continues: "If these two claims are true, any protestation will be futile. If they are not true, or if it is not of order that doctrine should be verified on the assumption that the spiritual mind is open, then all the charm of the close reasoning of the New Doctrine will vanish, along with its verity. But in this question of factual truth or non-truth, the New Doctrine is not under the necessity of proving its judgments. It rests secure within itself. Therefore, it offers no proof of either of its two fundamental claims, i.e., by any outward evidence, but rests content with the simple assertion of them", pp. 270271. Nothing could be more contrary to the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER than what is here ascribed to it. There can be no other explanation for these unfounded charges than a complete misunderstanding of what has been said. How such a misunderstanding could be possible we cannot explain. But it is evident that nothing of the teachings on the difference between the Word and the Doctrine existing in the Church out of the Word, which have been brought forward out of the Word itself, has been understood. This is a fact beyond a doubt, and we cannot help stating it. No statement whatever has been made in DE HEMELSCHE LEER and advanced as a truth unless it was shown to be confirmed by many quotations from the Word. Many times we have emphasized the truth that the Church in order to establish its Doctrine may never point to its own statements but exclusively to the literal sense of the Word. How then could we be charged with the claim that our position "should be verified on the assumption that the spiritual mind is open"? The question whether the Church as a whole has been in a natural state, in the sense in which this has been meant by us, can only be ascertained by genuine Doctrine drawn out of the Word. And certainly it is given to the Church to understand the states of development through which it has gone in the past. If this were not given to the Church, it could not

 

147                 A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER 

 

possibly distinguish between a genuine Church and a deviated church, between a genuine Heaven and an imaginary heaven. Many pages have been filled in DE HEMELSCHE LEER with a wealth of detailed reasons, confirmed by many quotations from the Word, to show the general line of development of the Church according to the ages of a man, see Third Fascicle, pp. 38; 86108; Fourth Fascicle, pp. 323. No effort whatever has been made in all that has been said by our opponents to enter upon a consideration of these reasons and to ascertain from the Word whether they are true or not. And yet, if they are true, it is a genuine Doctrine of the Church, and according to it, it has become clear that indeed the Church as a whole prior to the realization of the difference between its Word and its Doctrine out of that Word, was, as to the basis of its thought, in a natural state. If it can be shown that these reasons are false, then indeed the position of DE HEMELSCHE LEER, together with its conclusions with regard to the state of the Church in the past, must fall. But it does not fall by the simple assertion that the Church has not been in a natural state. This question, as said above, can only be ascertained by a consideration of the rational problems, the revealed teaching, and the historical facts, involved. We cannot help saying, therefore, that the case is exactly turned around; for in reality we have furnished an overwhelming wealth of proofs of outward evidence .taken out of the literal teaching of the Word and from the history of the Church, to which our opponents seem to have paid not the least attention, while they rest content with the simple assertion that the Church has not been in a natural state.

  Moreover, as stated before, the meaning of the words that the Church as a whole has been in a purely natural state, has been misunderstood. They have been understood to apply to the GENERAL CHURCH in a way which aroused such an indignation that the real meaning could not possibly be seen. The bitterness and sarcastic spirit which are so characteristic of many of the articles and speeches made against DE HEMELSCHE LEER, are evidently due to this indignation. The idea that the Church as a whole is in a purely natural state as long as it identifies its Word with its Doctrine, is taken from the Word itself, and there is here no reason for indignation, since it is according to order

 

148             THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS

 

that the Church as a whole should pass through a natural state before it can enter into its spiritual state. Moreover this statement contains no judgment whatever with regard to the regeneration of the individual members of the Church, since in all states of the Church, as in all Churches, and even with the gentiles, the individual can be regenerated even to the inmost degree.

  The Bishop adds: "In this, as in what follows, the 'Doctrine' speaks as with a Divine voice, as if from the Holy Spirit, or as the first and so far the only authentic manifestation within the church of the promised 'illustratio loquens' ". The teaching of the Word is that "the Word in the letter cannot be grasped except by Doctrine out of the Word made by one who is enlightened", A.C. 10324; and "that the genuine truth which shall be of the Doctrine, in the sense of the letter of the Word, does not appear to others than those who are in enlightenment from the Lord", T.C.R. 231. From this teaching it follows that whatever truth a man sees in the letter of the Third Testament with him must have been from enlightenment. It is impossible to see the genuine truth in the Third Testament which shall be of the Doctrine, without enlightenment, that is, without the presence of the Holy Spirit. Here again many have thought that the truth in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg is so manifest, and that they are so self explanatory, that the above teaching does not apply to them, but only to the Old and the New Testaments. DE HEMELSCHE LEER does not contain one single statement to justify the charge that it claims to present the first case of illustration. It is a matter of course that all genuine truth which ever has been seen in the Third Testament was seen from illustration.

  The Bishop continues: "Yet the 'Doctrine', as it is delivered, comes to us on its practical side as a method of exegesis applied to the Writings. As such it will not, of course, open the spiritual degree of the mind of anyone. That is reserved for the regenerate only. The method, therefore, is external, but the truth it would reveal is internal, and belongs only to the spiritual degree of the mind". The method described in DE HEMELSCHE LEER by which to come to the interior senses of the Word, which are the genuine Doctrine of the Church, is the application of the

 

149                A REPLY BY THE REVEREND ERNST PFEIFFER

 

three revealed means, namely the science of correspondence, the Doctrine of genuine truth, and illustration from the Lord. This method can also be seen involved in the signification of the words experience and text, of which the one refers to a wrestling through the natural, and the other, which means weaving, to the spiritual out of the celestial, being the result of the accomplished wrestling. All these concepts have been drawn out of the letter of the Word and have been confirmed by many quotations, see First Fascicle, pp. 104-117. This method, therefore, intends to bring about the mutual conjunction between the internal and the external, from which it follows that essentially it is an internal and not an external method, just the opposite, therefore, of what the Bishop says. It is just this method which is the orderly way for the opening of the interior degrees of the mind; again the very opposite of the Bishop's words: "As such it will not, of course, open the spiritual degree of the mind". That "the internal sense, which is called glory, cannot be comprehended by man, unless he is regenerated, and then enlightened", is literally taught, A.C. 8106. And that the interior degrees of the rational are seen only by those who are regenerated: "This second rational man receives from the Lord, when he is being regenerated; for he is then sensible in his rational of what is the good and truth of faith", A.C. 2093.

  The Bishop continues: "It is interesting to note that this 'Doctrine' places certain limits upon itself, in that it 'will never extend beyond the influx of truth out of good with man' ". The subject of the passage from which this quotation is taken, First Fascicle, p. 121, is again not "this 'Doctrine' ", but the difference between the Word and the genuine Doctrine existing at any time in the Church out of the Word. It is not "this 'Doctrine' " which has placed "certain limits upon itself", but the Word itself has placed such limits upon all Doctrine in the Church. Many quotations have been given from which this truth can be seen sufficiently confirmed. We must confine ourselves here to the following two: "The internal sense, which is called glory, cannot be comprehended by man unless he is regenerated and then enlightened", A.C. 8106; and: "No truth is possible with man unless he is in good", A.C. 10194. See also n. 5997: "Doctrine is out of spiritual good".

 

150                 THE BISHOPS ADDRESS

 

  The Bishop adds: "Yet this appears to be sufficient"; the exact opposite of what has been said in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, and indeed on the very same page from which the quotation is taken: "But the Doctrine of the Church in order to establish its authority, will never refer to its own literal sense, but always exclusively to the literal sense of the Word itself", First Fascicle, p. 121.

  The Bishop adds: "Since the 'Doctrine' in question is the only doctrine by which the heavens themselves can be built up". The teaching here involved is that man must be regenerated during his life in the natural world and that the Church is the seminary of the Heavens. The quotation, taken again from the same page 121 of the First Fascicle, reads in full: "It is only the Doctrine of Genuine Truth by which the Heavens themselves can be built up; for, even as the spiritual and celestial with man can only be built up on the basis of the natural, so too in general the Heavens can only be built up on the basis of the Church. As, however, it is not the Word which makes the Church, but the understanding of the Word, it is evident that the Heavens cannot be built up by anything else than by the Doctrine of Genuine Truth". It can be clear that only a complete failure to understand this truth could have caused the appalling misinterpretation that we should have claimed that "the 'Doctrine' in question is the only doctrine 'by which the heavens can be built up' ".

  The Bishop further develops an argument against the concept of DE HEMELSCHE LEER of the difference between the Son of God as the Word, and the Son of man as the faith of the Church. The Bishop says: "We may here note that while the Son of man signifies the 'faith of the church', it is also revealed in the Writings that the Son of man signifies the Word. ... But as the Son of man is both the faith  of the church  and the Word,  it  may  well  be concluded that the Son of man as the Word was just that which was given to be and become the faith of the church; and since we believe the Writings are the Word, so may we hold that they were given to be and become the faith of the church". It is indeed true that the Third Testament was given to become more and more the faith of the New Church; but this is possible only in the measure it is received in the Church from the Holy Spirit. Therefore we

                                                            

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