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state of the Lord's Church and Kingdom" (n. 6988); for him who can read this passage in the internal sense it is clear beyond a doubt that the state of the Church and the redemption and salvation at this day too depend entirely on the Wonderful Things from the Lord in the internal of the Word. In the CORONIS: "This Church is not instituted and established through miracles, but through the revelation of the spiritual sense, and through the introduction of my spirit, and, at the same time, of my body, into the spiritual world, so that I might know there what Heaven and hell are, and that in light I might imbibe immediately from the Lord the truths of faith, whereby man is led to eternal life" (Invitation)', here the meaning is similar.
By the person of Swedenborg is here described in the internal sense the man of the New Church; by "my spirit and my body" the internal and the external are indicated which both are being regenerated; in the highest sense, however, it is the Divine Human of the Lord Himself which is spoken of. In the same work: "The manifestation of the Lord, and intromission into the spiritual world, surpass all miracles. This has not been granted to any one since the creation, as it has been to me. The men of the Golden Age, indeed, conversed with the Angels; but it was not granted to them to be in any other than natural light; but to me it is granted to be in both spiritual and natural light at the same time.
By this means it has been granted to me to see the WONDERFUL THINGS of Heaven, to be together with the Angels like one of them, and at the same time to draw forth truths in light, and thus to perceive and teach them; consequently to be led by the Lord" (Second Summary, 52)' by the manifestation. of the Lord here in the internal sense not His manifestation before Swedenborg is meant, but His appearance in the fullness of His Second Coming in the Doctrine of the Church; the words "this has not been granted to any one since the creation, as it has been to me" signify that the New Church, through the Divine Human of the Lord, is the Crown of all Churches, and that all previous Churches from the beginning have existed for the sake of this Church and have striven towards this Church. The "Wonderful Things" are here expressly mentioned. That the Doctrine of the Church is here spoken
51 ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS
of clearly appears in the last words of the quotation. Numberless internal truths spring to our notice when we read similar passages, and only the most general can here just he touched. Swedenborg's words here according to the literal sense almost create the appearance of a personal feeling of self; in the internal sense their purely Divine character clearly appears. In the same work: "Who among them [who among the Roman-Catholics have performed miracles] has thus far taught the way to Heaven, and the truths of the Church out of the Word? For this reason it has pleased the Lord to prepare me from my earliest youth to perceive the Word, and He has introduced me into the spiritual world, and has enlightened me with the light of His Word more proximately. From this it is manifest that this surpasses all miracles" (Second Summary, 55); here also there is clearly spoken of the illustration by the Doctrine of the Church; the words "the truths of the Church out of the Word" can have no other signification.
In order to understand a passage of this kind it must never be lost sight of that by "the Word" everywhere, not only the Old and the New, but also the Third Testament is meant. The words "from my earliest youth to prepare me to perceive the Word" again signify that beginning with the Most Ancient Church all Churches have striven towards the Crown of Churches and her illustration, and that they have gradually prepared the human race for this; they also signify the preparation of every man of the Church from the earliest states of innocence to the fullness of illustration in the Doctrine of the Church; in the highest sense they signify the Divine Human itself in His Second Coming.
All that the Writings say of the origin and the nature of the miracles of the Old and the New Testament is applicable to the Wonderful Things of the Third Testament. We read in the ARCANA: "The Word [that is, also the Latin Word] denotes the Lord as to Divine truth; by means of this truth all things in Heaven and in hell are set in order; from this also is all order on the earth; all the miracles were wrought by means of it" (n. 8200); in the measure that man, on the basis of the literal sense of the Word in its Three Testaments, according to the order of the Doctrine of Genuine Truth, enters into the
52 ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS
internal sense and lives therein, the earth with him is conjoined with Heaven; the internal man, that is Heaven, is opened with him, the evil and the false of his proprium, that is hell, is subjected and hence order gradually descends from the Lord through the internal man, Heaven, to the external man, that is the earth. In the same work: "Correspondences have all power, insomuch that what is done on earth according to correspondences avails in Heaven, because correspondences are from the Divine. All the miracles recorded in the Word were done by means of correspondences.
The Word [that is, also the Latin Word] has been so .written that every particular therein even to the most minute corresponds to things that are in Heaven. Consequently the Word has Divine power; and it conjoins Heaven with earth, for when the Word is read on earth, the Angels in Heaven are moved unto the holy that is in the internal sense. This is effected by means of the correspondences of all particulars there" (n. 8615); here also the Wonderful Things in the Word are spoken of, which become a reality for man in the measure in which he fills the literal sense with the corresponding spiritual and celestial. In the CORONIS: "It shall be shown that the greatest power is in correspondences; because in them Heaven and the world, or the spiritual and the natural are together."
That for this reason the Word was written by mere correspondences: wherefore, through the Word there is the conjunction of man with Heaven, and thus with the Lord and by this means the Lord is in firsts and at the same time in ultimates" (Second Summary, 59), concerning the Word as to its literal and its internal sense, and that only by the opening of the letter even to the internal sense conjunction is possible with Heaven and with the Lord, because then Heaven and the world or the spiritual and the natural are one. The argument of Convention that the Writings are not the Word, because they are not written in correspondences would indeed be irrefutable, if it were not in itself an error. Nothing has been more clearly shown in the Writings than that the law of correspondences is a universal law. There has been the curious idea that the Lord in an almost arbitrary fashion has written the Word of the Old and the New Testament in cor-
53 "ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS"
respondences as something quite exceptional; whereas neither the Lord nor any Angel, nor any man can ever speak or write otherwise than in correspondences, and everything that has a sense has also an internal sense. For this reason it is also said "that by this means the Lord is in firsts and at the same time in ultimates"; in no other way could the Lord in the Latin Testament operate with man from firsts by means of ultimates, whereas this is His only way of operating (conf. CANONS; GOD, VIII: 12, Marginal Note). "A miracle is that which is effected by the Lord, when anything concerns Him, or faith in Him, His Heaven, or the Church in a universal sense. The miracle thus passes through His Heaven, and spirits effect it, but without any of their co-operative powers; this is a miracle, and is called the Finger of God" (Memorabilia, 655); the Doctrine of the Church is here clearly described as to its contents; that the letter of the Word is opened by the Doctrine through the Heavens even unto the Lord, yea, that the Lord Himself alone is the Doctrine, clearly appears.
"The rod of God of Moses" (Exod. 4 : 20), "Aharon's rod" (Exod. 7 : 9), "the rod of iron" (Ps. 2 :9, Rev. 19 : 15), signify the same as the "Finger of God", that is the power of the letter (especially of the Latin Word), opened by the Doctrine, and filled with spiritual and celestial life. The words in Exodus: "I will stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with all My wonderful things" '(ch. 3 : 20), signify that for whom the internal sense with its Wonderful Things begins to live, the delusions of the literal sense will cease; the same signification have these words in Matthew: "For fear of the Angel the keepers at the grave became as dead" (ch. 28 : 2—4); the grave is' the literal sense, and especially that of the Latin Word. In the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "Moreover, the Divine miracles have been wrought in accordance with Divine order, but in accordance with THE ORDER OF THE INFLUX OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD INTO THE NATURAL WORLD" (H. 91), which signifies that the redemptive and regenerative operation of the Word is based on the literal sense in the human mind being filled with the internal sense, by which the spiritual man flows into the natural man, and the natural man for the first time becomes truly man and begins to
54 ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS"
live. In the MEMORABILIA FOR THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "They should know that the miracles which are recorded in the Word took place by the influx out of the prior into the posterior world, and that they were produced by an introduction of such things as are in the spiritual world into corresponding things in the natural world; for example the wine out of heaven into the water in the pots at the wedding where the Lord was present. This is due to the Divine Omnipotence of the Lord, which is meant by the "Finger of God", by which the Lord produced His miracles" (n. 1); from these words it clearly appears that by the miracle of water being changed into wine the Doctrine of the Church is meant, by which the letter of the Word is opened and filled with the internal sense. In the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "The state of Glorification is also the State of Union. He was in that state when He was transfigured before His three disciples, and also when He wrought miracles, and when He said, when the union was complete, that He had power over all flesh (John 17:2), and all power in Heaven and on earth" (n. 104); the words "when He performed miracles" signify the Doctrine of the Church which from the glorified Human is purely Divine; "power over all flesh" and "all power in Heaven and on earth" signify the government of the Lord by the Doctrine of the Church, which is Divine.
From all these particulars it appears that the title of the ARCANA, which speaks of "Wonderful Things", begins to live only in the measure in which everything that has been revealed about miracles is applied to it. But only little has here been quoted.
In conclusion of this argument we quote the following passage from the MEMORABILIA, of which no one can realize the full meaning, who does not see that what is said there is applicable to the Latin Word: "What belongs to the Word, viewed in the literal sense, are most general vessels, indeed so general, and some parts so extremely general, that celestial and spiritual things, or goods and truths innumerable, may be insinuated therein. There are spirits who are averse to anything being said concerning the things revealed, but it was replied THAT THEY ARE INSTEAD OF MIRACLES and that without them
55 ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS
men would not know the character of the book, nor would they buy it, or read it, or understand it, or be affected by it, or believe it; in a word, they would remain in ignorance, nor would wish to hear anything respecting the interiors of the Word, which they regard as mere fantasies. Previously, while in a state intermediate between waking and sleep, I had a manifest perception, that the universal genera of conjugial felicities are indefinite. This was related to spirits, and it was said that the truth on this head can never be perceived and acknowledged, but in an interior state.
Wherefore some of them were sent by the Lord into an interior state, and thence spake with me, saying, that they indeed apperceived the genera of the felicities of conjugial love to be indefinite in number" (n. 4121—4124); by "the revealed things" here not the Writings in their literal sense are understood, but, as is expressly stated, the Wonderful Things which by the Doctrine of the Church are brought to light from the internal sense. By those "who would not buy the book, nor read it, nor understand it", etc., not the men outside of the New Church are meant, but the members of the Church, who have no part in the internal sense. Each word, such as "buy", "read", etc., must not be understood in the natural sense, but in its spiritual sense. It also clearly appears here why the Church, living by its Doctrine of Genuine Truth is the Bride and the Wife of the Lord; and only in the measure in which one penetrates into these depths of the Word, does one learn to understand why the true Christian religion and conjugial love are identical.
(To be continued).
FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
Extract from the Minutes of the Meeting of Saturday, February 1st, 1930.
The memorandum, calling this meeting together, reads as follows: Review by the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer of Mr. Groeneveld's address of February 2nd, 1929, concerning the Doctrine of the Church (see above, p. 14).
56 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
REV. ERNST PFEIFFER gives the following elucidation of Mr. Groeneveld's address: The truth which for some time now has been acknowledged by us as the very heart of the Second Coming of the Lord and of the New Church, is the thesis taken from the literal sense of the Latin Word, first, that by the Doctrine of the Church not the Writings of Swedenborg are meant, but the vision of these Writings and of the Word as a whole, which the Church gradually in an orderly way acquires for itself; and second, that this Doctrine of the Church is of purely Divine origin and of a purely Divine essence. The great importance of Mr. Groeneveld's address concerning the Doctrine of the Church lies in this, that on the basis of the 12th, 20th, and 26th chapter of Genesis, he has described all the phases of the origin and of the coming into existence of this Doctrine.
In the introduction to his address Mr. Groeneveld shows that an interior conjunction between God and man is possible only by the existence of the Divine Rational or the Divine Human on the one side, and by the opening of man's rational for its reception on the other side. This is a truth' which 'the Writings in many places clearly teach, and for the present it needs no further elucidation within the limits of this review, although, according to its internal aspect, it involves innumerable particulars of the greatest importance, which by the Doctrine of the Church will gradually be developed. Man's rational must be opened to the reception of the Divine Rational. On the one hand therefore it clearly appears that the truths of man — even of the celestial man — which constitute his Doctrine, are never truths in themselves, but appearances of truth accommodated to the rational; but on the other hand it clearly appears that these appearances are of purely Divine origin, that the Divine lives in them, and that consequently the Doctrine of the Church is the Lord Himself.
In the three successive phases of the coming into existence of the Doctrine, from the coming into existence of the genuine cognitions to the coming into existence of the celestial Doctrine itself or the Doctrine of the celestial Church, it has been shown that the origin of the Doctrine is not in some or other province or faculty of man, but in the Lord alone. This difference between the orderly coming into existence of the genuine Doctrine, which is purely Divine,
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and the danger of the disorderly coming into existence of a non-genuine Doctrine is represented by the danger thrice repeated of a woman, who is a man's wife, being regarded and treated as his sister. In man, from his childhood onward, based on his remains, the faculties of his mind grow up like children and young people, and according to a definite order they stand in a mutual relation like that of brothers and sisters. But as long as a faculty is not used exclusively for the spiritual and the celestial, consequently for conjunction with the Lord, it is still unripe and it stands as yet outside the celestial marriage, for which alone it has been made, and for which it must be developed.
So in these three stories Sarai, Sarah, as sister and Rebecca as sister stand for the intellectual and the rational faculties by themselves, which at the coming into existence of genuine truths, may only serve as subordinate vessels, but may never be consulted. "For this reason, when the influx of life takes place according to order no single faculty of the mind lives in an unripe state by itself, but there is a marriage between the male and the female of each separate province and of each separate faculty. Then all the separate faculties by the conjugial love in which they live do not regard themselves, but they regard the neighbor and thereby the Lord. All faculties which in a regenerate' mind are allowed to play an independent roll, live in the married state, and by their conjugial love they regard not themselves but the Lord. From these marriages indeed, new children are continually born, sons and daughters, or brothers and sisters mutually, destined to contribute to the continual extension of these faculties; but as long as they are children, unripe, not full-grown and unmarried, they exercise no independent influence. There then rules an orderly arrangement from the lowest to the highest, and from the highest to the lowest, by which the mind is opened from its lowest provinces through the higher even unto the Lord, and the influx takes place freely from the most internal, which is the Lord, to the most external.
In the human mind the coming into existence of the Doctrine of the Church is necessarily preceded by the gathering of genuine cognitions of good and truth from the literal sense of the Word. In the first of the three episodes that have been described, Abram's going to Egypt,
58 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
it has been shown that it is not even possible for man to acquire for himself any genuine cognitions from the Word unless the order of influx, described above, is observed. Egypt stands for the cognitions from the Word. Abram stands for the internal man; with the Lord Abram stands for the Divine itself; with man the internal man is above his consciousness, therefore above his rational which is the inmost of his consciousness, or of the province in which man lives as from himself; the internal man therefore is the soul itself, which is Divine and beyond man's reach. The going of Abram to Egypt therefore signifies the influx from the Lord Himself through the soul into the cognitions from the Word. This therefore clearly shows that without the influx from the Lord no genuine cognitions are possible, which means that the cognitions are dead, not truths but falsities, unless man in the cognitions each moment is fully impressed with the Lord's presence and takes it into account.
Abram stands for the influx from the Lord as to good, and Sarai, as a wife, stands for the influx from the Lord as to truth. The influx of that truth with man however cannot take place in the form in which this truth is in itself, for in that form it is above all human comprehension. For this reason, if with the first reception of the cognitions from the literal sense of the Word, there is at the same time to be some influx of truth from within through the soul, and the internal man is not as it were to die, the influx of truth must take place into a vessel of the conscious mind; this vessel, suitable for receiving the influx of truth from the soul, is man's intellectual. The influx of truth therefore takes place into the intellectual. For when a man for the first time is placed before the literal sense of-the Latin Word, then his intellectual, made living by remains and opened by an affirmative attitude, enables him to recognize as the truth that which he reads there concerning the Lord and Heaven, although as yet he stands scarcely at the beginning of regeneration, and it will appear immediately that he shows every inclination to coarsely abuse this faculty of his intellectual. For a mind of this kind, which as a first step towards regeneration should limit itself to gathering from the letter genuine cognitions living through love to the Lord, begins instead to admire the acquired
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intellectual truths in themselves, similarly as the Egyptians found Sarai a woman of beautiful countenance, and the man's feelings are gratified as to his own importance and, without being aware of the fact, he turns everything that he reads in the Word towards himself. Let any one examine himself, and he will discover that nearly all the cognitions from the Word which in his intellectual he believed to have acknowledged as truths, for the present remain without any contents having direct application to the Lord and to His kingdom; in other words, there are comparatively few cognitions which he has filled as vessels with actually living, spiritual contents. Man then regards the truths from the Word as purely intellectual truths and is inclined to take a purely natural pleasure in them.
This spiritual law that spiritual truth would not be understood if it did not flow into the appearance of intellectual truth, and that without an accommodation of this kind the internal man would as it were die, is indicated by Abram's fear that the Egyptians would kill him, and for this reason he calls Sarai his sister; for the intellectual truth, according to what has been shown above, as to its conception, birth and development, is entirely as a daughter in the house of the mind, as a sister of sisters and brothers. But by this a new danger arises, namely that the man should consider the truths from the Word as purely intellectual truths, and this is represented by the Egyptians regarding and treating Sarai not as a wife but as a sister.
The essential life of genuine cognitions from the Word therefore is that man continually keeps the Lord in view, that he realizes His actual presence and takes it into account. Genuine cognitions come from the Lord alone, they are the Lord's dwelling-place, yea they are the actual presence of the Lord. In this life of the Lord within the genuine cognitions rests the holiness of the Word.
The second episode gives a description of the coming into existence of the genuine Doctrine of the spiritual Church. Abimelech stands for the Doctrine; Abraham and Sarah again stand for the good and the truth of the internal man, or for the influx of the Divine into the things of man; Abraham's going to Abimelech signifies that the origin of the Doctrine of the Church lies in the Divine above man's
60 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
consciousness. The fact of Abraham's again calling Sarah his sister signifies here also that the truth of Doctrine, such as it is in its origin in itself, is above all human comprehension and that therefore no influx of the Divine would be possible and the internal man would as it were die, if the truth were not again accommodated to a certain form of appearance, derived from the human mind itself.
When the genuine cognitions of good and truth from the literal sense of the Word came into existence, as has been described in the first episode, the influx of truth took place into man's intellectual, as shown above. When the Doctrine comes into existence the influx of truth takes place into the rational. This faculty of the rational at the first receiving of .the cognitions did not yet exist, but is only born from the affection of those cognitions by the influx of the Divine into this affection. This clearly appears from the fact that even a child, who has in no way developed his rational, on the basis of his innocence and his remains when reading and hearing the literal sense of the Word, in his intellectual may see that the Lord is God and that the Word is true. On this account it also is possible for a newcomer when for the first time in an affirmative spirit he reads the literal sense of the Word, especially of the Latin Word, to feel the truth of it in a general way and as from a distance, and even to see it intellectually, long before he has made for himself a system, or a doctrine by the formation of the rational from the acquired cognitions. The intellectual is based on intuition, the rational on logical conclusions. The intellectual in itself is a higher faculty than the rational, but although man according to order must start with the lower forms of truth, and from there rise to the higher forms of truth, and it will appear later on that the complete development of the rational precedes the complete development of the intellectual, yet man would never be able to see any truth, unless the Lord in His mercy allow him a certain use of the intellectual as it were by way of an unmerited advance, long before he has acquired for himself the actual possession of that intellectual by regeneration as from himself. The rational, that is the faculty of arriving at logical conclusions concerning genuine cognitions of good and truth, therefore comes into existence only after a certain quantity of such cognitions have been
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gathered, and it comes into existence by the Divine or the internal man inflowing into the love of those cognitions. Abram is the internal man, Hagar, the Egyptian maidservant, is the affection of those cognitions, and Ishmael. their son. is the rational that is here spoken of.
The human faculty into which the truth from the internal or the Divine must inflow, if in man a doctrine of truth is to come into existence, is therefore the rational. As regards its birth and as regards its good, it is a son and is represented by Ishmael; as regards its function and as regards its truth, it is a sister and is represented by Sarah as a sister.
By the influx from the Lord through the internal man into this rational there now for the first time comes into existence, by the logical comparisons and conclusions which the rational is able to draw, an orderly system or arrangement of the cognitions previously acquired. Of such an. orderly arrangement of the genuine cognitions under the continual, all-inspiring and regulating influx from the Lord, while by comparisons ever new conclusions become possible, and therefore ever new truths are brought to light, does the Doctrine of the spiritual Church consist. These new truths are all present in the literal sense itself of the Word, but they are only seen in the measure in which, by comparison with other passages, the attention is fixed on them. From this it appears that progress in the spiritual Church depends on the development of the Doctrine. Only by the preceding of this genuine spiritual Doctrine can man's life from purely natural gradually become spiritual. For this reason it has been said that the Doctrine is of vital importance to the spiritual man; the Doctrine gradually must determine his entire life.
It is clear therefore that the influx of truth from the Lord must take place into the appearance of the rational, if any influx at all is to be possible and man is to be conjoined with the Lord. In these appearances of the truth in the rational the Lord dwells as in His habitation, if they are in an orderly arrangement and as long as the influx from the internal man does not cease. These rational truths are the genuine truths of the Church, or the genuine Doctrine of the spiritual Church. But man may never loose sight of the fact that the essential life of the Doctrine is the
62 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
Lord within. Only if the Doctrine is inspired with a spiritual view of the Divine Human, such as it has been revealed in the Word, it is the genuine Doctrine of the Church. For just as something similar took place when the cognitions came into existence, it will appear that man's proprium now shows an inclination towards consulting the rational faculty by itself. Abimelech runs the danger of regarding and treating Sarah as a sister. Man runs the danger of regarding the rational by itself as the Doctrine, whereas the rational is only a recipient or a dwelling place for the Doctrine. The rational as a human faculty by itself, may never be consulted when the Doctrine comes into existence. By consulting the rational in itself no genuine truths can ever be born in the Church; nothing but falsities are produced in this way.
The Doctrine of the Church indeed has its dwelling-place in the rational; but in the production of truths it -does not allow this rational even the slightest authority. The rational in itself is a purely natural faculty, the rational of the Doctrine of the Church is an inspired rational, it is the genuine rational or the spiritual-rational; it never is anything by itself, it never is anything but the recipient of the Divine Human of the Lord. For this reason the Doctrine of the Church is the very Divine order as regards the conjunction between the Lord and the human race. The Doctrine of the Church as to its entire origin and its entire essence is purely Divine, it is the Divine Human of the Lord.
The third episode gives a description of the coming into existence of the Doctrine of the celestial Church by the opening of the rational of the celestial man. Even the particulars of the two preceding episodes are of such a nature that only an illumined mind can to some extent understand them, but the particulars of this third episode are so far above the comprehension even of the spiritual man that for the present this elucidation will have to be kept within the most general lines. Isaac here stands for the internal man, therefore for the Divine things and the Divine influx into man. It is no longer Abraham, but Isaac, by which is indicated that the Divine things now no longer are entirely above the human consciousness bill that they have found
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a dwelling-place in the inmost of the conscious mind. This is the characteristic of the celestial man; for this reason, strictly speaking, only the celestial man ' is called man. Isaac stands for the good of the inmost rational and Rebecca for the truth of the inmost rational. That Isaac in contradistinction to Ishmael, who in this connection signifies the spiritual man, stands for the celestial man, is well known from the Writings. Abimelech again stands for the Doctrine; Philistaea, of which Abimelech is king, stands for the cognitions acquired by the activity of the Doctrine of the Church; for it is said: "There was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham; and Isaac went unto Abimelech, king of the Philistines, unto Gerar" (Gen. 26 : 1), and this again was a hunger for cognitions, but not for natural cognitions derived from the literal sense of the Word, but for rational cognitions, such as they are to be found in the Word only by the Doctrine of the Church. First of all therefore the necessity for new cognitions again occurs, and for such rational cognitions as are the fruit of the activity of the Doctrine of the spiritual man. Here also the entire nature of these cognitions is determined by the presence of the Lord in their inmosts: Isaac goes to Philistaea. On the basis of these new rational cognitions, if they are now developed according to the order of the Divine influx, the Doctrine of the celestial man may come into existence; in this connection Abimelech stands for this Doctrine. Isaac's going to Abimelech then again signifies that the origin of the Doctrine is entirely in the Divine things, and never in any human faculty in itself.
Rebecca as a sister signifies that the influx from the truth from the internal now takes place into the spiritual-rational, if any influx is to be possible, or into the rational of the man who so far is onlv spiritual, but not as yet celestial. For when first the good rational is laid down in the inmost of the mind, here indicated by Isaac, by which the first basis is laid for the celestial man, yet all the provinces without, such as the spiritual-rational which has so far determined all the thought and all the life of man, as a whole, have certainly not yet become celestial; on the contrary, there now begins a pressing from the celestial within, resistance is experienced, there are combats of temptation and for the present the
64 FROM THE TRANSACTIONS
spiritual truth is the most internal form of appearance in which alone the influx of the truth can be received. The appearance is now created as if the celestial-rational truths (Rebecca as a wife) were only spiritual-rational truths (Rebecca as a sister). The difference between these two kinds of appearances of the truth lies in this that the spiritual man cannot do otherwise but regard the truths as if they were his own, because in his thought he understands them as rational truths. This is because in him there is still an opposition between his spiritual-rational, which he has received as it were by teaching and which he must make to rule, and his natural or his life, which he must make to serve the spiritual-rational. For this reason it is said that with the spiritual man the Doctrine is of vital importance and must determine the life, in other words, that the life of the spiritual man is genuine only and inspired by the Lord, if the Doctrine precedes and determines the whole. In the spiritual man there is as it were a twist in the cable of. the Divine influx, the internal with him being entirely above his consciousness, and this twist must be bridged over by the spiritual-rational, which is opened in the inmost of his consciousness and which for the present is the first with him that is able to receive the Divine influx.
For this reason he does not feel it is an influx; he sees only the spiritual-rational, and everything that is above or within is entirely beyond his reach, until this visit. of Isaac to Abimelech takes place, by which the very first opening of the celestial is indicated. Now for the first time an uninterrupted open influx of the Divine things into man is opened; because the celestial man has this good rational, here represented by Isaac, he perceives clearly that everything inflows from within. The appearance as if man from himself had spiritual-rational truths ceases, Rebecca is again seen and acknowledged as a wife.
In this way the internal perception of the celestial Doctrine is described. The celestial man clearly perceives that all good and truth is of the Lord and inflows into his rational; he sees clearly that the Lord alone lives, that He alone is good. and truth, and that all that man is able to receive are only forms of appearances of truth, and this only, provided the Lord actually lives within. There is no longer a gulf with him between life and doctrine, the
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doctrine with difficulty having to regulate his life. His doctrine is his life and his life is his doctrine.
In this coming into existence of the celestial Doctrine lies the real core of the genuine Doctrine of the Church. The Doctrine is the Lord Himself in His Divine Rational. It comes into existence by the influx of the celestial within into the rational, which is to say that the genuine Doctrine of the Church is a Divine revelation by internal perception. The literal sense, that is the cognitions therefrom, and the spiritual-rational there only serve as subordinate means to the final end. And yet it clearly appears that in this way the entire building of the mind remains grounded on the literal sense of the Word. For from the letter. in the first instance everything proceeded; from it came first the genuine cognitions, from these according to order came the rational and the spiritual-rational, from this the rational cognitions by the Doctrine of the Church. But it clearly appears that the very essential thinking of the celestial man, by which the internal truths of the Church are born, is exalted far above the literal sense of the Word. From this it now for the first time fully appears why it is said that from the letter all possible heresies may be derived, and that the Word without Doctrine is as a candlestick without light. Here lies the inmost heart of the Kew Church, and here the now rising Doctrine of the Church will meet with the greatest resistance and the heaviest combat. But the Lord from within will slowly lead to complete victory.
DE HEMELSGHE LEER
EXTRACTS FROM THE ISSUE FOR JUNE 1930
"ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS"
EDITORIAL BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER.
On the Difference between Natural and Rational Cognitions.
The elucidation of the title of the ARCANA COELESTIA begins with the words: The Heavenly Arcana which are disclosed in the Sacred Scripture or the Word of the Lord, are contained in the Explanation. By the "disclosed Heavenly Arcana" the genuine cognitions of good and truth are meant, or the genuine truths of the Church which determine the spiritual understanding of the Divine essence of the things that make the Church and Heaven. The words: "The Heavenly Arcana disclosed are contained in the Explanation" signify that the genuine cognitions for the New Church are to be found nowhere but in the Writings, therefore not in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament, but in the Third Testament, and in the Old and the New Testament only in the measure in which these are illuminated by the light of the Third Testament. The cognition and the acknowledgement of the truth that the Writings are the source itself, and the only source of all genuine truth, and thus the Word itself, is therefore the primary condition for any genuine cognition of good and of truth; a man who denies the Divinity of the Writings can see no single genuine truth. That the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Sacred Scripture itself or the Word of God itself is therefore in the New Church the beginning of all wisdom.
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The progress of the man of the Church from the first or natural state, through the second or spiritual to the third or celestial state, has been successively described in the Word: by Abram's going to Egypt; Abraham's going to Abimelech; Isaac's going to Abimelech. It has been shown that by Abram's going to Egypt the coming into existence of the genuine cognitions from the literal sense of the Latin Word, or the coming into existence of genuine natural cognitions, is represented; by Abraham's going to Abimelech the coming into existence of the genuine spiritual Doctrine of the Church or of the genuine Doctrine of the spiritual man; and by Isaac's going to Abimelech the coming into existence first, of the genuine cognitions from the Latin Word which have become possible by the operation of the spiritual Doctrine of the Church, or the coming into existence of genuine rational cognitions (A. C. 3364), and second, of the genuine celestial Doctrine of the Church, or of the genuine Doctrine of the celestial man (H. D.G. GROENEVELD, The Doctrine of the Church, in DE HEMELSCHE LEER, 1930, see above, pages 14—17 and 55—65).
The first state in the Church is therefore a purely natural state. The essence of this is that man acknowledges the Writings as the Word and from the literal sense thereof gathers for himself genuine natural cognitions of good and of truth. From this it follows that they who do not acknowledge the Writings as the Word, have not yet even arrived within the outermost borders of the Church, they do not even as yet possess any genuine natural cognitions of good and of truth. It is expressly said cognitions from the literal sense of the Latin Word, for the genuine cognitions here meant, are the "disclosed Heavenly Arcana", which are to be found only in the Writings, as has been shown above. It is also said that these first genuine cognitions for the present are only natural cognitions, and therefore not yet rational cognitions, for as yet they are nothing but scientifics derived from the literal sense of the Word by direct or sensual cognizance.
There is a great distance between these natural cognitions which by sensual cognizance have been derived from the literal sense of the Writings and the rational cogni-
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tions which later on by the operation of the Doctrine of the Church may be acquired from the literal sense of the Writings. Based on the realization that the Writings, in contradistinction to the Old and the New Testament, are a revelation of rational truths, there are some who have thought that the ideas which a man derives directly from the literal sense of the Writings, in themselves already were rational ideas, yea, many have even thought that these ideas were genuine spiritual truths, because it is said that in the Writings the spiritual sense of the Word has been disclosed. This is a fallacy of the natural mind, by which any spiritual progress is rendered impossible. In themselves the truths of the Writings, such as they are thought by the Lord above the Heavens, by the Angels and good spirits in the Heavens, and by the regenerated men in the Church, are indeed Divine, celestial, spiritual truths and genuine rational ideas; but the ideas, such as they are derived by man at first cognizance directly from the literal sense of the Writings, are nothing but purely natural cognitions of good and of truth, and even only then, if man acknowledges the Writings as the Word and keeps in view the Divine Human of the Lord as the soul of all cognitions.
For every Divine, celestial, or spiritual truth, and every genuine rational idea, the moment it is expressed in natural words or laid down in natural writing, becomes a purely natural scientific, a letter without soul, dead in itself, and whether it will arise anew to be a rational idea, a spiritual or a celestial truth, depends entirely on the state of the man who first receives it in the form of a purely natural cognition. The belief that the ideas which man derives directly from the literal sense of the Writings are genuine rational ideas, therefore is an evident instance of imputation of the merit of another, of which it is said in the Writings with so much stress that it is an impossibility and an abomination; and without a doubt similar falsities that have arisen in the New Church are the internal sense of the many references to this protestant heresy; for the New Church must learn to understand that in the internal sense of the Writings it is never the historical churches and sects that are being spoken of, but its own regeneration, its own temptations, combats and victories, its own judgments and salvations;
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for the literal sense of the Writings, dealing with Protestants and Roman Catholics and so forth, is for the children and the simple.
By the explanation of the stories referred to above of Abram, Abraham, and Isaac it has been sufficiently illustrated what is required of man if he wishes from the natural cognitions of the literal sense of the Writings, with which each one must necessarily begin, to arrive at rational cognitions, and in what follows it will be shown that this progress is also spoken of in the elucidation of the title of the ARCANA COELESTIA; but one thing especially has now become evident beyond all doubt, namely that the belief that the Word in the Third Testament is not clothed with a purely natural literal
sense, just as in the Old and the New Testament, is a mischievous fallacy by which man is kept in a purely natural state, and is absolutely prevented from rising to a rational, let alone a spiritual or a celestial state.
The cognition that the Writings are the Word was already a rational cognition, a fruit of the operation of the Doctrine of the Church, for by direct sensual cognizance alone this cognition could never have been acquired from the literal sense of the Writings. As regards those who originally deduced this cognition from the Writings it is a proof of a rational and spiritual entering into the Writings, but once laid down in the form of a teaching in the literal sense of the Doctrine of the Church, it immediately became a purely natural scientific, which is received by the members of the Church, by the children and young people and by the newcomers as a purely natural cognition by direct sensual cognizance.
It is clear that the GENERAL CHURCH in contradistinction to CONVENTION and CONFERENCE owes its prosperous development up to the present to this one cognition, such as it has rationally been seen first by the founders of the Church and after that each time anew by some of its leaders and members. But it could not be otherwise, but that in this first state, in which for the time being the principal task was as much as possible to gather natural cognitions from the Writings, they should understand only in general, but not rationally in particulars, the truth of the Divinity of the Writings, It was not yet at all clear
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whether and in how far the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE could be applied also to the Third Testament; the opponents of the Divinity of the Writings felt quite sure that this Doctrine applied only to the Old and the New Testament, and those in favor of the Divinity of the Writings had not yet entertained the thought that perhaps this Doctrine might be fully applied to the Writings.
We shall here quote a few of the passages from the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE that are most suitable for elucidating this question. We read in THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "The style of the Word is such that it is holy in every sentence, and in each word, yea even in some places in the letters themselves. Therefore the Word unites man to the Lord, and opens Heaven. There are two things which proceed from the Lord, Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, or what is the same thing, Divine Good and Divine Truth. The Word in its essence is both. And because it unites man to the Lord, and opens Heaven, the Word fills man with the goods of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the goods of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom; consequently man receives life by the Word. But it must be well understood, that those only have life from the Word who read it for the purpose of drawing Divine truths from it as from their fountain, in order to apply such truths to life; and that the reverse takes place with those who read the Word merely for the purpose of procuring honor and gaining the world" (n. 191). If we apply this passage to the Writings, we arrive at a clear distinction between the natural sense of the Writings and their spiritual and celestial sense. By the words "the Word fills man with the goods of love and with the truths of wisdom" the celestial sense and the spiritual sense of the Writings are indicated, which lie hidden far above or within the literal sense, and are only seen and attained by those who have traveled the prescribed orderly road thereto.
The essential sub-divisions of this road, as has repeatedly been shown, are; 1. the gathering of natural cognitions by direct or sensual cognizance from the literal sense of the Writings; 2. the birth of the rational by an influx from the Lord into the affection of those cognitions; 3, the coming into
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existence of the genuine spiritual Doctrine; 4. the gathering of genuine rational cognitions from the literal sense of the Writings, which, now for the first time by the operation of the Doctrine, have become possible; 5. the coming into existence of the genuine celestial Doctrine (DE HEMELSCHE LEER, see above, pages 14—17 and 55—65). From this it appears how greatly those err, who believe that the spiritual, and in some places even the celestial sense in the Writings are openly visible, and that they may be derived from the Writings by direct cognizance; it also clearly appears that even those err, who believe that the literal sense of the Writings consists of rational truths, which may be derived by man through direct sensual cognizance. From this passage and the following which will here be elucidated, it will become evident that the letter of the Writings, just as the letter of the Old and the New Testament, consists of purely natural truths, and that no man can therefrom ever receive anything by direct cognizance but purely natural cognitions.
In the same work, "No man who does not know that there is a certain spiritual sense in the Word, as the soul in the body, can judge of the Word in any other way than from the sense of the letter; when nevertheless this sense is like a casket enclosing precious contents, which are its spiritual sense" (n. 192); if this passage can be applied to the Writings, this means to say that also in the Writings there is a difference between the literal sense and the spiritual sense, as large as the difference between a simple casket, in itself of scarcely any value and the priceless precious things it contains. So far the literal sense of the Old and the New Testament has been regarded as the casket and the literal sense of the Writings as those precious things. Now, however, it will appear that those who have confirmed themselves in this concept, have not yet understood one single internal truth of the Word in general and of the Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture in particular. Only in the measure in which the letter also of the Writings is seen as letter, one begins to realize that the spiritual and the celestial, yea even the rational, are never to be found in the letter, but only in the essential Heaven itself, that is, in the living internal of man. In the same work; "That the Word in its bosom is spiritual is because
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it descended from Jehovah the Lord, and passed through the angelic Heavens; and the Divine itself, which in itself is ineffable and imperceptible, in its descent was adapted to the perception of Angels, and lastly to the perception of man. Hence the spiritual sense, which is within the natural sense, as the soul in man, the thought of the understanding in speech, and the affection of the will in action" (n. 193); here also it plainly appears that by the spiritual sense, which is within the natural sense, a letter such as that of the Writings can never be meant, but only the living perceptions in the spirit of Angels and of regenerated men. In the same work: "The spiritual sense is not that sense which beams from the sense of the letter. The spiritual sense is not apparent in the sense of the letter, it is interiorly within it, as the soul is in the body, or as the thought of the understanding in the eyes, and as the affection of love in the countenance. It is this sense, especially, that makes the Word spiritual, not only for men, but also for Angels; therefore the Word by that sense communicates with the Heavens. Since the Word is interiorly spiritual, therefore it is written by pure correspondences" (n. 194); as the sense of the letter of the Writings has always been regarded as the spiritual sense itself, it seemed entirely impossible to apply such a passage to the Writings; and yet it will become evident that the life of the Writings in the Church depends just on this.
The spiritual sense is not apparent in the sense of the letter of the Writings; it is interiorly within it, as the soul is in the body. Since the Writings are interiorly spiritual, they have been written by pure correspondences. It was a fundamental mistake that those passages where the Writings disclose the spiritual sense of the Old and the New Testament were regarded as being the spiritual sense itself. In such a way the spiritual sense can never be disclosed, for the spiritual sense is the Lord Himself. The disclosure consisted merely in this. that the door as it were, or rather the various more and more interior doors, that give admittance to the spiritual sense, and the road leading to the spiritual sense, were indicated; the door and the road are the Divine Human of the Lord in the Doctrine of the Church. The literal indications in the Writings of the spiritual sense, such as man receives them
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by direct cognizance, are, however, nothing but merely natural cognitions, they are merely vessels for the spiritual sense, they are nothing but the science of correspondences, which, like all sciences, is merely natural. In the same work: "There are three Heavens, the highest, the middle, and the lowest; the highest Heaven constitutes the Lord's celestial kingdom, the middle Heaven constitutes His spiritual kingdom, and the lowest Heaven constitutes His natural kingdom. Just as there are three Heavens, so there are also three senses of the Word, the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural. This clearly shows of what nature the Word is, namely that in the sense of its letter which is the natural sense, there is an interior sense, which is the spiritual, and in this the inmost sense, which is the celestial; and thus that the ultimate sense, which is the natural, and is called the sense of the letter, is the containant, thus the basis and the firmament of the two interior senses. From this it follows that the Word without the sense of its letter, would be like a palace without a foundation, and again like a temple containing many holy things, and in the centre the sanctuary, without a roof and without a wall, which are its boundaries; if these were wanting or were taken away, the holy things of the temple would be stolen by thieves, and violated by the beasts of the earth and by the birds of heaven, and in this way they would be scattered" (n. 212, 213); it is evident that the essence of the Writings as the Word remains not-understood, if one does not see how this passage is to be applied to it.
The literal sense of the Writings consists, entirely as that of the Old and the New Testament, of merely natural cognitions; the rational cognitions and the spiritual and celestial truths lie interiorly far within it, and entirely hidden. The same is taught in the following passages of the same work: "The truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are like the scientifics of the natural man, which comprise within them the perceptions and affections of spiritual truth. The naked truths themselves, which are included, contained, clothed and comprised, are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the naked goods are in its celestial sense. The truths and goods of the sense of the letter of the Word are like vessels, and like clothes of the naked good and truth, which both lie concealed in
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the spiritual and celestial sense of the Word" (i. 215). "The truths in. the sense of the letter of the Word are called its covering; the sense of the letter covers the interior things of the Word" (n. 219). "The power of Divine Truth or of the Word is in the sense of its letter; this is, because in it the Word is in its fullness, and because the Angels of both the Lord's kingdoms, and men, are simultaneously in that sense" (n. 223); the literal and the internal sense of the Writings are here described, and that, just as in the Old and the New Testament, they correspond as the natural with the spiritual; for in the correspondence is all power, because then Heaven and the world or the spiritual and the natural are one. That by the sense of the letter, which has the power, not the Old and the New Testament are meant, but the Writings, clearly appears from this that the Writings are the only source of all genuine truth for the New Church, as has been shown in the beginning of this article.
The DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE is full of similar passages, from which the enlightened understanding may conclude that the essence of the Writings as the Word can only be understood in the measure in which the teachings concerning the literal sense are applied to the Writings, and in which the man of the Church, according to the prescribed order, from the literal sense penetrates into the spiritual sense of them, and that, as long as the Church clings to the literal sense, it remains in a purely natural state. The passages quoted are sufficient for the enlightened understanding to be convinced of this truth, but if now attention is paid to what the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE reveals concerning the Doctrine of the Church, one arrives at conclusions that are entirely decisive and do not leave the slightest doubt. We read in THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "The science of correspondences, by which the spiritual sense is given, is to-day revealed, because the Divine truths of the Church are now coming forth into light, and these are the truths of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists. And when these truths are in man, the sense of the letter of the Word cannot be perverted. For the sense of the letter of the Word is capable of being turned any way; but if it is turned to favor
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what is false, then its internal holiness perishes, and its external holiness with it. But if it is turned to what is true, then it remains" (n. 207). By "the Divine truths of the Church, of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists" the Doctrine of the Church is signified. The genuine Doctrine of the Church, of which the coming into existence is described in the 12th, 20th, and 26th chapters of the ARCANA COELESTIA, is the only safeguard that the literal sense of the Writings is not perverted. That this sense, just as the literal sense of the Old and the New Testament, may be perverted to all kinds of heresies, clearly appears from the existence of CONFERENCE and CONVENTION. That by "the Divine truths of the Church" not the sense of the letter of the Writings is meant, but the internal, that is, the rational, spiritual and celestial truths, which the Church according to order acquires from the Writings by the opening of the sense of the letter, may be evident from this passage, but it is still more evident from the following passages of the same work: "The Word by means of the Doctrine is not only understood, but also gives light in the understanding, for it is like a candlestick with its lights lit; a man then sees more things than he saw before, and also understands what was before unintelligible; things obscure and discordant he passes by without seeing them, or he sees them and explains them so that* they agree with the Doctrine. That the Word may be seen from the Doctrine and also be explained according to it, the experience in the Christian world testifies.
All the Reformed see the Word from their doctrine, and explain the Word accordingly; the Roman-Catholics from theirs and according to it; even the Jews from theirs and according to it; consequently falsities from a false doctrine, and truths from a true Doctrine. It is evident, therefore, that the true Doctrine is like a lamp in the darkness, or a guide-post by the wayside" (n. 227). By the comparison with the Doctrine of the Reformed, Roman-Catholics and Jews it is here openly stated that the Doctrine of the Church takes its existence in the Church itself, and that therefore also in the New Church a distinction must be made between the Divine Doctrine itself, that is, the Writings in all their fullness from the Divine sense down to the literal sense, and the Doctrine of the New Church or the Doctrine of Genuine Truth, that is; the genuine
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rational, spiritual and celestial truths, which the Church gradually acquires by the orderly opening of the literal sense of the Writings. It is clearly shown that without such a Doctrine man does not understand the Writings, and that, if his doctrine is false, he sees nothing but falsities in the Writings. We read further: "From this it may be clear that those who read the Word without Doctrine are in obscurity concerning all truth, and that their minds are wavering and unsettled, prone to error, and also fall into heresies, which they also embrace, in case they are urged by favor or authority, and their reputation is not endangered. For the Word is to them as a candlestick without light and they fancy they see many things in the shade, whereas they see hardly anything, for the Doctrine alone is the lamp" (n. 228); here it clearly appears that they who read the Word without Doctrine, are in obscurity as to all truth. From these few passages it may be evident that the Church cannot possibly interiorly understand the Writings, unless it form for itself according to order a Doctrine which shall show it the way.
In further confirmation we shall now quote only one more passage from the same work, and, in order to have this truth speak so much more clearly we shall each time where the words "the Word" occur, read "the Writings" instead: "The genuine truth, which will belong to the Doctrine, appears in the sense of the letter of the WRITINGS to those only who are in enlightenment from the Lord. Enlightenment comes from the Lord alone, and is with those who love truths because they are truths, and make them to the uses of life; with others there is no enlightenment in the WRITINGS. These are they who are enlightened when they read the WRITINGS, and to whom the WRITINGS are lucid and transparent. The WRITINGS to them are lucid and transparent because 'a spiritual and celestial sense are in every part of the WRITINGS, and these senses are in the light of Heaven; therefore the Lord, by these senses and the light therefrom inflows into the natural sense of the WRITINGS, and into the light thereof in man. The contrary is the case with those who read the WRITINGS from the doctrine of a false religion; but still more with them who confirm this doctrine from the WRITINGS; with such the truths of the WRITINGS are in the shade of night, and the falsities in the light of day. They read the truths,
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but do not see them; and if they see the shadow of them, they falsify them. Consequently their light in the spiritual things of the Church becomes merely natural" (n. 231, 232); it is not difficult to see in these words a Divine description of the state of those who read the Writings without the rational cognition of the Doctrine of the Church that the Writings are the Word itself; but just as in the first state, which was natural, and which ruled up to the present, all life and true prosperity resulted from the cognition that the Writings are the Word, so it will appear in the future that the Church will rise to its second state, which is spiritual, only in so far as it actually applies the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE in all its particulars to the Writings.
It is evident that it was absolutely impossible to arrive at this all-dominating truth, before the Divine origin and the Divine essence, and the great importance of the Doctrine of the Church had been shown. And yet they saw themselves obliged, over against the attacks of the opponents of the Divinity of the Writings, to arrive at the formulation of a "Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture of the Third Testament"; but it was a self-made doctrine. Some said that the sense of the letter of the Writings was the spiritual sense itself; they thought that the literal formulation of the Divine Doctrine, such as in the sense of the letter of the Writings it is accommodated to the understanding of the natural mind, is that Doctrine of the Church itself, of which it is said that it gives the light for the Word; and they thought that the science of correspondences, which is revealed in the Writings, and which in itself is only a system of merely natural cognitions, was the spiritual sense itself. How untenable this conception is, and that it is based on a fallacy of the natural mind, has become evident in the foregoing. Others said that the difference must be borne in mind between the qualities of the various provinces of the mind to which the various Testaments are addressed; they said that the Writings were addressed to the rational mind, and that they were a revelation in a clothing of rational truths, and the rational ideas thereof are open even unto the Lord, so that there was no occasion here for the application of the means which in the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE have
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been given for the opening of the literal sense of the Word. This conception also is an evident fallacy of natural thought. It has been shown above that man by direct sensual cognizance from the Writings can never receive anything but merely natural cognitions. This may be confirmed by the following passage from THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "The contents of the literal sense are evident to every man, because they flow 'directly into the eyes; but the contents that are hidden in the spiritual sense, are evident only to those who love truths because they are truths, and do goods because they are goods. To such the treasure, which the literal sense covers and guards, is revealed; and these things are those that essentially constitute the Church" (n. 244). In the explanation of the 12th, 20th and 26th chapters of the ARCANA COELESTIA, which has been given in the January and May numbers of DE HEMELSCHELEER (see above, p. 14—17 and 55—65), it has been shown how, as the consequence of the gathering of those natural cognitions (Abram in Egypt), by the influx from the Lord into the affection of those cognitions (Hagar), the rational is first born (Ishmael); how, further, by the influx from the Lord into this rational now for the first time the spiritual Doctrine of the Church comes into existence (Albimelech), and how, only long after that; by the operation of that Doctrine, for the first time genuine rational cognitions may be gained (Isaac with Abimelech, A.C. 3364).
On comparing the sensual-natural ideas of the Old Testament with the rational-natural ideas of the Writings, these latter have been mistaken for genuine rational ideas, and, as one was not aware of the great difference, one has never realised that the way from the rational-natural ideas derived from the literal sense of the Writings to genuine rational ideas is not one step shorter than the way from the sensual-natural ideas of the Old Testament to genuine rational ideas. But it is an irrefutable truth that the Church before having travelled all the length of the way just described, that is before the birth of the Doctrine of the Church, where its Divine origin and its Divine essence is understood and acknowledged, cannot see a single genuine rational cognition. All cognitions having come into existence before the birth of the Doctrine of the Church, as to their essence are purely natural. Even
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this one cognition of the Divinity of the Writings, of which it was said above, that the GENERAL CHURCH derived from it all its internal life, and that it already was a rational cognition, because it could not be acquired from the Writings by direct cognizance, so far was not a genuine essentially rational cognition in the full sense; for in the first natural state it could not possibly be seen that this cognition belongs to the Doctrine of the Church, is purely Divine, and possesses Divine authority. With this cognition, and with all the rational, spiritual and celestial things, which in that first state, in itself a purely natural state, have given life to the Church and' conjoined it to the Lord, it is the same case as with the intellectual, the spiritual of charity and the celestial of innocence, which is granted even to a child by way of an unmerited advance, long before these truly human things have really become the child's property. For in the first natural state it could not be otherwise than that the Lord in this way as an advance should grant to the Church those rational cognitions which for that state were of vital importance and therefore indispensable; for without the realization that the Writings are Divine, the Church could not even have derived from them any genuine natural cognitions.
But it was more a presentiment and a most general idea of the Divinity of the Writings, than a rational understanding thereof in the essential particulars. That the Writings are the Word may now for the first time be rationally understood in particulars,
now that it appears in particulars that the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE must be 'applied to them without any difference or reserve. 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; for the Doctrine of the Church is the only and indispensable basis for the imparting of the Holy Spirit; without the Doctrine of the Church even the Writings remain a dead letter, and the interior degrees of the mind remain closed.
From this it is evident how the conception that the difference must be borne in mind between the qualities of the various provinces of the mind to which the various Testa-
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ments have been addressed, and that the Writings offer no occasion for the application of the revealed means for the opening of the literal sense, rests on a confusion of the rational-natural with the rational itself. The principal means of opening the literal sense is the Doctrine of the Church or the Doctrine of (genuine Truth, and without this Doctrine also the Writings are a candlestick without light. But even as regards the science of correspondences, it is evident that this too is indispensable for the interior understanding of the Writings; for the Writings contain, besides the rational-natural ideas, which constitute its main material, and which, in fact, are a kind of correspondences different from the sensual correspondences of the Old Testament, also a fullness of sensual-natural ideas, derived from the visible things of the world, which first must all be opened according to order with the assistance of the science of correspondences, before man by means of the Doctrine of the Church can approach the spiritual sense of the Writings.
From this it may now appear what is meant by the "disclosed Arcana", and by the removal of the veil in the Memorable Relation of THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION (n. 508), and by the words: Nunc Licet, "Now it is permitted'": the Word in the sense of the letter of the Third Testament remains for the purely natural man a closed book, but the means to "enter intellectually into the arcana of faith" (T. C. R. 508) have now been given; those means are the Science of Correspondences, the Doctrine of Genuine Truth or the Genuine Doctrine of the Church, and Enlightenment from the Lord.
(To be concluded)
FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
Extract from the Minutes of the Meetings of Saturday, April 5th, and Saturday, May 3rd, 1930.
The memorandum calling these meetings together reads as follows: Review by the Rev. Pfeiffer of Mr. Groeneveld's address of December 7th, 1929, on The Coming of the Lord in the Doctrine of the Church (see above, p. 38).
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REV. ERNST PFEIFFER at these two meetings gave the following elucidation of Mr, Groeneveld's address on The Coming of the Lord in the Doctrine of the Church: It is first shown that all Churches before the Coming of the Lord on earth, because they were without the Divine Human as a basis for their thought, were entirely dependent on purely external things for their conjunction with the Lord. Only with the assumption and glorification of the human and with the revelation afterwards of the Divine essence thereof, was the possibility given of an internal basis for the Church on earth. Before the glorification of the human and the revelation of the Divine Human the human race had no other basis for its thought than the visible creation or nature.
In that sense all Churches before the Coming of the Lord were only external or natural Churches, even the Adamic Church, of which it is said that it was a celestial Church, and the Noachic Church, of which it is said that it was a spiritual Church. This was also the reason why all these Churches have perished. The first Church which might have become an internal Church, was the Christian Church, but it did not avail itself of this possibility. The New Church on the basis of the Divine Human will become an internal Church, it is the first Church which according to its proper essence is an internal Church, and indeed not only a spiritual Church, but it is the essentially celestial Church; and this is the reason why it will never perish and why it is called the Crown of Churches.
With the man of the Adamic Church the mind was opened from the most external or sensual degree to the most internal or interior rational degree, that is even into Heaven and unto the Lord. But the Adamite could have no single thought unless it was grounded on the sensual and therefore on the visible creation or nature. He lived in an earthly paradise; the nature which surrounded him was then in its perfect Divine state, such as it had come forth from the hand of the Creator, untainted by any human violence, or by any influence from the hells, which then did not yet exist. The Adamite lived in these paradisiacal surroundings as on his proper earth and in his proper world, like a child. His mind being open unto the interior rational, he took in everything that he sensually perceived in an internal manner; in everything he saw Divine and
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celestial things; his state was entirely analogous to that of the Angels themselves, and therefore he had open communication with Heaven. But without the basis of the sensual connection with his earthly paradise he could have no single thought. If he should have been removed from his paradisiacal surroundings, he would soon have perished, like a small child in the desert. An Adamite, for instance, in an environment such as ours, would not have remained alive one day; at the first sight of our sham civilization and of the violence to nature of which the human race is making itself guilty, he would at once have swooned with terror; and as he could use his rational only in connection with his sensual and never independently of this, like a child he would not have been able to raise himself to another more interior reality than that of his sensual environment. In contradistinction to the present-day merely sensual man, who even lacks the exterior rational, let alone the interior rational, and therefore perceives only the sensual appearance of things and has not the faintest idea of the reality behind that appearance, the Adamic man in our environment would see through the sensual as through a perfectly transparent glass, and he would not be able to perceive anything but the reality hidden behind the appearance.
From this it clearly appears that as long as the Adamic Church remained in its untainted celestial state and did not disturb the order of its visible paradise by the influence of any evil, the sensual basis for its interior rational thought and thereby for its conjunction with the Lord and its continuance as a celestial Church remained assured; but that by the first coming into existence of evil and falsity and the necessarily accompanying representation thereof in the phenomena of the surrounding nature, the real basis of its conjunction with the Lord became affected, and that even thereby the entire Church was doomed to its gradual decline. From this it also appears in what sense the Adamic Church was a celestial church, and in what sense nevertheless it was a purely sensual Church. In its Golden Age it was the properly sensual Church of the Lord in its entire Divine purity. In the light of this consideration it also becomes clear what is meant by the description of the Adamic Church in the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "The Adamic
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Church was not in the truth, because it worshipped an invisible God, with whom no conjunction is possible" (Q. 786). The men of that Church, while they delighted in their earthly paradise, by no means lived in the sensual or natural thereof; in everything they saw only representations of celestial and Divine things; being celestial men, they were in the properly celestial love, that is, in love to the Lord and in the perception of good and truth; and yet it is said of them that they were not in the truth, because they worshipped an invisible God, with whom no conjunction is possible. Their entire earthly paradise and all its particulars for them in fact were a representation of the Lord; but they could not form an idea of the Lord Himself as the Divine Man, because at that time the Natural Human of the Lord did not yet exist. Innumerable representations in fact showed them innumerable Divine qualities of the Creator, but without the basis of the whole and all the particulars of sensual nature they could not form a single thought concerning the Divinity. This also is the reason why in other passages of the Latin Word it is said that all Churches before the Coming of the Lord, therefore even the Adamic Church, were not properly internal, but only representative Churches.
With the man of the Noachic Church the interior rational was closed; with him only the exterior rational could be opened by regeneration; consequently he was without the perception of good and truth which constituted the life of the Adamic man, and for the recognition of truth he was dependent on a written Word, on account of which he did not, like the Adamite, receive truth from within, but from without. At the view of his sensual natural environment he was not- able to directly perceive the interior truth hidden within the natural, but he had first to learn the truth from the Word, and only after that could he recognize it also in nature, in. the measure in which the exterior rational with him was thereby opened. But in one respect the Noachic man, like all men before the Coming of the Lord, was entirely like the Adamite, namely in this that concerning the interior things he could not form any idea whatever, unless on the basis of his sensual-natural environment; for the Noachic Church too, was not a properly internal, but only a
representative Church. It was the time when men no longer lived alone, as in -the Golden Age, but some in a patriarchal society, others under the rule of a prince in the many kingdoms that now formed themselves on earth. It was in the order of their social life that they saw a representation of the order of the heavenly society and of the Lord Himself, who is Order itself. Each one recognized his social position as the result of a spiritual order and of a Divine providence. Each one knew of no other happiness and therefore of no other end than, from his own place assigned to him by his birth, to serve the whole; even the meanest servant in his lowly work found such spiritual satisfaction and such internal happiness, that the very thought of opposing himself against this order appeared to him as something enormous and as a sin against God. From this it now clearly appears that as long as the Noachic Church remained in the integrity of its spiritual state, and did not disturb the order of its social life by the influx of evil loves, the sensual basis for its continuance as a spiritual Church was likewise assured; for, as has been said,-in the order of their society they saw a representation of the celestial and the Divine order itself. But, seeing they could only use their spiritual rational, which determined the proper essence of their Church, in connection with their sensual natural, therefore only in connection with the order of their society and never independently thereof, it is evident that when the love of self and the love of the world arose, which gradually completely reversed the order of their society .so that might and brute force more and more occupied the place of their former charity, then the real basis of their conjunction with the Lord was affected, so that the entire Church was doomed to gradually perish.
From everything we know concerning the Israelitish Church, it is evident that the man of this Church as well, was entirely dependent on the sensual for all his thought. The human race in this generation had become so external, that with them even the exterior rational could no longer be opened. For the Adamite also' and the Noachite the glory of the earth and the riches of the world were absolutely indispensable as a basis for their religion, but they never attached any other importance to them than that those
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things served as a sensual basis for their celestial and their spiritual life; the Israelite, however, whose internal was completely closed, could no longer raise his thought to the spiritual; he acknowledged no other than the coarse, material actuality, and no other values than those of the sensual world; he could not see the essence of his religion otherwise than in a sensual way, and consequently he could be kept in the order of his religion only by compulsion, by external miracles and by fear of external punishment. Entirely in correspondence therewith is the nature of the Old Testament. For this reason it is said that the Israelitish Church was properly speaking no longer a Church, no representative Church, such as the Adamic and the Noachic, but only the representative of a Church. It is well known that this nation, as long as they remained obedient to the law which had been given them from without, enjoyed a wonderful worldly prosperity above all other nations, and that also for so long, according to the promise of their Word, the continuance of their Church was assured. But it is likewise known that this Church too came to an end and then the time was there, that the Lord Himself had to come into the flesh, if the conjunction of the human race with Him were not to be definitely broken and this earth perish entirely.
The end of the Lord's Coming was the assumption of a Human of His own, from the inmost, the Divine Rational, to the outmost, the Divine Natural, and the revelation thereof to the human race, by which for the first time an internal and therefore imperishable basis was given for the thought and therefore for the conjunction with the Lord.
That the Divine Rational before the Lord's Coming did not yet exist, because the Lord then had not yet a Natural of His own and the rational without the natural does not exist, has been shown from the NINE QUESTIONS. The Lord then had a Rational, but only by means of influx into the Angelic Heaven. It was not a Divine Rational, existing in itself, but a Rational Divine, dependent for its existence on the influx of the Divine into the Angelic Heaven and for the requisite natural on the natural creation. It is now shown how this Rational Divine in its descent from its interior rational, such as it ruled in the Adamic Heaven, through its exterior rational, such as it ruled in the Noachic Heaven, and thence through its sensual
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rational, such as it ruled in the Israelitish Heaven, had become so external, that in its effort to descend to the human race for the salvation thereof, it finally assumed a Natural of its own or the natural form of a Divine Seed, which was conceived by the virgin Mary. In a previous address (see the periodical DE WARE CHRISTELIJKE GODSDIENST, 1929, pages 38—45, The Coming of the Lord for Conjunction with the Church) Mr. Groeneveld has shown how in the effort of the Lord to conjoin Himself continually anew with the human race which was becoming more and more external, each of these more and more exterior forms of the Rational Divine had already come into existence as from a seed from the previous more interior form of the Rational Divine.
Three truths of fundamental importance here urge themselves on our thoughts;
1. In accordance with the general order of creation the Lord, like every man, received the soul or the internal man from His Father and the body or the external man from His mother. The Divine Seed' which the Lord received as a soul, contained in it not only the infinite soul of the Father, but also all the Rational Divine from the inmost to the outmost, or all the Rational which since creation had been given to the human race and which then, in its more internal or more external form, constituted the basis of the various Heavens, but now in a Natural of His own. For, it is true, man receives his body or the internal and external natural not from his father, but from his mother, who clothes the celestial, spiritual and rational contents of the seed conceived with an internal and an external natural; but the seed in its purely spiritual essence would never be able to approach the mother and in her clothe itself with the natural, unless it had previously clothed itself with an intermediating, very finest natural. For this reason it is said; the seed conceived by the virgin Mary contained the infinite Divine Soul and all the Rational Divine, but now in a Natural of His own. As regards the Lord the great importance of this truth lies in this, that this clearly proves that His internal man, containing His Rational, down into this natural determination, therefore down into the first beginning of His Human, was purely Divine. As regards man and the Church the great importance of this truth lies
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in this, that this proves that the genuine rational, or what is the same, the Doctrine of the Church, precedes the natural, or, what is the same, the application of the Doctrine; in other words, it precedes the life of the man of the Church, and therefore also his charity, comparatively as the human seed contains the entire internal man of the child to be conceived and. the mother adds nothing internal, but only clothes it with the external or the natural. It is thus shown that the denial of the Divinity of the Doctrine of the Church, seen from within, contains the denial of the Divinity of the Loud Jesus Christ Himself, for the regeneration of man is an image 'of the Glorification of the Lord, and, as will be seen clearly in what follows, it was principally for the sake of the Doctrine of the Church that the Lord assumed and glorified the human, namely that finally a Church might be established, which in contradistinction to all former Churches should have an internal and therefore imperishable basis for its conjunction with Him.
2. It is a truth often expounded, in the Writings tha4 the Holy Spirit before the Coming of the Lord into the flesh, did not exist. The proceeding Divine was then not named the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of Holiness, as appears from the Old Testament, and this Spirit of Holiness was indeed nothing else than the Rational Divine just described, such as it existed on the_ natural basis of the natural creation by the influx of the Divine into the Angelic Heaven. On the strength of the words: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee", in the 35th verse of the first chapter of Luke, however, it is now shown that the Holy Spirit existed before the Lord had assumed the natural from the virgin Mary. It is therefore evident that the Holy Spirit first came into existence from the own Natural which the descending Rational Divine had assumed, and that it proceeded from the seed to be conceived by Mary. It is likewise evident that the Lord's own Divine Rational, by virtue of which He therefore was no longer dependent on the influx into the Angelic Heaven, first came into existence when the Rational Divine descended into this own Natural of the seed to be conceived by Mary, For although the Divine Rational in its fullness existed only after the Lord had made His rational Divine and glorified
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His human, still from the preceding consideration it is evident that the Divine Rational in its germ was already present in the seed to be conceived. As regards the Lord the great importance of this truth lies in this, that this clearly proves that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Natural of the Divine Human of the Lord, but that it proceeds from the Divine Rational through the Natural. As regards man the great importance of this truth lies in this, that this proves that with man the receptacle of the Holy Spirit does not lie in the natural cognitions derived by direct cognizance from the Latin Word (Abram in Egypt); nor in the first rational come into existence by the influx of the Lord into the affection of those cognitions (Ishmael, Abram's son by Hagar); nor even in the spiritual Doctrine of the Church, or the spiritual rational,
come into existence, by the influx of the Lord into the first rational (Abimelech, after the acknowledgement of Sarah as Abraham's wife) ; nor in the genuine rational cognitions which now may be acquired from the literal sense by the operation of the spiritual Doctrine of the Church (Isaac in Gerar); but first in the celestial rational or in the celestial Doctrine of the Church, come into existence by the influx of the celestial into the spiritual rational, and which consists in a direct revelation of good and truth by perception, far above the literal sense of the Word (Abimelech, after the acknowledgement of Rebecca as Isaac's wife).
For this perception of the celestial Doctrine with man or this celestial rational corresponds with the Rational Divine laid down in an own Natural, while all the preceding forms and functions of truth with man correspond with forms and functions of the internal and external Natural of the Lord, come into existence by the operation of the Holy Spirit (proceeding from the Rational Divine laid down in an own Natural), into the internal and external natural with which the Seed was clothed by Mary. The former forms and functions of truth precede the celestial rational and afterwards are renewed by the influx of this rational, like the forms and functions come into existence by the operation of the Holy Spirit into the natural which was added by Mary to the Divine Seed, were afterwards made to forms and functions of the Divine Natural. In time the former forms and functions of truth do indeed
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appear to precede the celestial Doctrine, for man gradually ascends from the most external to the most internal states, as has been clearly shown in the explanation of the 12th, 20th, and 26th chapters of the ARCANA COELESTIA, but in reality it was the germ of the celestial rational or of the direct perception of good and truth, or the germ of the proper celestial Doctrine, which from the beginning was present and active as a germ to impart their real life to the preceding forms and functions of truth. When later on man has gradually ascended consciously through the various successive degrees of truth to the celestial rational, then for the first time that germ is actually opened and developed to its fullness, and then the influx from there returns and according to order again descends and then first allows all the forms and functions of truth that seemingly preceded to attain to ripeness and a full-grown state of life. To illustrate this by an example: It has been shown how the man of the Church begins with the gathering of genuine natural cognitions by direct cognizance from the literal sense of the Latin Word; but it now appears that actually living and internally opened natural cognitions can be derived by direct cognizance from the literal sense only by that man who has already lived through all the described states unto the celestial rational.
The former natural cognitions are described in the Word in the story of Abram in Egypt, the latter in the story of Joseph in Egypt; Abram in Egypt stands for the influx into the cognitions of the Divine which is yet above man's consciousness; Joseph in Egypt stands for the influx into the cognitions of the Divine which has come to man's consciousness by the opening of the interior degrees. From this first ascending seeming influx and the then following descending actual influx, the mutual relation and mutual operation of the genuine truth received by direct perception, or the celestial rational truth, and the seemingly preceding forms and functions of natural truth clearly appear. This genuine truth which actually always precedes, internally lays itself down in the forms and functions of natural truth, entirely as the seed of the male lays itself down in the female, which conjoins itself therewith from without; but by this the opportunity is given to the genuine truth to become life in the natural
and natural actuality; in its descent it has impressed its stamp on the natural and has given it a new form more in accordance with the Divine order; from this renewed natural man arrives at new natural cognitions, and from there a new ascending seeming influx begins along the same steps as before, unto the celestial rational, by which this, in agreement with the much wider basis it has now found, brings forth an entirely new and so much larger wealth of Divine truths. From this new celestial rational an actual influx now in its turn descends again into the outmost of the natural, and so on, again and again. This is the internal sense of the ladder of Jacob, on which the Angels ascend and descend; and this is the reason why all genuine truths are always entirely new; and this is the internal reason why the Crown of Churches is called the NEW Church. It is therefore evident that the receptacle of the Holy Spirit and therefore the real source of genuine truth with man does not lie in the literal sense, but in the celestial rational, far above the literal sense of the Word.
This is meant by the following passage in the ARCANA COELESTIA: "With the Doctrine the case is this: so far as what is human, that is, sensual, scientific and rational, is that from which the doctrine is believed to be true, so far the doctrine is nought; but so far as what is sensual, scientific, and rational is removed, that is, so far as the Doctrine is believed without this, so far the Doctrine lives, for so far the Divine flows in. It is the things proper to the human which hinder the influx and the reception" (n. 2538); for the sensual cognitions and the scientifics and the rational conclusions, from the literal sense of the Latin Word, in themselves are merely natural and merely human without the influx from the Lord through the soul and the celestial rational, which is the inmost of the human and therefore the first receptacle of the Divine influx. This also proves that the Latin Word, by which for the first time admittance to the genuine rational things or to the celestial rational has been given, is the proper Word of the Holy Spirit; and this proves that the New Church is the proper Church of the Holy Spirit, and that the New Church, in its proper meaning only begins there where the human mind is opened unto the celestial rational, or where the celestial Doctrine exists in the conscious mind of
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man, and that all former states are only states of preparation.
3. In accordance with the general law that the seed of the father which contains the rational descended from the soul into the natural, is clothed by the mother with the natural, this being both the internal and the external natural, it is said that the Divine Seed of the Lord in the body of the virgin Mary was clothed with the internal and the external natural. But on the strength of the words of the Angel Gabriel to Mary "that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of G-od" in the 35th verse of the first chapter of Luke, it is now shown that the Divine which was conceived by Mary, even in the time between the conception and the birth, wrought
a regeneration of the natural assumed from Mary, seeing the Son of God is the Divine Human, and without such a regeneration not a Divine Human, but only an ordinary human could have been born. Without doubt this Divine work of regeneration in the time between the conception and the birth is described in the internal sense of the Old Testament in the first eleven chapters of Genesis preceding the story of Abraham, with which story the description of the Lord's life after His birth commences. This has already been felt by some of the writers in the GENERAL CHURCH. The great importance of this truth as regards the Lord is that this clearly proves that at the Lord's birth all the essential of the natural of the human was already Divine, or that the Divine Human in germ was present already, and that the natural from Mary was added only from without, although at the same time it is evident that the Divine Human did only develop in the measure in which the Lord glorified the human, and that it did not exist in its fullness until the Lord had completely put off the natural from Mary. The great importance of this truth as regards man is that this proves that already before the birth, that is, already before the coming to light, of the good of man's life, which corresponds with the Lord's Natural, its entire essence is determined by the internal man, or what amounts to the same, by the genuine rational, or what also amounts to the same, by the Doctrine of the Church; that without such a preceding determination all the good in the natural of man is not genuine; that with man the state of the natural or his life depends entirely on
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the state of the Doctrine of Genuine Truth in. his internal mind, and that therefore the man who denies that the Doctrine of the Church is Divine, such as according to order it must come into existence in the mind, is in danger of withdrawing himself from the Lord's influx, It has been said that the Lord's Coming on earth had the double end, first, of bringing an internal and thereby imperishable basis for the conjunction of the Lord and the human race by the assumption of an own Human and second, of making possible for the human race the access to this means of conjunction by the revelation of the Divine essence of this Human. The final end of the Coming was the establishing of an imperishable celestial Church. By the preceding considerations it has become evident that this Human, in which the Lord is now present on earth, is purely Divine as to all its origin, and all its progress, from the inmost, the Divine Rational, to the outmost, the Divine Natural. By this therefore the first end of the Lord's Advent had been attained. It is now explained how the Divine essence of the Human was revealed to the human race, how thereby finally an indissoluble conjunction, was brought about and the establishment of an imperishable Church accomplished.
The history of the human race after the Lord's Coming has shown however that the establishment of that imperishable Church had once more to be preceded, by way of preparation, by a perishable Church, the first Christian Church. The essence of this Church and the cause of its decline are now clearly shown.
It has been said that in the Divine Human there had been given to the human race an internal basis for conjunction with the Lord, in contradistinction to the external basis of the natural creation on which the human race was dependent before the Advent. By the words "an internal basis" is not only meant that the Divine Human from the inmost, the Divine Rational, to the outmost, the Divine Natural, contains all the essential natural both in the spiritual and in the natural world, but also that thereby the 'basis for conjunction with man was removed from the outside world to his inner world, therefore into himself; for the Divine Human of the Lord makes all human principles of the human spirit from the inmost, the rational,
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to the outmost, the natural. It is evident that Angels and men before the Lord's Advent were not Angels and men directly or immediately from the Lord, but mediately through the Heavens; but from the time that the Divine Human existed, each man born into the world now carries a seed or germ of the Divine Human in himself, so that, if during his life in this world he opens this germ by regeneration from the outmost thereof, the natural, to the inmost thereof, the rational, he hereby becomes a son of Man. This is meant by the Lord's words: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life" (John 6:53, 54), and by the words: "Abide in Me, and I in you" (John 15 ; 4). In order to make possible for men the development; of this germ of the genuine human in them, the Lord had to reveal to them the essence of the Divine Human. The state of the human race at the time of the Lord's Coming was not of such a nature that without preparation it could have received a revelation of the Divine Human in its entirety. Not only was that state so external that they could not even have understood the rational things from the Divine Human, there was great danger of their perverting into evil and falsity the natural things from the Divine Human, which in that first state were all they could understand and receive; and if at that time, besides the natural things, the rational things as well had been revealed to them, these would gradually have been destroyed by them, and with that Church the entire human race would then have perished for ever.
It is known that the Christian Church did actually succumb in this danger. For this reason only the natural things from the Divine Human were revealed to the first Christian Church, and in no way the rational things. The New Testament therefore contains a revelation of -the Natural of the Divine Human only. Indeed it carries the thought of man above the natural world, for it proclaims a kingdom which is not of this world; but on account of the lack of the rational things, which can be brought to light only by the revelation of the Rational of the Divine Human, the ideas the first Christians formed of the Kingdom of Heaven, remained of a merely natural kind. The Lord could not explain to them
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the essence of -the Divine and celestial things in rational ideas; He could only as from a distance show these things to them by parables. The essence of this Natural which the Christians received from the Divine Human was the good of genuine natural charity.
But the natural can never exist without a rational. The natural without the rational is not human; for the human begins in the inmost of the rational and the rational together with the natural forms the human. But seeing the access to the rational could not yet be given to that Church by a written Word, an internal unconscious influx of the rational was given to it by the Lord, and this is what is to be understood by the "pouring out of the Holy Spirit" described in the Acts of the Apostles. It was only on the strength of this unconscious influx of the Holy Spirit, which was imparted to every member of that Church who believed in the Lord and shunned evil as sin against Him, that the natural with them also partook of the rational and was thereby inspired and human. It is by the operation of the rational that an interior natural comes into existence in the natural, by which the natural is directed not only outwards or to the worldly things, but also inwards or to the heavenly things. On the basis of the Divine Human, which as regards the Natural was revealed to it in the New Testament, and by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, the Christian Church might gradually according to order have opened all degrees of the natural from the most external to the most internal, and might thereby have prepared itself for the Lord's Second Coming and the revelation of the Rational of His Human. But that Church did not long keep itself to the basis of the Divine Human. It soon lost sight of the Divine Human and again paid full attention only to the natural creation with its corporeal and worldly things. No longer did they see the essence of religion in internal worship of the Lord and in genuine internal natural charity, but in the most external worship and in the most external charity and in the most external faith in a dead letter and in a dead doctrine; with an external demonstration of the greatest piety this Church internally was being completely destroyed by evil and falsity. (To be concluded).
DE HEMELSGHE LEER
EXTRACT FROM THE ISSUE FOR JULU 1930
"ARCANA UNA CUM MIRABILIBUS"
EDITORIAL BY THE REV. ERNST PFEIFFER.
It has been shown above that by the "disclosed Heavenly Arcana" the genuine truths of the Church are meant, which determine the spiritual understanding of the Divine essence of the things which make the Church and Heaven. It is now said: the disclosed Heavenly Arcana are contained in the Explanation. In the literal sense these words signify that the genuine truths for the New Church, that is, the truths by which the Church m'ay come into the internal light of the Word are not to be found directly in the Old or in the New Testament, but only in the Third Testament; for the Third Testament is the explanation of the Old and the New Testament. That by the "Explanation" the Third Testament is meant, is evident. The Latin word explicatio, which in accordance with what so far has been customary, we have translated by "explanation", really means "unfolding", and this concept indicates that the Divine Truth or the Word, which in its inmost is the Divine Good, in its descent through the various Heavens into the natural world was repeatedly as it were folded together in ever more external and therefore ever coarser folds, down into the literal sense which is the most external and the coarsest fold. The man of the New Church who according to order penetrates to the internal degrees of the Word may form for himself an idea of how this folding of the Divine Truth, in its descent, must have taken place. It is based on this, that, as is well known from the Writings, the truth of each higher degree in its descent becomes the good of the successive lower degree, and this successively
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down into the natural or down into the literal sense. By this continually repeated movement up and down in the gradual descent there is 'brought about an actual folding together of the Divine Truth, as will appear still more clearly from what follows, and for this reason the explanation of the Word actually consists in an unfolding. The Third Testament therefore must be seen as an unfolding of the Old and the New Testament. But the nature of this unfolding can only be understood if one is able in thought as it were to follow how in reality it happened at the time. For such as the Writings in their literal sense now lie before the eyes of the natural man, they are no longer properly an unfolding. On the contrary, the Divine Truth is there again folded in the same way as in the Old and the New Testament, for it is again the Divine Truth which in its inmost is the Divine Goad, and which, having descended through the various Heavens, has been laid down in a natural or literal sense. The proper unfolding of the Old and the New Testament happened at the time when the Third Testament was written by Swedenborg from the Lord. It was an absolutely Divine and infinite unfolding; it was in reality a cosmic unfolding. It was only by an exceptional preparation that Swedenborg could serve as a
means to this end. This unfolding of the Divine Truth took place at the end of the first Christian church, when its consummation was there, as it had adulterated and falsified all the good and all the truth of the Word. The REVELATION OF JOHN is nothing but a complete description of this Divine unfolding of the Truth.
This appears from all the essential particulars, such as they have been made known in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED and in the APOCALYPSE UNFOLDED: the examination of the church in the spiritual world' with respect to the understanding of the Word' in seven successive states of adulteration and falsification (the opening of the seven seals); the influx of the Divine Truth (the seven Angels standing before God and the seven trumpets); the Last Judgment; the establishment of the New Heaven and the New Church. The above mentioned works describe how the opening of the seven seals and the blowing of the seven trumpets was accompanied with great changes in the entire spiritual world. The opening of the seals and the blowing of the trumpets means
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nothing but the successive opening of the above described folds of Divine Truth. Each time that one of the folds was opened and the genuine truth of the respective degree was revealed, the opposite evil and falsity of the imaginary heavens also clearly appeared. In this way the universal Last Judgment was accomplished by this Divine and cosmic unfolding of the Word.
In this way the Third Testament is in fact an Explicatio, that is, an unfolding of the Old and of the New Testament. But when the Writings were laid down in the natural world in a literal sense, the Divine Truth was again folded along the same degrees, from the most internal to the most external in as many folds as before. In their number they are necessarily as many, for their number is determined by the number of the degrees along which the Divine Truth descends, but as to their essence the folds indeed are entirely different, as clearly appears from the great difference between the literal senses of the Three Testaments. For the essence of the Third Testament, from its inmost fold to its outmost fold, the literal sense, is now completely determined by the changes which by the Second Coming of the Lord, out of His Divine Human have taken place in the spiritual world. The literal sense of the Third Testament, just as that of the Old and the New Testament, in itself consists entirely of merely natural scientifics, but as the Third Testament is a revelation of the Divine Rational, they are not sensual-natural, but rational-natural scientifics, and the means which make possible the unfolding of these folds, and therefore the way which leads to the interior degrees of truth, are there clearly visible for any one who from the love of truth approaches the literal sense.
It is therefore quite evident that the Third Testament is indeed in itself an unfolding of the Word, but that as to its literal sense, such as we take direct cognizance of from without, it must be unfolded anew, if man is not to remain in merely natural scientifics; for the proper rational, the spiritual and the celestial, can never lie in sensual cognizance alone, but it consists in internal states to which man according to order must raise himself, and this raising consists in the successive opening of the folds of truth; it becomes possible only by clearing away hindrances ever
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more difficult to overcome and it is therefore accompanied with ever heavier trials and temptations. For every man who is being regenerated first enters into the natural state of the Church and thereby is received among the Angels of the lowest Heaven. Only much later does he come into the spiritual state of the Church and in communication with the Angels of the second Heaven, let alone the celestial state and communication with the Angels of the third Heaven. But the spiritual sense of the Word can only be understood by the spiritual man and the celestial sense only by the celestial man. From this it is evident that for man in the first state it is entirely impossible to receive even the smallest particular of the spiritual sense. The reason that he believes by the cognizance of the literal sense of the Latin Word to see the spiritual sense already, is that indeed even in the first state the spiritual and celestial from his internal man are present and active, for by this it becomes possible that, still being a merely natural man, he is nevertheless already received into Heaven, howbeit only the lowest Heaven. But what man in that state sees in the Writings is by no means the spiritual sense, it is so far only a spiritual-natural sense.
For this reason it is expressly stated of the literal sense of the Writings: "This is the natural sense out of the spiritual sense, and it is called the internal sense and further the spiritual-natural sense" (A.E. 1061). The belief that the Writings are the spiritual sense itself, therefore involves the contention that man can immediately become spiritual, without first having been natural. — Moreover it already appears from the words "the disclosed Heavenly Arcana are contained in the Explanation" that the genuine truths are never in man's immediate grasp, or open to view, but that they ' lie hidden in a containant or in a vessel, or rather in a system of containants or a system of vessels, and may only be obtained by the fullfillment of certain conditions. The Latin word for "contained" is continentur, that is "held together". It may be evident already from the use of these words continentur in Explicatione, that is, the genuine truths "are held together in the Explanation", that the Explanation here again is folded together in a literal sense, and that therefore the Third Testament before the eye of the natural man does not appear in its internal sense but in a literal
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sense; for it is said: sensus litterae Verbi est CONTINENS sensus spiritualis et caelestis ejus, "the sense of the letter of the Word is the containant of its spiritual and celestial sense" (S.S. 27), and in the same number: ultimum est CONTINENS,"the last is the containant", and as the "Explanation" by the words continentur in Explicatione is characterized as a CONTINENS or as a "containant", it is therefore evident that in the Writings it is not open to view in its spiritual and celestial sense, but that it has again been folded together into a literal sense.
The Third Testament in itself was a Divine and infinite and cosmic unfolding of the Word. But such as in its literal sense it now lies before our eyes, it must again be unfolded if the man of the Church is to penetrate to the internal sense and not to remain in merely natural scientifics. But in speaking here of a new unfolding, it should still be known that it never is an infinite unfolding of Divine Truth itself, such as that which happened at the time of the Last Judgment and from which the Word of the Third Testament came forth; this new unfolding, which is done by man as of himself corresponds to the infinite unfolding of Divine Truth, as the regeneration of man to the Glorification of the Lord. It is nothing but this unfolding that is meant by the Doctrine of Genuine Truth or by the genuine Doctrine of the Church. That no man from himself is able to open the folds of truth, but that also this unfolding, which is done by the man of the Church as from himself, in reality is the work of the Lord, is quite evident. Who can deny that not only the infinite unfolding, which took place at the end of the old church, but this new unfolding as well is meant by the words in the REVELATION OF JOHN, that no man can open the book and break the seals and see it but the Lord?
The unfolding of the literal sense of the Latin Word, by which the genuine truths come forth to light has been thus described in the ARCANA COELESTIA, n. 9025: "By scientific truths are meant truths which are from the literal sense of the Word. The general truths therefrom are such as are received among people generally, and consequently are in general discourse. There are very many such truths and they prevail with much force"; that this is applicable to the Latin Word as well, is evident. General