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truths of this kind, which every member of the New Church, even the most simple, readily quotes, so that they have become the self-evident common property of all, are for instance the following: that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only God; that evil must be shunned as sin against Him; that the Word is the Divine Truth, and that it, has an internal sense; that there is a Heaven and a hell, and a judgment after death. But these are only the most general; there are innumerable general truths, for every particular truth may become a general truth, and therefore the common property of all, even of the most simple, if in its turn it is unfolded as to its particulars. "But the literal sense of the Word is for the simple, for those who are being initiated into the interior truths of faith, and for those who do not apprehend interior things; for this sense is according to the appearance before the sensual man, thus is according to the apprehension. Hence it is that in this sense things frequently appear dissimilar, and as it were contradictory, to each other. As such truths are from the literal sense of the Word, they are called scientific truths, and they differ from the truths of faith which are of the Doctrine of the Church; for the latter arise from the former by explanation ("per explicationem", properly therefore, "by unfolding").
Be it known that the true Doctrine of the Church is that which is here called the internal sense; for in the internal sense are truths such as the Angels have in Heaven. Among priests, and among the men of the Church, there are those who teach and who learn the truths of the Church from the literal sense of the Word; and there are those who teach and who learn from Doctrine drawn from the Word, which is called the Doctrine of faith of the Church. The latter differ very much from the former in perception. Those who teach and who learn only the literal sense of the Word without the Doctrine of the Church as a guide, apprehend only those things which belong to the natural or external man; whereas those who teach and who learn from true Doctrine drawn from the Word, understand also the things which are of the spiritual or internal man. The reason is that the Word in the external or literal sense is natural, but in the internal sense is spiritual". Here the unfolding of the truth from the literal sense by the man of the Church is expressly
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spoken of. Only by the opening of the folds of truth does man arrive at the true Doctrine of the Church. The Doctrine of the Church consists of such truths as the Angels have in Heaven; it is expressly said: the true Doctrine of the Church is the internal sense. But as the Divine origin and the Divine essence of the Doctrine of the Church have thus far not been known, it was thought that the Latin Word itself was meant by that Doctrine, and by the literal sense only that of the Old and the New Testament. That this, however, is an appearance of natural thought clearly appears from all the particulars, especially from the difference that is made between the priests and the men of the Church who teach and who learn from the literal sense only, and those who teach and who learn from the Doctrine drawn from the Word; for there are in the New Church no priests and men who teach and who learn from the literal sense of the Old and the New Testament only. The innumerable scientific truths of which the literal sense of the Latin Word consists are open to an ever deeper unfolding to eternity. Therefore not only the above mentioned most general truths which have been taken up into the general creeds of the Church, but all truths from the literal sense, for, as has already been stated: "by scientific truths are meant the truths which are from the literal sense" (A.C. 9025).
That the truths which are contained in the Latin Word are inexhaustible, and that the man of the Church must penetrate ever more deeply into the understanding thereof, is a truth which for a long time already has been acknowledged by the Church; but that this penetrating into the ever deeper arcana is based on an orderly unfolding along the discrete degrees of the human mind, of which unfolding the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE indicates the three principal means — namely, the Science of Correspondences, the Doctrine of Genuine Truth or the genuine Doctrine of the Church, and Enlightenment from the Lord — this has thus far remained hidden from the Church.
The words the Heavenly Arcana which are disclosed in the Sacred Scripture or the Word of the Lord, are contained in the Explanation, therefore signify that the genuine truths for the Church are contained in the Latin Word, but that nevertheless they remain hidden, unless the literal
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sense thereof is unfolded by the genuine Doctrine of the Church along the folds of truth. The words which is the Internal Sense of the Word signify that the Latin Word is indeed the internal sense, but only when it is read not from without but from within. The words as to the quality of this sense, see, signify that the genuine truths or the internal sense are for the man of the Church, and that he should not remain in the literal sense alone. This appears from the signification of the word see, being the opening of the understanding.
What has been shown concerning it from experience, and moreover in the text. In the internal sense of these words the order of the unfolding of truth is now clearly indicated. The words what has been shown concerning it from experience, signify the ascent of the forms of truth out of the natural, that is, the good of truth, or the apparent, natural, influx; and the words and moreover in the text, signify the forms of the Doctrine of the Church, that is, the truth of good, or the actual, spiritual, influx.
That by "experience" the ascent of the forms of truth out of the natural, that is, the good of truth, or the apparent, natural, influx is meant, and by the "text" the forms of the Doctrine of the Church, that is, the truth of good, or the actual, spiritual influx, will now be shown. The ascending forms of truth out of the natural are the forms of truth in the natural along which man, according to order, must gradually ascend to the inmost of his mind, the celestial rational. It has repeatedly been shown above, how the man, who wishes to penetrate to the internal things of the Word, must begin by acquiring a wealth of natural cognitions from the literal sense of the Latin Word through direct or sensual cognizance (Abram in Egypt); how afterwards by the influx of the internal man (Abram) into the affection of those cognitions (Hagar) the first rational (Ishmael) is born; how further by the influx of the internal man into this rational the spiritual Doctrine of the Church comes into existence (Abimelech); how, by the operation of the spiritual Doctrine, now, for the first time, rational cognitions may be acquired from the literal sense (Isaac in Gerar, A.C. 3364); and how finally by the influx of the internal man into the spiritual rational the celestial Doctrine of the Church comes into existence (Abimelech,
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after the acknowledgement of Rebecca as Isaac's wife). These are the principal elements of the Doctrine of the Church. To demonstrate, however, as to the essential particulars how the Doctrine of the Church in its successive degrees must be seen as the successive opening of the folds of truth, such as it has been described in the internal sense of the REVELATION OF JOHN under the representation of the opening of the seven seals and the blowing of the seven trumpets, this would require a whole work by itself. Within the scope of this article we may limit ourselves to showing first in principle, and afterwards with the aid of a few examples, that indeed by the concepts of "experience" and "text" the two essential elements of the unfolding of truth are meant. We see here a striking example of how in the Third Testament also the natural signification of a text must be put entirely aside, if one wishes to arrive at the internal sense thereof. If the Writings are the Word and if they are of significance also to the Angels the words "experience" and "text" here must have an entirely different meaning from that arrived at by literal reading. For in the letter these words are no more than a purely formal and as to its contents an insignificant editorial indication, which for the Angels would be of absolutely no value. It is therefore of importance in this connection to bear in mind what has been said on this point in the Writings: "The internal sense is of such a nature that all things in general and in particular are to be understood abstractedly from the letter, just as if the letter did not exist; for in the internal sense is the soul and the life of the Word, which do not become manifest unless the sense of the letter as it were vanishes. Thus, from the Lord, do the Angels perceive the Word when it is being read by man" (A.C. 1405).
The now following explication will show that the Latin Word also has been laid down in a merely natural letter which by correspondence is the basis, the containant and the firmament of its spiritual and its celestial sense (S.S. 27).
All experience comes to man from without; this is its proper characteristic. And as all that comes to man from without belongs to the natural world, it follows that all experience has reference to the natural. It is the natural in which all experience occurs, and outside of the natural no experience is conceivable. And it is a well known truth that
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all the rational, all the spiritual and all the celestial, that is to become the conscious possession of man, must be born in the natural. For this reason the word "nature" in the original language means birth. For this reason, too, it is impossible for an Angel to be created in the spiritual world and all spirits and Angels have first been born men into the natural world. Experience therefore signifies the material which is supplied by man from the natural world for the upbuilding of his spirit. Whereas, however, in the internal sense nothing else is ever signified by the natural than the natural sense of the Word, as all the natural that is not from the Word lies beyond the borders of the Church, and the man of the Church knows that the genuine material for the upbuilding of his spirit is never to be found in nature itself but only in the natural sense of the Word, therefore experience signifies nothing else than the truths derived from the literal sense of the Word. Whereas, however, as has been shown above, the truths for the New Church are not to be found directly in the letter of the Old and the New Testament, but only in the letter of the Third Testament, therefore experience properly signifies the literal sense of the Third Testament.
The great importance of this truth will become clearly apparent in the following, for thereby it will be evident that the Doctrine of the Church is not genuine unless it is founded on the literal sense of the Latin Word. But the truths from the literal sense of the Word never really belong to any one's experience before he applies them to life, for the proper signification of "to experience" is not only to come across a thing casually, but it is to realize, to learn to know, to follow up, to live. This now indeed, is the orderly commencement of regeneration itself and therefore also of the unfolding of truth, namely that man applies to life the scientifics he takes up from the literal sense of the Latin Word and which he accepts as truths. In this way the truth in his mind is raised to the good of that truth, and therefore the proper signification of experience is the good of truth.
The word "text" in the Latin signifies a texture, a tissue, and even for the ordinary thought it is not difficult to see that this idea may be applied to the text of a book and also to a doctrine. As to the internal sense of the word "tissue",
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"weaving", "weaver", we read in the ARCANA COELESTIA: "That the words the work of a weaver signify out of the celestial, is evident from the signification of "the work of the weaver", as being out of the celestial. By "work" is signified that which is done, or which comes forth, thus that which is out of something else; and "the weaver" denotes him who causes the thing to be or to come forth, therefore it is the celestial, for out of and through this the spiritual comes forth" (n. 9915). From this it clearly appears that by a texture or a tissue a work out of the celestial is meant, and it will now be shown that the Doctrine of the Church is indeed a work out of the celestial, and that therefore the "text" signifies the Doctrine.
The progress of man in the unfolding of truth or in the forming of the genuine Doctrine is based on an ascent and a descent along the successive ever higher degrees of good and truth, which is represented in the Word by the ladder of Jacob on which the Angels ascended and descended, as already shown in the preceding. Before the transition to a higher degree is possible, an ascent as well as a descent must therefore have taken place in the lower degree. For by the descent the truth from which one has started in this ascent, is so influenced by the good attained, and opened as to its internal essence, that it may now serve as a basis for ascending to the next higher degree. It can now be seen that by each ascent and descent one of the folds of truth is unfolded, and that man may thus climb from degree to degree even to the inmost, the celestial rational; for as has been shown above, the folds have come into existence because in the descent of the Divine Truth the truth of each higher degree becomes the good of the next lower degree, whereas it now appears that in man's ascent along those folds, the good of each lower degree becomes the truth of the next higher degree. The ascent from the truth of the letter to the good of life which is taught by that truth, is meant by "experience", and the tissue that the Lord weaves in the descent out of this good with man or out of this celestial (for the good is the celestial), is meant by the "text". Such a tissue, but in an infinite way, and not out of the good or the celestial of a man but out of the Good of the Divine Human, is the text of the Latin Word, and such a tissue, in a finite way,
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but nevertheless out of the celestial and therefore by the Lord alone, is the genuine Doctrine of the Church. It is now clearly seen that the state of experience which precedes in every degree, is nothing but the state in which a man out of truth strives after good, that is out of the natural to a spiritual state, and the state of the weaving, which in every degree follows the experience, is nothing but the state in which man is out of good in truth, that is, out of the celestial in a spiritual state. This is the reason why it is said that the Doctrine is spiritual out of celestial origin (A.C. 2496); for as to its essence the Doctrine in all its degrees is spiritual, as it consists in a spiritual ordination of truth; and as to its origin it is celestial, for a doctrine is never the genuine Doctrine unless it comes into existence out of 'the celestial .of the internal man. For man begins by taking up the truth from without and he ascends to the good of truth. In this state truth seemingly has the first place and good the second, for truth then regards good as its end, and good seemingly comes forth from truth. In the state of experience therefore there is to all appearance a natural-influx; whereas, in reality, even in this state it is good which raises truth to itself; and that the entire process in reality is based on an internal or spiritual influx, openly appears in the state of the weaving, which follows the state of experience. For this reason it is said that "experience" signifies the apparent natural influx, and the "text" the actual spiritual influx. Man remains in the first or preparatory state until truth has been so deeply engraved in his will that he no longer has to strive after good from truth and conquer himself, but that the good of truth rules in him as his proper joy and as the freedom of his life.
When this summit of the ascent has been reached an inversion of state takes place: good now comes in the first place, and truth, as proceeding from good, in the second. From the height attained, that is, out of the good or out of the celestial, man now perceives that truth is not the origin of good, but good the origin of truth. By raising truth out of the natural to good he has opened truth; he has as it were removed a garment or a cover from good and he sees that the proper essence of truth is good; he clearly recognizes that truth out of the natural is only a vessel and good the essential contents. Truth
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out of the natural now appears to be nothing else than a coarse garment or a coarse generality as compared to the innumerable particular truths which now, out of good come to light in his thought as just as many qualities of good. He sees clearly that the truth from which he started
was only an appearance of truth, and that now for the first he has part in genuine truth, now that he sees it from within, that is, out of good. Truth for him is now no longer something he has accepted from without, but out of good he has rightfully gained it for himself as his own possession. In this way he has opened one of the folds of truth. The internal truths of the good which forms the contents of the general truths raised up out of the natural, by the Lord out of the good with man, have been put in a spiritual order, which corresponds to the celestial, and thus they are brought to light. The truths which bear most immediately on the Lord come in the centre, and the other truths, according to their distance from a clear vision of the Lord, more remote from the centre, even to the circumference. This spiritual ordination of truth is what is meant by the "weaving", and this spiritual function out of celestial origin in the proper sense is the Doctrine of the Church. This weaving or this ordination is a Divine work, far above the faculty of man. Here it is clearly seen that the genuine Doctrine is the Lord Himself. Man is no more capable of this weaving or this spiritual ordination of truth than of weaving the tissues of his body.
The proper essence of the Doctrine therefore consists in a weaving or in a spiritual ordination of truth, and the tissue that in this way comes forth and is laid down in the natural, that is, is taken up into the memory and is spoken or written down, is what is meant by the "text". If man now out of the celestial, or from within, looks down on the letter of the Latin Word, he finds the truths of the Doctrine confirmed therein, though he has not acquired these truths by direct cognizance, but along an internal way, namely by a vision out of good or out of the celestial. Now it becomes clear what is meant by the words "that the Doctrine of the Church is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word, and that it is to be confirmed thereby" (S.S. 50). For man can attain to the Doctrine, that is, to the spiritual out of the celestial, only by raising
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the truth out of the letter to the good of this truth; this, or "experience" is meant by the words "that the Doctrine is to be drawn from the sense of the letter". And the genuineness of the truths of that Doctrine, that is, of the truths which man now perceives out of the celestial as so many particular qualities of good, must appear by their actual confirmation afterwards in the literal sense itself. For in the literal sense of the Latin Word all genuine truths are contained, but man cannot see the internal truths therein; he passes them by, until his eyes are opened for them by the genuine Doctrine of the Church. Now it also becomes evident what is meant by these other words "that the doctrinal is formed from the internal sense" (A.C. 7233); for the doctrinal things are the particulars of the Word which out of the genuine truth of the Doctrine have received an internal light and a spiritual power, by which they are now so much the more suitable for the upbuilding of the Church; the doctrinal things therefore have not been gathered directly from the literal sense, but they have been formed out of the internal sense, for the genuine Doctrine of the Church is nothing else than the internal sense (A.C. 9025).— Man by the genuine Doctrine of the Church, or by this operation out of good or out of the celestial, sees himself taken up into the centre of a spiritual kingdom, as of himself, but nevertheless from the Lord.
His dominion reaches as far as the extension of truth from good; there where the influx of truth from good ceases, are the borders, and beyond these stretch, into the infinite, the as yet unopened regions of the sense of the letter; for the letter of the Latin Word is infinite, and in its entirety can never be opened by any man. It is only out of the celestial of the internal man that the genuine Doctrine of the Church can come into existence and that the Lord in man is able to weave a pure texture and man thus able to speak or to write an orderly "text". It is the Lord alone who weaves everything, for He is good itself and truth itself and the operation itself in all the things of man's regeneration. From all this it may now clearly appear what is meant in the elucidation of the title of the ARCANA COELESTIA by the words that the quality of the internal sense may be seen "from experience" and "in the text", and that indeed by the
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concepts of "experience" and "text" the two essential elements of the unfolding of truth are meant.
The successive degrees of the Doctrine of the Church are indicated in the following passage of the ARCANA COELESTIA: "Man's interiors are distinguished into degrees, and in each degree the interiors are terminated, and by termination are separated from the degree next below; it is thus from the inmost to the outermost. The interior rational constitutes the first degree; in this are the celestial Angels, or in this is the inmost or third Heaven; the exterior rational makes the second degree; in this are the spiritual Angels, or in this is the middle or second Heaven; the interior natural makes the third degree; in this are the good spirits, or the ultimate or first Heaven; the exterior natural, or the sensual, makes the fourth degree; in this is man" (n. 5145). According to all that has been shown in the preceding from the Latin Word concerning the essence of the Doctrine of the Church, it is clear that the Doctrine is the only orderly means for man to ascend to these interior degrees. The successive degrees of the Doctrine of the Church and the order of the ascent may by the aid of this passage be pointed out along the most general lines. In each of the degrees the two essential elements of the unfolding of truth, namely "experience", that is, the ascent of the forms of truth out of the natural, and the "text", that is, the texture of the internal truth out of the celestial, may be clearly distinguished. But the order of the coming into existence of the successive higher faculties, on which the various degrees of the Doctrine depend, within the scope of this article can only be shown along the most general lines. The reason is that for the coming into existence of those faculties a mediate as well as an immediate influx from the Lord is necessary, and that continually an entire system of various forms and functions of truth and good, which all according to their mutual relations constantly change their signification in a paradoxical way, must be kept simultaneously in view. Man must indeed commence with the opening of the lowest degree, and he thence ascends from degree to degree unto the highest; but in reality the lower degrees take their existence from the higher, for the lower Heavens take
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their existence from the higher Heavens, and it is said, that the higher can exist without the lower degrees, but by no means the lower degrees without the higher (A.C. 5146). It is a labyrinth of labyrinths, and whoever during a research of this kind does not allow himself to be led every moment by the Lord alone, in perfect agreement with the internal order of the things themselves, immediately blinds himself by the illusions of his own thought. Here it may be seen what is meant by the Cherubim, that is, the Divine Providence that man should not penetrate out of his own rational into the mysteries of faith (A.C. 3901, cf. 3786). — The lowest degree, or the exterior natural, is of a merely preparatory nature, for it exists with man only, but not in the Heavens (A.C. 5079); for this reason it is also said that the exterior natural or the exterior memory rests after the death of the body. But during life in the natural world it serves as an indispensable foundation, on which alone the higher degrees or the three Heavens can be built. The end and the use of this degree, the exterior natural, is that man by means of scientifics, which he has acquired by direct or sensual cognizance from the literal sense of the Latin Word, comes into possession of genuine cognitions of good and truth, in which the first or natural rational may be born, and which may serve him as a foundation for the ascent to the first degree of the Doctrine of the Church, which makes the essence of the interior natural or the first Heaven. That this exterior natural is founded entirely on experience, that is, on the acceptance and the application to life of the literal sense, is evident.
If man in this state continually keeps the Lord before him, and acknowledges that the source of the light which he now sees, is not in his intellectual, but in the Lord alone, then the Lord out of the celestial of this lowest degree weaves in him the truth into a first spiritual texture, which, it is true, is still very coarse, but by which man no longer sees the Word entirely from without, but, from a first summit, from within. If man now reads the literal sense anew, he then sees that that sense by the descent and the influx of this truth which has been woven by the Lord, appears in a new light and receives a new internal strength. Although in this preparatory state we cannot yet properly speak of a
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Doctrine, still it may now be clearly seen what is meant by the following words in THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION: "The Word, by means of 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 than he saw before, and also understands what was before unintelligible. The true Doctrine is like a lamp in the darkness, or a guide-post on the highway" (n. 227). That which man now in the internal light of this first degree acquires from the literal sense are the genuine cognitions of good and truth. As a new and more internal degree of experience they form the basis for the ascent into the second degree, the interior natural. From the origin of the genuine exterior natural, such as it has been described in the preceding, it is evident, first, that they who do not accept the Writings as the Word, are still beyond the borders of the New Church, and second, that they who do claim to accept the Writings as the Word, but who do not apply the truths therefrom to life and do not gather the cognitions solely for the sake of the Lord and for a spiritual use, cannot possibly arrive at genuine cognitions and therefore have no part in this degree of the unfolding of truth.
On the basis of the genuine cognitions from the literal sense acquired in the exterior natural, man now ascends to the interior natural, the second degree. By the influx of the internal man into the affection of those cognitions the first -or natural rational is born. The interior natural derives its essence from this rational (cf. A. C. 5094), but only after it has become a genuine natural rational by having been raised to the good of this rational. That the interior natural also is based entirely on experience, that is, on the application to life of the rational of the cognitions which man in the preceding degree has acquired from the literal sense of the Latin Word, is evident. If man in this state too, continually keeps the Lord in view and obeys the truths of his faith from a simple heart, though he cannot yet grasp them, then the Lord out of the celestial of this second degree weaves the truth anew into a more interior order, or into a second spiritual texture, considerably finer than the first, but coarse still, as compared with the textures still to follow. This now, for the first time is properly a Doctrine; it is the natural Doctrine
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of the Church, or the Doctrine of the spiritual-natural man, the Doctrine of the interior natural, or of the ultimate or first Heaven. For the interior natural which makes the ultimate
or first Heaven, comes into existence by the influx of the rational, but as it still is the natural rational only and by no means the spiritual rational, man in this degree still remains in a purely natural, howbeit a rational-natural, state; for man in this state is still only in obedience to the rational, but as yet by no means in the rational itself. Nevertheless also this lowest and merely natural form of the Doctrine of the Church is spiritual out of celestial origin, for it consists in a spiritual-natural weaving of the truth by the Lord Himself out of the celestial with man, and by the descent and the influx of this truth woven by the Lord into the particulars of the letter, and therefore by the return to. the source of experience, man now attains to genuine rational-natural cognitions or to the genuine natural doctrinal.
It is a characteristic of this interior natural degree that man regards the literal sense of the Latin Word, such as he now sees it out of the genuine natural rational, from the second summit, as the proper internal sense of the Word, and that, if he is left to his own thought and does not out of a higher point of view recall to mind the doctrine of degrees, he denies that in the Writings also a spiritual and a celestial sense lie hidden. For to man in this state it is entirely impossible to see the spiritual, let alone the celestial, in its proper essence (A.C. 1911); as regards his own internal things he is in the thickest darkness, yea, he has no idea whatever of them, so that for instance, in the Latin Word he identifies the spiritual rational with the rational-natural scientific (A.C. 1904), while in reality he only just participates in the natural rational and with him there is as yet no question at all of the spiritual rational. It is inherent to the merely natural essence of this state that man ascribes good and truth to himself, that he does not realize the necessity of the Doctrine of the Church, and even, that he at first indignantly rejects the truth of the Divine origin and the Divine essence of the Doctrine of the Church (A.C. 1911). It is thus the interior natural out of the first or natural rational which makes this degree with man, or the ultimate or first Heaven, and it appears from the essence of this degree
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that they, with whom the first rational is born, but who do not at the same time, out of the celestial, have the Lord alone in view, are not in the genuine natural Doctrine of the Church and have no part in this degree of the unfolding of truth, therefore no part in the ultimate or first Heaven. With such there is even no question as yet of a genuine, first or natural, Ishmaelitish rational. — The genuine rational natural cognitions or the genuine natural doctrinal now becomes a basis for the ascent to the next degree. For in the measure of his progress in the acquisition of these cognitions man more and more realizes the obscurity he is in as regards the proper internal quality of truth, such as he can now grasp it. He begins to see that this truth too, is only an appearance and therefore a covering of genuine truth, and that unless he raise himself to a further summit he cannot solve the contradictions which he more and more perceives in his cognitions, and the difficulties which now present themselves to his thought when reading the literal sense. By continually keeping in view the Lord and the good of life in the temptations into which he is now thrown by the assaults upon his thought out of the evil with him, that is to say, by applying to his life his rational-natural cognitions or the natural doctrinal for the sake of glorifying the Lord and for the sake of a spiritual use, and by allowing himself to be penetrated by the truth that all truth comes from the Lord alone and is never genuine unless it is a form of good, and that the rational by itself is absolutely blind and therefore may never be consulted in the production of the truth of Doctrine, he now arrives at the good of this doctrinal and thereby at the third summit. This is the third degree of experience.
The Lord out of the celestial of this third degree now weaves in him truth into a new, still more interior order or into a still finer texture, and this is the second degree of the Doctrine or the spiritual Doctrine of the Church. Man by this has raised himself to the exterior rational, and thus to the third degree of his mind or the middle or second Heaven. The spiritual rational or the exterior rational is not yet the proper rational, conceived and born from the internal man (Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah); it is still the same Ishmaelitish rational born in the natural, from which the interior natural which made the preceding degree came into existence; but by the influx out
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of the spiritual of man which is now opened, it is raised above the natural, it is a. second or spiritual Ishmaelitish rational. This is the state in which man first raises himself above the natural sense and in which the spiritual sense and with this the reality of the spiritual world are opened for him. By the descent and the influx of this spiritual truth, woven by the Lord, into the particulars of the letter, man now arrives at genuine rational cognitions or at the genuine spiritual doctrinal. — These genuine rational cognitions which man now gathers from the literal sense of the Latin Word, form the basis for the fourth and highest degree of experience. For these cognitions too, again are only vessels and man has not yet reached the end of his ascent, as long as he has not opened these as well and has penetrated to the conscious realization of their contents. The rational cognitions are the fruit of the exterior rational or of the spiritual Doctrine of the Church. The spiritual Doctrine in fact is far above the literal sense of the Word; it is able to open the letter even to its spiritual contents. But it is entirely beyond its power to open also the rational cognitions, which it has itself produced.
The hidden contents of the rational cognitions is the celestial, the proper human itself, for they are a last garment or a last cover behind which the celestial itself lies hidden. If man applies the rational cognitions to life, and therefore by this highest degree of experience raises himself to this fourth summit or this properly human good, the Lord again out of this celestial weaves truth into a new order or into a very finest texture, and this is the third degree of the Doctrine or the celestial Doctrine of the Church, Man has thereby raised himself to the interior or celestial rational, which constitutes the fourth degree of his mind, or the inmost or third or celestial Heaven. By the influx out of the celestial of man, which has now been opened, the Lord now for the first finds a dwelling-place in his conscious mind; for the celestial of the lower degrees or the celestial of the lower Heavens, out of which the Lord has woven the Doctrines of the lower degrees, was always above the conscious mind of man. The man, who in this way thinks out of the interior rational clearly perceives that all good and truth is of the Lord and inflows from within into his rational; he sees clearly that the Lord alone lives, that He alone is Good and Truth itself, and that all that man is
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able to receive are only forms of appearances of truth, and this only provided the Lord actually lives within. Man now out of the interior rational, from his celestial, that is, from the Divine of the Lord with him, sees all the particulars of the rational and of the natural as a world outside himself, having its existence, not, as it so far seemed to him, in itself, but in the Lord. So much the spirit of man has now become a spiritual texture out of the celestial itself that all previous forms of truth as self-existing forms have entirely disappea.red, for man now clearly perceives all truth, even down into the sensual, the direct cognizance of the literal sense, to be an immediate influx from the Lord. The truth with man is now woven from the top throughout. Now it may be seen what is properly meant by "the tunic of the Lord,
woven from the top throughout" (John 19 : 23): for similarly to the genuine celestial Doctrine the Latin Word also, but in a very much higher sense, as to its internal essence in an infinite way is of such a nature. Now it may also be fully seen what is meant by this that the Writings are indeed the Internal Sense, but only when one reads the literal sense thereof not from without but from within. — Now for the first time man has fully "entered into the mysteries of the Word heretofore closed", and now for the first time "all particulars thereof are so many mirrors of the Lord" (T.C.E. 508). Now it may also be seen what is meant in the same number by the words "that the doctrinals of the New Church are continuous truths, disclosed from the Lord by the Word". The doctrinals contained in the letter of the Latin Word remain entirely hidden from man until they are brought to light by the Doctrine of the Church, as has been clearly shown above, and there is therefore never any question of "doctrinals of the New Church", until the genuine Doctrine of the Church has come into existence: for it is only due to the fact that the genuine Doctrine in all its degrees is spiritual out of celestial origin, that the doctrinals which it brings to light from the letter are continuous truths. Without a texture out of the celestial the Latin Word is without any connection with the Lord: the Latin Word without Doctrine is a candlestick without light, for without any life out of the celestial the Latin Word also as regards the letter is dead (A. C. III). From all this it now clearly appears that the, elucidation
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of the title of the ARCANA COELESTIA contains a complete description of the nature of the Word and of the Doctrine of the Church. The Word of the Latin Testament is a Divine unfolding of Truth, and it is therefore the source itself and the only source of all genuine truth for the New Church. But, such as man sees it from without, that is, through direct cognizance, it is covered with a natural sense, which by orderly means must be opened, if man is not to remain in coarse appearances of truth only. For the genuine truth, here as well as in the Old and the New Testament, has been clothed with a fourfold cover, one cover still coarser than the other. The means of unfolding are the Science of Correspondences, the Doctrine of Genuine Truth or the genuine Doctrine of the Church, and Enlightenment from the Lord. That the Science of Correspondences is applicable in the unfolding of the Latin Word in the same universal way as in the unfolding of the Old and the New Testament, is evident from this that the interior things of the Word here too are distinguished into the same series of discrete degrees; the ideas of one degree are absolutely different from the ideas of the other degree, and only by correspondence are they in mutual relation; from this it clearly appears that the letter of the Latin Word consists purely of correspondences. As regards the rational ideas the correspondences are indeed of another kind than in the case of the sensual ideas, where they are based on the difference between the natural and the spiritual. But also the rational ideas such as God, the Lord, the Trinity, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Divine Human, the Glorification, good and truth, the spiritual world, the natural world, Heaven, the world of spirits, hell, man, spirit, Angel, the Church, the Word. the Doctrine, creation, salvation, regeneration, etc., in the different degrees are entirely different, and they stand in relation to each other by correspondence only, for the Angels of a lower degree cannot comprehend the ideas of the Angels of a higher degree. It is therefore not correct to limit the science of correspondences to the relation between the natural and the spiritual; this science has a universal signification and its task with respect to the Third Testament appears not only from this, that this Testament too in its literal sense contains innumerable
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sensual ideas, but also from this. that the correspondences of the rational ideas which have been laid down in the natural by the higher degrees of the Doctrine of the Church, in the form of scientifics are one of the most important means of raising ever higher the unfolding of truth and of extending it ever further. — The two essential elements of the genuine Doctrine of the Church are "experience" and the "text". From the explanation of the concept "experience" it is evident that the Doctrine is never genuine if it is not based on the literal sense of the Latin Word and that the letter remains closed if man does not apply the truths derived therefrom to life. From the explanation of the concept "text" it has been shown that the genuine Doctrine is the Lord Himself and that the Doctrine precedes genuine life. The proper Doctrine of the Church is purely Divine. If false dogmas force themselves upon the Church they are not the fruit of any spiritual weaving out of celestial origin, and they are therefore not the production of the genuine Doctrine of the Church. If the unfolding of the Word were not a purely Divine work, if it were not based on a pure "experience" and did not consist in a pure "text", if therefore man should contribute even the least from his own, what else would be the result but malua, that is, confusion and thick darkness (B. E. 56). For this reason also it is said that by the Rider on the White Horse in the sixth chapter of the APOCALYPSE the "Angel-man is understood as regards the Doctrine of truth and good out of the Word, therefore out of the Lord" (A. R. 299), and in the APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED: "that the Doctrine cannot be acquired by others than those who are in enlightenment from the Lord" (n. 356).
It is only on account of this great significance of the Doctrine and on account of its purely Divine essence, that it is said "that no one can understand the Word without Doctrine; that no one can combat against evils and falsities and disperse these without the Doctrine out of the Word; and that no one within the Church where the Word is can become spiritual without the Doctrine out of the Word" (A. E. 356). It is said "that the Doctrine of Genuine Truth has now been revealed" (S. S. 25); but it is now evident that this is true onlv for those who see the Latin Word from within. It is
120 ARCANA UNA CVM MIRABILIBUS"
also evident from what has been said above about the order of the unfolding of truth by the genuine Doctrine of the Church that the denial of the Divinity of the Doctrine, interiorly seen, would involve a denial of everything that is said in the Latin Word about the regeneration of man. It has been shown above that the Church in its first, purely natural, state could not possibly see that the Doctrine of the Church is Divine; this lies in the nature of that state, both of the interior and the exterior natural, and it does not in the least take away from the orderliness of this state; but if the Church were to reject the truth of the Divinity of the Doctrine which can be shown to be a distinct postulate of the Latin Word itself, and if it were to confirm itself in that denial, then it could not possibly be otherwise but that the Word would lose its hold on the Church and the Church would gradually again be impaired by the world. The Latin Word warns against the arbitrary interpretation of the literal sense by ecclesiastical authorities and councils; the only safeguard against this danger lies in the genuine Doctrine of the Church, for the Doctrine is spiritual out of celestial origin and through the genuine Doctrine the interpretation therefore belongs to the Lord alone. This is the internal sense of the words of Joseph: "Do not interpretations belong to God?" (Gen. 40 :8), for they signify "that the Divine lies therein" (A. C. 5107).
The Doctrine of the Church is Divine; but nevertheless there is an infinite difference between the Doctrine of the Church and the Word itself, the same difference as there is between an Angel-man or an Angel and the Divine Human of the Lord Himself. The Word of the Latin Testament is an infinite unfolding of truth, but the Doctrine is only a finite unfolding of truth, for, on account of the limitations of the human mind it is always within certain borders, although these borders are being continually extended. In the universal nature of Swedenborg's Scientific Works, and in the universal knowledge of the letter of the Old and the New Testament which he afterwards acquired, we see how all natural scientifics in an infinite way were drawn into the texture of the Latin Word; and the New Church indeed to all eternity in an infinite way in the text of the Latin Word will find again all natural
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scientifics of nature itself and of the literal sense of the Old and the New Testament. The Doctrine of the Church, on the contrary, even into the most distant future, will be limited to a certain region, which never extends beyond the influx of truth out of good with man, that is, the influx of the spiritual out of the celestial. As the Word of the Latin Testament is an infinite unfolding of Divine Truth, the revelation of that Word was accompanied by a general Last Judgment, and as a similar infinite unfolding will never again take place, no general Last Judgment will ever again be held. But still, there will always be particular, limited judgments in the spiritual world, and these are founded on the unfolding of truth by the genuine Doctrine of the Church. Furthermore, it is only the Doctrine of Genuine Truth by which the Heavens themselves can be built up; for, even as the spiritual and the celestial with man can only be built up on the basis of the natural, so too in general the Heavens can only be built up on the basis of the Church. As, however, it is not the Word which makes the Church, but the understanding of the Word, it is evident that the Heavens cannot be built up by anything else than by the Doctrine of Genuine Truth. — There is still another essential difference between the Word and the Doctrine of the Church.
With the Word, as regards man, the decisive weight is always in the external, that is, in the letter, for the truth of the Church must be drawn by man out of the letter and must be confirmed by the letter. But with the Doctrine of the Church, the decisive weight is never in the external, therefore never in its literal sense, but in the internal, for the genuine Doctrine of the Church is properly the internal sense: as to its proper essence it always is spiritual out of celestial origin. The literal sense of the Doctrine of the Church or its natural text, if it is laid down in the natural according to order, is indeed also from the Lord; but the Doctrine of the Church in order to establish its authority will never refer to its own literal sense, but always exclusively to the literal sense of the Word itself. It lies in the proper essence of the Doctrine of the Church that as regards its Divine essence it can only be seen by those who have likewise raised themselves to its source of light. Its confirmation, however, and its authority over against
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others, it never finds anywhere but in the letter of the Word. As to its proper essence, the spiritual out of celestial origin, the Doctrine is a purely Divine work of the Lord alone, but as to its natural text, its literal sense, the Doctrine is the work of man as from himself, but nevertheless from the Lord. The essence of the Doctrine in itself is therefore purely Divine, but the natural text is qualified by man's faculty of expressing himself; in other words: it is always possible that the natural text, or the literal sense, of the Doctrine of the Church might have been expressed differently, or perhaps better. But the literal sense of the Latin Word could never have been better expressed. That sense in its entirety and in all its particulars, is an infinite Divine series, therefore infinite even in the particulars, by their place in and their orderly connection with the infinite whole.
The literal sense of the Doctrine of the Church on the contrary is never such an infinite Divine series. On account of the infinite nature of the literal sense of the Word this sense can never, as it is in itself, be grasped by any finite being, and from this again the necessity of the Doctrine of the Church appears, for only by the Doctrine does man grasp something of the Word, so that it becomes his property, a little first, and gradually more and more; for this reason it is said "that not the Word makes the Church, but the understanding thereof and that the Church is of such a nature as is the understanding of the Word with those who are in the Church" (S. S. 76), and "that the Church is according to its Doctrine, and that the Doctrine is out of the Word, is well-known; but nevertheless it is not the Doctrine that establishes the Church, but the integrity and the purity of the Doctrine, consequently the understanding of the Word" (T. C. R. 245). Nevertheless, that the Doctrine of the Church in itself, as a state of the Divine Human, is also infinite, may be seen if one thinks of the future when first the spiritual and later the celestial Church of the New Jerusalem will exist in its fulness, and the Lord will bring to light on this earth the spiritual and the celestial sense of the Word in its Three Testaments, and this in ever greater measure, to eternity. That the Doctrine of the Church is a state of the Divine Human of the Lord is clearly taught in the following places in the Word: "This
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Human is called "Son of God" and "Son of Man"; Son of God from the Divine Truth and Divine Good in Him, which is the Word; and Son of Man from the Divine Truth and Good out of Him, which thence is of the Doctrine of the Church out of the Word" (CANONS II : 5); and "The Son of Man signifies in the spiritual sense the Truth of the Church out of the Word" (NINE QUESTIONS 1).
The words Wonderful Things, seen in the world of spirits and in the Heaven of Angels, are prefixed and subjoined to each chapter, signify that each genuine rational state of man or each state determined by the rational from the celestial, is preceded by states of faith, and that it is followed by states of faith from the celestial. A "chapter" — in the Latin caput, that is, the head — signifies in the internal sense a spiritual state in which the Lord makes and determines everything; for the Divine things of the Lord make the spiritual head of man. A chapter therefore signifies a state of man from the Lord. In connection with the preceding considerations on the Doctrine of the Church, namely that it is a spiritual texture woven by the Lord Himself out of the celestial with man, it is evident that by a "chapter" in this connection nothing else can be meant than a state from the celestial of one of the four degrees, namely a state from the celestial of the exterior natural, of the interior natural, of the exterior rational or of the interior rational.
Every state of man from the celestial is a chapter of his spiritual life. It might also be said: every genuine rational state of man or every state determined by the rational from the celestial is a chapter of his spiritual life; for it is the genuine rational which makes all the Heavens; the interior natural, which makes the lowest Heaven, has its essence from the rational; it is true that for the man who is in this state it is not a genuine rational state, as he does not yet participate in the rational in a conscious way; but nevertheless also with him the state is determined by his obedience to the rational. The exterior rational makes the second Heaven, the interior rational constitutes the third Heaven. If one realizes that in each state of the spirit innumerable particulars are contained, it is not difficult to understand that a state from the celestial is called a "chapter". There is no doubt but that wherever in the Latin Word
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the word "chapter" occurs, it has a similar internal sense. for instance we read: "Man must read the Word every 'day, one or two chapters" (A.E. 803). By "days" in the Word the states of man in general are signified (A. C. 488); "to read the Word every day" therefore signifies that all states in general should be founded on the Word: "one or two chapters" signifies in the internal sense not one or two literal chapters, for the Angels cannot possibly form an idea of anything of this kind, but it signifies that only then the state is actually founded on the Word, if man by "experience" raises himself to one of the summits, where the Lord in him can weave the spiritual out of the celestial, as has been explained in the preceding. "One or two" refers to the difference between the states of reformation which precede and the states of regeneration which follow the reformation. As regards the Lord Himself and His Word, which in the literal sense consists of chapters, the concept "chapter" refers to the states in the Divine Human, determined by the Divine Truth from the Divine Good, by which the Lord became the Word in ultimates. — "Wonderful things" signify the actually experienced states of a spiritual faith (A.R. 656). "They are prefixed and subjoined to the chapters", signifies that man cannot possibly ascend to the summit of a certain degree unless from actually experienced states of faith, and that after the ascent he is introduced to the states of faith from the celestial. The difference between the states of faith during the ascent and the states of faith from the celestial is indicated by the words "in the world of spirits", and "in the Heaven of Angels"; for during the ascent man is in combat and in temptation, which is indicated by the world of spirits; but when he has reached the summit, he comes into a state of peace, which is indicated by the Heaven of Angels. The Wonderful Things also signify the awe of the mind which perceives the Divine in creation, and the astonishment bordering on dismay of man when he sees the internal things of the Word, in which everywhere there are involved infinite and ever deeper arcana of the Heavens, which before were unknown to him (A. E. 1051). The Wonderful Things in this sense properly signify all things which open themselves to the thought as correspondences with interior things, that is, with the realities of Heaven and the Divine of the Lord
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Himself. Such Wonderful Things therefore, are all things of nature and of the Word, which when viewed Interiorly, prove to be so many mirrors of the Lord Himself. Here therefore "the Wonderful Things in the world of spirits" signify that in the things which happen to him during the ascent, while he is in combat and in temptation, man perceives many Divine laws, having reference to the redemption from evil and falsity, which all proceed from the Divine Mercy, and which he has not seen before. "The Wonderful Things in the Heaven of Angels" signify in this connection that man after the ascent arrives at a totally new internal vision of all things, which all open themselves to him as pure representatives of the Divine Human of the Lord. As regards the Lord the word "Wonderful" also indicates His Divine Providence, and in this connection these words therefore signify that all particulars of the order during and after the ascent are based on the laws of Divine Providence, which in the redemption and salvation of man are infinitely wonderful. "Open Thou mine eyes, that it may behold the Wonderful Things out of Thy law" (Ps. 199:18).
The words of the quotation on the reverse of the title page, from Matthew 6:33: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you signify the internal source of good and truth from the Lord, with those who believe in the Lord and shun evil as sin against Him, and thus they signify the Divine origin of the genuine Doctrine of the Church.
DE HEMELSCHE LEER
EXTRACT FROM THE ISSUE FOR AUGUST 1930
FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
Conclusion of the Elucidation by the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer of Mr. II. D. G. Groeneveld's Address on The Second Coming of the Lord in the Doctrine of the Church.
(See here above, pp. 81—96).
The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which are the Third Testament of the Word of the Lord, contain a revelation of the Rational of the Divine Human of the Lord. By this revelation access to the Divine Human in its fullness has now been given to the human race.
By the Divine Human from the side of the Lord an immediate conjunction with the created human race in both worlds has been brought about, in contradistinction to the mediate conjunction through the Heavens existing before the Coming of the Lord. This has been shown in the preceding explications on the conception and the birth of the Divine Human from Jehovah. Every man born into the world after the Coming of the Lord carries in his soul a seed from the Divine Human, from which in his childhood germs of internal states, that is, states of innocence, come forth. The state of the human race after the Coming of the Lord has thereby been entirely changed. There is thereby in the human race from the Divine Human a continuous internal effort towards raising it from the world to Heaven, an effort which, indeed, asserts its influence only in childhood, unless in adult age man, as of himself, meets this effort and opens in himself these germs to a conscious and actual internal life, by which the immediate conjunction which was brought about from the side of the Lord by the Coming of the Lord, also takes
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place from the side of man, so that it becomes a reciprocal conjunction.
By the Divine Human an immediate conjunction from the side of the Lord with the human race had been brought about. In order to bring about a reciprocal and actual conjunction — for an actual conjunction is never one-sided, but always reciprocal — having reference not only to the soul of man but also to his spirit, the Lord had to reveal to the human race the essence of the Divine Human. In the revelation of the Divine Human, first in the New Testament as regards the Divine Natural, and afterwards in the Third Testament as regards the Divine Rational, an internal basis for his thought was given to man by which the possibility of the reciprocal conjunction was given.
The Lord in the building up of man to an actual Man who is conjoined with Him, operates from firsts through ultimates. Before the Coming, when the Divine Human did not yet; exist, the operation of the Lord from firsts was through the Human Divine, that is, through the Heavens, therefore not immediate, but mediate; and the operation, of the Lord through ultimates was through the sensual things of nature, therefore through an external and perishable basis. That the basis for the thought of all Churches before the Coming of the Lord was external and perishable has been shown in the beginning of this elucidation. After the Coming the operation of the Lord from firsts is now from the Divine Human, therefore immediate; and the operation of the Lord through ultimates is through the revelation of •the essence of the Divine Human laid down in the natural, or the Divine Human in ultimates, namely the New and the Third Testament, therefore through an internal basis. On these two bases given by the Lord, in firsts and in ultimates, man is built up by the Lord. For from the soul of man, which is above his consciousness, as from firsts, and through the letter of the Word as through ultimates, the human spirit becomes an actual Man, conjoined with the Lord.
By the revelation of the New Testament the possibility for a conjunction with the Natural of the Divine Human had been given to the human race. As the rational things of the Divine Human, for the reasons already stated, still were withheld from this Church, and the genuine natural of the
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human nevertheless cannot come forth from anything but the rational — for the human begins in the inmost of the rational — therefore a miraculous pouring out of the Holy Spirit took place for the men of that Church. The genuine nature of this Church by which it could enter into reciprocal conjunction with the Lord now lay in this, that — from firsts through ultimates — from the Natural of the Divine Human through the letter of the New Testament it might arrive at a genuine, interior natural, that is, at the good of genuine natural charity. But instead of arriving at a genuine natural from the Natural of the Divine Human through the letter of the New Testament, and remaining therein, that Church, misled by the love of self and of the world, soon began to direct its attention only to the letter of the Word or to the Word in ultimates, without receiving any influx from the Divine Human itself or from the Word in firsts, on which account the letter was necessarily falsified. And in this way instead of at a genuine natural from the Divine Human it arrived at a merely corporeal and worldly natural from the evil and falsity of the proprium. In this way the first Christian Church was devastated and finally completely destroyed, although even up to the present its orthodoxy clings to the letter of the Word.
By the revelation of the Third Testament a new basis has now been given to the human race for its thought, by which access has been given also to the rational things and therefore to the Divine Human in its fullness. The real subject of the Third Testament is never natural things, but always internal or genuine rational things, although to all appearance the letter often treats also of natural things. But it is only for the sake of the appearance before the sensual man, who only after much preparation can be introduced to the essence of the things. There is no single word in the Third Testament which, if seen as to its proper sense, that is, if interiorly seen, does not treat of spiritual and celestial things. The proper New Church therefore is a purely internal Church, and in its fullness it is, indeed, a celestial Church.
But just as the first Christian Church strayed away from the genuine natural to a merely corporeal and worldly natural, so in the New Church there is continually the
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danger that it gives its attention not to the genuine rational, but to the merely natural rational.
The genuine nature of the New Church, by which it will come into an imperishable reciprocal conjunction with the Lord, consists in this, that — from firsts through ultimates — from the Holy Spirit through the letter of the Third Testament, it will arrive at the genuine rational and thereby at a new natural, and thus at the genuine human in its fullness. The genuine rational from firsts, that is, from the Holy Spirit, is nothing else than the Doctrine of the Church. The Third Testament in itself is in fact a revelation of the Divine Rational and thereby of the genuine rational things, but, as seen as to its letter from without, like the Old and the New Testament it never shows anything else than merely natural scientifics. The Doctrine of the Church, however, is the internal sense (A. C. 9025); it is the genuine rational by which alone man can come into possession of the spiritual and the celestial, and thereby into a reciprocal conjunction with the Lord. The Second Coming of the Lord brings the rational -things of the Divine Human; but seeing the genuine rational things are opened only by the Doctrine of the Church, and the Third Testament, without the Doctrine, remains merely natural and consequently closed, therefore the Second Coming becomes actual only in the Doctrine.
To the New Church in the Third Testament the rational things have been given, and seeing the Rational is the source of the Holy Spirit, the Third Testament is the Word of the Holy Spirit. By the Doctrine of the Church which opens the Third Testament as to its internal things, the New Church in a conscious way comes into possession of the Holy Spirit, and therefore needs no miraculous pouring out of the Holy Spirit.
The end of the New Church is from genuine rational things to arrive at a new natural, by which the human of that Church will exist in its fullness and this from the Divine Human of the Lord. The human in its fullness consists of the rational and the natural. It is therefore clear that the New Church in no way can participate in the natural of this world, which entirely lacks the rational; it will form for itself a new natural from the genuine rational, a new science, a new civilization and a new social order.
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The Doctrine of the Church is represented in the twelfth chapter of the REVELATION OF JOHN by the male son to whom the woman clothed with the sun gave birth; the difficult reception of that Doctrine and the resistance by the proprium of men is represented by the woman travailing in birth. The men of the Church who from the literal sense of the Latin Word and of the Doctrine receive the scientifics, but nevertheless remain merely natural and sensual, and disdain the internal, that is, the spiritual and the celestial, things are represented by the dragon wishing to devour the child. — The Doctrine of the Church in the REVELATION is also represented by the Holy City, for it is the rational understanding of the Church of the spiritual and the celestial things laid down in the natural, by which the lasting protection and therefore the imperishableness of the Church is assured from the Lord. The Doctrine of the Church is also represented by the Bride of the Lamb, for by the internal, that is, the spiritual and celestial, things which the Doctrine brings to light out of the Word in its Three Testaments, the genuine human of the Church is built up in its fullness from the genuine rational; and the genuine human of the Church in its fullness is conjoined with the Lord as a wife with her husband. — The Latin Word as regards its literal sense, by which the Coming of the Lord is prepared, in the Gospel is also represented by John the Baptist; and the internal of the Word which is brought to light by the Doctrine of the Church, is represented by the Lord Himself, of whom John said: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire (Matt. 3 : II).
POSTSCRIPT BY THE EDITOR
In the foregoing articles it has been said, that the Church thus far did not realize that the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE should also be fully applied to the Writings. It was only after these articles had been written, that in August of this year the editor received from the Rev. Theodore Pitcairn a copy of the NEW CHURCH TIDINGS, 1891—1894, from which it appeared that the Rev. E, S. Hyatt, as long as forty years ago, in his very remarkable sermons advocated this fundamental truth.
THE SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP
Extract from DE WARE CHRISTELIJKE GODSDIENST, January 1929.
On Saturday, December 1st, 1928, a SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP * was constituted at The Hague. The constituent meeting had been preceded by two preparatory meetings. The detailed minutes of these preparatory meetings and also of the constituent meeting are to be found in the TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG G-EZELSCHAP and may there be consulted by those members of the Church who are interested. A short account must here suffice.
The Council of the FIRST DUTCH SOCIETY, at the proposal of its president, had invited to its meeting of Monday, July 30th, 1928, all the male members of the Church, residing at The Hague. Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer stated that all male members had been invited to this meeting of the Council in order to consider the possibilities of promoting the internal and external upbuilding of the Church. According as a man realizes the nature of the Church and acknowledges the Divine origin of the Writings, he will be anxious to cooperate in everything that is suitable as a means of promoting the growth and the development of the Church. Just as there generally are great difficulties to be overcome before an outsider sees and joins the Church, so constantly new difficulties arise for those within the Church who wish to truly serve her in the measure in which, according to the Divine order, they ought to. One would think it was self-evident that a member of the Church from the beginning should devote himself and all his life to the service of the Church. But in reality the love of self and the love of the world over and
The words "genootschap" and "gezelschap" in Dutch both mean "society". In Holland we have a SWEDENBOBG GENOOTSCHAP, instituted in 1909, which is a publishing society. The SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP, treated of in this appendix, is a society exclusively for the male members of the Church. Editor.
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over again in many respects take the upperhand. Therefore it is necessary for the Church to be continually on the watch as to its own state, to carefully guard against standing still and retrogression, and to seek and make use of all means for an internal deepening and an external extension.
Our society has now been in existence for seven years, and the documents on which it and the GENERAL CHURCH have been founded, have recently been published in the HANDBOEK VOOR DE ALGEMEENE KERK VAN HET NIEUWE JERUZALEM IN NEDERLAND (Handbook for the General Church of the New Jerusalem in Holland). The HANDBOOK itself has already directed our attention to various principles of great practical importance and we thought it would be of great use if the male members of the Church from time to time would meet to consider those principles of the HANDBOOK. For instance, mention has been made in the HANDBOOK, with regard to the participation in the life of the Church, of an internally compelling duty. Now it is of the greatest importance that among the members of the Church there should be complete agreement as to the signification of this internally compelling duty. And it is indeed the same with all other things, for it cannot be otherwise than that in a society differences should arise from time to time in the interpretation of some or other practical principle of the Doctrine, and then it is imperative each time anew to strive after unanimity by free and rational discussion. For the New Church is an internal or spiritual Church and cannot exist unless it be founded on freedom and reason. Another example: It is pointed out in the HANDBOOK that not only the Divine Worship on Sundays, but also the doctrinal classes organized by the Church are forms of Worship, in the most extensive sense even all activities of church-life, including the social suppers, religious instruction to children and young people, the reading of the Word in the family, etc. But while the participation in the Sunday Worship, according to the internal sense of the Third Commandment, is a duty prescribed in the Writings themselves to the members of the Church, and there will scarcely be any doubt on this point, the Church with respect to those other forms of Worship will arrive at unanimity only by the rational development of the Doctrine, in a state of illus-
tration in which all members participate. With respect to the extension of the concept of "Worship" to include all activities of church-life important indications are found in the 8th chapter of DE CHARITATE, which may form a fruitful subject for discussion in these meetings.
A further use that may be expected is that the independent participation of all members of the Church in reading and studying the Writings will be promoted. We shall consider the possibility of giving an opportunity from time to time to those members who feel able to do so, in the doctrinal class to give an address in connection with the subject that has been treated of.
An important purpose of these meetings might also be to awaken the interest of the male members of the Church in the business affairs of the Church. In view of the small number of members it has so far been fully comprehensible that this interest was very slight, and that the society from its beginning to the present day, without giving it a thought, has kept to the same council. However, now that the number of members has increased, these meetings of the male members would automatically, as it were, fall into the task of constituting themselves into a nominating body.
These proposals met with the approval of the gentlemen present. The plan of giving to those members who considered themselves able to do so an opportunity from time to time of addressing the doctrinal class, was soon afterwards carried out with results that surpassed all expectations. We have had the privilege in the doctrinal class of listening to a series of valuable papers by Prof. Dr. Ch. H. van 0s, Messrs. H. D. G. Groeneveld, N. J. Vellenga, and J. P. Verstraate on the 29th chapter of Exodus, all of which gave evidence of a very original, and loyal exegesis. These papers have been embodied in the TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG G-EZELSCHAP and may there be consulted; Mr. Groeneveld's paper has been published in our Monthly for December 1928.
In this first preparatory meeting the plans described above were put before all present and recommended to their consideration. Meanwhile these plans soon took on a more concrete form. The Council invited all the male members of the Church residing in The Hague to a meeting at Hotel
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Dumoord, on Monday evening, October 1st, 1928, when a preparatory discussion was held for constituting a SWEDENBORG G-EZELSCHAP. The following gentlemen accepted this invitation: Rev. E. Pfeiffer, Dr. F. van der Feen, Messrs. D. van der Loos, N. J. Vellenga, J. L. Teerlink, P. Geluk, H. G. Engeltjes, Prof. Dr. Ch. H. van 0s, H. D. &. Groeneveld, J. A. Scholtes, E. Francis, and J. P. Verstraate. Several other gentlemen excused themselves on account of ill health or for other reasons. As the purpose of the Society to be constituted, the programme detailed by Rev. Pfeiffer in the meeting of the Council of July 30th was accepted. As to the particulars of the bye-laws, which were restricted to the most necessary, we again refer our readers to the TRANSACTIONS OF THE SWEDENBORG G-EZELSCHAP. It was resolved to meet on Saturday, December 1st, for the purpose of constituting the SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP.
On Saturday, December 1st, 1928, the SWEDENBORG G-EZELSCHAP was constituted. Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer proposed the following declaration of principle:
"We the undersigned have united into a SWEDENBORG GEZELSCHAP for the purpose of cooperating towards the internal and external upbuilding of the Church, by the expounding of the Word in the light of the Doctrine of the Church, and by our devotion to the principles of that Doctrine".
In his elucidation of this declaration of principle Rev. Pfeiffer referred to the teaching of the Writings, that the Word without Doctrine cannot be understood. It is even said: "The Word without Doctrine is as a candlestick without light". This truth is taught and explained in many passages in the Writings. A few of the most important are S.S. 50—61; A.C. 2496—2588; also 2761 and 2855—2859; D.P. 154—174; and in general all the passages treating of "Abimelech", "Beershebah", and the "White Horse".
By the doctrine here is not meant the HEAVENLY DOCTRINE itself, for this is the Word itself; * but it is the doctrine which the Church and every member of the Church more and more develops for himself. The doctrine here meant is therefore ever again renewed and ever more deepened by those who are progressing in regeneration; and
* See the footnote on page 14. EDITOR.
in the same way the doctrine of the Church as a whole and of every society of the Church. The doctrine of the Church to-day is different from that a hundred years ago; the doctrine of our society has changed and developed as compared to seven years ago, when the society was constituted; the doctrine of every member of the Church, that is, the view that one has of the Word and the Writings should have become much deepened and purified after he has been living within the Church for some considerable time. Clear examples of the doctrine of the Church are the documents that have been published in the HANDBOOK.
This "Doctrine of the Church", however, is the true doctrine only when it has been drawn from the literal sense of the Word in a state of illustration and if it is confirmed by that literal sense. If this is the case, then "the Doctrine also is the Lord" (cf. A. C. chapter XX, and n. 2859). This however in no way means that the doctrine of the Church, like the Word itself, is infallible. For teachings may creep into the doctrine originating not from a state of illustration, but from the man himself. * But it does mean that if the doctrine originates from a state of illustration, thus from the affection of truth, that doctrine is the Lord Himself.
For this reason "the expounding of the Word in the light of the Doctrine of the Church" has been chosen for the guiding thought of the declaration of principle; and it was added: "the devotion to the principles of that Doctrine", as from the beginning the strengthening of the church-life has been one of the most important ends in view.
The following gentlemen were present, who all signed the declaration of principle: Messrs. J. A. Scholtes, Dr. F. van der Feen, Rev. E. Pfeiffer, J. L. Teerlink, J. P. Verstraate, D. van der Loos, E. Francis, P. G-eluk, H. D. G. Groeneveld, and N. J. Vellenga. The SWEDENBORG G-EZELSCHAP was hereby constituted. Prof. Dr. Ch. H. van 0s and Mr. W. Schoonboom on account of ill health, and Mr. F. A. Lans for another reason, excused themselves from attending the meeting.
* It appears from this sentence that at that time the concept of the Doctrine of the Church was not yet clearly seen. EDITOR.