The Word was written by Correspondences

The Word was written by Correspondences

Since then the Word interiorly is spiritual and celestial, therefore it was written by pure correspondences. And what was written by pure correspondences in its ultimate sense is written in such a style as by the Prophets and Evangelists, which, though it appear common, yet conceals within it all Divine and angelic wisdom. (SS n. 8)

Each and all things in nature correspond to spiritual things; and in like manner each and all things in the human body. But hitherto it has been unknown what correspondence is. Yet it was very well known in the most ancient times; for to those who then lived the knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges, and was so universal that all their books and manuscripts were written by correspondences. The Book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient church, is full of correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and the fabulous stories of highest antiquity, were nothing else. All the ancient churches were churches representative of spiritual things; their ceremonies, and also their statutes, according to which their worship was instituted, consisted of pure correspondences. In like manner all things of the Church among the children of Israel,—their burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings, with the particulars of them,—were correspondences. Also the tabernacle, with all things therein, as well as their feasts,—such as the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of taber­nacles, the feast of first-fruits; and the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites, and their garments of holiness; and besides these all their statutes and judgments, which related to their worship and life, were correspondences. Now since Divine things present themselves in the world by correspondences, therefore the Word was written by pure correspondences; for the same reason the Lord, as He spake from the Divine, spake by correspondences; for whatever is from the Divine this descends into such things in nature as correspond to the Divine, and which then conceal things Divine, which are called celestial and spiritual, in their bosom.

I have been informed that the men of the Most Ancient church, which was before the flood, were of so heavenly a genius that they conversed with the angels of heaven, and that they were enabled to converse with them by means of correspon­dences; hence their state of wisdom became such, that whatever they saw on earth they not only thought of it naturally, but also at the same time spiritually, thus in conjunction with the angels of heaven. I have moreover been informed that Enoch,— who is mentioned in Genesis, v. 21-24,—with his associates, gathered correspondences from their lips, and transmitted the knowledge of them to their posterity; in consequence of which it came to pass that the knowledge of correspondences was not only known in many kingdoms of Asia, but was also cultivated, especially in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, and Arabia, and in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; and that from thence it was conveyed into Greece, where it was turned into fable, as may appear from the most ancient writers of that country. (TCR n. 201, 202)

What the Spiritual Sense of the Word is

What the Spiritual Sense of the Word is

The spiritual sense of the Word is not that which shines forth from the literal sense, while one is searching and explaining the Word to confirm some dogma of the church; this sense may be called the literal sense of the Word. But the spiritual sense does not appear in the literal sense; it is interiorly within it, as the soul is in the body, as the thought of the understanding is in the eyes, and as the affection of love is in the countenance, which act together as cause and effect. It is this sense chiefly, which renders the Word spiritual, not only for men, but also for angels; therefore the Word by this sense communicates with the heavens. (TCR n. 194)

From the Lord proceed the CELESTIAL, the SPIRITUAL, and the NATURAL, one after the other. What proceeds from His Divine Love is called CELESTIAL, and is Divine Good; what proceeds from His Divine Wisdom is called SPIRITUAL, and is Divine Truth; the NATURAL is from both, and is their complex in the ultimate. The angels of the Lord’s celestial kingdom, who con­stitute the third or highest heaven, are in the Divine that proceeds from the Lord which is called celestial, for they are in the good of love from the Lord; the angels of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, who constitute the second or intermediate heaven, are in the Divine that proceeds from the Lord which is called spiritual, for they are in the truths of wisdom from the Lord; and the men of the church in the world are in the Divine natural, which also proceeds from the Lord. From this it follows that the Divine going forth from the Lord to its ultimates, descends through three degrees, and is called celestial, spiritual, and natural. The Divine which comes down from the Lord to men descends through these three degrees, and when it has descended it contains these three degrees within it. Such is everything Divine; when, therefore, it is in its ultimate degree it is in its fullness. Such is the Word. This in the ulti­mate sense is natural, in its interior is spiritual, and in its inmost celestial; and in each it is Divine. That such is the nature of the Word does not appear in the sense of the letter, which is natural, for the reason that heretofore man in the world has not known anything of the heavens, and consequently has not known what the spiritual and the celestial are, nor therefore the distinction between them and the natural.

The distinction between these degrees cannot be known unless correspondence is known; for these three degrees are entirely distinct from each other, like end, cause, and effect, or like what is prior, posterior, and postreme, and yet make one by correspondences; for the natural corresponds to the spiritual, and also to the celestial. (SS n. 6, 7)

There is a Spiritual Sense in the Word hitherto unknown

There is a Spiritual Sense in the Word hitherto unknown

No man who does not know that there is any spiritual sense in the Word, like the soul in the body, can judge of the Word otherwise than from its literal sense; when yet this is as a casket containing precious things, which are its spiritual sense. While therefore this internal sense is unknown, a man can only judge of the Divine sanctity of the Word as he might of a precious stone from the matrix which encloses it, and which sometimes appears as a common stone; or as he would judge of a casket made of jasper, lapis-lazuli, amianthus, or mica, or agate, in which lie in their order diamonds, rubies, sardonyxes, oriental topazes, etc. So long as this is not known it is not to be wondered at if this casket should be estimated only according to the value of the material of it which appears to the eye. So is it with the Word as to its literal sense. Lest therefore man should remain in doubt whether the Word is Divine and most holy, its internal sense has been revealed to me by the Lord; which in its essence is spiritual, and which is within the ex­ternal sense which is natural, as the soul in the body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter. It can there­fore testify of the Divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince, if he is willing to be convinced, even the natural man.

Who does not acknowledge and assent when it is said that the Word, because it is Divine, in its bosom is spiritual? But who as yet has known what the spiritual is, and where in the Word it is concealed? The Word in its bosom is spiritual, because it descended from the Lord Jehovah and passed through the angelic heavens; and the very Divine, which in itself is ineffable and imperceptible, in its descent became adapted to the perception of angels, and at last to the perception of men. Hence is the spiritual sense; which is within, in the natural, just as the soul is in man, the thought of the understanding in speech, and the affection of the will in action. And if it may be com­pared with such things as appear before the eyes in the natural world, the spiritual sense is in the natural sense as the whole brain is within its meninges or matres, or as the young shoots of a tree are within its barks and rinds, nay, as all things for the generation of the chick are within the shell of the egg, and so on. But that there is such a spiritual sense of the Word within its natural sense has been divined by no one hitherto. It is therefore necessary that the mystery, which is eminent above all the mysteries yet revealed, should be opened to the understanding. (TCR n. 192, 193)

Since it was predicted that at the end of this church also darkness would arise, from the non-recognition and acknowledg­ment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and from the separation of faith from charity, therefore, lest through this the genuine understanding of the Word should perish, it has pleased the Lord now to reveal the spiritual sense of the Word; and to make manifest that the Word in that sense, and from that in the natural sense, treats of the Lord and of the church, yea of these only; and many other things by which the light of truth from the Word, almost extinguished, may be restored. That at the end of the church the light of truth would be almost ex­tinguished is predicted in many places in the Apocalypse; and is also meant by these words of the Lord in Matthew: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then … they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory” (xxiv. 29, 30). By the sun here the Lord as to love is meant; by the moon, the Lord as to faith; by the stars, the Lord as to cognitions of good and truth; by the Son of Man, the Lord as to the Word; by a cloud, the literal sense of the Word; and by glory, its spiritual sense, and its shining through the literal sense. (SS n. 112)



General Doctrine

It is in the mouth of all that the Word is from Gcd, is divinely inspired, and therefore holy. But yet it has been un­known hitherto where within it its Divinity resides. For in the letter the Word appears like a common writing, in a foreign style, neither lofty nor luminous as, to appearance, secular. writings are. From this it is that the man who worships nature instead of God, or rather than God, and therefore thinks from himself and his proprium, and not out of heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error concerning the Word, and even into contempt for it, and say within himself when he is reading it, What is this? What is that? Is this Divine? Can God, who has infinite wisdom, speak thus? Where and from whence is its holiness but from religious feeling and thence persuasion?

But he who so thinks does not reflect that the Lord Jehovah, who is the God of heaven and earth, spoke the word by Moses and the Prophets, and that therefore it cannot but be Divine Truth; for this is what the Lord Jehovah Himself speaks. Nor does he consider that the Lord the Saviour, who is the same with Jehovah, spoke the Word by the Evangelists, many things from His own mouth, and the rest by the Spirit of His mouth, which is the Holy Spirit, through His twelve Apostles. Hence it is, as He Himself says, that in His words there is spirit and life, that He is the light which enlighteneth, and that He is the Truth….

But still the natural man cannot be persuaded by these con­siderations that the Word is Divine Truth itself, in which there is Divine Wisdom and Divine Life; for he judges of it by its style, in which he does not see them. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however lofty and excellent it may appear, can be compared. Such is the style of the Word that it is holy in every sentence, and in every word, nay, sometimes in the very letters. Therefore the Word conjoins man to the Lord and opens heaven. There are two things that proceed from the Lord, Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, or what is the same, Divine Good and Divine Truth; the Word in its essence is both. And because it conjoins man to the Lord and opens heaven, as has been said, therefore it 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. Hence man has life through the Word. But it should be well known, that they only obtain life from the Word who read it for the purpose of drawing Divine truths from it, as from their fountain, and for the purpose, at the same time, of applying the Divine truths thence drawn to the life; and that the contrary takes place with those who read the Word for the purpose of acquiring honour and worldly gain. (TCR n. 189-191)

Importance of a Right Idea of the Trinity

Importance of a Right Idea of the Trinity

Having written of the Triune God, it is important also to treat of the Divine Trinity,—which is known in the Christian world, and yet unknown. For by this alone can a just idea of God be obtained; and a just idea of God in the church is as the sanctuary and altar in the temple, and as the crown upon the head and sceptre in the hand of a king sitting upon his throne. For hereon depends, as a chain upon its first link, the whole body of theology. And, if you will believe it, every one is assigned his place in heaven according to his idea of God; for this is as the touchstone by which is discovered the quality of the gold and silver, that is, the good and truth, in man. For there is no saving good in him, except from God; nor any truth, that does not derive its quality from out the bosom of good….

But how the things written in the Word respecting the Trinity are to be understood,—whether, that there are three Gods, who in essence and hence in name are one God; or, that there are three objects of one subject, so that they are only qualities or attributes of one God, which are so named, or in another way,—reason left to itself can by no means see. But what counsel is to be offered? There is no other than that a man shall go to the Lord God the Saviour, and read the Word under His guidance,—for He is the God of the Word,—and he will be enlightened and see truths, which reason also will ac­knowledge…. But to read the Word under guidance of one’s own intelligence,—as is done by all who do not acknow­ledge the Lord as God of heaven and earth, and therefore approach and worship Him alone,—may be likened to children playing, who tie a bandage over the eyes and try to walk in a straight line, and even think they are walking in a straight line, when yet step by step they are turning aside, and at length go in the opposite direction, strike against a stone, and fall (TCR n. 163, 165)



General Doctrine

THESE three, the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are the three essentials of the one God, like the soul, the body, and operation in man. (TCR n. 166)

At this day human reason is bound, as regards the Divine Trinity, like a man bound with manacles and fetters in prison; and may be compared to a vestal virgin buried in the earth, because she has put out the sacred fire; when yet the Divine Trinity ought to shine as a lamp in the minds of the men of the church, for God in His Trinity and in its unity is the All in all in the sanctities of heaven and the church. (TCR n. 169)

Every one acknowledges that these three essentials—the soul, the body, and operation, were and are in the Lord God the Saviour. That His soul was from Jehovah the Father can be denied only by Antichrist; for in the Word of both Testaments He is called the Son of Jehovah, the Son of the Most High God, the Only-begotten. The Divine of the Father is therefore, like the soul in man, His first essential. That the Son whom Mary brought forth is the body of that Divine soul, follows from the fact that nothing but the body conceived and derived from the soul is provided in the womb of the mother; this therefore is the second essential. Operations form the third essential, because they proceed from the soul and body together, and the things which proceed are of the same essence with those which produce them. That the three essentials, which are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are one in the Lord, like the soul, body, and operation in man, is very evident from the Lord’s words,—that the Father and He are one, and that the Father is in Him and He in the Father; likewise that He and the Holy Spirit are one, since the Holy Spirit is the Divine proceeding out of the Lord from the Father. (TCR n. 167)

From the Lord’s Divine Human itself proceeds the Divine truth which is called the Holy Spirit; and because the Lord was Himself the Divine Truth, when He was in the world He Himself taught the things which were of love and faith, and at that time not by the Holy Spirit; as He Himself teaches in John: “The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (vii. 39). But after the Lord even as to the Human was made Jehovah, that is Divine Good,—which was after the resurrection,—He was then no longer Divine Truth, but this proceeded from His Divine Good. That the Holy Spirit is the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord’s Divine Human, and not any spirit or any spirits from eternity, is very manifest from the Lord’s words in the passage cited, that “the Holy Spirit was not yet.” And then it is manifest that a spirit himself can­not proceed, but the holy [effluence] of a spirit, that is, the holy [effluence] which proceeds from the Lord, and which a spirit utters. From these considerations now it follows that the whole Trinity is perfect in the Lord, namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and thus that there is one God,—and not three, who, dis­tinct as to person, are said to constitute one Divine. The reason why they were called the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Word was that men might acknowledge the Lord, and also the Divine in Him. For man was in so thick darkness,—as he also is at this day,—that otherwise he would not have acknowledged any Divine in the Lord’s Human; for this to him would have been above all faith, because entirely incomprehensible. And moreover it is a truth that there is a Trinity; but in one, namely, in the Lord. And it is acknowledged too in the Christian churches that the Trinity dwells perfectly in Him. The Lord also taught plainly that Himself was one with the Father (John xiv. 9-12); and that the holy [truth] which the Holy Spirit speaks is not His, but the Lord’s, in John: “The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, … shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear He shall speak: … He shall glorify Me, for He shall take of Mine, and shall proclaim it unto you” (xvi. 13, 14). That the Comforter is the Holy Spirit is declared in John xiv. 26. (AC n. 6993)

The Holy Spirit not mentioned in the Old Testament

The Holy Spirit not mentioned in the Old Testament

In the Word of the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is nowhere mentioned, but the Spirit of holiness,—and only in three places; once in David (Ps. li. 13), and twice in Isaiah (lxiii. 10, 11). But in the Word of the New Testament it is frequently men­tioned,—in the Evangelists, as well as in the Acts of the Apostles, and in their Epistles. The reason is, that then—when the Lord came into the world,—there first was the Holy Spirit; fox it goes forth out of Him from the Father. (TCR n. 158)