Delightful Perception by Angels of the Internal Sense of the Word when devoutly read by Men
When the Word of the Lord is read by a man who loves the Word and lives in charity, and even by a man who in simplicity of heart believes what is written, and has formed no principles contrary to the truth of faith which is in the internal sense, it is displayed by the Lord to the angels in such beauty and in such pleasantness—with representatives also, and this with ineffable variety according to their every state in which they then are—that they perceive the least particulars as it were to live. This is the life that is in the Word, and from which the Word had birth when it was sent down from heaven. From this cause the Word of the Lord is such that, though it appears rude in the letter yet within it are stored things spiritual and celestial, which are manifested before good spirits and angels when it is read by man. (AC n. 1767)
And especially when the Word is read by Children
It may seem a paradox, but yet it is most true, that the angels better and more fully understand the internal sense of the Word when little boys and girls read it, than when it is read by adults who are not in the faith of charity. The reason stated to me is, that little children are in a state of mutual love and innocence, so that their vessels are extremely tender, almost celestial, and merely faculties of reception, which therefore are capable of being disposed by the Lord,—although this does not come to their perception except by a certain delight according to their genius. It is said by the angels that the Word of the Lord is a dead letter, but that in reading it is vivified by the Lord according to the capability of every one, and that it becomes living according to the life of charity and the state of innocence, and this with endless variety. (AC n. 1776)
By means of the Word Light is communicated to the Nations out of the Church
There can be no conjunction with heaven unless there be somewhere on the earth a church where the Word is and where by means of it the Lord is known, for the Lord is God of heaven and earth, and without Him there is no salvation. It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word. is, though it consist of comparatively few. Through this the Lord is yet present everywhere in the whole earth, for thereby heaven is conjoined with the human race.
But it shall be explained how the presence and conjunction of the Lord and of heaven in every land is effected by means of the Word. The universal heaven before the Lord is as one man so likewise is the church. The church where the Word is read and where thereby the Lord is known is as the heart and as the lungs in that man the celestial kingdom as the heart, and the spiritual kingdom as the lungs. Just as from these two fountains of life in the human body all the other members and viscera subsist and live, so also do all those in every part of the world with whom there is a religion, and who worship one God and live a good life, and thereby are in that man, and belong to its members and viscera without the thorax, where the heart and lungs are, subsist and live from the conjunction of the Lord and heaven with the church by means of the Word. For the Word in the church, although it exists with few comparatively, is life from the Lord through heaven to all the rest; just as the life of the members and viscera of the whole body is from the heart and lungs. There is also a similar communication. This too is the reason why the Christians among whom the Word is read constitute the breast of that man. They are indeed in the centre of all; and around them are the Papists; and around these are the Mahomedans, who acknowledge the Lord as a very great prophet and as a son of God. After these come the Africans; and the nations and peoples in Asia and the Indies form the outermost circumference. Moreover, all who are in that man look towards the centre where Christians are.
The greatest light is in the centre, where the Christians are who are in possession of the Word; for the light in the heavens is Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord as the sun there; and because the Word is that Divine Truth the greatest light is with those who have the Word. From thence as from its centre it diffuses itself around to all the circumferences, even to the outermost; hence the enlightenment of the nations and peoples out of the church also is by means of the Word. (SS n. 104-106)
The same may be illustrated by this experience. There were with me certain African spirits from Abyssinia. On a certain occasion their ears were opened, that they might hear singing in some church in the world from a Psalm of David. They were affected by it with such delight that they joined their voices with those who sung. But presently their ears were closed, so that they could not hear anything from thence; and then they were affected with still greater delight because it was spiritual, and were at the same time filled with intelligence, for that psalm treated of the Lord and of redemption. The reason of their increased delight was, that communication was granted them with the society in heaven which was in conjunction with those who were singing that psalm in the world. From this and much other experience it was evident to me that there is communication, with the universal heaven through the Word. For this reason, by the Divine providence of the Lord, there is universal intercourse of the kingdoms of Europe—especially of those in which the Word is read—with the nations out of the church, n. 108).
From all this it may be seen that the Word which is in the church of the Reformed enlightens all nations and peoples through spiritual communication; and that it is provided of the Lord that there shall always be a church on earth where the Word is read and by means of it the Lord is known. When therefore the Word was almost rejected by the Papists, through the Divine providence of the Lord the Reformation took place, and the Word in consequence was again received; and also the Word is accounted holy by a celebrated nation among the Papists. (ibid. n. 110)
It has been granted me to know by much experience that man has communication with heaven by means of the Word. While I was reading the Word, from the first chapter of Isaiah to the last of Malachi, and the Psalms of David, it was given me to perceive clearly that each verse communicates with some society in heaven, and that thus the whole Word communicates with the universal heaven. (ibid. n. 113)