Revelation and Inspiration

Revelation and Inspiration

All revelation is either from discourse with angels through whom the Lord speaks or from perception. It should be known that they who are in good and thence in truth, especially those that are in the good of love to the Lord, have revelation from perception; but those who are not in good and thence in truth, though they may indeed have revelations, yet not from percep­tion, but by a living voice heard within them, thus by angels from the Lord. This revelation is external, but the former is internal. The angels, especially the celestial angels, have reve­lation from perception; and so had the men of the Most Ancient Church, and some also of the Ancient Church; but scarcely any one has this at the present day. But very many have had revelations from speech, without perception, even who have not been in good; likewise by visions, or by dreams. Such were most of the revelations of the prophets in the Jewish church; they heard a voice, saw a vision, or dreamed a dream. But as they had no perception the revelations were merely verbal or visual, without discernment of what they signified. For genuine perception comes through heaven from the Lord, and spiritually affects the intellectual faculty, and leads it perceptibly to think just as the thing really is, with an internal assent the source of which he is ignorant of. He supposes it is in itself, and that it flows from the connection of things; but it is a dictate through heaven from the Lord, flowing into the interiors of the thought, concerning such things as are above the natural and the sensual; that is concerning such things as are of the spiritual world, or heaven. From these statements it may be seen what revelation from perception is. (AC n. 5121)

I have been informed how the Lord spake with the prophets through whom the Word was given. He did not speak with them as with the ancients, by an influx into their interiors, but by spirits who were sent to them, whom the Lord filled with His aspect, and thus inspired the words which they dictated to the prophets; so that it was not influx but dictation. And as the words came forth immediately from the Lord they are therefore severally filled with the Divine, and contain within them an in­ternal sense; which is such that the angels of heaven perceive them in a celestial and a spiritual sense, while men understand them in the natural sense. Thus has the Lord conjoined heaven and the world by means of the Word. It has also been shown me how spirits are filled with the Divine from the Lord by aspect. The spirit filled with the Divine from the Lord does not know but that he is the Lord, and that it is the Divine which speaks; and this so long as he is speaking. Afterwards he apperceives and acknowledges that he is a spirit, and that he did not speak from himself but from the Lord. It is because such was the state of the spirits who spoke with the prophets that it is even said by them, that Jehovah spake. The spirits also called themselves Jehovah, as may be seen not only from the prophetical, but also from the historical parts of the Word. (HH n. 254)

The Prophets wrote as the spirit from the Divine dictated for the very words which they wrote were uttered in their ears. (AC n. 7055)

It is known from the Word that there was an influx from the world of spirits and from heaven into the Prophets, partly by dreams, partly by visions, and partly by speech; and also with some into the speech itself, and into their very gestures, thus into those things which are of the body; and that then they did not speak from themselves nor act from themselves, but from the spirits which then occupied their body. Some of them then acted as if insane; as Saul, in that he lay naked others, in that they wounded themselves; others, in putting horns upon them; and many such things. (ibid. n. 6212)

The world, even the learned, have hitherto considered that the historical parts of the Word are only histories; and that they involve nothing more interior. And yet they say that every jot is Divinely inspired. But they mean nothing more by this than that these histories were revealed, and that something dogmatic applicable to the doctrine of faith may be deduced from them and be of use to those who teach and to those who learn; and that because they are Divinely inspired therefore they have a Divine power over their minds, and are effective of good beyond all other history. But the histories in themselves regarded effect little for the amendment of a man; and nothing for his eternal life. For in the other life the histories are passed into oblivion. For example, of what use would it be there to know that Hagar was a servant maid, and that she was given to Abram by Sarai? to know about Ishmael? or even about Abram? Nothing but the things which are of the Lord and which are from the Lord are necessary for souls, that they may enter into heaven, and rejoice in its joy, that is in eternal life. For these the Word exists; and these are what are contained in its interiors.

Inspiration implies that in the least particulars of the Word, as in the historical so in the other parts, there are celestial things which are of love or good, and spiritual things which are of faith or truth, and therefore things Divine. For what is inspired by the Lord descends from Him; and indeed through the angelic heaven, and so through the world of spirits down to man, to whom it is presented as it is in the letter. But it is entirely different in its first origin. In heaven there is no worldly history, but all is representative of things Divine; nor is any­thing else perceived there; as may be known, too, from the fact that the things which are there are ineffable. If therefore the historical particulars are not representative of things Divine and thus heavenly, they cannot be Divinely inspired. (ibid.. n. 1886, 1887)

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