261. The Word is written by correspondences, and thus by representatives.
The Word, as to its literal sense, is written by mere correspondences, thus by such things as represent and signify spiritual things which relate to heaven and the church (n. 1404, 1408, 1409, 1540, 1619, 1659, 1709, 1783, 2179, 2763, 2899). This was done for the sake of the internal sense, which is contained in every part (n. 2899). For the sake of heaven, since those who are in heaven do not understand the Word according to the sense of the letter, which is natural, but according to its internal sense, which is spiritual (n. 2899). The Lord spoke by correspondences, representatives, and significatives, because He spoke from the Divine (n. 9048, 9063, 9086, 10126, 10728). Thus the Lord spoke at the same time before the world and before heaven (n. 2533, 4807, 9048, 9063, 9086). The things which the Lord spoke filled the entire heaven (n. 4637). The historicals of the Word are representative, and the words significative (n. 1540, 1659, 1709, 1783, 2686). The Word could not be written in any other style, that by it there might be a communication and conjunction with the heavens (n. 2899, 6943, 9481). They who despise the Word on account of the apparent simplicity and rudeness of its style, and who fancy that they would receive the Word, if it were written in a different style, are in a great error (n. 8783). The mode and style of writing, which prevailed amongst the most ancient people, was by representatives and significatives (n. 605, 1756, 9942). The ancient wise men were delighted with the Word, because of the representatives and significatives therein, from experience (n. 2592, 2593). If a man of the Most Ancient Church had read the Word, he would have seen the things which are in the internal sense clearly, and those which are in the external sense obscurely (n. 4493). The sons of Jacob were brought into the land of Canaan, because all the places in that land, from the most ancient times, were made representative (n. 1585, 3686, 4447, 5136, 6516). And thus that the Word might there be written, in which Word those places were to be mentioned for the sake of the internal sense (n. 3686, 4447, 5136, 6516). But nevertheless the Word was changed, for the sake of that nation, as to the external sense, but not as to the internal sense (n. 10453, 10461, 10603, 10604). In order that it may be known what the correspondences and representatives in the Word are, and what is their quality, something shall also be said concerning them.
All things which correspond are likewise representative, and thereby significative, thus that correspondences and representatives are one (n. 2896, 2897, 2973, 2987, 2989, 2990, 3002, 3225). What correspondences and representations are, from experience and examples (n. 2763, 2987-3002, 3213-3226, 3337-3352, 3472-3485, 4218-4228, 9280). The knowledge of correspondences and representations was the chief science amongst the ancients (n. 3021, 3419, 4280, 4748, 4844, 4964, 4966, 6004, 7729, 10252). Especially with the Orientals (n. 5702, 6692, 7097, 7779, 9391, 10252, 10407); and in Egypt more than in other countries (n. 5702, 6692, 7097, 7779, 9391, 10407). Also among the Gentiles, as in Greece and other places (n. 2762, 7729). But at this day it is among the sciences which are lost, particularly in Europe (n. 2894, 2895, 2994, 3630, 3632, 3747-3749, 4581, 4966, 10252). Nevertheless this science is more excellent than all other sciences, since without it the Word is not understood, nor the signification of the rites of the Jewish church, which are recorded in the Word; neither is it known what heaven is, nor what the spiritual is, nor in what manner spiritual influx takes place into what is natural, with many other things (n. 4280, and in the places above cited). All the things which appear before angels and spirits, are representatives, according to correspondences of such things as relate to love and faith (n. 1971, 3213-3226, 3449, 3475, 3485, 9481, 9574, 9576, 9577). The heavens are full of representatives (n. 1521, 1532, 1619). Representatives are more beautiful, and more perfect, in proportion as they are more interiorly in the heavens (n. 3475). Representatives there are real appearances, being derived from the light of heaven, which is Divine truth, and which is the very essential of the existence of all things (n. 3485).
The reason why each and all things in the spiritual world are represented in the natural world, is because what is internal assumes a suitable clothing in what is external, whereby it makes itself visible and apparent (n. 6275, 6284, 6299). Thus the end assumes a suitable clothing, that it may exist as the cause in a lower sphere, and afterwards that it may exist as the effect in a sphere lower still; and when the end, by means of the cause, becomes the effect, it then becomes visible, or appears before the eyes (n. 5711). This may be illustrated by the influx of the soul into the body, whereby the soul assumes a clothing of such things in the body, as enable all the things which it thinks and wills, to appear and become visible; wherefore the thought, when it flows down into the body, is represented by gestures and actions which correspond thereto (n. 2988). The affections, which are of the mind, are manifestly represented in the face, by the variations of the countenance, so that they may be seen therein (n. 4791-4805, 5695). Hence it is evident, that each and all things in nature have in them a latent cause and end from the spiritual world (n. 3562, 5711). Since the things in nature are ultimate effects, which contain prior things (n. 4240, 4939, 5051, 6275, 6284, 6299, 9216). Internal things are represented, and external things represent (n. 4292).
Since all things in nature are representative of spiritual and celestial things, therefore, in ancient times, there were churches, wherein all the externals, which are rituals, were representative; wherefore those churches were called representative churches (n. 519, 521, 2896). The church founded with the sons of Israel was a representative church (n. 1003, 2179, 10149). All its rituals were external things, which represented the internal things of heaven and the church (n. 4288, 4874). Representatives of the church and of worship ceased when the Lord came into the world, because the Lord opened the internal things of the church, and because all the externals of the church in the highest sense regarded Him (n. 4832).