(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 26

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26. v. Henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be imparted solely to him who from the Lord is in genuine truths. The reason of this is that no one can see the spiritual sense except from the Lord alone, nor unless from Him he is in genuine truths. For the spiritual sense of the Word treats solely of the Lord and His kingdom; and this is the sense in which are His angels in heaven, for it is His Divine truth there. To this sense a man can do violence if he has a knowledge of correspondences, and wishes by means of it and from self-intelligence to investigate the spiritual sense of the Word. For through some correspondences with which he is acquainted he may pervert the meaning of it, and may even force it to confirm what is false, and this would be doing violence to Divine truth, and also to heaven. And therefore if anyone purposes to open that sense from himself and not from the Lord, heaven is closed; and then the man either sees nothing, or else becomes spiritually insane.
[2] Another reason is that the Lord teaches everyone by means of the Word, and He teaches from those truths which the man already has, and not without a medium does He pour new truths in, so that unless man is in Divine truths, or if he is only in a few truths and at the same time in falsities, he may from these falsify the truths, as it is well known is done by every heretic in regard to the Word's sense of the letter. Therefore in order to prevent anybody from entering into the spiritual sense of the Word, or from perverting the genuine truth that belongs to that sense, guards have been set by the Lord, which in the Word are meant by the cherubim.
[3] That guards have been set has been represented to me in the following manner:
It was granted me to see great purses, having the appearance of sacks, in which silver was stored up in great abundance. As the purses were open, it seemed as if anyone might take out, and even pillage, the silver therein deposited; but near those purses sat two angels as guards. The place where the purses were laid appeared like a manger in a stable. In an adjoining apartment were seen modest maidens together with a chaste wife, and near that apartment stood two little children, and it was said that they were to be sported with, not in childish fashion, but wisely. After this there appeared a harlot, and a horse lying dead.
[4] On seeing these things I was instructed that by them was represented the sense of the letter of the Word, in which is the spiritual sense. The large purses full of silver, signified knowledges of truth in great abundance. Their being open and yet guarded by angels, signified that everyone may get knowledges of truth from the Word, but that care is taken lest anyone should falsify the spiritual sense, in which are pure truths. The manger in a stable in which the purses lay, signified spiritual instruction for the understanding - a manger signifies this because the horse that feeds from it signifies the understanding.
[5] The modest maidens seen in the adjoining apartment, signified affections of truth; and the chaste wife, the conjunction of good and truth. The little children signified the innocence of wisdom therein; they were angels from the third heaven, who all appear like little children. The harlot, together with the dead horse, signified the falsification of the Word by many of this day, whereby all understanding of truth perishes. The harlot signified falsification; and the dead horse, no understanding of truth.
* Quoted from Spiritual Experiences (n. 3605), and De Verbo (n. 1); and repeated in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 255), and in the True Christian Religion (n. 277). [Translator]


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