IT IS POSSIBLE FOR HERESIES TO BE DRAWN FROM THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD, BUT IT IS HARMFUL TO CONFIRM THEM
It has been shown above that the Word cannot be understood without doctrine, and that doctrine is like a lamp that enables genuine truths to be seen, the reason of which is that the Word has been written entirely by correspondences, and consequently many things in it are appearances of truth and not naked truths; and many things also have been written in adaptation to the apprehension of the natural and even of the sensuous man, yet so that the simple may understand it in simplicity, the intelligent in intelligence, and the wise in wisdom. The result is that the appearances of truth in the Word, which are truths clothed, may be caught at as naked truths, and when they are confirmed they become falsities. But this is done by those who believe themselves wise above others, although they are not wise, for being wise consists in seeing whether a thing is true before it is confirmed, and not in confirming whatever one pleases. This last is done by those who excel in a genius for confirming and are in the conceit of self-intelligence, but the former is done by those who love truths and are affected by them because they are truths, and who make them uses of the life, for these persons are enlightened by the Lord, and see truths by the light of the truths; whereas the others are enlightened by themselves and see falsities by the light of the falsities.