August 21, 2015

For the Word to be Understood

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:35-40

...the Word is the doctrine of good, because it is the doctrine of love to the Lord and of love toward the neighbor; and all good is of love, even the good of faith, for this comes forth from the good of love, and not without it.

As the Word is the doctrine of good, therefore in order that the Word may be understood, it must be known what good is; and no one knows what good is unless he lives in good according to the Word; for when anyone lives in good according to the Word, then the Lord instills good into his life, from which the man perceives it and feels it, and consequently apprehends the nature of it; otherwise it does not appear, because it is not perceived. From this it can be seen in what state they are who merely know what is in the Word, and persuade themselves that it is so, and yet do not do it. They have no knowledge of good, consequently none of truth; for truth is known from good, and never without good, except as memory-knowledge devoid of life, which perishes in the other life.
(Arcana Coelestia 9780)