July 30, 2017

The Letter of the Word Lives Because of It's Internal Sense

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
if thou move a tool upon the altar thou wilt profane it — that which is from self-intelligence is in itself void of life, nay, is spiritually dead, for man's own is nothing but evil; and therefore if Divine worship is performed from it [self-intelligence], this worship is nothing else than the worship of an idol, graven or molten, wherein there is no spirit, that is, no life. But that which is from the Word is alone serviceable for Divine worship, because it is in itself alive. For within everything of the Word there is a spiritual sense, which treats of the Lord's kingdom; and within this sense is the Divine, because the Word in its inmost sense treats of the Lord alone; from this is the sanctity and the life of the Word, and not from any other source.

The Word is like a Divine man; the literal sense is as it were his body, but the internal sense is as it were his soul; which shows that the literal sense has life through the internal sense. It appears as if the literal sense vanishes or dies through the internal sense; but on the contrary it does not vanish, still less dies; but through the internal sense it lives. From all this it is now evident that worship truly Divine has its existence from those things which are of the Word, and in no case from those things which are of self-intelligence.

Hence it is that by "if thou move a tool upon the altar thou wilt profane it," is signified, if thou devise not from the Word, but from self-intelligence such things as must be of Divine worship, there is no worship.

(Arcana Cœlestia 8943)