This is the annotated edition including a very detailed biography about Swedenborg, his life and his writings. The grand and distinctive principle of Swedenborgian theology, next to the doctrine of the divine humanity, is the doctrine of life. God alone lives. Creation is dead — man is dead; and their apparent life is the divine presence. God is everywhere the same. It fallaciously appears as if He were different in one man and in another. The difference is in the recipients; by one He is not received in the same degree as another. This edition contains the following writings: On The White Horse On The Earths In The Universe The Last Judgment Last Judgment Continued The Doctrine Of Faith The Doctrine Of Life Doctrine Of Sacred Scriptures The Doctrine Of Charity The Doctrine Of The Lord
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My Essential Doctrines
Emanuel Swedenborg – A Biographical Primer
On The White Horse
On The Earths In The Universe
The Earth Or Planet Mercury, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
The Earth Or Planet Jupiter, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
The Earth Or Planet Mars, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
The Earth Or Planet Saturn, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
The Earth Or Planet Venus, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
The Spirits And Inhabitants Of The Moon.
The Reasons Why The Lord Was Willing To Be Born On Our Earth, And Not On Another.
The Earths In The Starry Heaven.
The First Earth In The Starry Heaven, Its Spirits And Inhabitants; From Things Heard And Seen.
A Second Earth In The Starry Heaven, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
A Third Earth In The Starry Heaven, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
A Fourth Earth In The Starry Heaven, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
A Fifth Earth In The Starry Heaven, Its Spirits And Inhabitants.
The Last Judgment
I. The Destruction Of The World Is Not Meant By The Day Of The Last Judgment.
Ii. The Procreations Of The Human On The Earths Will Never Cease.
Iii. Heaven And Hell Are From The Human Race.
Iv. All Who Have Been Born Men From The Beginning Of Creation, And Are Deceased, Are Either In Heaven Or In Hell.
V. The Last Judgment Must Be Where All Are Together, Thus In The Spiritual World, And Not On Earth.
Vi. The Last Judgment Exists, When The End Of The Church Is; And The End Of The Church Is, When There Is No Faith, Because There Is No Charity.
Vii. All The Things Which Are Predicted In The Apocalypse, Are At This Day Fulfilled.
Viii. The Last Judgment Has Been Accomplished.
Ix. Babylon And Its Destruction.
X. The Former Heaven And Its Abolishment.
Last Judgment Continued
I. The Last Judgment Has Been Accomplished.
Ii. The State Of The World And Of The Church Before The Last Judgment, And After It.
Iii. The Last Judgment Upon The Reformed.
Iv. The Spiritual World.
V. The English In The Spiritual World.
Vi. The Dutch In The Spiritual World.
Vii. The Papists In The Spiritual World.
Viii. The Popish Saints In The Spiritual World.
Ix. The Mohammedans In The Spiritual World; And Mohammed.
X. The Africans And The Gentiles In The Spiritual World.
Xi. The Jews In The Spiritual World.
Xii. The Quakers In The Spiritual World.
Xiii. The Moravians In The Spiritual World.
The Doctrine Of Faith
The Doctrine Of Life
Doctrine Of Sacred Scriptures
The Doctrine Of Charity
The Doctrine Of The Lord
My Essential Doctrines, E. Swedenborg
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Swedish philosopher, born in Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1688, died in London, England, March 29, 1772. He was the son of Jesper Swedberg, bishop of Skara, the name being changed to Swedenborg in 1719 on the occasion of the ennobling of the family. This advancement entitled him, as head of the family, to a seat in the house of nobles of the Swedish diet, but did not confer the title of baron, as has been supposed. Emanuel was educated at Upsal, completing his studies in 1709. After two years of travel in England, Holland, and France, he went to reside at Greifswald in Pomerania, then a Swedish town, and busied himself with scientific research. He also wrote some Latin fables, which were published under the title of Camena Borea. A collection of Latin poems, written by him during his travels, was also published about the same time in a volume entitled Ludus Heliconius. In 1716 he returned to Sweden and established a periodical called Dædalus Hyperboreus, devoted to mathematics and mechanics, which appeared irregularly for two years. During this time he had become intimate with Christopher Polhem, an eminent engineer, and Polhem introduced him to Charles XII., who appointed him assessor extraordinary of the college of mines, and associate engineer with Polhem. For two years Swedenborg maintained close personal relations with the king, and assisted him much in his military operations. During the siege of Frederickshald, at which Charles met his death, Swedenborg constructed, under Polhem's direction, the machines by which several vessels were transported overland from Strömstad to the Iddefiord, 14 miles. At the king's suggestion, it is said, Polhem betrothed his daughter to Swedenborg; but as the young lady preferred another man, Swedenborg relinquished his claim and never married. From 1717 to 1722 he published pamphlets on scientific subjects; among them one describing a method of determining longitude by means of the moon. In 1721 he made a short tour on the continent, visiting mines and smelting works. On his return in 1722 he was promoted to be full assessor of mines, and for the next 12 years he devoted himself to the duties of that office, refusing the professorship of mathematics at Upsal in 1724. In 1734 he published Opera Philosophica et Mineralia in three large folio volumes, illustrated with numerous plates, viz.: vol. i., Principia; vol. ii., De Ferro; vol. iii., De Cupro et Orichalco. In the same year also appeared his Prodromus de Infinito. In 1736 he began another tour of travel, which, with study and writing, occupied him for several years. In 1740-'41 he published his Œconomia Regni Animalis, in two parts, and in 1744-'5 his Regnum Animale, in three parts. Between 1729 and 1741 he was elected successively a member of the academy of sciences at Upsal, corresponding member of the imperial academy of sciences at St. Petersburg, and member of the academy of sciences at Stockholm. His series of scientific publications ended in 1745 with the treatise De Cultu et Amore Dei, &c., in which is set forth, under the form of a prose poem or allegory, his theory of the process of creation. Thereafter, as he says, he was called by God to the work of revealing to men a new system of religious truth. For that end he was permitted to converse with spirits and angels, and behold the wonders of the spiritual world. That he might be more free to perform his task, he resigned his assessorship, retaining half the salary by way of pension. He devoted himself first to the study of the Bible in the original, and then to the writing of books explanatory of his new doctrines, which were published entirely at his own expense. From 1749 to 1756 appeared the Arcana Cœlestia (8 vols. 4to), containing a commentary on Genesis and Exodus, interspersed with accounts of “wonderful things seen and heard in heaven and in hell.” This was followed in 1758 by the De Cœlo et Inferno, De Telluribus in Mundo, De Ultimo Judicio, De Nova Hierosolyma, and De Equo Albo. In 1763 were published the four doctrinal treatises: Doctrina Vitæ, De Fide, De Domino, and De Scriptura Sacra, with a Continuatio de Ultimo Judicio, and the treatise De Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. In 1764, the Divina Providentia appeared; in 1766, the Apocalypsis Revelata; in 1768, De Amore Conjugiali; in 1769, Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ and De Commercio Animæ et Corporis; and in 1771, the Vera Christiana Religio. Besides these, he left at his death an immense mass of manuscripts, of which the following have been since printed: Itinerarium, Clavis Hieroglyphica, Opuscula, Apocalypsis Explicata, Adversaria in Libros Veteris Testamenti, Diarium Spirituale, Index Biblicus, Sensus Internus Prophetarum et Psalmorum, Dicta Probantia, De Athanasio Symbolo, De Charitate, Canones, Coronis Veræ Christianæ Religionis, and Invitatio ad Novam Ecclesiam. Copies of a few of these manuscripts have recently been reproduced by the photolithographic process, by subscription, not so much for circulation as for the sake of preserving the contents of the originals from destruction by decay. — Swedenborg's manner of life was simple and modest. He spent much of his time, in later years, in Holland and England, for which countries he expressed great admiration on account of the freedom of speech and writing permitted there. He made no efforts to gain proselytes to his doctrines further than by printing and distributing his writings, and never referred to his intercourse with the spiritual world except when questioned. Several instances are reported of his obtaining information from departed souls respecting affairs unknown even to their families, and describing events in distant places in advance of news by the ordinary means of communication. It is related that, as he lay on his deathbed in London, Ferelius, a Swedish clergyman, solemnly adjured him to tell the truth in regard to his teachings. Swedenborg raised himself half upright in bed, and placing his hand on his breast said with emphasis: “As true as you see me before you, so true is everything I have written. I could have said more had I been permitted. When you come into eternity, you will see all things as I have stated and described them, and we shall have much to say concerning them to each other.” He then received the holy supper from Ferelius, and presented him with a copy of his Arcana Cœlestia. A day or two afterward he peacefully breathed his last. His body was buried in a vault of the Swedish church in Prince's square, a little east of the tower. A eulogium was pronounced upon him in the Swedish house of nobles in October, 1772, by Samuel Sandels, which accords him high praise, not merely for learning and talent, but also for uprightness and fidelity in the discharge of his duties as a public functionary. Several of his acquaintances have also left written testimony to his virtuous character. — Swedenborg's scientific works have long since ceased to be of practical value, but are still highly interesting as collections of facts, and as exhibiting their author's peculiar method of philosophizing. The system he followed was substantially that of Descartes, of whom he continued to the end of his life to speak with admiration, and this led him to conclusions resembling in some striking points those of Spinoza, who was likewise a Cartesian. His “Economy of the Animal Kingdom” is the best of his many productions anterior to his theological career. In it he attempts to deduce a knowledge of the soul from an anatomical and physiological knowledge of the body, and evolves many doctrines which he afterward elaborated in his theological works. Indeed, some of his disciples hold that his seership was the natural result of his intellectual and moral development, and by no means an abnormal condition of mind. According to his own account, it came upon him gradually, and neither astonished nor alarmed him, although in its early stages he was subject to great mental excitement, the phenomena of which may have given rise to exaggerated stories of his insanity. The works written by him subsequent to this change in his mind are quite as systematic and coherent as his earlier productions, and only his claim to a divine mission, and his frequent descriptions of what he saw and heard in the spiritual world, mark them as peculiar. They are consistent from first to last, and though they appeared at intervals during a period of 27 years, they nowhere deviate from the fundamental principles laid down at the outset. — The general features of Swedenborg's theology are presented in his treatise called the “True Christian Religion.” He teaches that God is one in essence and in person, and has been revealed to men as the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Lord is a trinity, not of persons but of principles, and it is these principles which are spoken of in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father is the divine love, the Son the divine wisdom, and the Holy Ghost the divine operation or energy acting upon the universe. The Lord is infinite, eternal, self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, and not only the creator but the sustainer of all creation, which without him would cease to exist. For the sake of redeeming mankind he assumed a natural body born of the Virgin Mary, and glorified it or made it divine, so that it is now invisible to men, and also usually to the angels except as the sun of heaven. Redemption consisted, not in suffering vicariously the punishment of men's sins (for that could not be done, and, if it could, would be useless), but in actual combats, by means of the assumed humanity, with the powers of hell, and overcoming them. This victory restored to man spiritual freedom, which had begun to be impaired by diabolic possessions as narrated in the Gospels, and enabled him to work out his salvation. This he does by looking to the Lord, with faith in him, by repentance, and above all by a life according to the commandments of the decalogue. The chief points that Swedenborg insists on in religion are faith in the Lord and the avoidance of evils as sins against him. Upon everything else, such as outward worship, prayer and meditation, and works of eleemosynary charity, he lays but little stress. The essence of charity is love to the neighbor and occupation in some useful employment. The Word, he says, is the divine truth itself, written to reveal the Lord to man and to serve as a medium of conjunction between earth and heaven. This Word consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, the Psalms, the prophecies, the four Gospels, and the Apocalypse. The other books bound up with these in our Bibles are not the Word, although good and useful to the church. The distinction between the two consists in this: that the Word contains an internal or spiritual sense, which the rest of the Bible has not. This spiritual sense is symbolical, and may be discerned by the application of the law of symbolism resulting from the universal correspondence of natural with spiritual things. Thus, the garden of Eden and all things mentioned as existing in it symbolize the human soul and its affections and thoughts; and the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the alienation of mankind at a remote period from their original state of innocence. Hence, too, the decalogue forbids not merely outward sins, but the inward spiritual sins corresponding to them, and the Psalms and prophecies relate not merely to David and the Jews, but to experiences of the human soul independent of dates and localities. At the same time the literal sense alone can be relied on as a basis of doctrine, and Swedenborg is careful to cite it profusely in support of his teachings. The reason he gives for his mission is that the knowledge of true doctrine had been lost and the church destroyed by a false theology and accompanying evils of life. By the promulgation of the truth revealed to him a new church has been established by the Lord, and thus the prophecies in the Apocalypse of the descent of the New Jerusalem have been fulfilled in their symbolical sense. The second coming of the Lord, predicted in Matt, xxiv., has also been accomplished in the same way, a last judgment having been effected in the spiritual world in the year 1757, so that we are now living under a new dispensation. The treatise on “Heaven and Hell” embodies Swedenborg's teachings on the nature of those two realms, and their relations to this world. They exist, he says, not in some other region of space, but within the natural world, as the soul of man exists within his body, being in fact in the souls of men and resting in them as our souls rest in our bodies. At death the body, which is the material envelope of the soul, is cast aside, never to be resumed, and consequently its resurrection is not to be looked for. The soul is the man himself, and is a perfect human being, with a spiritual body of its own, and rises into a conscious perception of the spiritual world, of which the man had previously been unconsciously an inhabitant. He sees and feels and possesses all the other senses, and retains all his personal characteristics. After a longer or shorter preparation in an intermediate state called the world of spirits, which lies between heaven and hell, he is drawn by his own elective affinity to the place where he belongs, and remains there to eternity. Both heaven and hell consist of innumerable societies, each composed of human beings of similar and concordant affections; and both are divided into three distinct regions, according to the degrees of perfection or depravity of their inhabitants. The Arcana Cœlestia, Swedenborg's largest work, is mainly an exposition of the internal or symbolical sense of Genesis and Exodus, with accounts of his experiences in the spiritual world, and various doctrinal teachings interspersed between the chapters. “The Apocalypse Revealed” and “The Apocalypse Explained” are similar expositions of the Apocalypse. In his “Oonjugial Love” Swedenborg expounds his doctrine of the relations of the sexes. Males, he says, are masculine and females feminine in soul as well as in body. The masculine element is love clothed with wisdom, while the feminine is wisdom clothed with love. Hence the characteristic of man is wisdom or understanding, and that of woman love or affection. Marriage is the conjunction of two souls who complement each other, and by their union make one complete being, just as the will and the understanding make the individual. Hence the only true marriage is of one man and one woman, and it exists in the next world as well as in this. Polygamy is a degraded state, but not a sin with those whose religion permits it; but adultery is destructive of the life of the soul, and closes heaven against those who confirm themselves in it. The treatises on the “Divine Love and Wisdom” and the “Divine Providence” embody Swedenborg's spiritual philosophy, and exhibit the symmetrical relations of the various parts of his religious system. Love, he says, is the life of man. God alone is Love itself and Life itself, and angels and men are but recipients of life from him. He is very Man, and our humanity is derived from him, so that it is literally true that we are created in his image and likeness. His infinite love clothes itself with infinite wisdom and manifests itself in ceaseless operation, producing, maintaining, and reproducing the boundless universe, with all its innumerable parts and inhabitants. In like manner men, being made in the image of God, also have love or the will, and wisdom or the understanding, and the two produce in them their finite operation. It being the nature of love to desire objects upon which to exercise itself, God could not but create the universe. The creation of this and other solar systems, all of which are inhabited, was effected by a spiritual sun, which is the first emanation proceeding from God, and which is seen in the spiritual world as our sun is seen by us. By means of this spiritual sun natural suns were created, and from them atmospheres, waters, earths, plants, animals, and finally man. Angels, spirits, and devils are men who have been born and died on this or some similar planet. Hence, all things were created from God, and not out of nothing. The spiritual world is related to the natural as cause is to effect, and the supreme first cause of all is God himself. These three, end, cause, and effect, constitute three distinct or discrete degrees, which are repeated in various forms in all created things, and on a grand scale in the universe as a whole. Creation, being from God, is, like the individual man, an image of him, and hence is in the human form in its greatest and least parts, and with more or less approximation to perfection. As we are finitely men, because God is an infinite Man, so all animals, plants, and even minerals wear a resemblance to man, and throughout all nature there is an incessant effort to evolve the human form. In the sight of God and the angels, larger and smaller bodies of human beings and the societies of heaven and hell appear organized like men, and Swedenborg calls the universe the Grand Man (Maximus Homo). As infinite love was the end and infinite wisdom the cause of creation, so the divine life and power are constantly active in sustaining and directing it. This activity is the Divine Providence, and it reaches to every smallest particular of nature and humanity. Man has freedom, because without it he could not be an adequate recipient of the divine love, and by the abuse of his freedom he has introduced evil into the world. The Divine Providence seeks, without destroying this freedom, to lead man back to his original integrity. Hence all the wonderful dealings of God with man recorded in the Scriptures; hence the incarnation; and hence the various forms of religion which exist in the world, all of which embody more or less the essentials of salvation, namely, the worship of God and abstinence from evils as sins against him. The smaller treatises of Swedenborg are mostly extracts from his larger works, with amplifications and additions. — The fullest account of him and his writings is that of William White (2 vols., London, 1867, since republished in one volume). See, also, “Documents concerning Swedenborg,” by R. L. Tafel (London, 1875 et seq.). All of his theological and some of his scientific works have been translated into English. The theological works have also been reprinted in Latin by Dr. J. F. I. Tafel, of Tübingen, Germany, and partially translated and published in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Swedish. Societies for promoting their circulation are in operation both in the United States and in Europe. The principal writers who have undertaken the exposition of Swedenborg's doctrines in England are John Clowes, Robert Hindmarsh, C. A. Tulk, Samuel Noble, J. J. G. Wilkinson, and Jonathan Bayley; in France, E. Richer and J. F. Les Boys-des-Guays; and in the United States, George Bush, Theophilus Parsons, E. H. Sears, Henry James, B. F. Barrett, W. B. Hayden, and Chauncey Giles. For an account of the ecclesiastical organization based upon Swedenborg's doctrines.
THE WHITE HORSE mentioned in THE APOCALYPSE CHAPTER 19
In the Apocalypse of John the Word is thus described as to its spiritual or internal sense: I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and in justice He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire; and upon His head were many diadems; and He hath a name written that no one knew but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in the heavens followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean. And He hath upon His vesture and upon His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords (19:11-14, 16). No one can know what each of these expressions involves, except from the internal sense. It is manifest that every expression is in some respect representative and significative: as when it is said, that "heaven was opened;" that there was "a white horse;" that "there was One sitting upon him;" that "in justice He doth judge and make war;" that "His eyes were as a flame of fire;" that "on His head were many diadems;" that "He had a name that no man knew but He Himself;" that "He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood;" that "the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses;" that "they were clothed in fine linen white and clean;" and that "on vesture and on His thigh He had a name written." It is expressly said, that it is "the Word" which is here described, and the Lord who is the Word; for it is said, "His name is called the Word of God;" and afterwards, "He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords." From the interpretation of each, expression it evidently appears, that the Word is here described as to its spiritual or internal sense. By "heaven being opened" is represented and signified, that the internal sense of the Word is seen in heaven, and thence by those in the world to whom heaven is opened. "The horse," which was white, represents and signifies the understanding of the Word as to its interiors; that this is the signification of "a white horse," will be shown presently. That "He that sat upon him" is the Lord as to the Word, thus the Word, is manifest, for it is said, "His name is called the Word of God;" who, from good, is called "faithful and judging in justice;" and from truth, is called "true, and who maketh war in justice;" for the Lord Himself is justice. "His eyes, as a flame of fire," signify the Divine truth, from the Divine good of His Divine love. "The many diadems upon His head," signify all the goods and truths of faith. "Having a name written that no one knew but He Himself," signifies that the quality of the Word in the internal sense is seen by no one but Himself, and those to whom He reveals it. "Clothed in a vesture dipped in blood," signifies the Word in the letter, to which violence has been offered. "The armies in the heavens which followed Him upon white horses," signify those who are in the understanding of the Word as to its interiors. "Clothed in fine linen, white and clean," signify the same persons in truth from good. "Upon His vesture and upon his thigh a name written" signifies truth and good, and their quality. From these particulars, and from those which precede and follow in that chapter, it is evident, that therein is predicted, that about the last time of the church the spiritual or internal sense of the Word would be opened; but what would come to pass at that time, is also described there (verses 17-21). That this is the signification of the words mentioned, it is unnecessary to prove in this place, as they are particularly explained in The Arcana Coelestia; where it is shown, That the Lord is the Word, because He is the Divine truth (n. 2533, 2803, 2884, 5272, 7835). That the Word is the Divine truth (n. 4692, 5075, 9987). That because the Lord is justice, therefore it is said, that "He who sat upon the horse in justice doth judge and make war;" and that the Lord is called "justice" for this reason, because of His own power He has saved the human race (n. 1813, 2025-2027, 9715, 9809, 10019, 10152). And that "justice" is the merit which belongs to the Lord alone (n. 9715, 9979). That "His eyes, as a flame of fire," signify the Divine truth from the Divine good of the Divine love, is, because "the eyes" signify the understanding and the truth of faith (n. 2701, 4403-4421, 4523-4534, 6923, 9051, 10569); and "a flame of fire" signifies the good of love (n. 934, 4906, 5215, 6314, 6832). That "the diadems which were upon His head" signify all the goods and truths of faith (n. 114, 3858, 6335, 6640, 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905). That "He hath a name written which no one knew but He Himself," signifies that the quality of the Word in the internal sense is seen by no one but Himself, and those to whom He reveals it, is because "a name" signifies the quality of a thing (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3237, 3421, 6674, 9310). That "clothed in a vesture dipped in blood," signifies the Word in the letter, to which violence has been offered, is because "a vesture" signifies truth because it clothes good (n. 1073, 2576, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536); especially truth in the ultimates, thus the Word in the letter (n. 5248, 6918, 9158, 9212); and because "blood" signifies violence offered to truth by falsity (n. 374, 1005, 4735, 5476, 9127). That "the armies in heaven followed Him upon white horses," signify those who are in the understanding of the Word as to its interiors, is because "armies" signify those who are in the truths and goods of heaven and the church (n. 3448, 7236, 7988, 8019). And "a horse" signifies the understanding (n. 3217, 5321, 6125, 6400, 6531, 6534, 7024, 8146, 8318). And "white" signifies truth which is in the light of heaven, consequently interior truth (n. 3301, 3993, 4007, 5319). That "clothed in fine linen white and clean," signifies the same persons in truth from good, is because "fine linen," or "linen," signifies truth from a celestial origin, which is truth from good (n. 5319, 9469). That "a name written upon the vesture and upon the thigh," signifies truth and good, and their quality, is because "a vesture" signifies truth, and "a name" quality, as observed above, and "the thigh" signifies the good of love (n. 3021, 4277, 4280, 9961, 10485). "King of kings, and Lord of lords," is the Lord as to the Divine truth and as to the Divine good; the Lord is called "King" from the Divine truth (n. 3009, 5068, 6148). And He is called "Lord" from the Divine good (n. 4973, 9167, 9194). Hence it appears what is the quality of the Word in its spiritual or internal sense, and that there is no expression therein which does not signify something spiritual, that is, something of heaven and the church.
In the prophetical parts of the Word mention is very often made of the horse, but heretofore no one has known that "a horse" signifies the understanding, and his "rider" one who is intelligent; and this possibly, because it seems strange and wonderful, that by "a horse" such a thing should be meant in the spiritual sense, and thence in the Word. But nevertheless that it is so, may evidently appear from many passages therein; some of which only I will here adduce. In the prophecy of Israel, it is said of Dan: Dan is a serpent upon the way, an arrow-snake upon the highway, that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider shall fall backward (Gen. 49:17, 18). No one can understand what this prophecy concerning one of the tribes of Israel signifies unless he knows what is signified by "a serpent," and what by "a horse" and his "rider;" everyone, however, knows that there is something spiritual involved therein; what therefore each expression signifies, may be seen in The Arcana Coelestia (n. 6398-6401), where this prophecy is explained. In Habakkuk: O God, Thou didst ride upon Thy horses. Thy chariots are salvation. Thou didst tread in the sea with Thy horses (Hab. 3:8, 16). That "horses" here signify what is spiritual, is evident, for they are said concerning God; in any other sense, what could be meant by saying, that "God rides upon His horses, and that He treads upon the sea with horses?" In like manner in Zechariah: In that day, there shall be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto Jehovah (Zech. 14:20). In the same: In that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness (Zech. 12:4). It treats there of the vastation of the church, which takes place when there no longer remains the understanding of any truth; and which is described thus by "the horse and his rider;" what else could be the meaning of "smiting every horse with astonishment," and of "smiting the horse of the people with blindness"? What has this to do with the church? In Job: God hath caused her to forget wisdom, neither hath He imparted to her intelligence: what time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider (39:17-19 seq.). That "the horse" here signifies the understanding, is manifestly evident. In like manner in David, where it is said: He rideth upon the word of truth (Ps. 45:4). And in many other passages. Moreover, who can know the reason why Elijah and Elisha were called "the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof;" and why "the boy of Elisha saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire;" except it be known what is signified by "chariots," and what was represented by "Elijah and Elisha"? For Elisha said to Elijah: My father, my father, the chariot and horsemen of Israel and the horsemen thereof (2 Kings 2:11, 12). And Joash the king said to Elisha: My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof (2 Kings 13:14). And, speaking of the boy of Elisha, it is said: Jehovah opened the eyes of the boy of Elisha, and he saw and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 6:17). The reason why Elijah and Elisha were called "the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof," is because they both represented the Lord as to the Word, and "a chariot" signifies doctrine from the Word, and "horsemen" intelligence. That "Elijah" and "Elisha" represented the Lord as to the Word, may be seen in The Arcana Coelestia (n. 5247, 7643, 8029, 9327). And that "chariots" signify doctrine drawn from the Word (n. 5321, 8215).
That a horse signifies the understanding, is from no other source than from the representatives in the spiritual world. In that world horses are frequently seen, and persons sitting upon horses, and also chariots; and there everyone knows that they signify intellectual and doctrinal things. I have often observed, when any were thinking from their understanding, that at such times they appeared as if riding on horses; their meditation was thus represented before others, they themselves not knowing it. There is also a place there, where many assemble who think and speak from the understanding concerning the truths of doctrine; and when others approach, they see, the whole plain full of chariots and horses; and novitiate spirits, who wonder whence this is, are instructed that it is an appearance resulting from their intellectual thought. That place is called the assembly of the intelligent and the wise. I have likewise seen bright horses and chariots of fire, when some were taken up into heaven, which was a sign that they were then instructed in the truths of heavenly doctrine, and became intelligent, and thus were taken up; on seeing which, it occurred to my mind, what is signified by "the chariot of fire and the horses of fire by which Elijah was taken up into heaven;" and what is signified by "the horses and chariots of fire" that were seen by the young man of Elisha, when his eyes were opened.
That such is the signification of "chariots" and "horses" was well known in the ancient churches; for those churches were representative churches, and with those who were in them, the science of correspondences and representations was the chief of all sciences. The signification of the horse, as being understanding, was derived by the wise round about, even to Greece, from those churches. Hence it was, when they would describe the sun, in which they placed their God of wisdom and intelligence, that they attributed to it a chariot and four horses of fire. And when they would describe the God of the sea, since by the sea were signified sciences derived from the understanding, that they also attributed horses to him. And when they would describe the origin of the sciences from the understanding, they represented it by a winged horse, which with its hoof broke open a fountain, at which sat nine virgins called the sciences. For from the ancient churches they received the knowledge that "the horse" signifies the understanding; "wings," spiritual truth; "the hoof," what is scientific from the understanding; and "a fountain," doctrine from which sciences are derived. Nor is anything else signified by "the Trojan horse," than an artificial contrivance devised by their understanding for the purpose of destroying the walls. Even at this day, when the understanding is described after the manner received from those ancients, it is usual to figure it by a flying horse or Pegasus; so, likewise, doctrine is described by a fountain, and the sciences by virgins; but scarcely anyone knows that "the horse," in the mystic sense, signifies the understanding; still less that those significatives were derived by the Gentiles from the ancient representative churches.
Since "the White Horse" signifies the understanding of the Word as to its spiritual or internal sense, those particulars concerning the Word and that sense, which are shown in The Arcana Coelestia, are here subjoined: for in that work the whole contents of Genesis and Exodus are explained according to the spiritual or internal sense of the Word.
THE WORD, AND ITS SPIRITUAL OR INTERNAL SENSE, FROM THE ARCANA COELESTIA. The necessity and excellence of the Word. From the light of nature nothing is known concerning the Lord, concerning heaven and hell, concerning the life of man after death, nor concerning the Divine truths by which man acquires spiritual and eternal life (n. 8944, 10318, 10319, 10320). This may appear manifest from the consideration, that many, and among them men of learning, do not believe those things, although they are born where the Word is, and are thereby instructed concerning them (n. 10319). Therefore it was necessary that there should be some revelation from heaven because man was born for heaven (n. 1775). Therefore in every age of the world there has been a revelation (n. 2895). Of the various kinds of revelation which have successively been made on this earth (n. 10355, 10632). To the most ancient men, who lived before the flood, whose time was called the golden age, there was an immediate revelation, and thence Divine truth was inscribed on their hearts (n. 2896). The ancient churches, which existed after the flood, had a historical and prophetical Word (n. 2686, 2897): concerning which churches see The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine (n. 247). Its historical parts were called The Wars of Jehovah, and its prophetical parts, Enunciations (n. 2897). That Word, as to inspiration was like our Word, but accommodated to those churches (n. 2897). It is mentioned by Moses (n. 2686, 2897). But that Word is lost (n. 2897). Prophetical revelations were also made to others, as appears from the prophecies of Balaam (n. 2898). The Word is Divine in all and every particular part (n. 639, 680, 10321, 10637). The Word is Divine and holy as to every point and iota, from experience (n. 1349). How it is explained at this day, that the Word is inspired as to every iota (n. 1886). The church is especially where the Word is, and where the Lord is thereby known, and Divine truths are revealed (n. 3857, 10761). But it does not follow from thence, that they are of the church, who are born where the Word is, and where the Lord is thereby known; but they who, by means of truths from the Word, are regenerated by the Lord, who are they who live according to the truths therein, consequently, who lead a life of love and faith (n. 6637, 10143, 10153, 10578, 10645, 10829).
The Word is not understood, except by those who are enlightened. The human rational faculty cannot comprehend Divine, nor even spiritual things, unless it be enlightened by the Lord (n. 2196, 2203, 2209, 2654). Thus they only who are enlightened comprehend the Word (n. 10323). The Lord enables those who are enlightened to understand truths, and to discern those things which appear to contradict each other (n. 9382, 10659). The Word in its literal sense appears inconsistent, and in some places seems to contradict itself (n. 9025). And therefore by those who are not enlightened, it may be so explained and applied, as to confirm any opinion or heresy, and to defend any worldly and corporeal love (n. 4738, 10339, 10401). They are enlightened from the Word, who read it from the love of truth and good, but not they who read it from the love of fame, of gain, or of honor, thus from the love of self (n. 9382, 10548, 10549, 10550) They are enlightened who are in the good of life, and thereby in the affection of truth (n. 8694). They are enlightened whose internal is open, thus who as to their internal man are capable of elevation into the light of heaven (n. 10401, 10402, 10691, 10694). Enlightenment is an actual opening of the interiors of the mind, and also an elevation into the light of heaven (n. 10330). There is an influx of holiness from the internal, that is, from the Lord through the internal, with those who regard the Word as holy, though they themselves are ignorant of it (n. 6789). They are enlightened, and see truths in the Word, who are led by the Lord, but not they who are led by themselves (n. 10638). They are led by the Lord, who love truth because it is truth, who also are they that love to live according to Divine truths (n. 10578, 10645, 10829). The Word is vivified with man according to the life of his love and faith (n. 1776). The things derived from one's own intelligence have no life in themselves, because from man's proprium there is nothing good (n. 8941, 8944). They cannot be enlightened who have much confirmed themselves in false doctrine (n. 10640). It is the understanding which is enlightened (n. 6608, 9300). The understanding is the recipient of truth (n. 6242, 6608, 10659). In regard to every doctrine of the church, there are ideas of the understanding and of the thought thence, according to which the doctrine is perceived (n. 3310, 3825). The ideas of man during his life in the world are natural, because man then thinks in the natural; but still spiritual ideas are concealed therein, with those who are in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, and man comes into these ideas after death (n. 3310, 5510, 6201, 10236, 10240, 10550). Without ideas of the understanding, and of the thought thence, on any subject, there can be no perception (n. 3825). Ideas concerning the things of faith are laid open in the other life, and their quality is seen by the angels, and man is then conjoined with others according to those ideas, so far as they proceed from the affection which is of love (n. 1869, 3320, 5510, 6201, 8885). Therefore the Word is not understood except by a rational man; for to believe anything without an idea thereof, and without a rational view of the subject, is only to retain in the memory words destitute of all the life of perception and affection, which is not believing (n. 2533). It is the literal sense of the Word which admits of enlightenment (n. 3619, 9824, 9905, 10548).
The Word cannot be understood except by means of doctrine from the Word. The doctrine of the church must be from the Word (n. 3464, 5402, 6832, 10763, 10765). The Word without doctrine is not understood (n. 9025, 9409, 9424, 9430, 10324, 10431, 10582). True doctrine is a lamp to those who read the Word (n. 10401). Genuine doctrine must be from those who are in enlightenment from the Lord (n. 2510, 2516, 2519, 2524, 10105). The Word is understood by means of doctrine formed by one enlightened (n. 10324). They who are in enlightenment form for themselves doctrine from the Word (n. 9382, 10659). What is the difference between those who teach and learn from the doctrine of the church, and those who teach and learn from the sense of the letter of the Word alone (n. 9025). They who are in the sense of the letter of the Word without doctrine, do not come into any understanding concerning Divine truths (n. 9409, 9410, 10582). They may fall into many errors (n. 10431). They who are in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, when they become adults, and can see from their own understanding, do not simply abide in the doctrinals of their churches, but examine from the Word whether they be true or not (n. 5402, 5432, 6047). Otherwise everyone would have truth from another, and from his native soil, whether he were born a Jew or a Greek (n. 6047). Nevertheless such things as are become matters of faith from the literal sense of the Word, are not to be extinguished till after a full view (n. 9039). The true doctrine of the church is the doctrine of charity and faith (n. 2417, 4766, 10763, 10765). The doctrine of faith does not constitute the church, but the life of faith, which is charity (n. 809, 1798, 1799, 1834, 4468, 4677, 4766, 5826, 6637). Doctrinals are of no account, unless one lives according to them; and everyone may see they are for the sake of life, and not merely for the memory and thought thence derived (n. 1515, 2049, 2116). In the churches at this day the doctrine of faith is taught, and not the doctrine of charity, the latter being rejected to a science, which is called moral Theology (n. 2417). The church would be one, if they should be acknowledged as men of the church from the life, thus from charity (n. 1285, 1316, 2982, 3267, 3445, 3451, 3452). How much superior the doctrine of charity is to that of faith separate from charity (n. 4844). They who know nothing concerning charity, are in ignorance with respect to heavenly things (n. 2435). They who only hold the doctrine of faith, and not that of charity, fall into errors; which errors are also described (n. 2383, 2417, 3146, 3325, 3412, 3413, 3416, 3773, 4672, 4730, 4783, 4925, 5351, 7623-7677, 7752-7762, 7790, 8094, 8313, 8530, 8765, 9186, 9224, 10555). They who are only in the doctrine of faith, and not in the life of faith, which is charity, were formerly called the uncircumcised, or Philistines (n. 3412, 3413, 3463, 8093, 8313, 9340). The ancients held the doctrine of love to the Lord and of charity towards the neighbor, and made the doctrine of faith subservient thereto (n. 2417, 3419, 4844, 4955). Doctrine formed by one enlightened may afterwards be confirmed by things rational and scientific; and that thus it is more fully understood, and is corroborated (n. 2553, 2719, 2720, 3052, 3310, 6047). See more on this subject in The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine (n. 51). They who are in faith separate from charity, would have the doctrinal of the church simply believed, without any rational intuition (n. 3394). It is not the mark of a wise man to confirm a dogma, but to see whether it be true before it is confirmed; and that this is the case with those who are in enlightenment (n. 1017, 4741, 7012, 7680, 7950). The light of confirmation is a natural light, and not spiritual, and may exist even with the evil (n. 8780). All things, even falsities, may be so far confirmed, as to appear like truths (n. 2482, 2490, 5033, 6865, 8521).
In the Word there is a spiritual sense, which is called the internal sense. No one can know what the spiritual or internal sense of the Word is, unless he knows what correspondence is (n. 2895, 4322). Each and all things, even the most minute, which are in the natural world, correspond to spiritual things, and thence signify them (n. 2890-2893, 2897-3003, 3213-3227). The spiritual things to which natural things correspond, as assume another appearance in the natural, so that they are not recognized (n. 1887, 2396, 8920). Scarcely anyone knows wherein resides the Divine of the Word, when nevertheless it is in its internal and spiritual sense, which at this day is not known even to exist (n. 2980, 4989). The mystical contents of the Word are no other than those of its internal or spiritual sense, which treats of the Lord, of the glorification of His Human, of His kingdom, and of the church, and not of the natural things which are in the world (n. 4923). The prophetic writings are in many places unintelligible, and therefore of no use, without the internal sense, illustrated by examples (n. 2608, 8020, 8398). As for instance, with respect to what is signified by "the white horse" in Revelation (n. 2760 seq.). What by "the keys of the kingdom of the heavens," that were given to Peter, see the preface to Genesis 22, and n. 9410. What by "flesh," "blood," "bread," and "wine," in the Holy Supper (n. 8682). What by the prophecies of Jacob concerning his sons (Gen. 49; n. 6306, 6333-6465). What by many prophecies concerning Judah and Israel, which by no means tally with that nation, nor in the sense of the letter have any coincidence with their history (n. 6331, 6361, 6415, 6438, 6444). Besides many other instances (n. 2608). More may be seen of the nature of correspondence in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 87-115 and 303-310). Of the internal or spiritual sense of the Word in a summary (n. 1767-1777, 1869-1879). In each and all things of the Word there is an internal sense (n. 1143, 1984, 2135, 2333, 2395, 2495, 2619). Such things do not appear in the sense of the letter, but nevertheless they are within it (n. 4442).
The internal sense of the Word is especially for the angels, and it is also for men. In order that it may be known what the internal sense is, the quality thereof, and whence it is, it may here be observed in general, that thought and speech in heaven are different from thought and speech in the world; for in heaven they are spiritual, but in the world natural; when, therefore, man reads the Word, the angels who are with him perceive it spiritually, whilst men perceive it naturally; hence it follows, that angels are in the internal sense, whilst men are in the external sense; but that nevertheless these two senses make a one by correspondence. That angels not only think spiritually, but also speak spiritually; that they are likewise present with man; and that they have conjunction with man by means of the Word, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, where it treats of The Wisdom of the Angels of Heaven (n. 265-275). Of their Speech (n. 234-245). Of their Conjunction with Man (n. 291-302). And of their Conjunction by the Word (n. 303-310). The Word is understood differently by angels in the heavens, and by men on earth; the former perceiving the internal or spiritual sense, whilst the latter see only the external or natural sense (n. 1887, 2396). The angels perceive the Word in its internal sense, and not in its external sense, proved from the experience of those who have conversed with me from heaven, when I was reading the Word (n. 1769-1772). The ideas of the thought and also the speech of angels are spiritual, but the ideas and speech of men natural; that therefore there is an internal sense, which is spiritual, for the use of angels, illustrated from experience (n. 2333). Nevertheless the sense of the letter of the Word serves the spiritual ideas of angels as a means of conveyance, comparatively as the words of speech do with men to convey the sense of a subject (n. 2143). The things relating to the internal sense of the Word fall into such things as are of the light of heaven, thus into angelic perception (n. 2618, 2619, 2629, 3086). Therefore those things which the angels perceive from the Word, are precious to them (n. 2540, 2541, 2545, 2551). Angels do not understand a single expression of the Word in its literal sense (n. 64, 65, 1434, 1929). They do not know the names of persons and places recorded in the Word (n. 1434, 1888, 4442, 4480). Names cannot enter into heaven, nor be pronounced there (n. 1876, 1888). All the names in the Word signify things, and in heaven they are changed into ideas of the things (n. 768, 1888, 4310, 4442, 5225, 5287, 10329). Angels also think abstractly from persons (n. 6613, 8343, 8985, 9007). How elegant the internal sense of the Word is, even where nothing but mere names occur, shown by examples from the Word (n. 1224, 1888, 2395). Many names also in series express one thing in the internal sense (n. 5905). Likewise all numbers in the Word signify things (n. 482, 487, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3152, 4264, 6175, 9488, 9659, 10217, 10253). Spirits also perceive the Word in its internal sense in proportion as their interiors are open into heaven (n. 1771). The sense of the letter of the Word, which is the natural sense, is instantly changed into the spiritual sense with the angels, because there is a correspondence (n. 5648). And this without their hearing or knowing what is in the literal or external sense (n. 10215). Thus the sense of the letter or the external sense is only with man, and proceeds no further (n. 2015). There is an internal sense in the Word, and likewise an inmost or supreme sense, concerning which (n. 9407, 10604, 10614, 10627). The spiritual angels, or those who are in the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, perceive the Word in its internal sense; and the celestial angels, or those who are in the celestial kingdom of the Lord, perceive the Word in its inmost sense (n. 2157, 2275). The Word is for men, and also for angels, being accommodated to each (n. 7381, 8862, 10322). The Word is the means of uniting heaven and earth (n. 2310, 2493, 9212, 9216, 9357). The conjunction of heaven with man is through the Word (n. 9396, 9400, 9401, 10452). Therefore the Word is called a covenant (n. 9396). Because a covenant signifies conjunction (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10632). There is an internal sense in the Word, because the Word is from the Lord, it descended through the three heavens even to man (n. 2310, 6397). And thereby it is accommodated to the angels of the three heavens and also to men (n. 7381, 8862). Hence it is that the Word is Divine (n. 2980, 4989). And it is holy (n. 10276). And it is spiritual (n. 4480). And it is Divinely inspired (n. 9094). This is inspiration (n. 9094). The regenerate man is actually in the internal sense of the Word, although he does not know it, since his internal man, which has spiritual perception, is open (n. 10401). But with him the spiritual of the Word flows into natural ideas, and thus is represented naturally, because while he lives in the world this spiritual thinks in the natural man, so far as it comes to the perception (n. 5614). Hence the light of truth, with those who are enlightened, is from their internal, thus through the internal, from the Lord (n. 10691, 10694). Also by the same way there is an influx of holiness with those who esteem the Word holy (n. 6789). Since the regenerate man is actually in the internal sense of the Word, and in the sanctity thereof, although he does not know it, therefore after death he comes into it of himself, and is no longer in the sense of the letter (n. 3226, 3342, 3343). The ideas of the internal man are spiritual; but man during his life in the world does not attend thereto, inasmuch as they are within his natural thought, and give it its rational faculty (n. 10236, 10240, 10500). But man after death comes into those his spiritual ideas, because they are proper to his spirit, and then he not only thinks, but also speaks therefrom (n. 2470, 2478, 2479, 10568, 10604). Hence, as was said, the regenerate man knows not that he is in the spiritual sense of the Word, and that he receives enlightenment thence.
In the internal or spiritual sense of the Word there are innumerable arcana. The Word in the internal sense contains innumerable things which exceed human comprehension (n. 3085, 3086). It also contains things ineffable and inexplicable (n. 1965). Which are manifest only to angels, and are understood by them (n. 167). The internal sense of the Word contains arcana of heaven, which relate to the Lord and His kingdom in the heavens and on earth (n. 1-4, 937). Those arcana do not appear in the sense of the letter (n. 937, 1502, 2161). Many things in the writings of the prophets appear to be unconnected, which yet in the internal sense cohere without a break in a beautiful series (n. 7153, 9022). Not a single word
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