True Christian Religion (Ager) n. 192

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

192. Any man who does not know that there is a certain spiritual sense contained in the Word, like a soul in its body, must needs judge of it from the sense of its letter; when yet this sense is like an envelope enclosing precious things, which are its spiritual sense. Therefore when this internal sense is unknown the Divine holiness of the Word can be estimated only as when a precious stone is estimated from the matrix enclosing it, which often appears like an ordinary stone; or only as when from a casket made of jasper, lapis-lazuli, amianthus, or agate, one estimates the diamonds, rubies, sardonyxes, oriental topazes, and so on, lying in order within it. So long as its contents are unknown it is not strange that the casket is esteemed only according to the value of its material which is visible. The same is true of the Word in respect to the sense of its letter. That men, therefore, may not continue to doubt whether the Word is Divine and most holy, the Lord has revealed to me its internal sense, which in its essence is spiritual, and which is within the external sense, which is natural, as the soul is in the body. That sense is the spirit that gives life to the letter; consequently that sense can bear witness to the Divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince even the natural man, if he is willing to be convinced.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church