True Christian Religion (Ager) n. 200

200. (3) It is because of its Spiritual Sense that the Word is Divinely inspired, and holy in every word. In the church it is said that the Word is holy for the reason that Jehovah the Lord spoke it; but inasmuch as its holiness is not apparent in the mere sense of the letter, whoever is once led on that account to doubt its holiness confirms his doubts when he subsequently reads the Word by many things therein; for he says to himself, Can this be holy? Can this be Divine? Lest, therefore, such thoughts should enter the minds of many, and afterwards grow stronger, and in consequence the Word should be rejected as a worthless writing, and by this means the conjunction of the Lord with man be destroyed, it has pleased the Lord to reveal now its spiritual sense, that it may be known where in the Word the Divine holiness lies concealed. But let examples illustrate. The Word treats sometimes of Egypt, sometimes of Assyria, and again of Edom, of Moab, of the sons of Ammon, of the Philistines, of Tyre and Sidon, and of Gog. He who does not know that these names signify things pertaining to heaven and the church may be led into the error that the Word has much to say about peoples and nations and but little about heaven and the church, thus much about worldly things and but little about heavenly things. But when he knows what those nations and their names signify he may be led back from error to the truth. [2] Likewise when he sees that gardens, groves, forests, and their trees, as the olive, the vine, the cedar, the poplar, the oak, are so frequently mentioned in the Word, also the lamb, the sheep, the goat, the calf, the ox; also mountains, hills, and valleys, and their fountains, rivers, and waters, and many other such things, one who knows nothing about the spiritual sense of the Word cannot but believe that these objects alone are meant; for he does not know that "a garden," "a grove," and "a forest," mean wisdom, intelligence and knowledge; that "the olive," "the vine," "the cedar," "the poplar," and "the oak," mean the good and truth of the church, celestial, spiritual, rational, natural, and sensual; that "a lamb," "a sheep," "a goat," "a calf," and "an ox," mean innocence, charity, and natural affection; and that "mountains," "hills," and "valleys," mean the higher, the lower, and the lowest things of the church. [3] Also be does not know that "Egypt" signifies the scientific, "Assyria" the rational, "Edom" the natural, "Moab" the adulteration of good, "the sons of Ammon" the adulteration of truth, "the Philistines" faith separate from charity, "Tyre and Sidon" knowledges of good and truth, and "Gog" external worship apart from internal. In general "Jacob" means in the Word the natural church, "Israel" the spiritual church, and "Judah" the celestial church. When man knows all this he is able to see that the Word treats of nothing but heavenly things, and that these worldly things are merely the subjects which contain the heavenly. Let this be illustrated by an example from the Word. [4] We read in Isaiah:
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians may serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people Egypt, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (19:23-25). In the spiritual sense this means that at the time of the Lord's coming the scientific, the rational and the spiritual will make one, and that the scientific will then serve the rational, and both the spiritual; for, as said before, "Egypt" signifies the scientific, "Assyria" the rational, and "Israel" the spiritual. "That day" twice mentioned, means the first and the second coming of the Lord.

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