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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
How by the Word, Heaven and Earth are Brought into Association
By Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772)
 
From the ‘Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem’

THE WORD, forasmuch as it is a revelation from the Divine, is Divine in all and every particular part; for what is from the Divine cannot be otherwise. What is from the Divine descends through the heavens even to man; wherefore in the heavens it is accommodated to the wisdom of the angels who are there, and on earth it is accommodated to the apprehension of the men who are there. Wherefore in the Word there is an internal sense which is spiritual for the angels, and an external sense which is natural for men; hence it is that the conjunction of heaven with man is effected by means of the Word….  1
  This may be illustrated by the following experience. There were African spirits with me, from Abyssinia. Their ears were once opened to hear the singing in some temple in the world, from a Psalm of David; by which they were affected with such enjoyment that they too sang with those whom they heard. But soon the ears were closed, so that they no longer heard anything from them. But they were then affected with enjoyment still greater, because it was spiritual; and they were at the same time filled with intelligence, because that Psalm treated of the Lord and of redemption. The cause of the increasing enjoyment was, that communication was given them with the society in heaven which was in conjunction with those who were singing that Psalm in the world. From this experience and much beside, it was made manifest that by the Word, communication is given with the universal heaven. For this reason, by the Divine Providence of the Lord, there is a universal commerce of the kingdoms of Europe (and chiefly of those where the Word is read) with the nations out of the church.  2
  Comparison may be made with the heat and light from the sun of the world, which give vegetation to trees and shrubs, even to those which are out of its direct rays and in the shade, provided the sun has risen and shown itself in the world. So with the light and heat of heaven, from the Lord as the Sun there; which light is Divine truth, from which is all the intelligence and wisdom of angels and of men. It is therefore said concerning the Word, “that it was with God and was God; that it enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world” (John i. 1, 9); “and that the light also shineth in darkness” (verse 5).  3
  From this it may be evident that the Word which is in the church of the Reformed, enlightens all nations and peoples by spiritual communication; also that it is provided by the Lord that there should always be on the earth a church where the Word is read, and by it the Lord is known. Wherefore, when the Word was almost rejected by the Papists, from the Lord’s Divine Providence the Reformation took place, whereby the Word was again received; and also that the Word is held holy by a noble nation among the Papists.  4
 
 
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