New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 115

  nurtured – just know that thousands of children and adults every year are having their lives and minds touched in profound ways. And somewhere we can be sure that John Pitcairn and Bishop Benade, and Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn, are smiling. (BMH) A New ‘Belief ’ Rev. Dr. George F. Dole C hapter 2 of Judges tells of the idolaters who were left in the land after the initial conquest, explaining in verse 22 that this was in order to "test" Israel. At #3/4681 in The Word Explained, Swedenborg comments in terms that bring immediately to mind Divine Providence 278a, "Evils cannot be set aside unless they come to light." He first emphasizes the need for combat and then notes the need of an "arouser." He continues: The evil is aroused and opened up like a wound, and so the man grows better and is reformed. . . . Otherwise the evil in man stagnates, as it were, whence come putrefactions, and the man would breathe his last. Evil, moreover, cleaves with good and without such an arousing, there is no separating it. He then adds an indented paragraph 4682, as follows: These are the things which, by the divine mercy of God Messiah, it has been granted me to learn within a period now of sixteen months. Otherwise they would have been mysteries to me, nor could I readily have believed them. 1 I have been discovering that The Word Explained, which Swedenborg started to write immediately after his call vision, records the encounter between his childhood faith and his highly disciplined adult intellect. This is the most vivid example I have come across of a new and important "belief " being granted him through his engagement with the Word. 1  The translation is taken from Alfred Acton's The Word Explained, Volume VI, pp. 78f., where the section numbers are 6009 and 6010. 181