New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 13

    Spiritual Truth is ‘Self-Evident’ To The Editors: Thanks to Mrs. Dawn Potts for her thoughtful response, that an internal sense of the Writings can be seen from enlightenment.  We should, of course, remember that the glorified Lord “imparted the ability to see Divine truth” (Arcana Coelestia 9818.15) to everyone, 2000 years ago, when He breathed on the apostles the Holy Spirit. Enlightenment started back then. Spiritual truth became “self-evident . . . the moment you heard it.” (Canons prologue, Faith 3) But because Christianity was beset by heresies from “its very cradle,” (True Christian Religion 378) the spiritual sun “set” after 325 A.D. erasing spiritual temptations as possible, (Ibid. 597, 638) and it took until the Last Judgment of 1757 to restore that light.   But since “total damnation stood threatening at the door” at that time (BE 117) the Second Coming had to rescue the human race. The Lord therefore granted Divine enlightenment – that same one He gave 2000 years previously, ahead of time to Swedenborg – after most rigorous preparations. All humans would have profaned the Divine truth had it been granted prior to 1757. (Cf. Doctrine of the Lord 61, Apocalypse Revealed 464) So Swedenborg’s preparations were vital, or it would have proven lethal to him.  The Lord’s own hand has revealed the Heavenly Doctrines, so the Writings are the glove, so to speak, whereby He granted exactly the same doctrines angels have, but now in our own languages. The “firsts” Mrs. Potts mentioned have already been put into their own “lasts” – namely their own terminology. The enlightenment to understand them comes wi th the works themselves. Reading became seeing the instantly self-evident truth again. And that 2000-year-old enlightenment is now seven-fold! All the doctrines angels love to discuss were experimentally transferred from “heaven to earth” by means of  “rationally comprehensible natural language.” (De Verbo 6) The  ineffable  language of heaven is bypassed by having the contents, the doctrines themselves – which by the way “entirely coincides with angelic spiritual speech” (Arcana Coelestia 4387) – transferred into human language. Fait accompli.   We drink the same “wine” angels drink, but our understanding needs the “crystal goblet” of rational terminology (De Verbo 6) – providentially handed to us by Neo-Latin, courtesy of the Age of Reason. Now the Writings exist in 34 languages, and counting. Thus these “heavenly things” have been put into “print by me,” admits Swedenborg, (True Christian Religion 779) the “Lord’s humble servant.” (Ibid., title) We’d better believe it. 189