INVOLUNTARY SENSE >>  General Knowledge from the Will,
VOLUNTARY SENSE >> General Knowledge from the Understanding


sen1sesIt is the main point of intelligence with the angels to know and perceive that all life is from the Lord, and also that the universal heaven corresponds to His Divine Human;  and consequently that all angels, spirits, and men correspond to heaven; and also to know and perceive the nature of this correspondence. These are the first principles of the intelligence in which angels are more than men; and from this they know and perceive innumerable things that are in the heavens and hence also those which are in the world; for the things which come forth in the world and its nature are causes and effects from the former as beginnings; for universal nature is a theater representative of the Lord's kingdom. [AC4318]

It has been shown by much experience that not only a man, but a spirit, and also an angel, thinks, speaks, and does nothing from himself, but from others; nor these others from themselves, but again from others, and so on; and thus all and each from the First of life, that is, from the Lord, however completely this may appear to be as from themselves. This has often been shown to spirits who in the life of the body had believed and had confirmed themselves in the belief, that all things were in themselves, or that they think, speak, and act from themselves and their soul, in which life appears implanted. It has also been shown by living experiences (such as exist in the other life but are impossible in the world), that the evil think, will, and act from hell, and the good from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord), and that nevertheless both evils and goods appear as from themselves. Christians know this from the doctrine which they draw from the Word-that evils are from the devil, and goods from the Lord; but there are few who believe it. And because they do not believe it, they appropriate to themselves the evils which they think, will, and act; but the goods are not appropriated to them; for they who believe goods to be from themselves, claim and ascribe them to themselves, and thus place merit in them. They also know from the doctrine in the church, that no one can do anything good from himself, insomuch that whatever is from himself and his own is evil, however much it may appear as good; but this also few believe, although it is true.

[2] The evil who had confirmed themselves in this opinion - that they live from themselves, and consequently that whatever they think, will, and act is from themselves-when shown that the case is exactly in accordance with the doctrine, said that they now believed. But they were told that knowing is not believing, and that believing is internal, and is impossible except in the affection of good and truth, consequently is possible to none but those who are in the good of charity toward the neighbor. Being evil, the same spirits insisted that they now believed because they saw. But examination was made by an experience familiar in the other life, namely, by their being looked into by angels; and when they were looked into, the upper part of their head appeared to be withdrawn, and the brain to be rough, hairy, and dark, which showed what is the inward quality of those who have only a faith of memory knowledge, but not a true faith; and that to know is not to believe. For the head of those who know and believe appears as human, and the brain well ordered, snow-white, and lucid; for heavenly light is received by them. But with those who only know and suppose that they thereby believe, and yet do not believe, because they live in evil, heavenly light is not received, consequently neither are the intelligence and wisdom which are in that light; and therefore when they draw near to angelic societies, that is, to heavenly light, this light is turned with them into darkness. This is the reason why their brain appeared dark. [AC4319]

That the life which is from the Lord alone appears with everyone as if it were in himself, is from the Lord's love or mercy toward the universal human race, in that He wills to appropriate to each one what is His own, and to give to everyone eternal happiness. It is known that love appropriates to another what is its own; for it presents itself within the other, and makes itself present in him. How much more the Divine love! That the evil also receive the life which is from the Lord, is as with objects in the world, all of which receive light from the sun, and thereby colors, but according to their forms. Objects which suffocate and pervert the light appear of a black or foul color, but yet have their blackness and foulness from the sun's light. So is it with the light or life from the Lord with the evil; but this life is not life, but is (as it is called) spiritual death. [AC4320]

Although these things appear paradoxical and incredible to man, they nevertheless are not to be denied, because experience itself dictates them. If all things were denied the causes of which are not known, innumerable things that come forth in nature would be denied, the causes of which are known scarcely as to a ten-thousandth part; for the secret things therein are so many and so great that those which man knows are scarcely anything in comparison with those which he does not know. What then must be the secret things that come forth in the sphere which is above nature, that is, in the spiritual world! As for example these: That there is one only life, and all live from it, and everyone differently from another: that the evil also live from the same life, and likewise the hells, and that the inflowing life acts according to its reception: that heaven has been so ordered by the Lord as to bear relation to a man, whence it is called the Grand Man; and that in consequence all the things in man correspond thereto: that man without influx therefrom into everything in him, cannot subsist even for a moment: that all in the Grand Man keep in a constant situation according to the quality and the state of the truth and good in which they are; that situation there is not situation, but state, and therefore those appear constantly at the left who are at the left, those at the right who are at the right, in front those who are in front, behind those who are behind, in the plane of the head, the breast, the back, the loins, and the feet, above the head and below the soles of the feet, directly and obliquely, and at a less or greater distance, those who are there, however and to whatever quarter the spirit may turn himself: that the Lord as a Sun appears constantly to the right, and there at a middle height, a little above the plane of the right eye; and that all things there have relation to the Lord as the Sun and center, and thus to their only One from which they come forth and subsist, and as all appear before the Lord constantly in their own situation, according to their states of good and truth, they therefore appear in the same way to everyone, for the reason that the Lord's life, and consequently the Lord, is in all who are in heaven. Not to mention innumerable other things. [AC4321]

Who at this day does not believe that man comes into existence naturally from the seed and the ovum? and that in the seed from the first creation there is the ability to bring itself forth into such forms, first within the ovum, next in the womb, and afterwards of itself; and that it is not the Divine which brings things forth any longer? The reason why this is so believed is that no one knows of there being any influx from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord); and this because they do not desire to know that there is any heaven. For in their private meetings the learned discuss openly among themselves whether there is a hell, and thus whether there is a heaven. And as they are in doubt about heaven, they cannot receive as any first principle that there is an influx through heaven from the Lord; which influx nevertheless brings forth all things that are in the three kingdoms of the earth (especially those in the animal kingdom, and in particular in man), and holds them together in form according to their uses. Hence neither can they know that there is any correspondence between heaven and man; and still less that this is of such a nature that every several thing within him, nay, the veriest singular ones, come forth from this source, and also subsist from it, for subsistence is a perpetual coming forth, and consequently preservation in connection and form is perpetual creation. [AC 4322]

That there is a correspondence of every several thing in man with heaven, I have begun to show at the end of the preceding chapters, and this by living experience from the world of spirits and from heaven; to the end that man may know whence he comes into existence and whence he subsists, and that there is a continual influx into him therefrom. Later it will be shown in like manner from experience that man rejects this influx from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord), and accepts the influx from hell; but that nevertheless he is continually kept by the Lord in correspondence with heaven, in order that he may, if he chooses, be led from hell to heaven, and through heaven to the Lord. [AC4323]

The correspondence of the heart and lungs, and also of the brain with the Grand Man, has already been treated of at the end of the chapters. Here, in accordance with our plan, the correspondence with man's external sensories is to be treated of, namely, with the sensory of sight, or the eye; with the sensory of hearing, or the ear; with the sensories of smell, taste, and touch; but first concerning correspondence with sense in general.  [AC4324]

Sense in general, or general sense, is distinguished into voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary sense is proper to the cerebrum, but involuntary sense is proper to the cerebellum. In men these two kinds of general sense are conjoined, but yet are distinct. The fibers which flow forth from the cerebrum present the voluntary sense in general, and the fibers which flow from the cerebellum present the involuntary sense in general. The fibers of this double origin conjoin themselves together in the two appendices which are called the medulla oblongata and the medulla spinalis, and through these pass into the body, and shape its members, viscera, and organs. The parts which encompass the body, as the muscles and skin, and also the organs of the senses, for the most part receive fibers from the cerebrum; and hence man has sense and motion in accordance with his will. But the parts within this compass or enclosure, which are called the viscera of the body, receive fibers from the cerebellum; and consequently man has no sense of these parts, nor are they under the control of his will. From this it may in some measure appear what sense is in general, or the general voluntary sense, and the general involuntary sense. Be it known further that there must be a general in order that there may be any particular, and that the particular can in no wise come into existence and subsist without the general, and in fact that it subsists in the general; and that every particular is circumstanced according to the quality and according to the state of the general; and this is the case with sense in man, and also with motion. [AC4325]

 There was heard a sound as of muttered thunder that flowed down from on high above the occiput, and continued around the whole of that region. I wondered who they were, and was told that they were those who relate to the general involuntary sense, and was told further that they could well perceive a man's thoughts, but are not willing to expose and utter them-like the cerebellum, which perceives all that the cerebrum does, but does not publish it. When their manifest operation into all the province of the occiput had ceased, it was shown how far their operation extended. It was first determined into the whole face, then withdrew itself toward the left side of the face, and at last toward the ear on that side; by which was signified what was the nature of the operation of the general involuntary sense from the earliest times with men on this earth, and how it advanced.

[2] Influx from the cerebellum insinuates itself especially into the face, as is evident from the fact that the animus has been inscribed on the face, and the affections appear in the face, and this for the most part without the man's will-such as fear, reverence, shame, various kind of gladness, and also of sadness, besides many other things, which are thereby made known to another in such manner that it is known from the face what affections are in the man, and what changes of animus and of mind. These things come from the cerebellum through its fibers, when there is no simulation within. It was thus shown that in the earliest times, or with the most ancient people, the general sense had possession of the whole face, and successively after those times only of the left side of it, and at last in still later times it emptied itself away from the face, so that at this day there is scarcely any general involuntary sense left in the face. The right side of the face together with the right eye corresponds to the affection of good, and the left to the affection of truth, the region where the ear is corresponding to obedience alone without affection.

[3] For with the most ancient people, whose age was called the Golden Age, because they were in a certain state of perfection or wholeness, and lived in love to the Lord and in mutual love as angels live, all the involuntary of the cerebellum was manifest in the face, and they did not at all know how to present anything in the countenance other than exactly as heaven flowed into their involuntary conatus or endeavors and thence into the will. But with the ancients, whose age was called the Silver Age, because they were in a state of truth, and thence in charity toward the neighbor, the involuntary of the cerebellum was not manifest in the right side of the face, but only in the left. But with their posterity, whose time was called the Iron Age, because they lived not in the affection of truth, but in obedience to truth, the involuntary was no longer manifest in the face, but betook itself to the region around the left ear. I have been instructed that the fibers of the cerebellum have thus changed their efflux into the face, and that instead of them fibers from the cerebrum have been transferred thither, which now control those which are from the cerebellum, and this from an endeavor to form the expressions of the face according to the behests of man's own will, all of which is from the cerebrum. It does not appear to man that these things are so, but they are plainly manifest to the angels from the influx of heaven and from correspondence. [AC4326]

Such is the general involuntary sense at this day with those who are in the good and truth of faith. But with those who are in evil and thence in falsity, there is no longer any general involuntary sense which manifests itself, neither in face, speech, nor gesture; but there is a voluntary which counterfeits what is involuntary (or natural as it is called), which they have made such by frequent use or habit from infancy. The nature of this sense with such persons has been shown by an influx which was tacit and cold into the whole face, both into the right side of it and into the left, and determining itself therefrom toward the eyes, and extending itself from the left eye into the face; by which was signified that the fibers of the cerebrum have intruded themselves and control the fibers of the cerebellum, the result being that what is fictitious, pretended, counterfeit, and deceitful reigns within, while outwardly there appears what is sincere and good. Its being determined toward the left eye, and from there also into the face, signified that they have evil as their end, and use the intellectual part to obtain their end; for the left eye signifies the intellectual.

[2] These are they who at this day constitute for the most part the general involuntary sense. In ancient times it was these who were the most celestial of all; but at this day it is these who are the most wicked of all, and this especially from the Christian world. They are very numerous, and appear beneath the occiput and at the back, where I have often seen and perceived them. For those who at this day relate to this sense are they who think deceitfully and devise evils against the neighbor, and put on a friendly countenance, nay, most friendly, with gestures of like import, and speak kindly as if endued with charity above others, and yet are the bitterest enemies, not only of him with whom they have interaction, but also of the human race. Their thoughts have been communicated to me, and they were wicked and abominable, full of cruelties and butcheries. [AC4327]

I have also been shown how the case is in general with the voluntary (or will part) and with the intellectual. The most ancients, who constituted the Lord's celestial church (see n. 1114-1123), had a voluntary in which was good, and an intellectual in which was the derivative truth, which two with them made a one. But the ancients, who formed the Lord's spiritual church, had the voluntary altogether destroyed, but the intellectual entire, in which the Lord by regeneration formed a new voluntary, and through this also a new intellectual (see n. 863, 875, 895, 927, 928, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2256).

 [2] How the case had been with the good of the celestial church was shown by a column descending from heaven, of an azure color, at the left side of which there was a lucidity like the flaming glow of the sun. By this was represented their first state; by the azure color their good voluntary; and by the flaming glow their intellectual. And afterwards the azure of the column passed into a dim flaminess by which was represented their second state, and that their two lives-of the will and the understanding-still acted as a one, but more dimly as to good from the will; for what is azure signifies good, and a flaming glow truth from good.

[3] Presently the column became quite black; and around the column there was a lucidity which was variegated by something of shining white, presenting colors; by which was signified the state of the spiritual church. The black column signified the voluntary as being altogether destroyed, and as being nothing but evil; the lucidity variegated by something of shining white signified the intellectual in which was a new voluntary from the Lord; for the intellectual is represented in heaven by what is lucid. [AC4328]

There came spirits at some height who from the sound heard appeared to be many, and it was discovered from the ideas of their thought and speech as conducted to me, that they seemed to be in no distinct idea, but in a general idea of many things. From this I supposed that nothing distinct could be perceived by them, but only something general and indistinct, and thus obscure; for I was of the opinion that what is general cannot be otherwise. That their thought was general or in common (that is, that of many together), I was able to plainly observe from the things which flowed in from them into my thought.

[2] But there was given them an intermediate spirit, through whom they spoke with me; for such a general thing could not fall into speech except through others. When I spoke with them through the intermediate, I said (as was my opinion), that generals cannot present a distinct idea of anything, but only one so obscure that it is as it were no idea. But after a quarter of an hour they showed that they had a distinct idea of generals, and of many things in the generals; and especially by this, that they accurately and distinctly observed all the variations and changes of my thoughts and affections, together with the singulars of them, so that no other spirits could do it better. From this I was able to conclude that it is one thing to be in a general idea which is obscure, as are those who have but little knowledge, and are thus in obscurity in regard to all things; and that it is another thing to be in a general idea which is clear, as are those who have been instructed in the truths and goods which are insinuated into the general in their order and series, and are so well-ordered as to be distinctly seen from the general.

[3] These are they who in the other life constitute the general voluntary sense, and are those who by knowledges of good and truth have acquired the faculty of looking at things from the general, and thence contemplating things broadly together, and distinguishing instantly whether a thing is so. They do indeed see the things as it were in obscurity, because they see from the general the things that are therein, but as these are well ordered in the general, they are for this reason nevertheless in clearness to them. This general voluntary sense falls to none but the wise. That these spirits were of this character was also proved, for they viewed in me all things both in general and particular from which inference could be drawn, and from these they drew inferences so skillfully in regard to the interiors of my thoughts and affections that I began to be afraid to think any more; for they disclosed things which I did not know to be in me, and yet from the inferences made by them I could not but acknowledge them. Hence I perceived in myself a torpor in speaking with them, and when I took note of this torpor it appeared as if it were a hairy thing, with something in it speaking mutely; and it was said that by this was signified the general sensitive corporeal that corresponds to these spirits. On the following day I again spoke with them, and once more found that they had a general perception not obscure, but clear; and that as the generals and the states of the generals were varied, so were the particulars and their states varied, because the latter relate in order and series to the former.

[4] It was said that general voluntary senses still more perfect exist in the interior sphere of heaven; and that when the angels are in a general or universal idea, they are at the same time in the singulars, which are set in distinct order by the Lord in the universal; also that the general and universal are not anything unless there are particulars and singulars in them from which they exist and are so called, and that they exist just insofar as these are in them; and that from this it is evident that a universal providence of the Lord, without the veriest singulars being in it, and from which it exists, is nothing at all; and that it is stupid to maintain that there exists with the Divine a universal, and then to take away the singulars from it. [AC4329]

As the three heavens together constitute the Grand Man, and (as before said) all the members, viscera, and organs of the body correspond to this man according to their functions and uses, there correspond to it not only those which are external and are apparent to the sight, but also those which are internal and not apparent to the sight; consequently those which are of the external man, and those which are of the internal man. The societies of spirits and angels to which the things of the external man correspond, are for the most part from this earth; but those to which the things of the internal man correspond are for the most part from elsewhere. These societies act as a one in the heavens just as with the regenerate man do the external and the internal man. And yet at the present day few from this earth come into the other life in whom the external man acts as one with the internal; for most are sensuous, insomuch that there are few who believe otherwise than that man's external is all there is of him; and that when this passes away (as when he dies) there is scarcely anything left that lives; much less do they believe that there is an internal which lives in the external, and that when the external passes away, the internal eminently lives.

 [2] It has been shown by living experience how these are opposed to the internal man. There were present very many spirits from this earth, who when they had lived in the world had been of this character, and there came into their sight spirits who relate to the internal sensuous man, and they at once began to infest them, almost as irrational persons infest those who are rational, by constantly speaking and reasoning from the fallacies of the senses, and from the illusions thence arising, and from mere hypotheses, believing nothing but what could be confirmed by external sensuous things, and moreover treating the internal man with contumely.

[3] But those who had relation to the internal sensuous man cared nothing for such things, and wondered not only at the insanity of the former spirits, but also at their stupidity; and wonderful to say, when the external sensuous spirits drew near the internal sensuous ones, and came almost into the sphere of their thoughts, the external sensuous began to breathe with difficulty (for spirits and angels breathe equally as do men, but their breathing is relatively internal, n. 3884-3895), and thus to be almost suffocated, so that they withdrew. And the further away they retired from the internal sensuous spirits, because they breathed more easily, the more tranquil and quiet it became with them; and again the nearer they approached, the more intranquil and unquiet.

[4] The cause was that when the external sensuous are in their fallacies, phantasies, and hypotheses, and thence in falsities, they have tranquillity; but when on the contrary such things are taken away from them, which comes to pass when the internal man flows in with the light of truth, they then have intranquility. For in the other life there exist spheres of the thoughts and affections, and these are mutually communicated according to presence and approach (n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504-1512, 1695, 2401, 2489). This conflict lasted for several hours; and it was thus shown how the men of this earth are at the present day opposed to the internal man, and that the external sensuous makes almost all with them. [AC4330]

Author: EMANUEL. SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)


by Edward Craig Mitchell

The senses are the door-ways through which impressions and ideas come to our minds. Each sense gives us connnection with a separate class of thoughts. And if any sense be closed, we are cut off from that class of sensations, and of thoughts, which would come to us through that sense. Hence we make great efforts to keep our senses open, and in good order, that we may keep in contact with the world about us. Our natural senses correspond to the powers of our minds, in spiritual life.


Hearing a statement corresponds to perceiving and receiving a truth, especially with the desire and intention to obey it. With the celestial man, who is in the highest degree of human life, the life of love to the Lord, the hearing is a direct means of life, because the truth which is heard is at once perceived to be truth, and to teach goodness ; and it is received directly into the will, and into the daily life. But the spiritual man hears a truth stated, and he receives it in his intellect, and thinks about it ; and finally adopts it. And the good natural man accepts a truth as a rule of conduct, without perception or rational understanding of its interior principles. But, with each class, the reception of a truth results in obedience to it. And so, in a general sense, "to hear" means, spiritually, to obey. And this practical obedience to a truth is the purpose for which we see and understand it. Every true worshipper of the Lord, as soon as he hears a truth which he did not know before, acknowledges and receives it ; for the light of truth is in him, and he is in the light of truth. Natural hearing is in attending to natural sounds ; but spiritual hearing is in attending to the perception and practice of spiritual truths, and to the good which the truth reveals.

In the majority of cases in the Old Testament, in which the English word "obey" occurs, the Hebrew word means to hear, or hearken, thus showing that the idea of obedience is included in that of hearing. For instance, in Ex. xxiv. 7, according to the common translation, it is said of Moses, "And he took the Book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people : and they said. All that Jehovah hath said will we do, and be obedient." But the literal Hebrew is. "will we do, and hear." And, in the Greek of the New Testament, the word commonly translated "obey," in English, means "to hear submissively," "to hearken." "I will hear what God Jehovah will speak ; for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints." (Ps. Ixxxv. 8.) To hear means to heed, to receive for the sake of doing, obeying. "With many such parables spake He unto them, as they were able to hear" (Mk. iv. 33) ; that is, as they were able to accept and to use the truth. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (John V. 25.) When a spiritually-dead man receives truth, and lives by it, it opens his mind to spiritual life.

To everyone who has the Divine Word in its letter, Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock ; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." (Rev. iii. 20.) To hear the Lord's voice is to perceive and accept the Divine Truth. And to open the door is to open the mind, so that it will love the truth and do it.

A "hearing ear" represents a disposition of the heart to hear, and to accept, the Lord's truth, as the giaide to life. An "uncircumcised ear" represents a state of mind which will not heed, or obey, the Divine Truth, because the mind is still in the impurities of self-love, and of sensuous life. The expression, "ears to hear," is common in the Bible, meaning the capacity to perceive the truth, and to do it.

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," was the warning which often followed a parable, or other statement, of the Lord. (Matt. xiii. 9, 43, Rev. ii. 7.) He who understands these truths_of the Divine Word should heed their practical lessons of life. And Jesus said to His hearers, "Let these sayings sink down into your ears" (Lulce ix. 24), meaning, let the truth make a deep and profound impression upon you. For, sometimes, men hear superficially, and do not heed the truth ; or, in Bible language, "They have ears, but they hear not." (Ps. cxv. 6.) "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not ; which have ears and hear not." ( Jer. v. 21.)


In the Scriptures, hearing is sometimes called "hearkening ;" and, in these cases, it means hearing and obeying, from affection. "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken [is better] than the fat of rams." (I Sam. xv. 22.) "Bless Jehovah, ye. His angels, which excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word." (Ps. ciii. 20.) It was said of a watchman, "He hearkened diligently, with much heed." (Isa. xxi. 7.) Jeremiah said to Judah, "The Word of Jehovah hatn come unto me, and I have spoken unto you ; . . . But ye have not hearkened." (Jer. xxv. 3.)

In many cases, the Lord is said to hear, or is asked to hear ; meaning that the man perceives that the Lord's love, mercy and truth are always seeking to protect men. "I cried unto Jehovah with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy heaven." (Ps. iii. 4.) "Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness." (Ps. iv. I.) "And it shall come to pass, in that day, that I will hear, saith Jehovah, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, the wine and the oil ; and they shall hear Jezreel." (Hosea ii. 21, 22.) . It is evident that these things are not meant to be understood literally. They are representatively said of the New Church. The Lord hears the heavens, because He knows their character and their needs ; and He supplies their life. The heavens hear the earth; when the church on the earth receives its life from the heavens, that is, from the Lord, through the heavens. And the earth shall hear the corn, the wine and the oil, when the men of the church on earth receive the elements of a good life, natural, spiritual and celestial. "And they shall hear Jezreel." Jezreel, as a Hebrew word, means "God sows," as in sowing seed. And this sowing corresponds to teaching the truth, sowing truths in the mind, which seeds will sprout, and come to harvest, according to the quality of the mental ground in which they are sown, as we are taught in our Lord's parable of "The Sower." Thus Jezreel represents those in the church in whose minds the Lord has sown the seeds of the truth, and of goodness. And the corn, the wine and the oil "hear" these, because corn corresponds to natural good, wine to spiritual truth, and oil to celestial good, the good of heavenly love.


When "hearing" is followed by another word, implying obedience, then "to hear" means to perceive, and to have faith ; and the action represents obedience in practical life. "Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." (Matt. vii. 24.) "But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that, without a foundation, built his house upon the earth." (Lk. vi. 49.) In the beginning of the Apocalypse, it is said, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear, the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein." (Rev. i. 3.)

The Apocalypse, or Revelation, is especially for the New Church. "Reading" the book, spiritually, is seeking to know the doctrines of the church. "Hearing" is perceiving the truth and the good in the doctrines. And "doing" the truth is obeying the principles and the rules which the Divine Word reveals. Men are often said to "hear with the ear," or to "speak in the ears" of others. "We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the times of old." (Ps. xliv. i.) "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the judgments which I speak in your ears this day." (Deut. v. i.)


Those whose "ears are dull of hearing'' are those who have capacity to hear the truth, but are either indifferent to it, or positively opposed to it. They refuse to be instructed in truth. These are such as make themselves deaf, spiritually. They are without perception of the truth. But, in a good sense, a deaf person is one who has the capacity to perceive, and to understand, the truth, but who has not had an opportunity to do so, because he has never been instructed; and he is without the Word of the Lord. Such, if willing to, be instructed, are led to the truth. "Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears." (Isa. xliii. 8.) These are such Gentiles as have been taught falsities and the fallacies of the senses. Such, if sincere, were helped in the coming of the Lord. And, in these days, such will be helped in the Second Coming of the Lord, a spiritual coming to the minds of men, which has already begun, in the opening of the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. In the time of Jesus on earth, "they brought unto Him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech. . . And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain." (Mk. vii. 32, 35.) "In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the Book, and the eyes of -the blind shall see out of obsctirity and out of darkness.'' (Isa. xxix. 18.)


To see, spiritually, is to see with the interior eye of the spirit, which is the understanding, or intellect. The sight of the body corresponds to the sight of the mind. Hence, to see, spiritually, is to understand. And the understanding of truth carries with it, in the regenerating mind, thought, reflection and faith. To hear is predicated of the things of love, in the will, or heart ; but to see is predicated of the things of thought, in the understanding. A man who is qf quick intelligence we call "sharp-sighted," or "eagle-eyed," or "open-eyed." But a man of sensuous mind, who accepts nothing that is not plain to his senses, is called "dull-sighted," and "blind." Seeing trutn does not mean merely seeing the point in a statement, but it means seeing that the statement is true, as a principle. Spiritual seeing is a perception of truth in the light of truth. It is not a matter of natural reasoning, but of spiritual rationality, which is the capacity to see the truthfulness of the truth.

The bodily eye is merely an instrument, by which a man sees in the natural world. But, within this material eye, is the eye of the spiritual body, which uses the eye of the physical body, to look into material nature, as we use a microscope to look into a drop of water, or a telescope to view the moon. Even while they lived in the natural world, the Lord, at times, has opened the sight of the spiritual body, with some men. The visions of the prophets were all seen in this way. But this interior sight of the spiritual body is not what is meant by seeing spiritually. To see, spiritually, is to see with the understanding, to see the quality of truth and of goodness. In the spiritual world, the spiritual light enlightens both the sight and the understanding, because spiritual light has both its external and its internal. The spiritual sight of every one is according to his intelligence and his understanding. Each man sees in the spiritual light of his plane, or level, which may be natural, spiritual or celestial. The Lord sees all things, because He knows and understands all things.

To see, it is necessary to have eyes and light. If we have no light, we cannot see in the dark. Mental light is truth ; and so darkness is the lack of truth, which is ignorance. That ignorance may be from lack of opportunity to know the truth, or from wilful neglect of opportunity, because of opposition to the truth. In common conversation, when a man has failed to hear of something that is going on, he says, "I am in the dark, about it," that is, ignorant of it. And so, while light corresponds to truth, darkness corresponds to ignorance. "Shall Thy wonders be known in the dark ?" (Ps. Ixxxviii. 12.) Can spiritual things be understood in ignorance ? "Have respect unto the covenant; for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." (Ps. Ixxiv. 20.) "The dark places of the earth" are the falsities in the natural mind, in the individual, and in the corrupted church. "Thou wilt light my candle : Jehovah, my God, will enlighten my darkness." (Ps. xviii. 28.) "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth." (John xii. 35.)

Blindness is darkness, from the man's own condition, and not from external circumstances. Spiritually, to be Wind, is to be without truth. A man may know the doctrines of a church, and yet not see that they are true, as principles. For instance, there are men who say they cannot see how there can be a personal God. The trouble, with such men, is that they think from their natural senses, which cannot comprehend spiritual things. And so they are as blind men, denying the colors in the rainbow. A mind which is open to spiritual truth, and well instructed, can See that it is impossible for any other than a personal God to exist. An impersonal God is a non-entity, without identity, and, therefore, without qualities of character; and therefore without power. The existence of the creation proves the existence of a Creator, in whom are all the qualities and powers necessary to form a God. An impersonal God could not have any providence over men. And, as a man comes into the light of spiritual truth, he comes into the perception of the personality of God. And as the man enters into a full Christian life, he comes into spiritual light, in which he sees clearly the Divine character of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the one God of heaven and earth. Mental blindness, like darkness, is of two kinds, innocent and culpable. Spiritually, every child and every Gentile is ignorant, and must be instructed. And he is not culpable for his ignorance, unless he resists instruction.

If merely ignorant, from lack of opportunity to learn, he is in the innocence of ignorance. But, if he hates and rejects the truth, he is in the falsities of evil. Men whose interior minds are open, see truths in the light of the spirit ; but external men think in the light of the natural senses, which, spiritually, is darkness. Sensuousness blinds the mind to spiritual truths. The blind whom the Lord restored to sight were always spiritually blind, and often physically blind, also. The Lord healed their bodily eyes because He healed their mental eyes, and restored their intellects to open conditions, in which they could see and understand truth.

The difficulty with the natural-minded reasoner is that he wishes to see and understand things from himself, by his own unaided mental powers. And this no man can do. But spiritual-minded men see truth from the Lord, and in the light of Divine truth. O Lord, "with Thee is the fountain of life : in Thy light shall we see light." (Ps. xxxvi. 9.)

In the Scriptures, there are many expressions such as doing something "in the sight" of others, which means instructing their minds ; and lifting up the eyes, and looking, or seeing ; that is, elevating the mind, to consider the truth. "And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him, in the sight of all Israel, Be strong, and be of good courage." (Deut. xxxi. 7.) "He hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel : all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God." (Ps. xcviii. 3.) In one sense, these words refer to the fulfillment of the Divine prophecies among men. In a personal sense, the "ends of the earth," or remote places, represent the natural mind, and the Gentile state of mind, which is outside of the church, because it has not the Word of the Lord. But the Lord established a church among the Gentiles, and instructed them. And in their regeneration they "have seen the salvation of our God." "Jehovah openeth the eyes of the blind." (Ps. cxlvi. 8.)

It is said of the sensuous man, "His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant." (Isa. Ivi. 10.) His rational faculty is open to his senses, only, and it does not warn him as to false ideas. "We wait for light, but behold obscurity ; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall, like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes : we stumble at noon-day as in the night." (Isa. lix. 9, 10.) But when men repent, and reform, it is said of them, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light : they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." (Isa. ix. 2.) "Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty : they shall behold the land that is very far off." (Isa. xxxiii. 17.) To see the King in His beauty is to attain a state of wisdom in which we see the Lord in all goodness and truth. To behold the land that is very far off is to understand the state of regeneration in heaven, which is still far beyond our present actual condition. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. v. 8.) ; not externally, as an object before the eyes, but internally, in the mind, which will see, that is, understand, the character of God, and His Divine qualities. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John iii. 3.) A man cannot perceive the quality of heavenly truth and goodness, except by regeneration. "If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death" (John viii. 51) ; that is, he shall never spiritually die, in evil. "Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" (John x. 21.) Can a love of evil make a man intelligent in goodness and truth?


The sense of smell corresponds to the mental faculty of perceiving spiritual quality, or character. A strong and acute sense of smell corresponds to a vigorous and keen perception of the spiritual qualities of character, in other persons, and of the origin and connections of things. Every thing exhales an odor from its characteristic life. And the odor contains the characteristics of the thing. And there is a correspondence betvifeen the qualities and the odor. We recognize the characteristic odors of the different beasts which are associated with men, such as the dog, the cat, the horse, the cow, the sheep, the hog, and others. And, in each case, the peculiar odor is like the animal. The natural sense of smell is the instrument which the spirit of man employs, in the natural world, for uses corresponding to spiritual smelling which is the perception of character.

The sense of smell performs service to the brain, and to the lungs. This sense is the ultimate, or external, of both the will and the intellect, as it is from both perception and understanding. The nose, as the organ of smell, corresponds to the perceptive faculty, which distinguishes qualities of character, from their odor, as odor is an exhalation from the qualities. Of those whose perceptive faculty is not opened, it is said, in Ps. cxv. 6, "Noses have they, but they smell not." Speaking of Israel when reformed, representing the church restored to spirituality, it is said in Hosea xiv. 6, "His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon;" that is, his affections of good and of truth shall be regenerate. "They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine, and the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon ;" (V. 7. ) that is, the spiritual goods and truths of the Lord shall be received, and rationally understood.

There is a very interesting and suggestive fact in regard to a familiar text in Isaiah xi. 1-3 : "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots : and the spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Jehovah; and shall make him of quick understanding m the fear of Jehovah." The Hebrew word here translated "of quick understanding," is commonly used to denote the sense of smell, as where it is said that the Lord smelled a sweet savor: thus showing the close connection between the understanding and the sense of smell. "Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled upon his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity : therefore his taste remaineth in him, and his scent is not changed." (Jer. xlviii. 11.) The comparison is to- wine, not carried through its successive processes of ripening and purifying ; and meaning that the natural-minded man, who, in spite of his opportunities, has not been changed to a spiritualminded man, still carries the mental odor of sensuous life, rather than the regenerate odor of spirituality.


With every man there are two spheres, a natural sphere, which emanates from his natural body, and a spiritual sphere, which exhales from his mind, that is, from his ruling-love, and from his thoughts, which encompass him with their characteristic influence. This spiritual sphere conjoins itself with the natural sphere of the body, because they are in correspondence.

A man's spiritual sphere is as his spiritual image, projected from him, and surrounding him, and filled with the qualities of his interior life. And thus, by those who can perceive spiritual spheres, a man is known as to his interior loves, and his faith, and thus, the quality of his character. In the spiritual world these qualities are constantly displayed, except when there are special reasons why they should not be seen. The sphere of every man carries a spiritual odor, which is in correspondence with the quality of his character. For, in the spiritual world, every quality, when active, gives forth its characteristic spiritual odor. And hence it may be observed that persons are of such quality as their spheres of life present. In the spiritual world, all of a man's surroundings are projections from his own states of mind and of life; from the Lord, if the man is good, and from the hells, if the man is evil. And so each man is surrounded by the things which are like himself, in quality. The things which he sees and uses are those which are in correspondence with himself. In the heavens, tne goodness and truth in the characters of the angels are fragrant, as lovely flowers in a garden ; and the angels live in the midst of such sweet odors. But, in the hells, the evil men live amid foul odors : and they find such disgusting odors agreeable to them.

The garments of angels, and of devils, correspond to the character of the wearers, and are in agreement with their spheres, and full of their characteristic odors, and in correspondence with their qualities. Everything evil, and every odor of evil, is intensely offensive to all angels; and everything good is intensely offensive to every evil spirit. And the quality of any person, in the spiritual world, is most strongly brought out in the presence of that which is of opposite quality. It is observed that when Jesus was on the earth His Divine sphere was pointedly recognized by the devils who were obsessing men : "And when He was come to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And behold, they cried out, saying. What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matt. viii. 28, 29.) They knew the quality of His Divine sphere, by its intense opposition of their own evil character. As the smell, or odor, of anything corresponds to its quality, or character, so that which is foul and offensive to good spirits and angels corresponds to that which is evil, and which is abominable to the Lord. In the material world, things which have died, and have begun to decay, become corrupt and offensive. And it is correspondingly so, in the spiritual world, for, there, all goodness and truth, when corrupted in the minds of evil men, have a foul sphere and odor.

As chemical elements have affinities which attract certain other elements, and repel others, so, in men's minds, like seeks like ; and every quality of character seeks association with such things as agree with it; and it opposes such things as are of opposite character. And the quality is discerned in the odor. Hence, in the spiritual world, good spirits recognize the approach of evil spirits, by their accompanying spiritual odor. In common conversation men speak of those who detect evil schemes, as "smelling out" crime : and such detectives are said to have "sharp noses."


We observe that beasts, in selecting their food, always first smell the things which they expect to eat. Through the odor a beast perceives the external spheres of things, and their quality; and he knows whether such things are in agreement with his life. Through the sense of smell beasts gather much knowledge, and many impressions; which they could not procure in any other way. Even in their first infancy, beasts recognize other animals as their enemies, because of the odor of such animals, which produces a feeling of antagonism ; as, for instance that which naturally exists between a dog and a cat. Wild beasts are consociated according to their odor, by which they recognize their own kind. And they scent the odor of each other, and their food, over long distances. In fact, in beasts, the sense of smell and that of taste, seem to unite in what may be called another sense, that of perception, by which they discern what is necessary for their life.


An agreeable odor is often called a "sweet savor." "Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah : and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and ofifered burnt-offerings on the altar. And Jehovah smelled a sweet savor." (Gen. viii. 20, 21.) The expression "a sweet savor," literally means "an odor of rest." In the Ancient Church, men worshipped the Lord in charity and faith. The altar was representative of the Lord, for whose worship it was built. That the Lord "smelled an odor of rest" means that such worship was acceptable to the Lord, because it -was sincere; and in such worship the Lord could "rest," or dwell after evil had been defeated, in regeneration. "Thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar ; it is a burnt offering unto Jehoyah ; it is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto Jehovah." (Ex. xxix. 18.) The ram signifies the principle of charity, which is the Lord's, in man. "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair : and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment." (John xii. 3.) Anointing the feet, or most external part of the body of Jesus, with very costly ointment, represents the conjunction of the Humanity with the Divinity, in Jesus, through the love of good. That the house was filled with the odor of the ointment represents, in a general sense, that the church was given a perception of this conjunction of the Human with the Divine. In, a personal sense, the regenerate mind, the spirit's house, is filled with the odor of the ointment, when the love of the Lord permeates and fills the whole rnind and life.

When a man falls into disrepute among other men, he is said, figuratively, to be "in bad odor" with the others. They have a perception that his sphere and influence are not clean and sweet, but selfish and foul, or malodorous. And we find such instances in the Scriptures. When Simeon and Levi slew some of the men of Shechem, to avenge the ill treatment of  their sister, Dinah, "Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me, to make me smell foul among the inhabitants
of the land." When "the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanum, his son, reigned in his stead,'' David sent men to comfort Hanum. But Hanum illtreated David's messengers, at which David was angry. "And the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David." (H Sam. x. 1-6.)


Spiritual food is food for the spirit, the mind, such as knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. And, as natural food and nutrition correspond to spiritual food, and the sustaining of the mind, so the sense of taste corresponds to perception of spiritual things, and to affection for them. It includes the love of knowing and of being wise. The tongue, as the organ of taste, corresponds to natural perception of goodness and truth. And the sense of smell corresponds to spiritual perception.

The spirit provides the natural body with taste, relish, and appetite for food, in order that the body may be sustained in the natural world. And the longing of the body for food corresponds to the longing desire of the mind for knowledge and wisdom, which may be put into practical use, in daily life. Things which are delicacies to the natural taste correspond to things which are very agreeable to the affections and thoughts, supplying such life as the mind desires. A delicate, refined taste in food corresponds to a discriminating perception as to different kinds of goodness and of truth. And a gross taste corresponds to a crude, natural-minded perception. In an orderly state of mind and of life, a man would naturally find all suitable food to be pleasant to him. But men have sunk into many evils and sins, and thereby have developed a corrupted appetite for many things which are not fit for human food. A man enjoys physical food, in common with the beasts ; but, to be a true man, he should cultivate a spiritual appetite for goodness and' truth, which feed the mind.

Sweetness corresponds to delight. And, in a general sense, all things that are sweet correspond to the good and true principles which delight the regenerate mind. Sweetness originates in the harmony of goodness and truth, in their conjunction. Of the manna provided for Israel, it is said, "The taste of it was like wafers made with honey." (Ex. xvi. 31.) This manna represented the good of charity, the love of the neighbor; and its sweetness represented the delight which such good arouses in a regenerate mind. Honey represents such a delight. "The judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold : sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb." (Ps. xix. 9, 10.) "How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth." (Ps. cxix. 103.) The flavor of sweet grapes corresponds to the spiritual quality of love to the neighbor. Sweetness, sugar, and so forth, represent spiritual goodness.


Salt is another very prominent substance to give flavor, or savor, to food ; and its absenpe from our food leaves many things with an insipid taste. Salt develops the natural flavor of other things, and it unites with that flavor. The pungency of the salt arouses the sense of taste, and, by a slight resistance, stimulates the man's interest in his food. Salt corresponds to the desire to unite goodness and truth, in the conduct of life. And this desire acts as a penetrating taste in the mind, and stimulates the spiritual appetite for love and wisdom. And so, of the representative worship of Israel, it is said, "And every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from th}' meat-offering : with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." (Lev. ii. 13.)

It is called "the salt of the covenant," because it represents the coming together and uniting of goodness and truth. "The men of the city [of Jericho,] said unto Elisha, The situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth; but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said. Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said. Thus saith Jehovah, I have healed these waters ; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day." (II Kings ii. 19-22.) These things represent the amendment of the church, through the Divine Word, which aroused in men a longing for truth and for good.

Jesus said to His disciples, "For everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good : but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace, one with another." (Mark ix. 49, 50.) To be salted with fire is to have a warm desire and longing for goodness and truth. In contrast, salting with salt would be in the natural mind, and salting with fire would be in the. spiritual mind. But, in a bad sense, salt, when used for a destructive purpose, changes its correspondence to the opposite character, and represents a deadly influence. See, for instance. Judges ix. 45 ; "And Abimelech fought against the city all that day ; and he took the city, and slew the people that were therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt." This was to kill the vegetation about the city, and thus to prevent others from rebuilding the city. But, spiritually, salting the city meant to destroy the doctrines of the church, in the minds of natural men. "The whole land is brimstone and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass gr.oweth therein, Hke the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim.'' (Deut. xxix. 23.) This text presents a representative picture of the overthrow of the church, by the corruption of men's minds.


There are many things of. sour taste, representing falsity. "In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. But everyone shall die for his own iniquity : every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." (Jer. xxxi. 29, 30.) To eat sour grapes means to make evil , o.ur own, by love and practice of it. And that this will set the children's teeth on edge, means that harsh false principles will be born of our evils.

And there are many things having a bitter taste, representing falsity. But there are several kinds and degrees of bitterness ; as for instance, that of unripe fruits, and which represents the falsity of ignorance: and there is the bitterness of gall, and of hemlock, and of wormwood. The bitterness of wormwood is accompanied by a superficial sweetness, . representing a state of mind in which there is, some knowledge of truth, in doctrinal form, but mixed with dire falsities from evil affections. "Ye have turned judgment into gall, and righteousness into hemlock : ye which rejoice in a thing of naught." (Amos vi. 12, 13.)

Concerning the use of the paschal lamb, it is said, "And they shall eat the flesh in the night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." (Ex. xii. 8.) The lamb represented innocence. And the bitter herbs represented the bitter experiences of temptation, for those who undergo regeneration. Of evil men it is said "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." (Isa. v. 20) Evil men do these things in their own minds, by confusing principles.

The term "bitter" is often used figuratively in reference to human feelings ; thus representing pain and anxiety of mind, from the presence or influence of things of opposite character. It is said of Hannah, when in the temple, "She was in bitterness of soul and prayed unto Jehovah, and wept sore." (I Sam. i. 10.) Jeremiah, speaking of his temptations and discipline, said, "He hath filled me with bitterness; He hath made me drunken with wormwood." (Lam. iii. 15.)

Taste also is used figuratively, as in Matt. xvi. 28, when Jesus said to His disciples, "There be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man, coming in His kingdom;" meaning that they shall not spiritually die, but shall perceive the character of the second coming of the Lord. The sourness of falsity is represented by vinegar, which is wine, or other fruit juice, soured. Vinegar, alone, represents mere falsity, which may be from ignorance of truth, and which is not necessarily evil in intention. But gall is bitter, and it represents falsity joined with evil, falsity which is in the intellect when evil is in the heart. This distinction is illustrated in the action of Jesus, during His crucifixion. At first, "They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall : and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink. . . . And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put in on a reed, and gave Him to drink." (Matt, xxvii. 34, 48.) This, like every other public action of Jesus, was representative and symbolic. The "vinegar mingled with gall" He refused, to represent that the Lord cannot accept falsity which is joined with evil, because evil is directly opposed to goodness, and unwilling to receive goodness of character. But He received the vinegar, alone, to represent that the Lord accepts the falses of ignorance in men, if accompanied by good intentions.


In the spiritual world, men have their senses far more acute and vigorous than in this world, excepting the sense of taste, which is not needed, there, as it is here, because spiritual beings do not support their life by eating food, externally, as men do here. The spiritual body is formed from the spirit ; and it is influenced by the conditions and changes of the spirit. And the spiritual body is permanent. The natural sense of taste is needed, in the natural world, to recognize the things which are proper for food, and to insure that men shall take sufficient food. But, in the spiritual world, a keen sense of external taste, and of pleasure in eating, would tend to keep the man's thoughts on external things, and thus would obstruct his spiritual progress. And in the spiritual world, the sense of smell performs the necessary uses of the sense of taste. But this is not the same as the grosser form of taste, in the material world, because the spiritual sense of smell flows forth from a spiritual origin ; and whatever it has to perform, analogous to the sense of taste, is, also, from a spiritual origin.

Instead of a desire to taste and to eat, spiritual beings have a desire to know, to understand truth, and to be wise. And, to them, taste means the quality of spiritual principles; and this comes to them through their spiritual sense of smell, which perceives spiritual character, or quality. Those who, in this natural life, become grossly sensuous, or who give themselves up to animal pleasures, form in themselves a sensuous life, which is indifferent to spiritual principles. Of spiritual life it is said, "O taste and see that Jehovah is good." (Ps. xxxiv. 8.)


The sense of touch brings us into contact with things. And so there is a strong natural inclination to touch the things which we are examining, and in which we are interested. This inclination to touch things is especially strong in children, who are becoming acquainted with the world in which they live. Touching represents coming into contact, mentally, and communicating our sphere to that which we touch, and receiving the impress of its sphere, in return. In mental touching there is mutual reception according to the measure and degree of congeniality and harmony between the parties. But, if the parties are uncongenial, touch brings contact of opposites, in discordant spheres, which produce pain. For opposites produce more unpleasantness the nearer they approach, and the closer the contact. Touch in the sense of love, by which, especially, love expresses its affection. And the stronger our afifection is, the more we seek contact with the object of our affection. As an illustration, we recognize our constant tendency to touch, and to caress, little infants, and to have them touch us with their soft httle hands.

Within our natural desire is a spiritual cause. An infant, being helpless, and not yet having come into selfish life, is in a state of external innocence, which corresponds to internal innocence, which latter is the innocence of wisdom, in the regenerating mind. The innocence of the infant forms a plane of mind, in him, in which the angels can be present with him. And, in the measure, and degree of our innocence, we recognize and love the Divine and angelic spheres. And they attract us, in love ; and we desire to be more completely conjoined with them. And this desire, expressing itself in the sense of touch, is the spiritual basis of our love of caressing infants.

When friends meet, they join their hands, in a hearty clasp, to come into touch with each other's sphere, and thus to feel a sense of the other's personality. And the more affection there is between the parties, the more hearty is their contact.

Because touching represents mental contact, communicating and receiving, much is said of touching, in the letter of the Scriptures. In general, the Israelites, who lived in a representative age and dispensation, were instructed not to touch anything which was unclean ; and, on the other hand, not to touch careless ly anything holy. In particular, the various things which were not to be touched, were things corresponding to evil and false principles. And the prohibition against touching such things represented that men must not come into contact with evil, by practising it in the conduct. Those who touched prohibited unclean things were said to be "unclean," to represent that contact with evil contaminates a man. "To the pure all things are pure," in the sense that a pure mind will not enter into any impurity of motive or of act. And hence an act may be innocent to one man, and evil to another, because of their motives. It is equally true that, to the impure all things are impure because the man who is evil at heart necessarily uses all things to carry out his evil purposes.


The clean desire to touch corresponds to affection for good, which seeks contact with good things. The sphere of a man goes out in his touch, carrying with it an emanation from all things in his mind. And hence the highest angels can tell the whole character and life of a man from the touch of his hand. And, touching anything which is of opposite and discordant character reveals the quality of the things touched, to those who are in the perception of such things. For instance, to those who dwell in the hells, their conditions seem light enough ; but when a ray of light from heaven is let in upon the hells, their supposed light is seen to be dense darkness. And it is so, correspondingly, in men's minds. The natural-minded man, seeing in the light of his natural senses, imagines himself to be in full mental light : but, when the light of spiritual truth is let into his mind, he sees that his former light was thick darkness. "If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness." (Matt. vi. 23.)

The sense of touch is especially subject to man's will principle, of which it is a servant. And, being a servant of the will, it receives and expresses the man's whole life, interior and exterior. And, in the spiritual world, two intelligent persons who meet, and join hands, or touch each other's hands, come into mental contact, and open to each other the states of their minds, so that each can read the other's mind and character, and can see what have been the leading traits of character, and their principal experiences in the formation of character.

We speak of being "in touch" with other persons, or with a good cause, meaning that we are in sympathy, and in practical co-operation, in communication with others, and in reception from them. There is a distinction between "touching" and "pouring." Both represent communicating; but to pour is said of liquids, which represent intellectual things, truths or falsities ; while to touch is said of solids, which represent things of the will and its affections, which are good or evil.

In Israel, when, representatively, a scape-goat was made to carry the sins of the people, the priest laid his hands on the goat, to represent that the people touched the goat, to communicate and transfer all their sins to it. And the goat was driven out, into the wilderness, to represent the entire rejection of acknowledged evils and sins.

In a general sense, touch, or feeling, is the complex of all the senses ; for each sense, in its way, feels that with which it comes in contact. The nose, with its sense of smell, feels the particles which produce the odor. The ear, in hearing, feels the air-waves, which produce sound in the ear. In sight, the eye feels the impress which conveys light and colors. The tongue in taste, feels the quality of foods. Each thing, whether odor, or flavor, or sight, or sound, has its characteristic forms and qualities, which it makes known to the mind.


Sensation is external perception; and perception is internal sensation. Truths enter into a man's thought and he sees them there, and ponders on them. But good does riot enter into the thought, but into the will, where it is felt, rather than seen, as we feel warmth. Generally, we reflect upon our thoughts, but we do not reflect upon our feelings, but receive them, and accept them, and carry them into practical action. We recognize a truth as an idea, coming to us from without; but our feelings seem to originate in ourselves. But regeneration requires us to watch our feelings, and to bring them into order, according to the Divine commandments. Our feelings form a mental thermometer, by which we can read the quality of our life.

The hands, by which, especially, we touch, are the ultimates, or extremities, of the upper limbs. And into these the higher things of the mind enter, and express themselves. Arid so, when we ask of a man's present activities, we ask what he is "turning his hand to." For what is in his heart will come out through his hand, and in his touch. "The steps of a good man are ordered by Jehovah ; and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for Jehovah upholdeth his hand." (Ps. xxxvii. 23, 24.) The Lord upholds the man's hand, when He sustains the man in all his efforts to carry out his good principles. And so, often, you can tell what a man's heart is doing, by observing what his hands are doing. For the touch of his hand is in the exercise of his characteristic affections. And the hand is the servant of the heart. And so the hand represents power, ability, because the powers of the man flow into his hands.

The subject of touch is the skin, whose substance and form are such that it feels the things with which it comes iu contact; and by the nerves it telegraphs its sensations to the brain. And the skin corresponds to the outward or natural mind ; and also, in a particular sense, to the external letter of the Divine Word, which is the containing vessel of all the higher principles. So, in our first approach to the Lord's Word, we go to its letter, only ; that is, we touch the skin of the Word ; and we touch it with the skin of our hand, that is, our external thought. After Saul was made king of Israel, it is said that "Saul went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men whose hearts God had touched;" (I Sam. x. 26) ; that is, whom the Lord had influenced. Saul, as king, represented the leading truth in the mind, and the other men represented truths confirming and supporting the leading truth.


The Israelites were especiallly commanded not to touch holy things, which were filled with the Divine sphere; because sinful men were not in spiritual condition to bear such contact. But, when David took the ark of God from Gibeah to Jerusalem, "When they came to Nachon's threshing-floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. . . . And there he died,, by the ark of God." (11. Sam. vi. 6, 7.) The Hebrew word, Uzzah, means strength. But, in this case, it was the man's own strength, put forth by his own will and thought, in opposition to the command of the Lord. His action represented the act of the natural mind, in doing its own way, without consulting the Divine laws. Uzzah's coming into direct contact with the holy ark of the Divine Word, was as if a man's body should come- into direct contact with the sun.

A remarkable case is narrated in 11 Kings xiii. 20, 21-: "And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men ; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feetl" These things are representative. The grave, the sepulchre, death, etc., are the external side of' the case, whose inward side is the resurrection of the man into the spiritual life of regeneration. And so, spiritually, in a good sense, the grave represents the resurrection. Elisha, as a prophet of the Lord, represented the Lord, in His Word. The man, touching the bones of the prophet of the Lord, represented the dead unregenerate mind, coming into contact with the letter of the Divine Word, and, through it, awakened to the new life of regeneration. Spiritually, the Lord draws as near to every man as the man can bear ; and He touches every man's heart, as- fully as the man opens his heart to the Lord. But the Lord never forces a man's will to receive the Divine presence.

Jesus healed the sick by His touch. (Matt. viii. 2, 3, 15. Matt. ix. 27-30.) And He communicated greater life to little children, by touching, them. (Mk. X. 13.) Daniel had several experiences, in which angels strengthened him by touching him. (Dan. viii. 18; ix. 21; X. 10, 16, 18.) And many were healed who touched the Lord, from a desire to be healed by Him. By comifig into contact with His Divine sphere, they received new vigor according to the character of their motives. (Matt. ix. 20.) "And as many as touched [Him] were made perfectly whole." (Matt. xiv. 36.)

The altar, in Israel, on which offerings to the Lord were made, in worship, represented the Lord, as to His love for Him. And so the altar was especially filled with the sphere of the Lord. And those who went to the altar, with the sincere desire to be cleansed were spiritually helped. "Whosoever toucheth the altar shall be holy." (Ex. xxix. 27.) For touchingthe altar represented coming into conjunction with the Divine Love. "It' shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings to Jehovah made by fire: everyone that toucheth them shall be holy." (Lev. vi. 18.)

In Israel, there were many things regarded as unclean, or impure, and which men were forbidden to touch, lest they should become unclean. Among these, a very prominent object was the hog, which represents the filthy lusts of the sensuous mind, especially avarice, which seeks all for itself, and is not willing to let others have anything. "The swine. ... is unclean unto you : ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch any dead carcass." (Deut. xiv. 8.)

Those who are in the spiritual world have a sense of touch far more acute than would be possible in an earthly body. Without the senses we have no active life! A living body, in health, is a receptacle of sensations, by which a man gains knowledge and communication with other things.


Opposite to a sensitive touch is a callous state, in which the' man is without feeling, which corresponds to a deadness of mind, in which a man cannot perceive principles and qualities. Thus mental and spiritual ckllousness is produced by profanirig the Word of the Lord, by livin'gf in opposition'to known principles of goodness and triith. This state produces a spiritual paralysis, or palsy, because faith is separated from charity, and there is no power for regeneration. But even this state may be healed by the Lord, if a man will open himself to the Lord. (Matt. iv. 24; viii. 6; ix. 2, 6; Luke v. 18-24.) "Touch no unclean thing: be ye clean, that bear the vessels of Jehovah." (Isa. lii 11.) The vessels of Jehovah are the human will and understanding, which, in regeneration, the Lord fills with life.


There is a very interesting line of thought, in regard to the correlation of the senses, that is, their inter-relation, or association. In a figurative way, our five senses may be said to be the five porches about the pool of Bethesda. (John v. 2.) Literally, these porches were covered door-ways, afifording entrance to the pool. And there are five ways of passing from the external world into the human mind, one way through each of the senses. And these passages are also the ways by which a man enters into the truth. As, in the porches, all the five doors open upon the same pool, so all the five senses are doorways to the one mind, openings through which to reach the man's rational intelligence. And, in another way, the senses are all avenues by which the one God reaches the man's mind, from without.

And so it is to be expected that the senses should be correlated, as the treble and the bass are, in music. The notes in an octave are not independent, but they are co-operative. You cannot produce harmony, or melody, with one note; but you must have several notes, in accord. And, in the symbolism of creation, everything points to man as its model; for man is the epitome of all creation. In man, God's qualities are seen, but in a finite degree. And so, in man, and in the influence of man upon all nature, we see the universal presence of God, and His contact with all things.

And, in view of these facts, we must expect to find a correlation of all things in creation. As the five senses of man are the senses of one man, and as all the parts of a man's body are parts of the same man, it must be that there are profound relations between our different senses, and between their forms and activities. As all our senses co-operate, with one purpose, to instruct the man; and as they operate from and by the power of God, so each, in its way, and on its level, must be gathering some strands, finally to weave together all the different lines into one human life. Superficially, there does not seem to be much connection between our five senses, excepting those of taste and smell, which are easily seen to be closely united. But, in the mental life, these five senses are all working together, each doing its part in the general work, which requires all the senses ; as, with the organist, the two hands are co-operating, although one
plays the treble and the other plays the bass, while the feet, also, do their part, in producing the general effect.

There is not only a correlation of all our senses, but there is also a correlation of all the things which affect our different senses. For instance, forms, colors, sounds, flavors, odors and impressions made by touching, are not merely independent phenomena, but there is a hidden relation between them, which may be revealed by a knowledge of correspondences. For instance every form has its complementary and corresponding colors, sounds, flavors, odors and impressions.
These things have not yet been scientifically systematized, and arranged, or practical use, on earth.

But they imust be ,all known and understood in the heavens, to a different degree in the different grades of heaven. And, to the degree in which we have trained otir senses, especially in their inward aspects we perceive their relations, and we have a sense of the harmony which comes from right associations of correlated things ; and we feel the shock of discord, and qf disorder, when inharmonious things are closely associated. We notice this especially in regard to colors and sounds. Discordant colors offend the artist, and discordant notes shock the musician. And, to some extent, similar shocks come to sensitive minds when colors and forms are associated in a discordant way. With such things we feel a sense of pain, perhaps without recognizing its cause.


Every true artist trains his perception of the harmonies of correlated forms, colors, sounds, and so forth. And these things contribute to the making of a great artist, in whqse works they are recognized in general results, although not often understood in details. But we can see that these things must depend on the principle of correspqndence. Those things which are derived frqm the same states of mind, in men, and which are in correspondence with the same mental cqnditions, are in correspondence with each other ; and they are in unison, and in harmony ; and they co-operate, in prqducing the one effect desired.

And things which are derived from antagonistic qualities, and which are thus of qppqsite correspondence, are inharmonious and discordant ; and they do not -cooperate, because they are not correlated. And discords are signs of disorder, as the hard, discordant rcolors in a -sunset portend a coming storm, while gently-blending and harmonious colors in sunset foretell fair weather. In external things, correspondence and correlation are well illustrated in the qualities, manners and customs, and the environments, of men on earth, especially ;in their savage state, when they are less governed by artificial ways. The Eskimo lives satisfied in his cold and limited way; and probably he wonders how the poor Africans can stand their hot climate. And the African, satisfied with the fierce, tropical heat, wonders why others will live where it is cold. Each has that which corresponds with his form of mind and of life. There is a harmony of things about him, and a correlation. And so, in your garden, or hot-house, you will observe a general and similar odor, for instance in all the flowers which are white and sweetscented. Odors exist in family-groups ; and so do sounds, forms, and so forth.

If our senses were sufiiciently keen, and our perception and discrimination well trained, we could observe that some things taste green, or yellow ; and sound blue or green, and feel purple or black ; and smell red or white. And these things will make a very interesting study, by which men will be able to detect the qualities of their own feelings and thoughts.

We all recognize that red is the color of love, and blue of truth, and white of purity, and black of ignorance. If, for instance, an artist's color-theme was a deep, strong red, he would not -take it to accompany a rapid little superficial melody. But you would recognize the grand old hymn, Old Hundred, with its noble full notes, as well set in deep red. But, while you were playing Old Hundred, if anyone should flash across the room a pale green light, or a hard yellow-ochre light, you would feel a sense of keen displeasure, in the intrusion of such discords.

Every melody makes an impression upon the feelings of those who are open to it, "who have ears to hear," who are "tuned to concord of sweet sounds." And this impression may be classified, in the thought of the hearer. And the surroundings of color, form, and so forth, will either fall-in with the impression of the music, or make a discord.

In the spiritual world, the correlation of the senses is far more definite than in this world. In fact, there, it enters into the familiar daily life. Such were many of the wonderful scenes viewed by the prophet's, in which conditions of human character, of feelings and thoughts, were represented by combinations of colors, forms, sounds, actions, and so forth ; thus displaying the theme to all the senses, at once, in their correlation.


In our Lord's parable of "The Marriage of the King's Son," a man is represented as going in to the wedding-feast without wearing a wedding-garment; and this man was cast out, as an intruder. The wedding-garments were made to suit the occasion, in bright colors and suitable forms. This man represented one who seeks to enter into heaven without the knowledge and love of heavenly truths. And, even in our day, and in our practical country, we observe a fitness of dress to different occasions, as to color, form, and so forth. This supposed fitness is the foundation for the common custom of wearing mourning-garments, as in correspondence with a sorrowful state of mind.

Men on earth will know more of these things, when they rise above the merely sensuous life, which now largely controls men, in all walks of life. We seek to rise to higher and more spiritual phases of life; but our feet are heavy, and they cling to the dust of the earth.

The sphere, which emanates from a man is the outflowing of his characteristic life, carrying all his qualities, and manifesting them to others, as heat flows from fire, and cold from ice, and odor from flowers. And a man's sphere manifests itself to all the senses of others. It publishes itself in the tones of his voice, in the form of his body, in the impress which his individuality makes upon others, and in the subtle mental odor and flavor which he carries. These things often fall into our thoughts, and into our conversation, as when we speak of broad and narrow minds, largehearted and small-hearted men, men in bad odor, or men of sweet presence, congenial persons, or those to whom we feel distant. All these are correspondences.

In oriental countries, there are entertainments in which persons move and posture in accord with music, in harmony of motion. And sometimes these bodily posings are accompanied by changes in colors, in harmony with the motions and the music. Here there is a correlation of forms, and motions, and musical sounds, and accompanying colors. Doctor Batcheller, of Philadelphia, Pa., has recently originated a new system of teaching music, which he calls "The Sound-Color System," which is a system of correlating sounds and colors. "His system is based on the intimate relation of light and sound. He declares that there is no phenominon of sound that is not also a phenominon of light. They are identical, except that they differ in rapidity of vibration. Upon this scientific fact he bases his system of teaching music with the aid of colors. He takes the colors, in their order in the spectrum, as corresponding exactly with the tones of the musical scale, in their order. By diagrams, he shows the corresponding harmonies of sound and color ; and he proves that there are precisely the same discords in combinations of colors, as in combinations of sounds, and that they have a similar effect upon the mind." Correspondences teach men to look first to the Lord,
and then to human life in its spiritual aspects, and lastly to the things of the natural senses, as the external and superficial things of human life.

Correspondences display man's constant dependence upon the Lord ; and they indicate the manner in which the image of God may be restored in men. A knowledge of correspondences, or spiritual and natural counterparts, reveals to a man the nature of his two-fold life, and shows him how to maintain the life of his spirit in the material world. The more we understand the nature of correspondences, and of the relations, of man's body to his spirit, the more we can rise above the fallacies of the natural senses, and enjoy the intuitions of the spirit. "O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit." (Isa. xxxviii. i6.)


Speech is the external ability to express our feelings and thoughts. The inward part of speech is thought and the outward part is the expression of thought. And, therefore, speaking corresponds to thinking. When a man thinks, he speaks inwardly to himself.

And as our thought, from which we speak, proceeds .from our perception of such things as interest our will, or heart, so, in a profound sense, speaking corresponds, .also, to the will from which we speak, by means of thought. For, when a man speaks sincerely he speaks from his heart, that is, from his love. In one sense, to speak is to declare, or to announce, our feelings and thoughts. When the Lord speaks, He commands. And what He speaks involves His infinite perception of our needs, and His love and wisdom in providing for us, and His power in supplying us.

The power to speak intelligently distinguishes man from the lower animals, and reveals the profound fact of man's spiritual nature. In all creation, God has endowed every living things with ability to express itself in a way suitable to its form of life. Intelligent, rational thought belongs to human life ; and, hence, the power to express such thought belongs to human life. And so, in all speaking, the fundamental thing is the principle which is expressed, that is, the love in the thought. Hence, when our Lord spoke to the people. He said "My words are spirit and are life." (John vi. 63.) What He gave to the Jews was not merely advice, or suggestion; but the Divine Love, which spoke in His words, was life, the life of the universe.

In all that Jesus spoke, on earth, there was, and is, an inward and spiritual meaning, the meaning which the Divine Love longed to give to all men who were willing to receive it. Hence, all the literal language of Jesus was representative and symbolic. And Jesus spoke at the same time, to men on earth and to men in the spiritual world. And each man understood on his own mental level. And there is a correspondence between the literal things spoken to the Jews on earth, and the spiritual truths spoken to the angels. And the correspondence runs through all parts of the Sacred Scriptures; and it gives to the Scriptures their Divine character. The language of the Divine Word, in its literal form, is angelic language, brought down to its ultimates, on earth.

As speaking is the expression of feeling and thought, so the quality, or spiritual character, of the speech, is according to the spiritual quality of the feeling and the thought which express themselves in the speech.

There are many inhabited earths in the universe. And, on every earth, the first kind of speech was by means of the face, especially by the eyes and the mouth. For language was a gradual growth, as men formulated and classified their expressions. Spoken language became more common, as men sought to conceal their thoughts and feelings, and to speak with duplicity.

Because there is a correspondence between our minds and our bodies, so, when our feeling and thought are aroused, they flow into corresponding parts of the body, and express themselves, as it were spontaneously, without our natural thought needing to manage the processes. The thought flows into the organism of the tongue, and of the lips, and produces speech, under control of the spirit. And so, when a man loses his rationality, he loses his intelligent speech. In speech, the sound corresponds to the feeling, the affection ; and the articulation in words corresponds to the ideas expressed. In case of a hypocrite, who intends to deceive, the sounds and words are not spoken sincerely, but are pretended.


In the days of Christ on the earth, evil spirits possessed men, or obsessed them, bodily, and spoke through men's mouths, because, by enticing men into evil, they controlled men's minds, and thus controlled their bodies. In such cases, the men were not responsible for their immediate utterances, but they were often responsible for yielding to the evil which enslaved them.

As a man's speech is the expression of his feelings and thoughts, generally we can tell, from a man's speech, much about the state of his mind, and also about his conduct. In this sense, Solomon said of man, "As he thinketh, in his heart, so is he." (Prov. xxiii. 7.) And his speech expresses his thoughts. As all truth and good are from the Lord, so, when a man expresses goodness and truth, the Lord speaks, in the man, and through him. And the man feels the Lord's presence. But, when a man has sunk into evil, the Lord seems to speak to the man as at a great distance, corresponding to the difference between the Lord's goodness and the man's evil. And so, necessarily, the Lord speaks to different persons differently, to each upon the man's own level, that is, in his degree. If a man is evil, he speaks his evil, because he has nothing else to express. "The vile person will speak villainy, and his heeirt will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against Jehovah." (Isa. xxxii. 6.) "How can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matt. xii. 34.) The only true human life is in the reception of regenerate love and wisdom from the Lord. "Man shall not live by bread, alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. iv. 4.)

In the Bible there are many cases in which angels are said to speak from God, when God used the angel as a mouth-piece. And the prophets spoke the Word of God, under guidance from the Lord. And Jesus Christ on earth spoke the Word of God, from His Divinity dwelling in His Humanity. Our real prayer is the inward desire of our heart, from which we speak. We are not answered according to the quantity of our prayers, but according to their quality. "When ye pray, use not vain repetitions; as- the heathen do, for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye, therefore, like untb them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." (Matt. vi. 7, 8.)

In the spiritual world man's speech is much more full, expressive and effective than in the natural body. The language of the spiritual world is a- universal language, which expresses affections and thoughts, by correspondence. And this speech is the origin of every language in the natural world, because every race of men naturally forms to itself a language from its own forms of feeling and thought. And thus each language is like the race which formed it. And so the  speech
differs somewhat in the different heavens, although all persons, in all'the heavens, speak the general spiritual language, with differences according to the grade and degree of spiritual intelligence.

In this natural world, where we learn our language externally, many persons who have not had good opportunities for education, suffer from inability to express themselves suitably. But no such trouble exists in the spiritual world, because there, language flows from the interior mind. And in the spiritual world, a man's speech reveals his states of mind, and his degree of intelligence, and his spiritual character, and his place in the spiritual world, even more than a man's speech indicates his state of mind, and his culture, in this world. In a- few words, a man in the spiritual world can express and convey more than can be done in our earthly language in a large book.

If we, now, should hear angels talking among themselves, we would not be able to understand what they said, because we are not able to experience their kinds of affections and thoughts. If angels should have occasion to speak to us, they would have to speak to the ears of our inward and spiritual body, and in such plain and simple thoughts as we are now able to understand.


The language of the spiritual world is not laboriously learned, and stored in the memory, but each person there comes into the language in the degree in which he grows into the character, the intelligence and the affection, which express themselves in the language; as, comparatively, in the natural world, little children use baby-talk, and learned men use scientific language.

Angelic language is metrical, having a musical harmony because the affections and thoughts from which angels speak, flow forth according to the forms of heaven; which are in correspondence with spiritual principles, and always harmonious. But the speech of evil' spirits and devils is always harsh, and repulsive to those who are not evil.

By the laws of spiritual life, in the spiritual world, a man who is there in his permanent home, and in his kind of light, cannot even pronounce a word which means something of opposite character to his own affections and beliefs. Because such expressions would horrify the man, his inability to feel and to think such things makes him unable even to speak them; comparatively as, in this world, a refined and decent person would feel it almost impossible for him to utter words of gross impurity; Thus, in the spiritual world, by the control of the interior mind over the spiritual body, a man does not say what he does not feel and think. There is a correspondence between his qualities of character and the forms and sounds in which he expresses them. And so, whatever is said, in the Bible, about man's speech, is, interiorly, and by correspondence, said about his affections and thoughts, which use his speech, to express themselves.

In the English Scriptures, the word "utter" is sometimes used, meaning to speak. "Who can utter the mighty acts of Jehovah?" (Ps. cvi. 2.) Who can perceive, and think, all that is included in the Divine activities? "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge." (Ps. xix. 2.) Day, in which there is light, represents the spiritual mind, in which one state of intelligence produces thought for a further progress in truth. Night, without light, here represents the natural mind, which is without spiritual light, and which is in an obscure state of mind. But, even in our naturalminded states, one state of thought can gather knowledge, or information, which will be of use in further effort. "I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old." (Ps. lxxviii. i.) These "dark sayings of old" were the correspondences of the Ancient Church, which are also referred to in Matt, xiii. 35 ; "I will open my mouth in parables ; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world :" that is, that spiritual truths are concealed until men are capable of understanding them.


To be without the power of speech is to be dumb. Dumbness corresponds to ignorance of truth; and it represents a state of mind in which the man is not able to express truth, because he does not think truth. Such a man does not intelligently know and understand the Lord. And he does not know the good and true principles of the Church, in such way as to think from them. Such persons are the Gentiles, outside of the Church, and also the most simple-minded of those who are in the Church, and who are not well instructed. In a bad sense, the dumb are those who deny the Lord, and who are intentionally dumb in spirit ; and who therefore are unwilling to know and think truth, and therefore unable to do so. In Israel, in the time of Christ on earth, the physical dumbness of men was often caused by their spiritual dumbness, because they were possessed by devils, obsessed, which held them in spiritual slavery. Jesus cast out the devils from many such persons : "and when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake." (Lk. xi. 14.) Jesus restored the man's physical capacity to speak, because He first cast out the obsessing devil, and thus restored the man's spiritual capacity to think rationally. And, spiritually, our Lord casts out evil from us, when we hate the evil, and resist it, in ourselves, and seek our Lord's help. And when our Lord regenerates' a man, the spiritually dumb man is enabled to speak, spiritually, that is, to think the truths of the Lord. "Then the tongue of the dumb shall sing." (Isa. xxxvi. 6.) They will acknowledge the Lord, in love, and in rational intelligence and faith.

Idols, false gods, made by men, and having no life, are called "dumb," because they know nothing, and can not teach anything. "They have mouths, but they speak not." (Ps. cxv. 5.) These idols represent the self-love which an evil man exalts in his heart, as his chosen god.

Silence is a state in which the power of speech is not being used, for the time. Silence represents a temporary inability to express thoughts, because the thought is confused, or abashed. "Jehovah is in His holy temple : let all the earth keep silence before Him." (Hab. ii. 20.) The temple of the Lord, in its interior sense, is the spiritual mind of the man, in which the Lord is present. The earth represents man's natural mind, which should be awed to silence in the presence of the Lord. "Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence." (Ps. xxxi. 17, 18.) Let falsity ' Be exposed and refuted. In a parable of our Lord, it is said that a man who came into the marriage-supper- in unfit garments, when asked why he did so, "was speechless;" (Matt. xxii. 2,) that is, he had no rational excuse for neglecting the truth. In the spiritual world, some of those persons who had known and confessed the truth, and afterwards profaned it, by living contrary to it, on earth, confirm themselves against the Lord. Such dwell in actual darkness, in externals, as well as in mind; and they are dumb, even outwardly. Stammering and stuttering indicate partial inability to speak : and they represent a partial inability to think, spiritually, such, for instance, as exists in the natural mind, towards spiritual truths. Thus to stammer represents a mental state in which the man finds it difficult to comprehend the truths of the church, because his mind is not in condition to think with clear rational intelligence, but is confused and uncertain. But, when regenerated, "the tongue of the
stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly." (Isa. xxxii. 4.)

The Lord does not reveal spiritual truth in terms which are plain to the natural-minded man, but He veils spiritual truth in natural imagery, so that those who can use the truth will understand it, while those who would rej-ect and profane it, may fail to see its higher aspects. And so, speaking of the character of the letter of the Divine Word, it is said, "with stammering lips, and another tongue, will He speak to this people." (Isa. xxviii. 11.)

But, all the difficulties in understanding the Lord's truth, are in ourselves, and not in the Lord's truth. We may always understand all the truth that we are now willing to put to practical use, in our daily life. "He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." (Ps. xci. 11.) Our Lord speaks to us in His holy Word, and in the instructions of the church, and of our parents and teachers. "All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do and hear." (Ex. xxiv. 7.)

Author: Edward Craig Mitchell From Scripture Symbolism, 1904

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