(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 6

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6. From the Lord proceed the CELESTIAL, the SPIRITUAL, and the NATURAL, one after another. That is called the celestial which proceeds from His Divine love, and is Divine good; that is called the SPIRITUAL which proceeds from His Divine wisdom, and is Divine truth; the NATURAL is from both, being their complex in the ultimate. The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom, of whom is composed the third or highest heaven, are in that Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called the celestial, for they are in the good of love from the Lord. The angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, of whom is composed the second or middle heaven, are in that Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called the spiritual, for they are in truths of wisdom from the Lord.* But the men of the church on earth are in the Divine Natural, which also proceeds from the Lord. From this it follows that the Divine in proceeding from the Lord to its ultimates descends through three degrees, and is named the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural. The Divine which comes down from the Lord to men descends through these three degrees; and when it has come down, it holds these three degrees contained within it. Such is everything Divine, so that when it is in its ultimate degree it is in its fullness. Such is the Word; in its ultimate sense it is natural, in its interior sense it is spiritual, and in its inmost sense it is celestial; and in each sense it is Divine. That such is the nature of the Word does not appear in the sense of the letter, which sense is natural, for the reason that hitherto the man of this world has known nothing about the heavens; and consequently has not known what the spiritual is, nor what the celestial is, nor therefore the distinction between them and the natural.
* That there are two kingdoms of which the heavens consist, one of which is called the celestial kingdom, the other the spiritual kingdom, may be seen in the wok on Heaven and Hell (n. 20-28).


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