De Hemelsche Leer
The leading theses propounded in “De Hemelsche Leer”:
1. The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Third Testament of the Word of the Lord. The doctrine of the new jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture must be applied to the three Testaments alike.
2. The Latin Word without Doctrine is as a candlestick without light, and those who read the Latin Word without Doctrine, or who do not acquire for themselves a Doctrine from the Latin Word, are in darkness as to all trues (cf. S. S. 50-61).
3. The genuine Doctrine of the Church is spiritual out of a celestial origin, but not out of rational origin. The Lord is that Doctrine itself (cf. A. C. 2496, 2497, 2510, 2516, 2533, 2859; A. E. 19).
DE HEMELSCHE LEER
What is DE HEMELSCHE LEER?
The reader is cautioned that unless he or she has carefully read and reread the ARCANA COELESTIA and DE HEMELSCHE LEER, he or she may find it somewhat difficult to follow the ideas contained in this book.
This is not meant to discourage the reader, as there are important things in the book that one who has a general knowledge of the Third Testament can easily follow.
“The Word without Doctrine is like a candelabrum without light.” S.S. 50
(Candelabrum is an English word taken from the Latin. In ancient Latin manuscripts a candelabrum was a lamp or candleholder- Latin, lampas and candela.
In the Third Testament, as far as we have been able to discover, a candelabrum al¬ways stands for a lamp holder or lampstand.
Olive oil was the fuel of the lamps.)
The generals are natural and are an entrance hall to the particulars and singulars. In time, if man has an opportunity to enter into the particulars and singulars of Doctrine in the light of which he can see singulars of the Word, and does not take the opportunity to do so, the generals of the Doctrine more and more become things of the mere letter of Doctrine – dry bones.
Or one begins to fill the things of the literal sense of the Doctrine with false particulars, from which he sees nothing but falsities in the Word. This will be illustrated in what follows.
DE HEMELSCHE LEER, translated into English, is The Celestial Doctrine.
This title was chosen, for the magazine in Holland, because it was seen that the Lord was revealing Doctrine for the Lord’s New Church. It was never, however, taken to mean that everything in the magazine was the genuine Doctrine of the Church, for it is evident that not everything in the magazine is Spiritual Doctrine from a celestial origin.
The more important articles in the monthly magazine were translated into English and were published in English in seven fascicles.
There were important articles published in DE HEMELSCHE LEER in Holland after the seventh fascicle, published in English. These included the Principles of 1939 and 1949, the Principles and Plan of Order and the assembly address of Groeneveld to the 1947 assembly.
To write a fuller treatise on DE HEMELSCHE LEER would take many volumes. We will here confine ourselves to a limited number of important points.
In quoting from DE HEMELSCHE LEER, we will just use numbers. To illustrate: IV:37 2/3 signifies the Fourth Fascicle, page 37, two thirds of the way down: VI:6t signifies Sixth Fascicle, page 6, top of page; while III:4b signifies Third Fascicle, page four, bottom of page.
The first question is: What is the Doctrine and what is its nature?
“Every member of the Church will welcome with great joy the appearance of the new monthly magazine, and be moved by the thought that in the Lord’s Providence, it has been appointed that now for the Church in reality, the Heavens will be opened. After a period of preparation or of the reformation of the Church, which reached its summit in a natural rational understanding of the Third Testament, and on account of which a natural regeneration of the Church was possible, the Church has now come to a state by which a spiritual understanding of the Word and therefore spiritual regeneration of the Church is possible.
“During the state of reformation, the conjunction of the Lord with the Church is from the side of the Lord alone. By the birth of the Doctrine of the Church, the Church has prepared itself, on account of which the conjunction is from the side of the Church as well.
“Just as everything which is has an external and an internal, so the Doctrine of the Church as the Doctrine of the Divine Human of the Lord, has an internal and an external. It is internal Doctrine of the Church or the Doctrine of the Genuine True, which is the Lord Himself, by which the Church is to be built. It is the celestial Doctrine descending from God out of Heaven. This Doctrine is free from all space and time, and purely spiritual from a celestial origin. It is only by this Doctrine that Heaven does come down to earth, and that the Church does become truly Church.
“This Doctrine as a seed will be received by the Church more and more internally, and by the Church it will be made of life.
“This seed from the Third Testament, that is from the Divine Doctrine, will be opened in the rational of the male of the Church and be made life by the female of the Church. By this the Church will come into possession of internal things which never before have been given to the human race. This internal Doctrine of the Church can only be opened by the Lord if rational of the male has been prepared for it, which happens only after heavy combat. It is now by means of the external Doctrine of the Church that this combat takes place and it is the male of the Church which must fight that combat.
“A heavy combat awaits the male, for the hells with all their might will rebel to maintain their power, and even more fierce will b? their assault. They will beset the understanding that it will seem to the male as if its thoughts were taken from it.
The male will continually have to remain impressed with the fact that the Lord alone fights through it.
“After perseverance in this combat, the victory will be certain, as appears from the Lord’s words in the 33rd verse of the 16th chapter of the Gospel o? John: ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ Then the infernal spirits will be cast down to earth and the Lord will be able through the rational of the male to give to the Church the Celestial Doctrine.
“From the side of the female great co-operation is required. It is necessary for the female to give its devotion, by the sacrifice of all love of self and all love of the world…
All its delight of conjugial love depends on the victory in this combat…and when after the combat, the celestial Doctrine will be given to the Church, the female should receive this Doctrine and bring it to life.
“Then will the Church become more and more internal, and then will the most beautiful things be given to it. Then will this new magazine be the place where the Lord will openly speak to us.” I:11 1/2, 12, 13 1/4.
In the above article it speaks of the internal of the Doctrine, which is the Lord Himself, and the external of the Doctrine, and the reception of the Doctrine, that at first, it is received as a seed from the Third Testament.
The seed referred to in the above article is the spiritual sense of the Twentieth Chapter of Genesis in the Arcana Coelestia. The reception of the seed was a spiritual perception of what the Doctrine of the Church is.
In the Twentieth Chapter of Genesis in the Arcana Coelestia Sarah as the wife of Abraham is the Doctrine spiritual from a celestial origin, that is the Divine Spiritual True from the Divine Celestial Good; that is the True which is from a love from the Lord into the Lord.
“Sarah a wife signifies the spiritual true, the Doctrine Itself of true faith is also meant by Sarah a wife, for Doctrine is from trues.” A.C. 2517
In this chapter Abraham, when called a man, is the celestial Doctrine, for we read:
“Abraham…when called a man, signifies the celestial the true which is the same as Doctrine out of a celestial origin.” A.C. 2533
BRIEF SUMMARIES OF STATEMENTS IN DE HEMELSCHE LEER
“The leading thesis of DE HEMELSCHE LEER”
The principles in “The Principles and Plan of Order”
“The Three Essentials” and
The Principle of its Doctrine.