Category — Ten Commandments
A sermon on Exodus 20:1-2 by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn.
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants,”
The contents of the twentieth chapter of Exodus, which contains the Ten Commandments, is given in the Arcana Coelestia as follows: “In this chapter the subject treated of in the internal sense is the Divine True things which are to be implanted in the good with those who are of the Lord’s Spiritual Church. The Ten Commandments of the Decalogue denote these trues. The commandments concerning sacrifices, and concerning, the altar, which follow in this chapter denote the external trues which are of worship.” (A.C. 8859).
The eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of Exodus treat of the ordering of the mind by Divine Good, from first to last, and the preparation for the reception of Divine True from the Lord out of heaven in good, with those who are of the spiritual Church. This has been the subject of our doctrinal classes. These Divine True things which are now to be implanted are the Ten Commandments in their internal sense. Until there is good ground in which the Ten Commandments in their internal sense can be implanted, the essence of the Ten Commandments cannot be given to the Spiritual Church. It is evident that the good here spoken of is not the good, of life which is out of living according to the Ten Commandments in their internal sense, for prior to the giving of the Commandments in their internal sense, such good is not possible. What then is the good, in which the internal sense of the Commandments is to be implanted?
This good is expressed in the nineteenth chapter by the words of people: “All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do.” (Ex. 19:8)
The good in this state involves a desire and longing for a new life according to the new trues contained in the Ten Commandments. Such a desire and such a longing can only come from a perception that the life we are now in is not truly life, and that we therefore need the trues of eternal life if we are not to spiritually die. This alone is the good ground which con receive the true things which ore to be revealed. All the preceding chapters of Exodus, all the temptations described are for the sake of preparing this good ground.
As long as the old life rules in man, and as long as the old life is felt by man as real life, and therefore as delightful he does not as yet have in him the good, which can receive the internal sense of the Ten Commandments. It is only after man has been led through temptations even to despair that the old life ceases to have a hold on man and he comes to long for a new life. When this desire or longing has become sufficiently strong The Divine True of the internal sense of the Decalogue can be received in this good…
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