Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Category — Basis for the Genuine Doctrine

Notes on the Teachings of the Word concerning Divorce


It is needful for the Church to consider the interior causes of the laws of divorce given in the Word. By this all may come to a deeper understand­ing and love of the Conjugial, and of the uses of marriage, and hy this the Church may he protected against doubts and false reasonings about those laws. Doubts may arise because the laws of divorce are very strict, and in some cases their severity appears to bring much hardship on men. False reasonings about those laws may arise especially from this, that the laws of divorce in the World of Spirits are altogether different from those given for this world; from this some may suppose that in an interior state of the Church with man, the laws which apply there should take the place of the laws which apply in this world. An understanding of the interior causes of the laws of divorce will protect the Church from such doubts and such reasonings.

First we would draw your attention to the distinction between the Conjugial which must be received from the Lord in every man of the Church and the Corljugial union which may be formed between husband and wife. That there is such a distinction is well known from the teaching that Love Conjugial may be given with one married partner and not at the same time with the other. (C.L. 226, 531.) For the most part, however, this distinction has been over­looked in the past. Whenever the Conjugial, or Love Conjugial, has been men­tioned, the thought with most has been only of the Conjugial union between husband and wife. As a consequence, the importance which the Word places upon the Conjugial which is to be received and formed in each man of the Church has not been noticed; many teachings which apply in the first place to the Conjugial in each man, have been applied only to the Conjugial union between the married partners.

Consider the following teachings of the Word about the Conjugial in each man:

That the Conjugial is the desire of living with one partner, and that every step made from religion and into religion is a step from the Conjugial and into the Conjugial. (C.L, 80.)

That Love truly Conjugial is from the Lord, and is with those who approach Him directly, and who love the trues of the Church and do its goods* (C.L. 70.)

That this Conjugial is inscribed on the minds of those who acknowledge the Lord and His Divine. (C.L. 338.)

That this Conjugial is the precious jewel of human life and the repository of the Christian Religion. (C.L. 457, 458, 466, 531)

That it is chief among the essentials of human life, and that so far as a man is in this love he is spiritual, and so far as he should lose this love he approaches the nature of a beast. (First Index to Angelic Wisdom concerning Marriage, under “Conjugial”, and C.L. 230.)

That this Conjugial is guarded in man, whatsoever the state of marriage he may be in. (C.L, 531.)

Read these numbers carefully and you will see that it is the Conjugial with each man that is described in them. This Conjugial is with all men who acknowledge the Divine Human of the Lord in love and faith, and who live the life of religion. It is with all such men whether they in this life are married or not, and if married, whether or not they have been blessed with a Conjugial union with their partner. This Conjugial is of the utmost importance to the salvation and regeneration of the man of the Church. It is the first thing in the natural produced by man’s acknowledgment of the Divine of the Lord. It is the connecting link and bond between the internal things with man and his natural life. It is the principal and beginning of the descent of the celestial and spiritual with man into his natural, and serves as a plane there for the recep­tion of them. No doubt this is one of the reasons why a whole book of the Word is devoted to Love Conjugial. If this Conjugial should be destroyed in a man, nothing of regeneration would be possible.

The Lord has ordered all things of Christian marriage for the recep­tion and protection of this Conjugial with man, and also for the forming of a Conjugial union of husband and wife. The laws of marriage and the laws of divorce are given for both of these precious things. If a man of the Church should violate the laws of divorce, he is in the danger of harming the Conjugial in himself, as well as doing harm to the Church and to society in general. This is evident from what is said about a Christian who enters into polygamy, (C.L. 339), namely, that he profanes the marriage of the Lord and the Church.

Read that number and you will see that the same danger is present with those who obtain a divorce without just cause.

One with whom there is the Conjugial strives wholeheartedly for union with the married partner. Such a one does not put away the partner, even if that union is clearly absent, nor even if it appears to be impossible, but strives for such a conjunction as may be possible. This is evident from the following teaching:

“That these conjugial simulations, with a spiritual man conjoined to a natural, savor out of justice and judgment. The reason is because a spiritual man does what he does out of justice and judgment, where­fore he does not see these simulations as estranged from his internal affections, but as joined with them. For he acts seriously, and re­gards amendment as the end, and if this does not follow, he regards accommodation, for the sake of order in the house, for the sake of mutual aid, for the sake of the care of infants, for the sake of peace and tranquility. To these things he is led out of justice, and out of judgment he gives them into effect. That a spiritual man so cohabits with a natural man, is because a spiritual man acts spiritually, even with one who is natural.” (C.L. 280.)

A spiritual man, that is, one with whom is the Conjugial, strives for the ammendment of life with a partner who has it not. Although he is not in a union of souls and minds with that partner, he loves the spiritual  welfare of the partner, and strives for it. Such a one would never put the partner away except for the causes given in the laws of divorce. To do such a thing would be to act against the conjugial striving in himself, and thus to act against the Conjugial itself.

It should be noted that the love of the spiritual welfare of one’s married partner must lie at the heart of any marriage, for without it there can be neither the Conjugial in oneself nor a Conjugial union with one’s partner. Even in those marriages in which the husband and wife live happily together, no union of souls and minds can take place unless the spiritual welfare of the married partner is held uppermost in the marriage. Without this, marriage would have in it only a natural conjugial, an apparent conjunction of minds arising out of external harmonies alone.

From these things it can be seen that the Conjugial in each man is not endangered by a marriage in which a Conjugial union has not been effected, but that it is endangered by the putting away of a married partner without a just cause in agreement with the laws of divorce given in the Word. This is an interior reason for the severity of the laws of divorce, and for the law that matrimony is to continue to the end of life in the world even though there be colds in relation to the Conjugial.

A further reason underlying these laws is that, except in the case outlined in the laws of divorce, no final judgment is to be made on a marriage in this world, as to whether something of a Conjugial union has been or may be formed within it. This is because the internal similitudes on which the essential conjunction of marriage rests are not primarily attributes of natural birth and native compatibility, but of the new birth of reformation and regeneration. So far as possible the Lord’s Providence Works for the formation of these internal similitudes, and thus for the new creation of the husband and wife for one another, during the whole course of their life in the world. A spiritual man, even though he may see that a Conjugial union is not yet present in his marriage, still would strive toward that union, and would not make any final judgment against its possibility.

From all these considerations it can be understood why it is said in the “Statement as to the Principle concerning Divorce,” that if the Church or the man of the Church violates the laws of order in respect to marriage, the Conjugial itself, which is the precious jewel of human life and the repository of the Christian Religion, is violated, and that then the Divine Human of the Lord, from which the Conjugial descends, cannot be present in the Church.

Respecting divorce in the World of Spirits, the Word teaches as follows:

That married partners meet after death, consociate, and for some time live together as before in the world; this takes place in their first state in the World of Spirits, while they are in external things as before in the world; that successively, as they put off external things, and enter into their in­ternals, they perceive the quality of the love and inclination which they mutually had for each other, and thence they perceive whether they can live as one or not; that if they can live as one, they remain married partners, but if not, they separate; that there is then given to the man a suitable wife, and to the woman a suitable husband. (C.L. 47b, 48b, 49, 50.) In that world divorce is granted when there is no similarity in their affections. (Memorabilia 6027.)

The separation of unsuitable partners in the World of Spirits is according to the law of the Spiritual World that external things must altogether agree with internal things in angels and spirits. They who differ in love and faith cannot live near each other, much less live in the same house. This general law of the Spiritual World is essential to life in that world, and there can be made no exception to it. But the general law of the natural world is that here external things must remain fixed in order that internal things may be changed and formed in man. Any essential change in the spirit or mind of man must be initiated in this world. This general law for the natural world is ex­pressed in this teaching of the Word: “Mutation of organization is given solely in the material body, and is not at all givable in the spiritual body after the former has been rejected.” (Brief Exposition 110.) This law involves the whole reason for our being bom in the natural world.. If the laws governing the Spiri­tual World were to be applied outwardly to life in this world, if there were no fixed external order, independent, as it were, from the internal states of men, no reformation or regeneration could take place in this life. There would be no freedom of choice possible for man, for there would be nothing by which man could reflect upon his internal things, and by which he could cooperate with the Lord in changing them.

Consider what would take place, for example, if the law that riches in the Spiritual World are in accordance with the wisdom of the angels, were to be applied outwardly in this life. If that law were to be applied here, no man would be free to reject wisdom, and no man would be free to love and receive wisdom for its own sake. If such laws were to be applied outwardly in this life, man would be compelled in the things of religion, which is against the Law of the Divine Providence, All life in this world would in such a case be impossible.

If the laws of divorce in the World of Spirits were to be applied to this world, there would be no fixed order by which the Conjugial in each man could be formed and developed in marriage. And if the Conjugial had already been formed in a man, such an application of those laws to his life in this world would be contrary to his Conjugial longing, and destructive of it. More­over, by the application of the laws of divorce in the World of Spirits to this life, marriages here would be exposed to all kinds of phantasy and cupidity, and a truly Christian society would be made impossible.

The things brought forward in the “Statement of the International Interior Council as to the Principle concerning Divorce” are vital for the Church. May it serve to awaken all of us to the Life that is in the ’Word, and to our need of being fully instructed in that Life. The Life that is in all things of the Word is the Life of the Lord’s Divine Human. All the laws of the Word, and all things of the Church, look to the ordering of human life in order that the Lord’s Life may be present and may be received within it. It is our hope that this Statement may serve this end.

The Rev, Philip N. Odhner

President of the International Council of Priests

October 17th, I960


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).

Read the first fascicle of  De Hemelsche Lerr

Read the second fascicle of  De Hemelsche Lerr

Read the third fascicle of  De Hemelsche Lerr

Read the fourth fascicle of  De Hemelsche Lerr

Read the fifth fascicle of  De Hemelsche Lerr

Read the sixth fascicle of  De Hemelsche Lerr

Read the seventh fascicle of De Hemelsche Leer




Theodore Pitcairn


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 always 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?

We read:

“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.

We read:

“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

Read the full work on De Hemelsche Leer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn




“The leading thesis of DE HEMELSCHE LEER”

“The Principles of 1949″

The principles in “The Principles and Plan of Order”

“The Three Essentials” and

The Principle of its Doctrine.

(from the book on De Hemelsche Leer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn)


Second Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer


“Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, as in heaven so upon the earth.” (Matthew 6: 10.)

Before considering our text for today, let us review the first words of the Prayer, “Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name.” As we said in our last sermon, Our Father, or Father of us, stands for the Lord as the Divine Love, thus the Lord as the Esse, Being and Life of all in heaven and in the Church. To call the Lord our Father signifies a desire to become His children by means of re-birth or regeneration. To become tho Lord’s childron is to be in innocence.

Concerning innocence we read: “The nature of innocence may be seen in a mirror from little children, in that they love their parents and trust in them alone, having no care but to please them; and accordingly they have food and clothing not merely for their needs, but also for their delight; and as they love their parents they do with tho delight of affection whatever is agreeable to them, thus not only what they command but also what they suppose them to wish to command, and moreover have no self regard whatever, not to mention many other characteristics of infancy. But it is known that the innocence of little children is not innocence, but only its semblance. Innocence itself dwells solely in wisdom… and wisdom consists in bearing oneself towards the Lord, out of the good of love and of faith, as do little children towards their parents in the way just stated.” (A.C.6107.)

It is only out of such innocence one can know and believe the Name of the Lord and hallow it. The Name of the Lord, as is known, is the Word and Doctrine thence, that is, it is the Genuine understanding of the Word. None others than those who are in innocence can believe in the Word genuinely understood and hallow and sanctify the true, which is the Lord’s Name. Such alone are in Doctrine which is spiritual from a celestial origin.

When such Doctrine, in the internal of the mind, comes into existance out of celestial innocence, there is a looking towards tho bringing of this Doctrine down into natural life; whorefore tho next words of tho Prayer are, “Thy Kingdom come.” The Lord as the Divine Love is “Our Father who art in heaven.” The Lord as the Divine True of Doctrine is the King. The word Kingdom implies a king who reigns.

The Kingdom consists of all who obey the Lord as the Divine True, thus all who obey the laws of tho Divine True which are the laws of His Kingdom or Church. Man therefore, after saying “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name,” prays for the coming of the Lord’s Kingdom. In this state it is a prayer; for many things must be fulfilled before the Kingdom can come. It is only at the end of the prayer that it is said, “Thine is the Kingdom.” Between the prayer, “Thy Kingdom come,” and the fulfillment “Thine is the Kingdom,” the rest of tho Prayer must be fulfilled, namely, “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name,” is the reception of the Lord in the inmost of the mind. “Thy Kingdom, in the heavens” is the rational as a receptacle of the Divine True of the Lord. “Thy Kingdom, on earth” is the natural as a receptacle of the Divine True of the Lord.

When the rational mind, not only in generals, but in particulars and singulars, looks continually to the Lord, and His Word, so that all the thinking from day to day and moment to moment is a praise and glorification of the Lord, and is a thanksgiving for His Mercy, then the Lord’s Kingdom is established in the Kingdom of heaven, which is within him. The internal Church is constituted of those who are in this Kingdom of heaven.

Read the full second sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn