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

Category — Translation issues



It appears to me that the pamphlet and sermons of Mr. Moubray are written out of a love to the Lord, and contain trues that are not generally recognized in the New Church, and which are of much importance; but as I see it, there are in the pamphlet and sermons certain statements which are open to serious criticism, as will appear from what follows.

In the sermons and pamphlet the words “Divine Humanity”, frequently occur. The Latin for humanity is “humanitas.” The word humanity (Latin humanitas) occurs rarely in the Writings of Swedenborg (which we believe to be the Third Testament of the Word of the Lord). The words Divine Humanity (Latin Divina Humanitas) are never used in relation to the Lord.

The translators do not make the distinction between words ending in “ty” (Latin “tas”) and the words without this ending, while this use of words involves an important distinction. For example, the eternal (Latin aeternum) involves the Lord and things from Him which are eternal while, eternity, (eternitas) is a quality which can be separated in the mind from the thing itself, its substance to draw the mind to mere time.

No distinction is made by the translators between “verum” the true, and “veritas”, truth, and between “bonum” the good, and “bonitas”, goodness.

In explication of the words of the Lord “I am the way, the truth and the life”, in a certain number which I do not have at hand it states that by truth, (Latin “veritas”), is signified the Divine True (Latin Divinurn Verum), which shows that verum, the true, is the internal while veritas, truth, is the external. The words Divinum Humanum, the Divine Human, are from the Lord out of Heaven, but the words Divine Humanity, is from the world and has the sphere of the world in it.

That the Writings of Swedenborg are the Word appears to me to be clearly taught in the following: “The Word was the God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh. (John 1:1,14) From these words it is clear that without the Lord’s Coming into the world no one could have been saved. It is the same at this day; and therefore without the Lord’s Coming again into the world in the Divine True which is the Word, no one could be saved.” (see T.C.R. 3)

“The internal sense…has been dictated to me from Heaven.” (A.C. 6597e)

In your sermons and pamphlet you say that Swedenborg taught this or that, which gives the impression as if it was from Swedenborg instead of, as is said, “from the Lord through (Latin per) me.”

There are passages, which you may know, where it is said every syllable is from the Lord. It is very important to have an exact translation. Translators often try to improve on the original.

In your second sermon you say “I can throw little light on most of these subjects. We have to be content to grope. After all, even the angels of the highest Heaven are intensely interested in these subjects; and they could hardly maintain their interest, if they knew all that was to be known about them.”

I also feel how little I understand of this most profound subject. We are taught that when Swedenborg visited the “temple of wisdom”, in the spiritual world, he was told that no one could enter that temple, unless he acknowledges from the heart that that which he knew compared to what he did not know was like a drop compared to the ocean. To this Swedenborg replied that he not only acknowledged this from the heart, but also clearly perceived this to be the case. He was therefore permitted to enter.

Read the full paper by Rev. Pitcain on the pamphlet of Mr. Mobray