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Deuteronomy Chapter 17

Verse I. The service rendered to the Lord must be the very best the soul can give.
Verses 2-7. Any thought or affection which averts the soul from the Divine Humanity to be destroyed out of the mind.
Verses 8-13. Matters that cannot be decided in the external mind to be submitted to the judgement of heaven.
Verses 14-20. When the soul is perfected it will acquire and be governed by definite principles of action, in accordance with its perception of good, but these must be kept constantly subservient to the laws of heaven.
  1. You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.
  1. You shall not render to the Lord your God any worship or service either in external or internal things which is imperfect, that is, which is not your very best, and which is not from the heart; for this averts the soul from me Divine Love and Wisdom.
  1. If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, man or woman, that has worked wickedness in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing his covenant,
  1. If there be found in the soul, amongst any of the external faculties with which you are gifted by the Divine Love and Wisdom, thoughts or affections that are contrary to the perception that is given you of the Love and Wisdom as revealed in the Divine Humanity, and tend to draw the soul from Him,
  1. And has gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
  1. Which have turned from the Lord and served other things, and worshiped them as the supreme good, either the man's own selfhood, or any false principles derived from self-intelligence, or any of the falses which seem truths to the soul when not illumined by the Lord through the Word;
  1. And it be told you, and you have heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is worked in Israel:
  1. If this be perceived and made evident to the understanding, and after diligent self-examination it is seen to be true and without doubt that such things exist in the spiritual mind which avert it from the Lord;
  1. Then shall you bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, to your gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, till they die.
  1. Then you shall pluck out those thoughts and affections from the interiors of the mind, the thoughts and affections that are contrary to the Divine Humanity of the Lord, and shall destroy them out of the soul by means of pure truths derived from the Word.
  1. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
  1. If the evidence of good and truth in conjunction, or of several agreeing truths, shall show a thought or affection to be evil, it must be destroyed out of the soul: the evidence of one truth alone unconfirmed by others is not sufficient ground to destroy any principle of the mind.
  1. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put the evil away from among you.
  1. The powers of good and truth in conjunction, or of the agreeing truths, shall be at once exerted to destroy these errors out of the soul, and shall be seconded by the powers of all the faculties of the mind. Thus evil shall be put away and removed from the soul.
  1. If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgement, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates: then shall you arise, and get you up into the place which the LORD your God shall choose;
  1. If there arise in the soul a matter too hard for the perceptions of good that are given you to decide between what is true and what is false, or what is right or wrong, in motive or in act—matters that cannot be decided in the external part of the mind—then shall you elevate your soul to the Lord, and to the state derived from the Love and Wisdom which flows from the Lord's Divine Humanity;
  1. And you shall come to the priests the Levites, and to the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall show you the sentence of judgement:
  1. And you shall consult the desires after genuine good in spiritual and natural things which you have received from the Lord, and the perception of right and wrong which the Lord shall give you in that state; and wisdom will be given you by means of them:
  1. And you shall do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall show you; and you shall observe to do according to all that they inform you:
  1. And you shall do according to the perception that is given you, which the principles derived from the Lord's Divine Humanity shall teach you; and you shall take heed to perform all that they shall show you:
  1. According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach you, and according to the judgement which they shall tell you, you shall do: you shall not decline from the sentence which they shall show you, to the right hand, nor to the left.
  1. According to the interpretation of the Lord's will which they shall teach you, and according to the perception of what is right you shall have through them, you shall do: you shall not decline from the path pointed out by these leadings from the Lord to any course of action dictated by the unregenerate will.
  1. And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken to the priest that stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or to the judge, even that man shall die: and you shall put away the evil from Israel.
  1. And every inclination of the heart to act from the unregenerate will, which cannot be brought into conformity with the love of genuine good given to the soul from the Divine Love and Wisdom, or to the perceptions given of truth and right from the Lord, that inclination must be destroyed; and so evil shall be removed from the spiritual mind.
  1. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
  1. And all the faculties of the soul will thus be brought to obedience to the Lord, and fear to act against good, and from self-will.
  1. When you are come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, and shall possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shall say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
  1. When you are come to that heavenly state with which you shall be gifted, if the dictates of Divine Love and Wisdom are followed, and shall be habitually therein, and shall desire to be governed by definite and fixed principles of doctrine in spiritual things, as in moral and external things,
  1. You shall in any wise set him king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set king over you: you may not set a stranger over you, which is not your brother.
  1. You shall take care that your ruling principles of action are those appointed by the Lord, and in accordance with the Love and Wisdom which flow from the Lord's Humanity, and charity must be the ruling principle therein: you must not be governed by principles or doctrines which have not charity (or mutual love) as their ruling principle.
  1. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: for as much as the LORD has said to you, You shall now on return no more that way.
  1. And your ruling principle of action is not to be contaminated by doctrinals from the intellectual proprium, nor must the mind be brought back into a state in which doctrine is regarded as more important than life, and religion is made to consist in the intellectual belief in doctrinal formulae and external propriety; for as much as the soul has clearly perceived from the Lord that it cannot be brought to heaven by such means (AE 654).
  1. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
  1. Neither is the ruling principle of action of the soul to be conjoined with delights proceeding from the loves of evil and falsity that flatter self, lest the inmost will be drawn away from the Lord: nor shall the soul trust to the multiplication of mere doctrinals and knowledges acquired by self-intelligence.
  1. And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
  1. And it shall be, that when these principles of action which you have acquired are fully established as the guide and leader of the soul, that they Shall constantly be subordinate to the Divine Word, which shall be impressed on the heart, and perception from which will be given to the soul when in states of good from the Lord:
  1. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
  1. And the principles which the soul acts upon must always be drawn from the Divine Word, which must be the constant study of the soul in all the developments of religious life; that the soul may be filled with the holy fear of acting contrary to the Divine Love and Wisdom, and ever keep in remembrance all that is taught in the Word, and comprehend its teaching, and carry it out in the life:
  1. That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
  1. That the ruling principles of the soul may be established in humility, and thus not be against a life of true charity, and that they may not lead the soul away from the path designed for it by Divine Providence into the paths favouring the natural loves, and the fallacies which flow from them: to the end that the states derived from these ruling principles, and from the goods and truths produced by their means in the soul, may be as full and complete as possible in the spiritual mind.

DEUTERONOMY 17    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page