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Deuteronomy Chapter 25

Verses 1-3. The perception of right to be rigidly followed in choosing the right and rejecting the evil path, and erring faculties in the soul will be abased, but not more than is necessary for amendment.
Verse 4. External goods are themselves recruited by ministering to others which are more interior.
Verses 5-10. The good formerly done from external motives to be adopted and refined by spiritual motives, and that which exists only in thought, and persistently refuses to flow forth into act, to be rejected as useless.
Verses 11, 12. The inclinations of the proprium are not to be allowed to avert the decisions of the spiritual mind in deciding between good and evil, and truth and falsity.
Verses 13-16, The principles and rules of right and wrong must not be altered as worldly ends dictate, but what is believed to be right must be followed, or the heavenly life will be rejected.
Verses 17-19. The evil which those principles which compromise with evil bring upon the soul must be ever borne in mind, and as the soul obtains rest from its enemies such principles must be utterly destroyed.
  1. If there be a controversy between men, and they come to judgement, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
  1. If there be any doubt or dispute in the mind as to whether a principle be good or evil, or true or false, and the endeavour is made by the soul to ascertain the truth by such truths and perceptions which it has, and by interiorly inquiring of the Lord; be careful to receive the principle approved, and reject that condemned by the inward dictate given you.
  1. And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
  1. And if the thing thought about be determined to be evil or false, it shall be abased in the interiors of the mind by the truths and perceptions of good which are there, and kept down and punished according to its malignity as much as is required.
  1. Forty blows he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many blows, then your brother should seem vile to you.
  1. The visitation of the evil and false shall be full and complete, but shall not be carried beyond what is necessary, lest good and truth should also be destroyed. [Note.— From this passage we may learn that no punishment is permitted by the Lord except what is necessary to restrain evil and develop good.]
  1. You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn.
  1. It is a law of order that when external good is engaged in preparing good for the internal man during regeneration, it also should become recruited with good itself. (In rendering a service to another, good also accrues to him who serves.)
  1. If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother to her.
  1. If there are two kindred and associated goods (such as spiritual and natural good, which are brethren), and one of them perish without leaving spiritual offspring, the truths associated with the lost good must net be alienated from the soul; but be cherished by the kindred good which shall be conjoined with them, so as to develop fresh goods and truths in the soul therefrom. [Note.—Thus in regeneration those who have formerly acted from merely natural good come at length to see that natural good is not real good, and it perishes; but the good deeds and thoughts associated with it must by no means be omitted but be done in the future with more judgement from a superior and spiritual motive. (Natural good is that of good-nature, as it is called, the natural disposition that one has to please others.)]
  1. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
  1. And it shall be that the good and truth that result from this union will derive their quality from the lost good, so that its peculiar characteristics will not be put out from the soul. (Thus natural good will remain in the soul purified and refined by influx from spiritual good.)
  1. And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up to his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
  1. But if the kindred good be unwilling to be conjoined to the truth of the lost good—i.e. if spiritual good be unwilling to flow forth and manifest itself in the natural life— let natural truth appeal to the primary doctrines of the Church relating to the state of communication between the spiritual and natural mind, as to the fact that spiritual good refuses to perform deeds of natural charity, and to flow forth into the natural life.
  1. Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
  1. Then inquiry shall be made into this thing by the primary doctrines of good and truth; and if it appear that the spiritual good will not flow forth into the natural life;
  1. Then shall his brother's wife come to him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done to that man that will not build up his brother's house.
  1. Then shall this apparent good be rejected from the interiors by natural truth, under the guidance of the wisdom of the Church, as something that has no connection with practical life; and thus all apparent good shall be spurned and rejected that will not flow forth into deeds of charity, and become conducive to mutual love in the outer life.
  1. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that has his shoe loosed.
  1. And its quality shall afterwards be accounted useless in the spiritual life, and an apparent good that has no connection with progress in regeneration. (It is a law of the spiritual life that all good that exists merely in thought, and is not brought out into the life when occasion presents itself, is dissipated from the mind—that is, if the opportunity was fully perceived, and rejected from aversion in the will.)
  1. When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draws near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smites him, and puts forth her hand, and takes him by the secrets:
  1. When there is a division in the soul as to what is good or evil, or true or false, and the proprium or natural inclination, which is one with the evil of the soul, approaches to avert the decisions of the spiritual mind from condemning evil, withholding it by applications to the interior springs of hereditary evil which exist in the soul;
  1. Then you shall cut off her hand, your eye shall not pity her.
  1. You shall destroy the power of the natural proprium, which inclines to evil; it must not be favoured or regarded by interior wisdom.
  1. You shall not have in your bag diverse weights, a great and a small.
  1. You shall not have in your intellect diverse principles of good and evil (to be brought forth as worldly ends dictate).
  1. You shall not have in your house diverse measures, a great and a small.
  1. You shall not have in your will diverse principles of what is true or false.
  1. But you shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shall you have: that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
  1. But you shall endeavour to have and to conform your life to a perfect and just rule of what is good or evil, and a perfect and just rule of what is true or false; that you may be led along the path of Divine Providence to those blessed states in heaven which the Divine Love and Wisdom seek to give you as your own.
  1. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God.
  1. For all that have such diverse principles, and all that swerve in the least from what they believe to be the strict path of equity and righteousness, avert themselves from the Divine Love and Wisdom, and prevent the good from flowing into them that they would otherwise have received. [Note.—To have right principles, but when temptation comes to think there is no harm in acting in a doubtful manner just this once, saying to oneself that the conduct will be more strict than ever afterwards; is to have two weights, a great and a small, and two measures, a great and a small.]
  1. Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you were come forth out of Egypt;
  1. Bear constantly in mind what false principles about evil (that it is allowable) have done to the soul in its spiritual progress, when it had already advanced from a natural state.
  1. How he met you by the way, and smote the hindmost of you, even all that were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not God.
  1. How they come upon the soul when progressing in the spiritual life, and destroy those principles not fully confirmed in good, and those that are wavering, when weak and worn with temptation; and how they destroy the holy fear of committing evil, which should be ever present in the soul.
  1. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it.
  1. Therefore it is a duty, when the Divine Love and Wisdom have given rest to the soul by reducing to obedience all the evils of the natural mind, when the soul begins to inherit the new life of good received as its own from the Divine Love and Wisdom, that false principles of this nature, which compromise with evil, must be utterly rooted out of the interiors of the mind; and their evil qualities constantly borne in mind. [Note.—Amalek signifies a people that licks up and takes away all. Temptations are an opportunity given by the Lord to obtain some virtue by resisting the contrary vice. If the opportunity is missed, the good intended for the soul is lost. The Lord cannot gift the soul with good except it will as of itself resist evil and do good when opportunity comes.]

DEUTERONOMY 25    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page