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Deuteronomy Chapter 32

Verses 1-6. The Lord recruits the soul with spiritual life when there is reception; it is man himself that rejects the Divine influx.
Verses 7-14. The implantation of good and truth in the soul in infancy and youth.
Verses 15-33. The declension of the natural man from Divine truth, and consequent destruction of good and truth in the soul.
Verses 34-43. But when the soul has found by experience the futility of all else and turns to the Lord, its evils and falsities are dissipated.
Verses 44-52. The absolute necessity of carrying out the Divine will in the life again impressed upon the soul. Truth gives to the soul a perception of heaven, but cannot bring it thither till carried out in the life.
  1. Give ear, O you heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
  1. Let the internal man be studious to obey the Divine influx, which will then flow in from heaven, and let the external man receive and carry out in the life the Divine truths, which will then flow in to the understanding.
  1. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
  1. Truth from the Lord will then nourish and refresh the soul, as the rain from heaven nourishes the earth, and the perception given from Him will renew it with tranquillity and peace (AC 8455); and this gentle influx from the internal to the external man produces happiness and charity, while genuine truth invigorates the knowledges that lead to heaven. (See AE 644.)
  1. Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe you greatness to our God.
  1. Because it teaches the goodness and wisdom of the Lord as revealed in His Humanity, to Him be ascribed all excellency. [Note.—The internal sense of the Word throughout teaches how good and wise the Lord is; but His character is chiefly manifested by God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ.]
  1. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
  1. Faith in Him is the only foundation on which to build, His work is perfect: the way that He leads is the only wise way: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (AE 411).
  1. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
  1. It is man himself that turns away from the Lord. With him is the imperfection, all the faculties receptive of good from heaven are distorted and perverted.
  1. Do you thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he your father that has bought you? has he not made you, and established you?
  1. Thus to reject what flows in from the Lord is folly and madness, for is He not your spiritual Father that redeemed you? By Him you were born again and regenerated, and all His dealings are intended for your good.
  1. Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you.
  1. The experience of the past may teach this; it was for this end that innocence was implanted in the soul by the Lord in infancy; and help afforded you in all the succeeding states of youth. Inquire of the perceptions of good given you by heaven, and they will show you this; and of the truths of wisdom that you have, and they will convince you of it.
  1. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
  1. When the Lord from the inmost principles of the soul began to arrange the affections in heavenly order by regeneration, when He separated what could be regenerated by love to Himself, He furnished the mind with truths necessary for salvation in complete order.
    [Note.—With reference to the last two verses the following passage is given in the AC 6075: "Remember the days of eternity, understand the years of generation and generation. When the Most High gave an inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of man, He appointed the boundaries of the people according to the number of the sons of Israel. When Jeshurun waxed fat he forsook God. He sacrificed to demons, to gods who came not near, and your fathers knew not" (Deut 32:7, 8, 15, 17). This passage occurs in the prophetic song of Moses, wherein the Ancient Church is treated of from verses 7-15, and the posterity of Jacob from verses 15-44; the state of the Most Ancient Church, which was before the Flood, is signified by the days of eternity; and the state of the Ancient Church, which was after the Flood, by the years of generation and generation; the state of their good by the inheritance which the Most High gave to the nations, and the state of their truth by the Most High separating the sons of men, appointing the boundaries of the people according to the number of the sons of Israel; this number, or twelve, denotes all the truths of faith in the complex." As explained in the preface, the endeavour is made in this Study of the Book of Deuteronomy to develop the internal sense as it applies to the individual soul, and not as it applies to mankind as a whole: but the one sense is involved within the other; for the mind of man is a microcosm, and an individual in regeneration has to go through the same changes that mankind has gone through collectively. We have had our Most Ancient Church in the innocence of infancy; our Ancient Church in the period of youth; and the destiny desired for us by the Lord, if we will follow Him, is that we should ultimately be brought to that state which is described by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation (Rev. xix—xxii.), and by verses 36-43 of this chapter; in which the innocence of infancy is united to the wisdom of adult age.]
  1. For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
  1. For it is the earnest desire of the Lord to save all who will follow His necessary commands; it was to regenerate even the most external that He assumed the Divine Humanity.
  1. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
  1. He found them in a state void of spiritual life, their affection for good gone, their truths destroyed by falses; He led them step by step from that state, He instructed them, He preserved them with the utmost care in the interior understanding of truth (AE 730).
  1. As an eagle stirs up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings:
  1. The rational principle enlightened from heaven stirred up the natural truths of the mind, and guarded the new truths developed from itself, exercised all its powers in examining into truths, and took natural truths and elevated them by this examination into celestial light (AE 281):
  1. So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
  1. So that the soul was entirely under the guidance of truth from the Lord, and rejected all falsities.
  1. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
  1. And the Lord gifted the soul with interior intelligence that He might enable it to profit by the good and truth sown in the mind; and caused it to be delighted with the study of the scientific truths of religion, and imbued it with good by the truths of faith;
  1. Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and you did drink the pure blood of the grape.
  1. With celestial things derived from external or natural good, and spiritual things derived from internal good. [Note. — The character is made celestial by conforming the external or natural life to it, and spiritual truth is acquired and embraced by means of the internal good given from the Lord.] The innocence derived from the faith of charity (fat of lambs). [Note. — "Lambs in the original tongue are expressed by various names, and thereby are expressed various degrees of innocence; they are here expressed by a word whereby sheep also are expressed, and it is the innocence of the faith of charity which is here signified" (AC 3994).] Celestial-spiritual affections (rams of Bashan). "The celestial exterior principle Is an affection of good; nay, it is also a pleasure which is derived from the affection of good. So far as the good of love and charity is in the affection of good and the pleasure thence derived, so far such an affection and pleasure are celestial and so far also they are happy. But the celestial-spiritual principle is every affection of truth in which is the affection of good" (AC 1824). Bashan denotes the good of the natural principle (AC Index). And faith (goats) with the celestial things of love and charity (the fat of kidneys of wheat). [Note. — 'Inasmuch as fat denotes good it is adjoined to such things as are not fat in themselves but still signify good, thus fat and good are, as it were, the same thing" (AC 5943). This is for the sake of the internal sense.] And you did imbibe the pure truths proceeding from the Divine love (the pure blood of the grape). (AE 314, 374.)
  1. But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: you are waxen fat, you are grown thick, you are covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
  1. But evils derived from the hereditary tendency began to assert themselves in the natural unregenerated part of the mind and to reject the Divine influence: the soul then becomes filled with the lust of evil, and there is a dense resistance to the inflowing of good from heaven, and the internal has become covered up by external things; then the soul forsook the Divine truth that regenerated him, and lightly esteemed faith in the sacred doctrines of truth from the Word and the Lord's Humanity whereby alone is salvation.
  1. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
  1. Thus the regenerating drive the Lord from them by evils and the falses of evil; they become averse to Him by reason of their internal defilement. ("The Lord is especially called Zealous or the Avenger when the man of the Church has corrupted the Divine which ought universally to reign with him, and which he ought above all things to love, to reflect on, and to fear; when this is corrupted or destroyed, then instead of heavenly light mere darkness usurps its place, as there is no longer any influx thereof from the Divine, because there is no reception" (AC 8875).)
  1. They sacrificed to devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
  1. They worshiped their evil lusts and not the Lord; and false persuasions which favoured them, foreign to the truth implanted by the Lord in the soul, and new doctrines of the false appeared in the soul, which had not been believed in any previous state.
  1. Of the Rock that begat you you are unmindful, and have forgotten God that formed you.
  1. Of the faith in Divine truth proceeding from the Lord's Humanity, which first commenced your regenerate life, you have been unmindful, and have forgotten the doctrines of truth which shaped your spiritual life.
  1. And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
  1. So that when the good and truth of the Lord is perceived, it is abhorred by reason of the perversion caused in the soul by evils and falses.
  1. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no faith.
  1. And it was seen to be necessary that interior good and truth should be hidden, lest in the end they should be profaned; for the mind in this state is in a very perverse condition, and gives birth to ideas in which is no truth.
  1. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
  1. On account of the reception of these false doctrines in the mind, the Lord is compelled for the sake of the ultimate safety of the soul to act vigorously against the unregenerate will; by reason of its perversion and love of empty vanities which lead to no real happiness, He seems to the mind in this state to be against its welfare; and the will becomes zealous about doctrines that are not true; and eager after things that are not really good.
  1. For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
  1. And the influx of the Lord's love into the soul is turned into self-love, which contains in itself infernal hatred against good, and consumes the external man and all that is spiritual within it, when it becomes the ruling and fundamental principle in the soul.
  1. I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
  1. And all kinds of evils will then be heaped upon the soul, and every kind of falsity possess the understanding.
  1. They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
  1. The affections will burn with lust after evil, and be consumed with the fire of self-love, and with the ruin of the mind thence resulting: the dense falsities arising from earthly lusts (teeth of beasts) will come upon the natural man, and hypocrisy, and reasonings derived from mere sensual principles separate from spiritual life, which altogether destroy the life of heaven in man (the poison of serpents of the dust).
  1. The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
  1. Thus the false and the evil which are from hell will devastate both the natural and the rational man, and will destroy both the understanding of truth and the affection for it, and also innocence with wisdom.
  1. I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:
  1. The Lord would have deprived these principles of all power by reducing the soul to externals, and holding it in Divine order by external bonds, and permit the memory of its struggles with sin no more to come up in the mind,
  1. Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD has not done all this.
  1. Were it not that thereby the power of hell would increase, and worse evils would invade the soul, and the mind would be filled with the insane phantasy that it was like a god, and that by its own power it had triumphed over evil; and would trust in itself and not in the Lord.
  1. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
  1. For the natural mind of man is full of ideas which produce insane falsities, nor is there any genuine perception of truth in it.
  1. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
  1. If the soul would but derive its motives and intelligence from the Lord it would understand the dealings of Divine Providence with it, and would consider that they respect its eternal happiness.
  1. How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
  1. In this case the whole of the mind would act together to drive away evils and falses, and truth joined to good in the regenerate soul would put to flight the whole power of hell, if they had not alienated themselves from Divine truth and suffocated the influx of Divine good into the soul.
  1. For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
  1. For there is no sure resting-place for the soul but trust in the Divine Humanity of the Omnipotent Lord. Let the principles derived from evils and falses declare if they have ever been able to give the soul any real peace or repose.
  1. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:
  1. Any apparent truth from any other source is but the false derived from hell, and from the evil affections springing from the falsities that reign therein: and any other apparent goods are but evils in disguise, which lead to misery and unhappiness.
  1. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
  1. Doctrines that support them, drawn from the Word, are the most direful of falsities, for they are the Word profaned, and bring upon the soul the malignant and poisonous evils of hypocrisy.
  1. Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
  1. The wisdom by which the Lord delivers man from these things, as far as possible, by the operations of Providence, is profound and inscrutable, and cannot be fathomed by human intelligence.
  1. To me belongs vengeance and compensation; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
  1. Divine order appoints punishment or reward for every action of man; the power shall at length be taken from the evil to tempt man's lower nature: it is absolutely certain that they will perish, the zeal of the Lord for the safety of the soul requires it.
  1. For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he sees that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.
  1. For the Lord is not unmindful of those who have endeavoured to keep in His truth, and will have mercy on those that strive to serve Him, when they perceive that they have no power of themselves; and nothing of their natural evils that can be removed is left shut up within them,
  1. And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,
  1. And when the soul has learned the futility of any aid but that which comes from the Lord, and the impotence of the false doctrines in which it trusted,
  1. Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
  1. Which consumed the good of their worship, and destroyed all perception of truth in the soul; which are unable to oppose evils, or to afford any real help or protection in temptations.
  1. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
  1. In this state the soul clearly perceives that all power belongs to the Lord—that is, the Lord Jesus Christ—alone; nor is there any truth to combat with falses and evils but that which proceeds from Him: according as the influx which comes from Him is received, or perverted and rejected by man, the soul is destroyed or saved; is made sick or made whole; if it derives its power from the Lord, it is invulnerable to the whole power of hell.
  1. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.
  1. For communication is then opened up for it to the highest heavens, and it receives life from the Lord, who is the Life itself.
  1. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgement; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
  1. The lightning of Divine truth then streams forth upon the evils and falses which infest the soul, the understanding grasps eternal truth; the evils intended to man's eternal life recoil back on the spirits that tempt to evil, their hatred against the Lord and the good brings on their own punishment.
  1. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.
  1. The new truths that dart into the understanding from heaven will dissipate old fallacies, and imbibe and appropriate the truths that were in them; and Truth Divine will combat with and destroy the hereditary evils of the will, and will appropriate all the truths of the mind that were paralyzed by evils, and kept bound by falses, because the soul has begun to turn away from itself and from evil, and to look to the Lord.
  1. Rejoice, O you nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful to his land, and to his people.
  1. Let all the good affections and genuine truths in the soul rejoice: for He will remember the struggles of those who have contended against their evils from faith, and will destroy their adversaries, and will save all those principles in the mind which receive good and truth from Him.
  1. And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.
  1. And Divine Truth entered the soul and deeply impressed all these things upon it as necessary to be obeyed, and the soul became filled with the ardent desire of combating with, and utterly destroying, the evils and falsities that were in it.
  1. And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel:
  1. And the spiritual man arrived at a new state of regeneration in which it ceased to be of primary importance to learn fresh truths:
  1. And he said to them, Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
  1. In which it is perceived that the things now impressed upon the understanding by Divine truth must be carried out in the life with all the heart; so that the laws of heavenly order as given in the Word may govern the whole soul from first principles to last.
  1. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land, whither you go over Jordan to possess it.
  1. It is seen that these truths are not vain things that may be neglected; but that they are the very life itself of the soul; and by means of them holy states are acquired by the spiritual man, which will be useful to him in the next world, and when he passes from external to internal things.
  1. And the LORD spoke to Moses that selfsame day, saying,
  1. And the Lord illustrates the soul by means of Divine truth in that state,
  1. Get you up into this mountain Abarim, to mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel for a possession:
  1. And raises it to a state of love above the external things, in which the inferior faculties still remain, and to the highest intelligence it is possible for the soul to attain, whilst in a state of natural good; and thereby a perception is gained of the future heavenly states, to which the Lord will bring the spiritual man, and in which He will preserve him:
  1. And die in the mount whither you go up, and be gathered to your people; as Aaron your brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered to his people:
  1. And after this illustration Divine truth ceases to actively lead the soul, but is placed in its order amongst the interior things of the mind as arranged by the Lord; even as the externals of religious worship had ceased to be of fundamental importance to the soul, and had been placed in their order by the Lord in the soul:
  1. Because you trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of MeribahKadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
  1. For both these principles, when actively leading the mind, produce contentions about truth (Meribah-Kadesh, see AC 1678) and states which develop fallacies, and do not exclusively uphold the necessity of conforming the life to the Lord's Divine Human, and the holy principle of love as the supreme things of the Church.
  1. Yet you shall see the land before you; but you shall not go thither to the land which I give the children of Israel.
  1. Yet these principles give to the regenerating soul a perception of the heavenly state to be gained; but they do not alone enable the spiritual faculties to actually enter upon that state.

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