A Study of the Internal or Spiritual Sense of the Fifth Book of Moses called DEUTERONOMY by A. Payne James Speirs, 36 Bloomsbury Street, London, 1881
Verses 1-8. A General Summary.
Verses 9-18. The selection of right principles in the mind.
Verses 19-21. Invitation to enter upon the heavenly life.
Verses 22-25. A search into what constitutes the heavenly life.
Verses 26-40. The unwillingness of the unregenerate heart to enter upon it.
Verses 41-46. The attempt to do so from selfhood and defeat in temptation.
Verses 1-7. Hereditary good nature will not avail for regeneration.
Verses 8-15. The character is not made spiritual by external worship.
Verses 14, 15. The loss of self-confidence.
Verses 16-23. The soul must not remain in a state of falsified truths, but pass beyond them.
Verses 24-37. The destruction of the domination of self-love in the external mind.
Verses 1-17. The subjugation of the love of the world in the external mind.
Verses 18-20. The principles acquired in the regeneration of the external mind must assist in the perfecting of the internal domain of motives and thoughts.
Verses 21-29. After the conquest of evil in externals the soul desires at once to attain heavenly happiness; but this is not yet possible.
Verses 1-13. The absolute necessity of obeying the Divine commands.
Verses 14-24. That nothing from selfhood is to be put in the place of Divine truth, and that truth alone, unless worked out in the life, cannot save.
Verses 25-31. If the soul acts from itself it must perish, but if it seeks Divine Wisdom it will be saved.
Verses 32-40. That Providence continually assists regeneration, as may be manifest from the past; that the soul should therefore trust in the Lord and none else, and their sole duty is to carry out His laws.
Verses 41-43. Evils committed through ignorance or errors of doctrine do not condemn.
Verses 44-49. Reiteration of the Divine Law in the state to which the soul has arrived.
Verses 1-5. The keeping the commandments and obeying the Divine will as given in the Word is the covenant to conjoin the soul with heaven.
Verses 6-21. The Ten Commandments, which are a summary of the Divine Law
(For the full explanation of the Ten Commandments see AC 8863-8912. It is perhaps scarcely necessary to state here that the fact of the moral commands containing a spiritual sense does not mean any weakening of the literal sense.)
Verses 22-29. The perception of the perfections of the Divine Being; and the utter discordance of its desires and thoughts therewith, alarms the soul.
Verses 30-33. Instruction that if the soul leads a good life as far as it can, it receives a perception of truth accommodated to its state which leads it on by degrees.
Verses 1-3. The Law is given that the soul may keep it* and thereby attain eternal life.
* This looks like a self-evident proposition, but there are some modern theories, misnamed evangelical, which would seem rather to indicate that the Law was given to prove to the soul that it could not be kept, in direct contradiction to the Lord's own words Matt 5:17-20; 19:17, and elsewhere.
Verses 4-15. The primary commandment of the Law is that there is but one LORD, who must be enthroned as the central object of love and worship in the soul (Mark 12:29, 30).
Verses 16-25. Divine Providence must not be murmured against, for all its dealings are constantly directed for the good of the soul to lead it to heaven: it only remains for the regenerate to carry out the Divine commands.
Verses 1-5. The evils of the soul must be persistently and utterly destroyed or they will draw away the soul from heaven.
Verses 6-11. The regenerate must only receive into their souls the truths that flow from the Lord's Divine Humanity, all else is of no avail (John 10:1-16).
Verses 12-15. The blessedness resulting from following the Divine instructions.
Verses 16-26. The necessity of utterly destroying evil out of the soul.
Verses 1-20. All the operations of Providence are directed to obtain eternal happiness for the soul, and it must be constantly borne in mind that all good things come from heaven and none from self.
Verses 1-6. There is no righteousness naturally in the soul.
Verses 7-29. The dualism in the mind between what is spiritual and what is natural, and the stubborn rejection of all good by the latter.
Verses 1-5. That a new regenerate will is required in the natural mind.
Verses 6, 7. Progression in the religious opinions.
Verses 8-11. The faculty for receiving good in the new will entirely from heaven.
Verses 12, 13. The whole duty of man is to keep the commandments.
Verses 14-22. The desire of the Lord to save all as far as possible.
Verses 1-9. A greater obligation is imposed upon those regenerating than upon others to obey the Divine commands; because they have been able more clearly to perceive the operations of Providence.
Verses 10-12. The difference between a persuasive and a rational faith.
Verses 13-17. The rational understanding given to those who carry out the Divine will.
Verses 18-21. The Divine will must therefore be stamped upon the whole life.
Verses 22-25. The regenerate will then be endowed with all things.
Verses 26-32. A blessing and a curse thus set before the soul according as the Divine commands are obeyed or rejected.
Verses 1-16. On the rejection of evil and appropriation of good; the Lord's Divine Humanity is the test of all real good.
Verses 17-19. The genuine good from the Lord is not to be attributed to self.
Verses 20-28. Good may be acquired by self-effort, but must be kept distinct from that flowing from the Lord.
Verses 29-32. A caution against being again enticed by evil loves.
Verses 1-5. No doctrine is to be listened to which tends to draw away the mind from the Lord's Divine Humanity.
Verses 6-18. Everything which draws away the soul from the Lord is to be utterly rejected.
Verses 1, 2. The life of the regenerate flows in direct from heaven.
Verses 3-8. What affections may be appropriated to the soul.
Verses 9, 10. What knowledges and (verses 11-20) what thoughts may be appropriated.
Verses 21-27. What is of self is not to be conjoined to the new regenerate life, but all that flows in from heaven is to be conjoined.
Verses 28, 29. By this means the good facilities in the soul will be strengthened.
Verses 1-6. All idea of merit to be relinquished in spiritual things.
Verses 7-11. The spiritual aspirations to be satisfied as far as possible.
Verses 12-18. Inferior goods and uses are not to be despised, but to be endowed from the spiritual mind.
Verses 19-23. All good things to be ascribed to the Lord, and are not to be made use of for evil ends.
Verses 1-8. It is constantly to be borne in mind that all redemption is from the Lord's Divine Humanity (that is, the Lord Jesus Christ), which is signified by the Passover.
Verses 9-12. Thus truths will be implanted in affection, which is signified by the feast of weeks.
Verses 13-15. And the soul will be led to genuine good, which is the feast of tabernacles.
Verses 16, 17 In all these states the soul must endeavour to conform itself to the Divine Humanity (verses 18-20) with judgement and without bias (verses 21, 22), and without the admixture of anything from self-derived intelligence.
Verse 1. 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.
Verses 1, 2. Impulses to good are not derived from the man himself.
Verses 3-5. How they communicate with the rest of the mind.
Verses 6-8. How the impulses to good in the external mind are elevated by looking to the Divine Humanity.
Verses 9-14. Caution to keep the heavenly life clear from what proceeds from the evils of the unregenerate heart.
Verses 15-22. A development of truth suited to its progress will be given in each state of the soul.
Verses 1-3. When the soul follows sincerely the truths it knows, faults committed through ignorance do not bring guilt or hurt to the soul.
Verses 4-10. An example of this.
Verses 11-13. But theories which are maliciously and persistently against charity are to be destroyed.
Verse 14. The highest standard of good and truth the soul can reach to be rigidly maintained.
Verse 15. One unconfirmed truth not to condemn anything, but several agreeing together to be taken as a proof of evil.
Verses 16-21. On the decisions in the soul between evil and good, and between truth and falsity. Evil and falsity when brought to light to be destroyed.
Verses 1-4. The soul must not be afraid of evils and falsities when opposed by them in temptations, but must rely upon heaven.
Verses 5-9. Directions for combating with evil and falsity.
Verses 10-15. On contending with doctrines in the external mind that oppose regeneration.
Verses 16-18. But those derived from interior evil to be utterly destroyed.
Verses 19, 20. But care to be taken not to destroy any genuine knowledges and perceptions in contending with false doctrines.
Verses 1-9. On the purification of the external man from the guilt of rejecting the Divine Influx when this has been done through ignorance.
Verses 10-14. On the adoption of natural affections by the spiritual man.
Verses 15-17. Things inferior are not to be put before others of more importance in the formation of the character because they are more pleasing to the natural disposition.
Verses 18-21. What stubbornly opposes good and truth in the soul is to be destroyed out of it.
Verses 22, 23. Evils once seen and acknowledged to be destroyed there and then, and not suffered to remain in succeeding states.
Verses 1-3. Any affections or principles in the soul which have wandered from heavenly order and the life of charity are to be brought back as soon as possible.
Verse 4. Or if the natural mind is falling away from spiritual life, every effort must be made to restore it.
Verse 5. The things favoured by the natural inclination to be kept quite distinct from those known to be right.
Verses 6, 7. New ideas and truths appearing in the rational faculty to be appropriated, but the origin of them not to be attributed to self.
Verse 8. The will must not be allowed to relapse from a state of good to one of truth.
Verse 9. Truths derived from other sources to be kept distinct from those of the Church accepted by the soul.
Verses 10-12. The soul cannot be led by good as a primary agent and by truth as a primary agent at the same time as the states derived therefrom are quite distinct.
Verses 13-21. Examination into the affections of the soul as to whether they are good or evil.
Verse 22. Any doctrine which perverts the love of good to the love of evil to be destroyed.
Verses 23, 24. To love falsity when tniths are present in the soul is grievous sin, andean only be removed by destruction of the old tendencies of the will.
Verses 25-27. But falsities embraced from inability to understand the truth on account of the external state of the soul are easily removed.
Verses 28, 29. Imperfect truths, if believed in, must be acted out, and will then be purified.
Verse 30. To act against the good and truth whereby the soul is born again is profanation.
Verse 1. Those who reject faith and charity cannot enter into heaven.
Verse 2. Nor those whose good conduct is not from religion but from a spurious origin.
Verses 3-6. Nor those principles which falsify truths and adulterate goods, for they do not supply the soul with true sustenance, and also endeavour to oppose what is truly spiritual.
Verses 7, 8. But external religion agreeing with internal (or with a life of usefulness for a good end) is not to be shunned.
Verse 9. In temptations it is especially essential to avoid everything known to be evil.
Verses 10-14. The soul is remitted into external states to be purified from evils, otherwise the influences from heaven would be rejected from the soul.
Verses 15, 16. The rational faculty is not to be enslaved by spiritual truths.
Verses 17, 18. No love of perverting truth, or falsity which denies the Lord and the necessity of a good life, shall be permitted to exist in the regenerate soul; nor are knowledges acquired for evil ends or for vanity acceptable to heaven.
Verses 19, 20. The spiritual must not do good for the sake of reward as an end.
Verses 21-23. Things resolved upon as being right, must be acted upon.
Verses 24, 25. Good and truth derived from others may be adjoined to the soul, but must not be mixed with the good developed therein by the Lord in regeneration.
Verses 1-4. When the things loved do not accord with the things believed to be right in the soul, it is in a state analogous to divorce, and the things so loved by the external man and believed to be wrong must not be conjoined to the interior will.
Verse 5. When the understanding of truths is conjoined to its corresponding affection, a state of peace ensues.
Verse 6. No one is to be deprived of the truths of doctrine they live by.
Verse 7. Anything that perverts spiritual goods and truths to worldly uses is to be destroyed.
Verses 8, 9. Caution against the danger of profanation.
Verses 10-13. In imparting truths the endeavour should be made to enable others to see from themselves, and not to force upon them one's own view.
Verses 14, 15. Those who do good from inferior motives are not to be deprived of them.
Verse 16. Evil does not condemn till it is made a man's own by consent of the will and of the understanding.
Verses 17, 18. External things are not to be despised, for the whole soul was in externals till redeemed thence by the Lord.
Verses 19-22. The soul must not return from states of good to the states of truth by which the former were gained, and which are for those still striving to reach them; a state of truth is one of bondage compared to a state of good.
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.
Verges 1-11. When the soul has received a new will capable of acting out with joy the requirements of Divine order; it shall ascribe with thankfulness all things to the Lord, and shall acknowledge the wisdom of the dealings of Providence.
Verses 12-15. And when all the good in the soul is ascribed to the Lord, and the perception of right given from Him implicitly followed, the soul may ask for and receive the new life promised in the Word to those who follow the Divine leadings.
Verses 16-19. In this state the soul is betrothed to heaven by the keeping of the Divine commands.
Verses 1-8. The Divine commands to be engraved on the will, which is to be entirely at the disposal of the Divine will in the regenerate state.
Verses 9,10. The Divine law to be entirely obeyed.
Verses 11-13. Enumeration of the principles which confer happiness on the soul and of those which warn it of its evils.
Verses 14-26. Things which curse the soul, that is, destroy its spiritual life by averting from it the influences from heaven.
Verses 1-14. The blessedness of the regenerate if they persevere in keeping the Divine commands.
Verses 15-68. The terrible havoc of soul that comes from rejecting them after regeneration.
Verses 1-9. A brief résumé of the past, showing from experience the necessity of keeping the Divine commands.
Verses 10-15. All the faculties of the soul are present before the Lord, who desires to bring them all to Himself, as well as their future developments.
Verses 16, 17. The evils of the unregenerate heart have now been perceived.
Verses 18-21. Let not anyone imagine that it is possible to follow after these evils and yet retain spiritual life.
Verses 22-28. The higher principles of the mind become, if perverted, more depraved than those which are external.
Verse 29. The operation of Divine Providence is secret, but this is plain, that the Divine commands must be worked out in the life.
Verses 1-10 If in any state the soul repents of its evils, and turns to the Lord with the whole heart, all the blessings before enumerated shall be heaped upon it, and all the curses removed far fromit.
Verses 11-14. The simplicity and clearness of the Divine commands.
Verses 15-20. The choice between life and death rests with the soul, and is most plainly set before it.
Verses 1-8. The guidance of the soul must now be undertaken by the principle of Truth combating against the interior evils of the soul.
Verses 9-13. The law delivered to the faculties receptive of good in the soul, and all things in the soul attentive to it when a state of good prevails.
Verses 14,15. The change of state in which an active warfare against evil takes the place of the implantation of truth.
Verses 16-30. Before the soul ceases to be led by truth the testimony of the Word as to the fundamental principles of salvation is deeply impressed on the interiors of the soul to testify against it when it strays into evil, which it is prone to do, from its hereditary evil tendencies when the visible guidance of truth is withdrawn.
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.
Verse 1. The state of the soul when it ceases to be led by Divine truth.
Verses 2-5. The Lord by obedience to the Divine law raised His Humanity even to the Divinity, whence is all the Divine life of the regenerate.
Verse 6. The understanding of the Word illuminated from heaven is the life of the soul.
Verse 7. Of good thence derived in the natural principle.
Verses 8-11. Concerning the genuine love of good or charity.
Verse 12. Of truth thus brought down into the life.
Verses 13-17. Of the internal good thus acquired in the rational mind.
Verses 18, 19. Of the marriage between good and truth in the said.
Verses 20, 21. Of a good life thence derived, and (verse 22) the consequent confirmation of truth in the soul, and (verse 23) victory in temptations, and (verses 24, 25) happiness even to external and worldly things.
Verses 26-29. There is no help like the Lord, and none are so blessed as those who suffer themselves to be regenerated by Him.
Verses 1-4. By Divine truth the soul gains a perception of the heavenly life before its acquisition.
Verses 5, 6. A new state in which the acquisition of truth ceases to be of primary importance in the soul.
Verse 7. Truths being now in their fullness.
Verses 8, 9. Anxiety of mind and change of state in which an ardent warfare against evil takes the place of the acquisition of truth.
Verses 10-12. There is no teacher for the regenerating like Divine truth from the Word.