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from the Lord is the holy principle itself; hence they who receive it by faith, and also by love, are called holy. He who believes that man is holy from any other source, and that anything else appertaining to him is holy, than what is derived from the Lord, and is received, is very greatly deceived; for that which is of man, and is called his proprium, is evil. A. C. 9229. See Exposition, verse 76.
Verses 72, 73. To remember His Holy Covenant, &c. -All the external rites and ceremonies of the church were signs of the covenant, and were to be esteemed holy because of the internal things which were signified. All the internal things which appertain to the covenant, or which effect con. junction, have relation to love and charity, and proceed from love and charity, for on the love of the Lord above self, and the love of the neighbour as self, hang all the law and the prophets, that is, the whole doctrine of faith. A. C. 2037.
The compacts which in the Word are called covenant, are on the part of man, the ten precepts, or the Decalogue, &c. On the part of the Lord covenant is mercy and election. A. C. 6804. See extract at verses 54, 70.
The oath which He sware to Abraham our Father.-Jehovah God or the Lord never swears, for it is not suitable for God Himself or Divine Truth to swear; but when God or the Divine Truth wills to have any thing confirmed before men, then that confirmation, descending into a natural sphere, falls into an oath, or into the form of an oath usual in the world; hence it is evident, that although the Lord never swears, still in the sense of the letter, which is the natural sense, it is said that He swears; this therefore is signified by swearing, when predicated of Jehovah or the Lord. A. E. 608.
Verse 76. And thou, Child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.-Frequent mention is made of a “prophet" in the Word, and in the sense of the letter it signifies those to whom revelation is made, also abstractedly the revelation it. self, but in the internal sense it signifies one who teaches, also abstractedly doctrine itself; and whereas the Lord, as was said, is doctrine itself, or the Word which teaches, He is called “a prophet,” as in Moses, “A prophet will Jehovah thy God raise up out of the midst of thee out of thy brethren, like unto me, Him shall ye obey" Deut. xviii. 15, 18; it is said “ like unto me,” because the Lord was represented by Moses, alike as by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and several others. Whereas the Lord in the supreme sense is a Prophet, and " the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy”
Rev. xix. 10, hence it is that Prophet, in the internal sense of the Word, signifies one who teaches, also abstractedly doctrine, as may appear manifest from the above passage in Luke, in which Zacharias speaks of John the Baptist his son ; yet that he was not a prophet, but one who prepared the way by teaching and evangelizing concerning the Lord's coming, he himself declares in these words, “They asked him what art thou ? Art thou Elias ? But he said I am not. Art thou a prophet? He answered, No; wherefore they said, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” John i. 21, 22, 23. A. C. 2534.
Verses 78, 79. Through the bowels of mercy of our God, by which the Day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light, &c.—That the Lord from eternity is Jehovah, is a thing known from the Word ; for the Lord said to the Jews, “Verily I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am” John viii. 58; and in another place, “Glorify Me, O Father, with the Glory which I had with Thee before the world was” John xvii. 5; by which is meant the Lord from eternity, and not a Son from eternity, for the Son is His Human principle conceived of Jehovah the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary in time. That the Lord from eternity is Jehovah Himself, is manifest from many passages in the Word, from which these few shall be at present adduced, “It shall be said in that day, THIS IS OUR God, whom we have expected, that He may deliver us; this is JEHOVAH WHOM WE HAVE EXPECTED, let us exult and rejoice in His Salvation" Is. xxv. 9; from which words it is evident, that Jehovah God Himself was expected. Again, “ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of JEHOVAH; make smooth in the desert a path for our God; the Glory of JEHOVAH shall be revealed : and all flesh shall see it together. Behold the LORD JEHOVAH cometh in might” Is. xl. 3, 5, 10; in this passage also the Lord is called Jehovah, Who was to come. Again, “I am Jehovah, I will give Thee for a covenant to the people, for a light of the Gentiles: I am JEHOVAH, THIS IS MY NAME ; AND MY GLORY WILL I NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER" Is. xlii. 6, 7, 8; a covenant to the people, and a light of the Gentiles, is the Lord as to the Human principle, and whereas this principle is from Jehovah, and was made one with Jehovah, it is said, “I am Jehovah, this is my name, and My Glory I will not give to another," that is, to no other than to Himself; to give glory is to glorify or to unite to Himself. Again, “The LORD whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple" Mal. iii. 1, where by temple is meant the temple of His body, as in John ü. 19, 21. Again, “ The DAY-SPRING FROM ON HIGH hath visited us," where the Day-spring from on high also is Jehovah, or the Lord, from eternity. From these passages it is evident, that by the Lord from eternity is meant His Divine principle from which He was conceived, which in the Word is Jehovah. D. Lord, 30.
Verse 79. To give light to them that sit in darkness.-By darkness, in the Word, the falses of evil are signified; and also the falses not of evil, such as were the falses of religion amongst the well-disposed Gentiles, which falses they had in consequence of being ignorant of the truth: that these latter falses are also called darkness, is manifest from the following passages; “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them hath the light shined" Is. ix. 1: and in Luke, « The Day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death." In these passages darkness signify the falses of ignorance, such as prevailed and still prevail amongst the well-disposed Gentiles; these falses are altogether distinct from the falses of evil, for these latter conceal evil in themselves, because they are from evil, whereas the former have good stored up in them, since they regard good as an end; wherefore they, who are in those falses, are capable of being instructed in truths, and likewise when they are instructed they receive truths in the heart, by reason that the good which is in their falses, loves the truth and likewise conjoins itself to truth when it is heard; but it is otherwise with the falses of evil, for these are averse from and reject all truth, merely because it is truth, and thus does not agree with evil. A. E. 526.
To guide our feet into the way of peace.—These words were spoken concerning the Lord who was about to come into the world, and concerning the illustration of those at that time, who were out of the church, and in ignorance of Divine Truth, because they had not the Word; the Lord is meant by the “ Day-spring from on high," and they who are out of the Churchare meant by those who “sit in darkness and the shadow of death;" and their illustration in Divine Truths by reception of the Lord and conjunction with Him, whence they have heaven and eternal happiness, is meant by “the way of peace;" by “guiding our feet” into that way is signified instruction. A. E. 365.
Verse 80. The Child grew and became strong in spirit.That spirit, in the spiritual sense, signifies Truth, and the life of man derived from it, which is intelligence, is very manifest from the following passages, “The hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” John iv. 23. And in Luke, “ John grew and became strong in spirit.” A. E. 183.
In many passages in the Word, mention is made of “spirit," and when it is applied to man, by his spirit is signified the good and truth inscribed on the intellectual part, consequently the life of this part. That spirit, when it is predicated of man, has this signification, is because man as to his interiors is a spirit, also as to his interiors is together with spirits. Hence it may be known what is meant by spirit, when applied to the Lord, namely, that it is the Divine Truth proceeding from His Divine Good, and that this Divine principle, when it flows-in with man, and is received by him, is the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit, for it flows-in immediately from the Lord, and also mediately by angels and spirits. Spirit in the Word, when applied to man, is the good and truth inscribed on his intellectual part, consequently it is the life of this part; for there is a life of the intellectual part, and a life of the will-part; the life of the intellectual part is to know, to see, and to understand truth to be truth, and good to be good. But the life of the will-part is to will and to love truth for the sake of truth, and good for the sake of good; this latter life in the Word is called heart, but the former spirit. In Luke i. 80; it is said of John, “ The child grew and became strong in spirit,” where spirit
And was in the wilderness.-Desert, or wilderness, in the Word, signifies what is little inhabited and cultivated, and it signifies what is altogether uninhabited and uncultivated, thus it is used in a two-fold sense. When it signifies what is altogether uninhabited.and uncultivated, it is again predicated in a two-fold sense, viz., of those who are afterwards reformed, and of those who cannot be reformed. Hence also it is evident what is signified by John being in the wilderness till the day of his appearing unto Israel; and by his preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Matt. üi. 1 and following verses, and by baptising in the wilderness, Mark i. 4, for thereby he represented the state of the church. A. C. 2708.
Inasmuch as with the Jewish nation all things of the Word were adulterated, and there was no longer any truth with them, because no good, therefore John the Baptist was in the wilderness, whereby the state of the church was represented. A. E. 730.
TRANSLATOR'S NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
VERSE 17. And in the prudence of the just to make ready the disobedient, a people prepared for the Lord. In the common version of the new Testament this passage is thus rendered, “And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord;” but it is to be observed that what is here expressed by—“To the wisdom,” in the original is expressed by ev ogornoel, which properly means, “In the prudence," and which therefore cannot possibly apply to the disobedient, but to John the Baptist, implying that he was not only to go before the LORD God "in the spirit and power of Elias,” or in the truth and good of the Holy Word, but also in “the prudence of the just,” or in a right application of that truth and good to the disobedient Jews. Accordingly it is written, that in “ the spirit and power of Elias, he was to turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons," in other words, to unite goods with truths in the church, and then follows the result of this union in producing the “ prudence of the just,” by virtue of which the disobedient might be wrought upon, so as to become a "people prepared for the LORD,” in other words to be regenerated.
Verse 45. And blessed is she that hath believed that there shall be a performance, &c.—In the common version of the new Testament, this passage is rendered, “ Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance," &c., but in the margin is inserted, " or that believest that there," &c., which appears to be the true rendering of the passage.
Verse 47. And my spirit hath been glad in God my Saviour.In the common version of the New Testament, this passage is rendered, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour," but the original Greek term rendered “ hath rejoiced” is malliage, from ayaklaw, which signifies to be glad, and is distinguished from xaipw which signifies to rejoice. The distinction of meaning in the two terms can only be known from the internal sense, which teaches, that joy and rejoicing have respect to the principle of heavenly good and blessedness thence resulting; whereas gladness and being glad have reference to the principle of heavenly truth and its blessedness. Hence the two terms joy and gladness are so frequently conjoined