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THE INTERNAL SENSE.
1. Now in the fifteenth REVELATION is made conyear of the reign of Tiberius cerning the state of the Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being church, as being vastated as governor of Judea, and Herod to truth, because separated being tetrarch of Galilee, and from all good, through adulhis brother Philip being te- teration of the Word. (Verses trarch of Iturea, and of the 1, 2, 3.) region of Trachonitis, and Lyspias the tetrarch of Abilene,
2. Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the Word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
3. And he came into all Which Word teaches, that the country about Jordan, men ought to shun evils as preaching the baptism of sins against God, and believe repentance for the remission in the LORD's Divine Human of sins;
principle. (Verses 3, 4.) 4. As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.
5. Every valley shall be In which case the humble filled, and every mountain shall be replenished with all and hill shall be brought low; good, and the proud, or lofty, and the crooked shall be made shall be brought into desostraight, and the rough ways lation ; the evil of ignorance smooth;
also shall be turned into 6. And all flesh shall see good, and the falses of ignothe salvation of God.
rance into truths, and the 7. Then he said to the mul proprium of man shall receive titudes that came forth to be Divine illumination. (Verses baptized by him, O generation 5,6, 7.) of vipers, who hath warned Because all will be taught, you to flee from the wrath to that of themselves they are come?
nothing but infernal evil, and that they ought to explore the light which would make
it manifest. (Verse 7.) 8. Bring forth therefore And to renounce their fruits worthy of repentance, natural corruptions, and not and begin not to say in your to depend upon external sancselves, We have Abraham fortification, which may be comour father; for I say unto you municated to those who are that God is able of these in false principles. (Verse 8.) stones to raise up children to Abraham.
9. And now also the axe is But to apply the Divine laid unto the root of the trees; Truths of the Word to the every tree therefore that removal of selfish and worldly bringeth not forth good fruit love, otherwise they will perish is hewn down and cast into eternally. (Verse 9.) the fire.
10. And the multitudes And to impart the knowasked him, saying, What then ledge of truth and of good to shall we do?
such as are in ignorance; also 11. And He answering, saith to be just in all their dealings; unto them, He that hath two and when brought into spicoats, let him impart to him ritual combat, not to be fretful that hath none; and he that and impatient, but to wait hath meat, let him do likewise. patiently for its good effects.
12. But the publicans also (Verses 10–15.) came to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13. And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14. And the soldiers also asked him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no one, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.
15. But as the people were For that by the baptism of in expectation, and all mused John the church was only in. in their hearts about John, augurated into the knowwhether he were the Christ ledges of truth from the or not,
Word, and thus prepared to 16. John answered saying, receive the LORD; whereas
with water, but there cometh nerates men by Divine one mightier than I, the Truth and Divine Good prolatchets of whose shoes I am ceeding from Himself, from not worthy to unloose; He whom alone comes radical shall baptize you with the purification of the human will, Holy Spirit and with fire. through conjunction of goods
17. Whose fan is in His and truths with heaven, and hand, and He will thoroughly the removal of all evils and purge His floor, and will falses into hell. (Verses 15 to gather His wheat into His 19.) garner, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.
18. And exhorting in many other things, he preached the gospel to the people.
19. But Herod the tetrarch Yet blessed and holy as being reproved by him for this doctrine is, it is altoHerodias his brother Philip's gether rejected by those who wife, and for all the evils which are in evil, because it hears Herod had done.
witness against them. (Verses 20. Added yet this to all, 19, 20.) that he shut up John in prison.
21. Now it came to pass That the LORD, as to His when all the people were bap- Human essence, submits to be tized, and when Jesus, having initiated into the external been baptized, was praying, truths of the Word, on which that heaven was opened, occasion interior truths and
22. And the Holy Spirit goods were manifested, even descended in a bodily shape, to the Divine Truth itself, and like a dove, upon Him, and also to the Divine Good, a voice was uttered from hea- (Verses 21, 22.) ven, saying, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.
23. And Jesus Himself be. Thus He attained a fullstate gan to be about thirty years of remains, by which He united of age, being, as was supposed, the Human essence to the Di. the son of Joseph,--of Eli,- vine, and made it Divine, al
VERSE 2. The Word of God came to John.-All revelation is either from discourse with the angels through whom the Lord speaks, or from perception. Genuine perception exists through heaven from the Lord, and affects the intellectual principle spiritually, and leads it perceptibly to think as the thing really is, with an internal assent. A. C. 5121.
In the wilderness. See Exposition, verse 4, and chap. i. 80; iv. 1-13.
Verse 3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
-He who would be saved must confess his sins, and do the work of repentance.
To confess sins is to know evils, to perceive them in one's own heart, to charge one's self with their guilt, and to condemn one's self on account of them. When this is done in the presence of God, it constitutes the confession of sins.
To perform the work of repentance, is to abstain from sins after they have been confessed, and supplication has been made for their remission, from humility of heart; and to live in newness of life, according to the precepts of charity and faith.
The man who makes only a general acknowledgment that he is a sinner, charging himself as guilty of all evils, and yet does not explore himself, that is, does not really see his own sins, may, indeed, make confession, but not the confession of repentance; for such a person, because he does not know his own evils, lives in the practice of them afterwards, just as he had done before.
He who lives in the practice of charity and faith, performs the work of repentance daily; he reflects on the evils that adhere to him, acknowledges them, guards against them, and supplicates the Lord for aid to resist them. For man, of him. self, continually lapses into evil, but is continually raised by the Lord, and led to good. Such is the case with those who are in good; but they who are in evil lapse continually, and are also continually raised by the Lord; but they are only withheld from falling into the most dreadful evils, to which, of themselves, they tend with all their might.