Swedenborg Study.com

Online works based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg


Previous: Psalm XIV Up: The Science of Correspondency Next: Psalm XVI

Psalm XV

Verse 1. Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle! who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?" The tabernacle, spiritually, is the inmost state of the mind, in which the living truths of the Word are deposited : it therefore signifies the will of man, when it is receptive of love to the Lord ; and the holy hill on which the tabernacle was placed, is, spiritually, charity towards our neighbour. The temple, as well as the tabernacle, was placed upon a hill; for we can have no love for the Lord unless it be founded upon charity. Charity indeed is the Lord's love received, and communicated, as it always must be if it be really received, to others. Hence the tabernacle represents the inmost state, and the holy hill, an interior state of the will. To attain a holy state of charity, or spiritually to dwell in it, we must endeavour, in our intentions, our thoughts, and actions, to prefer others to ourselves; to search out our own defects, that we may correct them, and our neighbour's good qualities, that we may love and imitate them; to be faithful and zealous in the discharge of all our duties, regarding the public good first, and our own good last, and then only as it may serve to contribute to the welfare .and happiness of others; to act on all occasions with perfect honour and sincerity; to feel more delight in serving and submitting, than in ruling and commanding; to shun, not only every evil act, because it must be injurious to others, but every evil propensity and desire, because they are destructive of the Lord's likeness in ourselves. To attain a holy state of love towards the Lord, or to abide in His tabernacle, we must submit our minds entirely to His guidance, and give ourselves up wholly to His will; we must endeavour to trace the Divine Love in our temporal calamities, and rejoice finding in it, as much as in our temporal comforts, from the conviction that they equally involve, and are intended to minister to, our eternal salvation; we must attribute all that we have, and all that we are by the reformation and regeneration of our lives, to the Lord, and not anything to ourselves ; and last, but chief of all, we must with our whole hearts abhor even the intention of committing evil because the intention is a sin against Him.

While the ark of the testimony was in the wilderness, during the journeys of the children of Israel, before their settlement in the promised land, it was placed in a tabernacle, or tent, in the centre of their encampment. By the veil of the temple, within which the ark was afterwards placed, they preserved the image of the original tent, which concealed it from the view of the people. The rending of the veil of the temple at the Lord's crucifixion, was a representative effect of the end of the old or Jewish Church, and the beginning of the new Christian Church. For the veil of the temple signified the appearances of truth, such as belong to the Holy Scripture in its literal sense, and by rejecting this, signified by its being rent in twain from top to bottom, the Jews had no longer even the representative form of a church. But in relation to His disciples, who constituted His new Christian Church, the rending it asunder was the opening of the veil of the letter, by the intromission of their minds into an interior light. This rending of the veil took place at the moment when the Lord " yielded up the ghost;" because His death was the representative effect of the utter rejection of the Divine Truth by the Jews, for this is His spiritual death in them ; while to the disciples His crucifixion and death signify the revelation to them, when they had spiritually forsaken and fled from the Lord, of the intense evil and falsehood which overspread the church by the utter rejection and extinction of the Divine Truth. Therefore it represented the end of their old or natural state, and the beginning of a new or spiritual state of mind, to which the Lord could appear representatively to rise again, and to ascend into heaven. But to the Jews generally the Divine Truth was still spiritually dead and buried, and therefore the representative facts that occurred after His resurrection were witnessed by ho others but His disciples; for in no others was the Divine Truth glorified or united with the Divine Goodness, or in the sight of no others did He ascend, as it is expressed in the natural sense of the Word, into heaven, to sit on the right hand of God.

Verse 5. " He that doeth these things shall never be moved." Never to be moved is, spiritually, never to fall from the heavenly state of mind signified by the different external acts which the member of the Jewish church was commanded to observe, that he might be entitled to abide in the Lord's tabernacle and dwell in His holy hill.

Previous: Psalm XIV Up: The Science of Correspondency Next: Psalm XVI


Webmaster: IJT@swedenborgstudy.com