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  • Author: Rev. Henry Maclagan
  • Publisher: Richard Clay & Sons, Limited
  • Publication Date: 1911
  • Total Pages: 397

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The Book of Leviticus Explained

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After the publication of The Two Books of Kings Explained, in the early part of the year 1905, several very favourabl enotices of that work appeared in various periodicals; and this fact, combined with the expressed wishes of some ministers and friends, induced the writer to attempt and carry to a completion a similar work on the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. And these were selected for the purpose, in order that the internal or spiritual sense of all the books of the Pentateuch might thus be before the public, and might show clearly the inner signification of all the laws of Moses.

With sincere thankfulness to the Lord, therefore, Who alone can enable any one to perceive, explain, and apply daily to life the hidden treasures of His Holy Word; and, at the same time, with due acknowledgments to those friends who have so highly appreciated the former work, the present volumes are now placed before the Church.

But some introductory and explanatory remarks are necessary. The general plan of this work is as follows: the summary of the spiritual sense of each chapter is placed first, so that the reader may have a general idea of its contents to begin with, and may thence proceed to the study of the particulars in each verse as given in the connected series, which immediately follows, printed in a parallel column with the text of the Revised Version, permission for its use having been kindly granted by the authorities of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, all editorial responsibility, however, resting with the author. The advantage of this arrangement is obvious, as it affords a ready means of comparing, sentence by sentence, the internal sense of each verse with the text, and, besides this, adequately shows how well the continuity of the spiritual sense is sustained. And, indeed, this is not a slight advantage, as it is not always easy, when the mind is intent upon the sense of a particular part, to see that well, in connection with what goes before and with what follows. No doubt it is a spiritually profitable and delightful thing to be able to read a long portion of the Word itself and perceive the inner sense as we read, without much concerning ourselves with the literal sense, or appearing to notice it; but comparatively few have this faculty at present, and this is another reason why the aid here supplied is valuable. And in addition to this, the student who learns by means of this regularly written series to apprehend the connection and continuity of the spiritual sense, may thus be aided in following the order of that sense while reading the text; and as he becomes more and more familiar with the correspondences, and especially as he comes to understand the various spiritual principles that combine to make up the complex life of man, will he find himself enlightened concerning spiritual laws in relation to his own progress and regeneration. Now these remarks are made to show the value of a connected statement of the internal sense expressed in ordinary language, and also to indicate the way in which any work like this may be studied with advantage. And lastly, on this point, if, as we know, the summaries of the internal sense written by Swedenborg himself, and the interesting general outlines thereof written by the Rev. John Clowes, M.A., and others, have been found so valuable, much more must a complete exposition be of use, if it is carefully expressed, in humble reliance on the Divine aid.

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