189. CHAPTER FOUR
THE SACRED SCRIPTURE OR THE WORD OF THE LORD*
The sacred scripture, that is the Word, is Divine truth itself.
Everyone professes the Word to be from God, divinely inspired and therefore holy, but up to the present no one has known where in it the Divine is. For taken literally the Word looks like any ordinary book, written in a strange style, neither high-flown nor brilliant as many secular books appear to be. This is why if a person worships nature as God or in preference to God, so that his thought comes from himself and his own personality (proprium) rather than from heaven inspired by the Lord, he can easily fall into error about the Word and come to despise it. Thus he may say to himself when he reads it: 'What does this or that mean? Can this be divine? Can God, whose wisdom is infinite, talk like this? Where is there anything holy in it, and where does this holiness come from, except from religious belief and the conviction it carries?'
* The whole of this chapter is closely modelled on THE DOCTRINE OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, published in Amsterdam in 1763.