It is an invariable truth that no one can understand the Word without doctrine; for he may be led away into any errors to which he may be inclined from some love, or to which he may be drawn from some principle, whereby his mind becomes unsettled and uncertain, and at length as it were destitute of truth. But he who reads the Word from doctrine sees all things that confirm it, and many things that are hidden from the eyes of others, and does not permit himself to be drawn away into strange things; and thus his mind becomes so settled as to see with certainty.
The Word may be drawn away to confirm heresies unless it is read from doctrine, for the reason that the sense of its letter consists of mere correspondences, and these are in great part appearances of truth, and in part genuine truths, and unless there be doctrine for a lamp these cannot be seen and cannot be distinguished from each other.
But doctrine can be acquired from no other source than from the Word, and it can be acquired only by those who are in enlightenment from the Lord.
Those are in enlightenment who love truths because they are truths and make them to be of their life.
Moreover, all things of doctrine must be confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word, because the Divine truth is in its fullness and in its power in that sense, and through it man is in conjunction with the Lord and in consociation with the angels.
In brief, he who loves truth because it is truth can inquire of the Lord, as it were, in doubtful matters of faith, and can receive answers from Him, but nowhere except in the Word, for the reason that the Lord is the Word.