A Compendium of the Theological Writings of
The Days of Creation
The six days or periods, which are so many successive states, of man's regeneration are in general as follows:
The first state is that which precedes, both from infancy and immediately before regeneration, and is called a void, emptiness, and darkness. And the first motion, which is the Lord's mercy, is the Spirit of God moving over the faces of the waters.
The second state is when there is a division between those things which are the Lord's and those that are man's own. Those which are of the Lord are called in the Word remains (reliquae) [ In the common English version of the Bible the nearly synonymous word "remnant " is used.], and are here especially cognitions of faith acquired from infancy. They are laid up and not manifested until he comes into this state; a state which rarely exists at this day without temptation, misfortune, and sorrow,—which cause the things that are of the body and the world to be quiescent, and as it were dead. The things that are of the external man are thus separated from those that belong to the internal man. In the internal are the remains laid up by the Lord to this time, and for this use.
The third is a state of repentance, in which from the internal man he talks piously and devoutly, and brings forth things good, as works of charity; but which are yet inanimate, because he believes them to be from himself. And they are called the tender herb; then, the herb yielding seed; and afterwards, the tree bearing fruit.
The fourth state is when he is affected by love, and enlightened by faith. Before indeed he talked piously, and brought forth things that were good, but from a state of temptation and distress, not from faith and charity. These are therefore now enkindled in the internal man, and are called two luminaries.
The fifth state is, that he talks from faith, and confirms himself thereby in truth and good. The things which he now produces are animate, and are called the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the heavens.
The sixth state is when he utters truths and does good deeds from faith, and therefore from love. The things that he now produces are called the living soul, and the beast. And as he now begins to act at once both from faith and from love, he becomes a spiritual man; who is called an image. His spiritual life is delighted, and is sustained, by those things which are of the cognitions of faith and of the works of charity, which are called his neat; and his natural life is delighted and supported by those things that belong to the body and the senses; whence a .conflict arises, until love reigns, and he becomes a celestial man.
They that are regenerated do not all attain this state. But some,—at this day even the greater part,—only reach the first; some only the second; some the third; the fourth; the fifth,— rarely the sixth; and scarcely any one the seventh. (AC n. 6-13)
There were those at that time who formed doctrine out of the perceived truths of the Most Ancient and the succeeding churches, that it might serve for a test by which to know what is good and true. Such were called Enoch. This is signified by the words,—"And Enoch walked with God." Thus also they named that doctrine; and this [doctrine] too is signified by the name Enoch, which means to instruct. The same also appears from the signification of the word walk, and from the circumstance that he is said to have walked with God, and not with Jehovah. To walk with God is to teach and to live according to the doctrine of faith; but to walk with Jehovah is to live the life of love. To walk is a customary form of expression signifying to live; as to walk in the law, to walk in the statutes, to walk in the truth. To walk properly has relation to a way, which is of truth, consequently, which is of faith or of the doctrine of faith. (AC n. 519)
"He was not, for God took him," signifies that that doctrine was preserved for the use of their posterity. The fact with regard to Enoch is, as was said, that he reduced to doctrine the perceived truth of the Most Ancient Church. This at that time was not permitted; for it is a very different thing to cognize by perception and to learn from doctrine. They who are in perception have no need to learn to know by the way of formulated doctrine what they have cognizance of; just as, for the sake of illustration, he who knows how to think well has no need to learn to think artificially, whereby his faculty of thinking well would be destroyed, as with those who cleave to scholastic dust. They who [learn] from perception, to them it is given by the Lord by an internal way to cognize what is good and true; but they who [learn] from doctrine, to them it is given to know by an external way or through the bodily senses. The difference is as between light and darkness. Add to this that the perceptions of the celestial man can in no wise be described; for they enter into the very least and most single particulars, with every variety according to states and circumstances. But as it was foreseen that the perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church would be lost, and that afterwards men would learn what is true and good by doctrines, or through darkness come to the light, therefore it is said that God took him; that is He preserved [the doctrine] for the use of their posterity. (ibid. n. 521)
"There were giants (Nephilim) in the earth in those days" (Gen. vi. 4). By Nephilim are signified those who from a persuasion of their own eminence and great superiority set at naught all things holy and true. This appears from what precedes and presently follows, namely, that they immersed doctrinal truths in their lusts, which is signified by these words, that "The sons of God went in unto the daughters of men" ["sons of God " signifying doctrinal truths of faith, and "the daughters of men " lusts, as shown before, n. 570]; and here that "they bare unto them." The high opinion of themselves and of their own conceits increases,—and that too according to the multitude of the falsities entering into them,—so that at length it becomes indelible; and when doctrinal truths of faith are added, they become so strongly persuaded of their principles that they set at naught all things holy and true, and become Nephilim. This race, which lived before the flood, is of such a character, as was said before, that they so deaden and suffocate every spirit with their most horrible conceits, which are poured forth from them like a poisonous and suffocating sphere, that the spirits do not in the least know how to think, and seem to themselves half dead. And if the Lord by His coming into the world had not freed the world of spirits from so malignant a race no one could have existed there; and therefore the human race would have perished, for it is governed by the Lord by means of spirits.... Further mention is made of them in the Word; and their posterity are called Anakim and Rephaim. That they are called Anakim appears in Moses:—The explorers of the land of Carman said, "There saw we the Nephilim„ the sons of Anak, of the Nephilim; and we were in our awn eyes as grasshoppers, and so were we in their eyes" (Numb. xiii. 23). That they are called Rephaim appears also in Moses:—"The Emim dwelt before in the land of Moab, a people great and many, and tall, as the Anakim; they were also accounted Rephaim, (giants) as the .Anakim; and the Moabites called them Emim" (Deut. ii. 10, 11). The Nephilim are no more mentioned, but the Rephaim, who are described by the Prophets as of such a character as has been stated. Thus in Isaiah:—"Hell beneath was moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming; it hath stirred up the Rephaim for thee" (xiv. 9). The subject referred to is the hell where such have their abode. In the same:—"The dead shall not live; the Rephaim shall not rise; for that thou hast visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish" (xxvi. 14). Here also their hell is spoken of, from which they shall no more rise.... And in David:—"Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? shall the Rephaim arise and praise Thee?" (Ps. lxxxviii. 10). This likewise is said of their hell, and signifies that they cannot rise and infest the sphere of the world of spirits with the most direful poison of their persuasions. But it has been provided by the Lord that the human race should no longer be imbued with such dreadful conceits and persuasions. Those that lived before the flood were of such a nature and genius that they could be imbued therewith, for a reason hitherto known to no one, but of which by the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. (AC n. 581)
Repentance of the Lord
"And it repented Jehovah that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart" (Gen. vi. 6). That Jehovah repented signifies mercy; that He grieved at heart has a similar signification. To repent has relation to wisdom: to grieve at heart has relation to love.
That Jehovah repented that He had made man on the earth signifies mercy, and that He grieved at heart also signifies mercy, is evident from the consideration that Jehovah never repents, because He foresees all and every thing from eternity; and when He made man, that is created him anew, and perfected him till he became celestial, He also foresaw that in process of time he would become such as he now was, and therefore He could not repent. This plainly appears in Samuel Samuel said, "The Strength of Israel will not lie, nor repent; for He is not a man that He should repent" (1 Sam. xv. 29). And in Moses:—"God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numb. xxiii. 19).
But it is said of the Lord that He repents and grieves at heart because such feeling is sure to be in all human mercy, and the expression here, as in many other places in the Word, is according to the appearance. What the mercy of the Lord is no one can know, because it infinitely transcends all understanding of man. But man knows what the mercy of man is,—that it is to repent and grieve; and unless he forms an idea of (Divine) mercy from another affection the quality of which he knows, he could never think anything about it, and therefore could not be instructed. This is the reason why human properties are often predicated of the attributes of Jehovah, or the Lord; as that Jehovah or the Lord punishes, leads into temptation, destroys, and is angry; when yet He never punishes any one, never leads any into temptation, never destroys any, and is never angry. (AC n. 586-588)
By the flood (Gen. vi) is signified an inundation of evil and falsity. This is evident from what was said above respecting the posterity of the Most Ancient Church: That they were possessed with filthy lusts; had immersed the doctrinal truths of faith in them; and therefore were infected with false persuasions, which extinguished all truth and good, and at the same time so closed up the way against remains that they could not operate; and therefore it could not but be that they destroyed themselves. When the way is closed against remains man is no longer man, because he can no longer be protected by the angels, but is entirely possessed by evil spirits, who seek and desire nothing else than to extinguish man. Hence the death of the antediluvians, which is described by a flood or total inundation. The influx of fantasies and lusts from evil spirits indeed is not unlike a kind of flood, and therefore it is called a flood or inundation in various parts of the Word.
To "destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of lives from under the heavens," signifies that the whole posterity of the Most Ancient Church would destroy themselves. This appears from the description of them already given,—that they successively derived from their parents such an hereditary genius that they beyond others were imbued with so dreadful persuasions; especially for the reason that they immersed the doctrinal truths of faith in their filthy lusts. They who have no doctrinals of faith, but live entirely in ignorance, cannot do so, and therefore cannot profane holy things, and so close the way against remains, and in consequence drive the angels of the Lord away from themselves. Remains, as has been said, are all things of innocence, all things of charity, all things of mercy, and all things of the truth of faith, which man from infancy has had from the Lord, and has learned. Each and all of these are carefully stored up; for if man were not in possession of them there could never be anything of innocence, of charity, and of mercy in his thoughts and actions, and of course nothing of good and of truth, and consequently he would be worse than the wild beasts. So, if he have remains of such things, and by filthy lusts and direful persuasions of falsity should stop the way against them so that they could not operate. Such were the antediluvians who destroyed themselves, who are meant by all flesh wherein is the breath of lives under the heavens."
"Everything that is in the earth shall die," signifies those who were of that church and had become of such a character. That the earth does not mean the whole terrestrial globe, but only those who were of the church, was shown above. Therefore no flood is here meant, much less a universal flood, but only the extinction or suffocation of those who were of the church, when they were separated from remains and therefore from intellections of truth and volitions of good, and consequently from the heavens. (AC n. 660-662)
"All the fountains of the great deep were broken up," signifies the extreme of temptation as to things of the will.... The deep in ancient times signified hell, and fantasies and false persuasions were likened to waters and streams, as well as to the vapour from them. So also some of the hells actually appear as deeps and as seas. Thence come the evil spirits who devastate and also who tempt man, and the fantasies they infuse and the desires with which they inflame him are like inundations and exhalations from thence; for, as was said, by evil spirits man is conjoined with hell, and by angels with heaven. Such things are therefore signified when all the fountains of the great deep are said to be broken up. That hell is called the deep, and the filthy things thence issuing, streams, appears from Ezekiel: "Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In the day when he went down to hell I caused to mourn; I covered the deep above him, and I restrained the rivers thereof, and the great waters were stayed" (xxxi. 15). Hell is also called an abyss in John (Rev. ix. 1, 2, 11; xi. 7; xvii. 8; xx. 1, ).
"The flood gates of heaven were opened," signifies the extreme of temptation as to things of the understanding. (ibid.. n. 756, 757) " And the waters were strengthened exceedingly exceedingly upon the earth," signifies that false persuasions so increased. This appears from what has been said and shown before respecting the waters namely, that the waters of the flood or the inundating waters signify falsities.. Here, because there were still greater falsities or persuasions of the false, it is said that "the waters were strengthened exceedingly exceedingly," which is the superlative form in the original tongue. Falsities are principles of what is false and persuasions of what is false, and that these immensely increased among the antediluvians is evident from what has been said above concerning them. Persuasions of what is false increase immensely when men immerse truths in their lusts, or cause them to favour self-love and the love of the world; for then they pervert them, and in a thousand ways force them into agreement.
"All the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered," signifies that all the goods of charity were extinguished. This appears from the signification of mountains among the most ancient people. With them mountains represented the Lord, because they worshipped Him upon mountains, for the reason that they are the most elevated parts of the earth. Mountains therefore signified things celestial,—which they also called the highest,—consequently love and charity, and therefore the goods of love and charity, which are celestial.... What is signified by the waters with which the mountains were covered is therefore plain; namely, that they were persuasions of what is false, which extinguish all the good of charity. (ibid. n. 794-797)
It has been granted me to learn by experience what an inundation or flood is in the spiritual sense. This inundation is twofold; one is of lusts and the other of falsities. That which is of lusts is an inundation of the voluntary part, and of the right part of the brain; and that which is of falsities is an inundation of the intellectual part, in which is the left part of the brain. When a man who had lived in good is remitted into his proprium, thus into the sphere of his very own life, there appears as it were an inundation; while he is in that inundation he is indignant, is angry, thinks restlessly, desires vehemently; in one way when the left part of the brain is inundated, where falsities are, and in another way when the right is inundated, where evils are. But when the man is kept in the sphere of life which he had received from the Lord by regeneration, he is entirely beyond such an inundation, and is as it were in serenity and sunshine, and in joy and happiness; and therefore far from indignation, anger, restlessness, lust, and the like. This is the morning or spring of spirits, the other state is the evening or autumn. It has been given me to perceive that I was out of the inundation, and this for a considerable length of time, while I saw that other spirits were in it; but afterwards I was immersed, and then apperceived the similitude of an inundation. They who are in temptations are in such an inundation. By this experience I was also instructed as to what is signified in the Word by the flood; namely, that the last posterity of the most ancient people who were of the Lord's celestial church entirely were inundated by evils and falsities, and so perished. (ibid. n. 5725)
The Resting of the Ark upon the Mountains of Ararat
"And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth clay of the month, upon, the mountains of .Ararat" (Gen. viii. 4). "The ark rested" signifies regeneration. This may be seen from the consideration that the ark signifies the man of that church [the new church represented by Noah, which succeeded the Most Ancient Church]. All things within the ark signify whatever appertained to that man. When therefore the ark is said to rest, it signifies the regeneration of that man...
"The seventh month " signifies what is holy. This holiness corresponds to what was said of the celestial man (ch. ii. 3), where it is written that the seventh day was sanctified because God rested thereon.
"The seventeenth day" signifies a new [state]. This appears from what was said respecting this number in the preceding chapter (vii. 11), where it signifies a beginning; for every beginning is a new [state].
"The mountains of Ararat " signify light [lumen]. This may appear from the signification of a mountain, which is the good of love and charity; and from the signification of Ararat, which is light, and indeed the light of one who is regenerate. The new light or first light of the regenerate never springs from cognitions of the truths of faith, but from charity. For truths of faith are as the rays of light, and love, or charity, as the flame. The light in one who is being regenerated is not from the truths of faith but from charity; the truths of faith are the rays themselves of light from it. It thus appears that the mountains of Ararat signify such light. This light is the first light after temptation; which because it is the first is obscure, and is called lumen, not lux. [Lux is used by the author to designate the light of the spiritual man; and lumen to denote the light of the natural man, and of man in the earlier stages of regeneration.]
From all this now it may be seen what the words of this verse signify in the internal sense; namely, that the spiritual man is a holy rest, from new intellectual light, which is the light of charity. With such wonderful variety and in so delightful order are these things perceived by the angels, that if a man could only enter into one such conception there would be thousands and thousands of things, in multiplying series, which would penetrate and affect him; yea indeed such things as can never be described. Such is the Lord's Word everywhere in the internal sense; although it appears in the literal sense as a rude history, like these words,—which signify these things,—that "the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat." (AC n. 850-855)
The Bow in the Cloud
"I have set my bow in the cloud," signifies the state of the regenerate spiritual man, which is like the rainbow. It may be wondered that the bow in the cloud, or the rainbow, should be taken as the token of the covenant in the Word,—when the rainbow is nothing more than a certain appearance arising from the modification of the rays of light from the sun then falling upon the drops of rain; and—unlike the other signs of the covenant in the Church just referred to—only a natural phenomenon. But that the bow in the cloud represents regeneration, and signifies the state of the regenerate spiritual man, no one can know unless it be given him to see and therefore to know how it is:—When the spiritual angels, who were all regenerate men of the spiritual church, are so presented to view in the other life, there appears as it were a rainbow about the head. But the rainbows which appear are entirely according to their state; and their quality is discerned from them in heaven and the world of spirits. The reason why the resemblance of a rainbow appears, is that their natural [truths] corresponding to their spiritual present such an appearance. It is a modification of spiritual light from the Lord in their natural [truths]. These angels are those who are said to be born again of water and of the Spirit; but the celestial angels are those regenerated by fire.... It is because natural things correspond to spiritual that when what is around the regenerate spiritual man is thus presented to view it appears like a bow in the cloud; which bow is a representation of spiritual things in his natural. The regenerate spiritual man has a proprium of the understanding into which the Lord insinuates innocence, charity, and mercy; and according to the reception of these gifts by a man is the appearance of his rainbow when it is presented to view,—more beautiful the more the proprium of the man's will is removed, subdued, and reduced to obedience. (AC n. 1042)
Those who are in faith separated from charity are described by Ham; in that he observed the nakedness of his father, that is his errors and perversities. They who are of such a character see nothing else in a man. But it is different with those who are in the faith of charity; they observe the good, and if they see anything evil and false they excuse it, and if they can, endeavour to amend it in him,—as it is here related of Shem and Japheth. Where there is no charity there is self-love, consequently hatred towards all who do not favour themselves. Hence it is that such men see nothing in their neighbour but his evil, and if they see what is good they regard it as nothing, or construe it into evil.... With such there dwells a continual contempt of others, or a continual derision of others; and as occasion offers they publish their errors.... With those who are in charity it is quite otherwise. Hereby are these two kinds of men distinguished, especially when they come into the other life. With those who are in no charity the spirit of hatred is then manifest in every least thing. They desire, to examine every one, yea, to judge every one, and wish nothing more earnestly than to discover evil,—continually purposing in mind to condemn, punish, and torment. But those who are in charity hardly see another's evil, but observe all that is good and true in him, and what is evil and false they construe into good. Such are all the angels; and this they have from the Lord, who turns all evil into good. (AC n. 1079, 1080)
"And he shall be a wild-ass man; his hand shall be against all, and the hand of all against him; and he shall dwell over against the face of all his brethren" (Gen. xvi. 12). The rational part of man consists of good and truth, that is, of those things which are of charity and those that belong to faith. Rational truth is what is signified by the wild-ass. It is this then that is represented by Ishmael, and is described in this verse. No one can believe that rational truth separate from rational good is of such a nature; nor should I have known it to be such, but that I have been convinced by living experience. It is the same whether we speak of rational truth, or of a man whose rational mind is of the nature here described. A man whose rational is such that he is only in truth, although in the truth of faith, and not at the same time in the good of charity, is entirely of such a character. He is morose, impatient, opposed to all, viewing every one as in falsity, instantly rebuking, castigating and punishing, is without pity, and does not apply himself or endeavour to bend the minds and affections of others; for be regards everything from the truth and nothing from good.
Every genuine rational consists of good and truth, that is of what is celestial and spiritual. Good or the celestial is its very soul or life; truth or the spiritual is what thence receives its life. The rational without life from celestial good is as is here described; it fights against all, and all fight against it. Rational good never fights, howsoever assaulted, because it is meek and gentle, patient and pliable; for its attributes are those of love and mercy. And although it does not fight yet it conquers all, nor ever thinks of combat, or boasts of victory; and this because it is Divine and is protected by the Divine itself. For no evil can attack good, nor even stay in the sphere where good is; when it only approaches, the evil withdraws of itself and retreats; for evil is infernal, and good is heavenly. It is nearly the same with the celestial-spiritual, that is with truth from a celestial origin, or with truth which is from good; for this truth is truth formed by good, so that it may be called the form of good. But truth separate from good, which is here represented by Ishmael and is described in this verse, is entirely different; for indeed it is like a wild ass, and fights against all, and all against it. Nay, it thinks and breathes scarcely anything but combats; its common delight or governing affection is to conquer, and when it conquers it boasts of victory. For this reason it is described by the wild ass, or the mule of the wilderness or ass of the forest, which cannot abide with others. Such a life is the life of truth without good, yea the life of faith without charity.
In the other life such truth is representatively manifested in various ways, and is always exhibited as strong, powerful, and hard, so that it cannot possibly be resisted. When spirits only think of such truth there arises something of terror; because its nature is such that it never yields, and therefore never withdraws; from all which it may appear what is also meant by his dwelling over against the face of all his brethren. Every one must see that some mystery lies hidden in this description; but what it is has hitherto been unknown. (AC n. 1949-1951)
"And Abraham fell upon his face and laughed." To fall upon the face signifies to adore, "and laughed " signifies an affection of truth. This may be seen from the origin and essence of laughter. It has no other origin than an affection of truth or an affection of falsity. Hence comes the joy and the hilarity that expresses itself in the face by laughter. It is plain then that the essence of laughter is no other [than this affection]. Laughter indeed is something external which is of the body, for it appears in the face; but in the Word interior things are expressed and signified by exterior; as all interior affections of mind and soul by the face, interior hearing and obedience by the ear, internal sight or understanding by the eye, power and strength by the hand and arm. And so an affection of truth is expressed and signified by laughter. In the rational part of man is truth, which is the chief thing, and within this is the affection of good; but this is within the very affection of truth as its soul. The affection of good which is in the rational does not express itself by laughter, but by a kind of joy, and an agreeable [sensation] of pleasure therefrom which does not laugh; for in laughter there is commonly something also which is not so good.... That laughter here signifies an affection of truth is evident from the fact that it is here mentioned that Abraham laughed, and likewise Sarah, both before Isaac was born and after he was born; and also from the fact that Isaac was named from laughter, for the word Isaac signifies laughter. If such things were not involved in laughing, and in the name of Isaac which signifies laughter, these circumstances would never have been mentioned in the Word.
Laughter is an affection of the rational mind, and in truth an affection either of the true or the false in the rational; all laughter comes from this. So long as such an affection is in the rational as expresses itself by laughter, so long there is something corporeal or worldly, thus merely human. Celestial and spiritual good does not laugh, but expresses its delight and cheerfullness in another way; in the countenance, in the speech, and in the gestures. For there are very many things in laughter; for the most part something of contempt, which although it does not appear yet underlies it, and is easily distinguished from cheerfullness of mind which also produces something like laughter. (AC n. 2071, 2072, 2216)
Borrowing from and Spoiling the Egyptians
As these two verses (Exod. iii. 21, 22) relate to the spoiling of the Egyptians, by the women of Israel borrowing from the Egyptian women silver, gold, and raiment; and as no one can know how the matter is to be understood except by a revelation concerning things which are done in the other life,—for the internal sense involves such things as are done among angels and spirits,—therefore something is to be told on the subject. Before the Lord's coming the lower part of heaven was occupied by evil genii and spirits; and after that they were expelled from thence, and that region was given to those who are of the spiritual church. So long as the evil genii and spirits were there, they were under the continual view of the angels of the higher heaven; hence they were restrained from doing evils openly. At this day also some who are more deceitful than others,—since they deceive by simulating innocence and charity,—are under the view of the celestials, and for so long are withheld from their wicked deceits. From these circumstances it has been granted me to know what was the state of the evil genii and spirits who before the coming of the Lord occupied the lower region of heaven; namely, that at that time they were withheld by the angels of the higher heaven from the open commission of evils. And it has also been granted me to know how they were withheld from the open commission of evils. They were kept under external restraints; namely, in fear of the loss of honour and reputation, and in. fear lest they should be deprived of possessions in that region of heaven, and be thrust down to hell. And then there were adjoined to them simple good spirits; as is the case with men in the world who, although inwardly devils, are yet kept by these external restraints in honesty and justice and well-doing; and that they may be so kept there are adjoined to them spirits who are in simple good. Thus it was with the evil who were in the lower region of heaven before the Lord's coming. And then too they could be constrained to speak the truth and do good by their own loves. Just as evil priests, yea even the worst who inwardly are devils, can preach the doctrinals of their church with such ardour and simulated zeal as to move the hearts of their hearers to piety, yet at the same time are in the love of self and of the world. For the thought of honour and gain universally rules in them, and from that fire they are excited thus to preach. There are evil spirits with them who are in similar love and therefore in similar thought, who lead them; and to these simple good spirits are adjoined. From these statements it may be seen what was the state of heaven before the Lord's coming. But after His coming the states of heaven and hell were entirely changed; for then the evil genii and spirits who occupied the lower region of heaven were cast down, and in their place those who were of the spiritual church were elevated thither. The evil who were cast down were then deprived of external restraints; which, as was said above, were fear of the loss of honour and reputation, and of the deprivation of possessions in that region. They were thus left to their interiors, which were merely diabolical and infernal, and so were consigned to the hells. The deprivation of external restraints is effected in the other life by the removal of the good spirits who were adjoined to them. When these are removed they can no longer be in any simulation of what is good, just, and honest, but are such as they inwardly were in the world that is such as they were in thought and will, which they had there concealed from others; and then they desire nothing else than to do evil. The simple good spirits who were removed from them were given or adjoined to those who were of the spiritual church, to whom that region of heaven was given for a possession. Thus it is that these latter were enriched with truths and goods which were before in the possession of the evil genii and spirits; for enrichment in truths and goods in the other life is effected by the adjunction of spirits who are in truth and good, because through them communication is opened. These are the things which are signified by the children of Israel not going empty from Egypt, and by a woman borrowing of her neighbour, and of her that sojourned in her house, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, and thus spoiling the Egyptians. Every one may see that if such things had not been represented the Divine [being] would never have commanded that the children of Israel should use such artifice against the Egyptians; for every such thing is at the farthest distance from the Divine. But as that people was entirely representative it was permitted by the Divine [being] that they should do so, because it was thus done with the evil in the other life. It should be known that very many things which were commanded by Jehovah, or the Lord, in the internal sense do not signify that they were commanded, but that they were permitted. (AC n. 6914)
The Anger of the Lord
"And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Moses" (Exod. iv. 14). This signifies clemency.... That Jehovah has no anger, is evident from the consideration that He is love itself, good itself, and mercy itself; and anger is the opposite, and is also an infirmity, which cannot be imputed to God. When therefore anger is predicated of Jehovah or the Lord in the Word, the angels do not perceive anger, but either mercy, or the removal of evil from heaven.... Anger is attributed to Jehovah or the Lord in the Word because it is a most general truth that all things come from God, thus both the evil and the good; but this most general truth, which children and the simple must receive, ought afterwards to be illustrated; namely, by teaching that evils are from man, but that they appear as from God, and that it is so said to the intent that they may learn to fear God, lest they should perish by the evils which they themselves do. And afterwards they can love Him; for fear precedes love, that in love there may be holy fear. For when fear is insinuated into love, it becomes holy from the holiness of love; and then it is not fear lest the Lord should be angry and punish, but lest they should act against Good itself, because this will torment the conscience.... The reason why clemency and mercy are meant by anger is this: All the punishments of the evil arise out of the Lord's mercy to the good, lest they should be injured by the evil. But the Lord does not inflict punishments upon them, but they inflict them upon themselves; for evils and punishments are connected in the other life. The evil inflict punishments on themselves especially when the Lord does mercy to the good; for then their evils increase, and therefore their punishments. Hence it is that for the anger of Jehovah, by which the punishments of the evil are signified, mercy is understood by the angels. From all this it is evident what the quality of the Word is in the sense of the letter, and what truth Divine is in its most general sense; namely, that it is according to appearances, for the reason that man is such that when he sees and apprehends from his sensual he believes, and what he does not see nor apprehend from his sensual he does not believe, and therefore does not receive. Hence it is that the Word in the sense of the letter is according to the things which appear; yet in its interior bosom it contains a store of genuine truths, and in its inmost bosom the very truth Divine which proceeds immediately from the Lord, and therefore also Divine Good, that is, the Lord Himself. (AC n. 6997)
"Cursed be Canaan." To be cursed is to avert one's-self from the Lord. The Lord is as far from cursing and being angry as heaven is from earth. Who can believe that the Lord, who is omniscient and omnipotent, and by His wisdom governs the universe and thus is infinitely above all infirmities, can be angry with dust so miserable, that is, with men, who scarcely know anything that they do, and can do nothing of themselves but what is evil? It is therefore not in the Lord to be angry, but to be merciful. (AC n. 1093)
Apparent Contradiction as to the Number of Years which the Israelites dwelt in Egypt
It is said that "The sojourning of the children of Israel, which they sojourned in Egypt, was thirty years and four hundred years;" and further, that "At the end of the thirty years and four hundred years, in this same day, all the armies of Jehovah went forth from the land of Egypt" (Exod. xii. 40-42). And yet the sojourn of the children of Israel, from the going down of Jacob into Egypt to the departure of his posterity at this time, was not more than half that time, namely, 215 years; as is very manifest from the chronology of the Sacred Scriptures. For Moses was born of Amram, Amram of Kohath, and Kohath of Levi; and Kohath, together with his father Levi went into Egypt (Gen. xlvi. 11). The period of the life of Kohath was a hundred and thirty-three years (Exod. vi. 18); and the period of the life of Amram, from whom came Aaron and Moses, was 137 years (ibid.. ver. 20); and Moses was a man of eighty years when he stood before Pharaoh (Exod. vii. 7). It is not mentioned in what year of the age of Kohath Amram was born, nor in what year of the age of Amram Moses was born; but that there were not 430 years is manifest, for the years of their ages do not amount to 430, but to 350. This will be seen, if the years of the age of Kohath, 133, be added to the years of the age of Amram, 137, and these to the 80 years of Moses when he stood before Pharaoh. It is less if the years are added from their nativities; it may be seen from the chronology that they were 215 years. But from the descent of Abraham into Egypt to the departure of the children of Israel were four hundred and thirty years; see also the chronology. It is plain therefore that by 430 years the entire period of time from Abraham is here meant, and not from Jacob. That these years were taken, and called the years of the sojourn of the children of Israel in Egypt, was on account of the internal sense, in which they signify the full state and duration of the vastation of those who were of the spiritual church; and who were detained in the lower earth until the Lord's coming, and then liberated. (AC n. 7985)
Divine Truth, Pacific and Tumultuous
"And there was the voice of a trumpet, going and strengthening itself exceedingly" (Exod. xix. 19). This signifies the general 'truth] of revelation through the angelic heaven. This appears from the signification of the voice of a trumpet, which is heavenly or angelic truth conjoined with Divine, thus the general truth of revelation. For truth Divine s revelation; and that which is manifested through the medium of heaven is general relatively to the very truth Divine in heaven; for it is without or around, and what is around and without is general relatively to that which is in the midst or which is within. It appears also from the signification of going and strengthening itself, which is its increase. For the case is like that of sound at a high elevation where the atmosphere is purer, which is tacit; but when it descends to lower altitudes where the atmosphere is denser it becomes louder and more sonorous. So is it with Divine truth and Divine good, which in their supremest heights are pacific and entirely without commotion; but as they pass down to lower heights, by degrees they become impacific, and at length tumultuous. These things were thus described by the Lord to Elijah when he was in Horeb, in the first book of the Kings: "Go forth and stand upon the mountain before Jehovah. Behold Jehovah passed by; so that a great and strong wind rent asunder the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before Jehovah: Jehovah was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; yet Jehovah was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake a fire; Jehovah was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice" (xix. 11, 12). (AC n. 8823)
Boring the Ear with an Awl
"Then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to a door or to a post, and his master shall bore his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever" (Exod. xxi. 6). Who cannot see that this ritual concerning men-servants who were to remain contains within it a mystery? and indeed a Divine mystery, for it was dictated and commanded by Jehovah from Mount Sinai. They who do not believe that there is anything more holy or Divine in the Word than what appears in the letter, must wonder that these and many other things contained in this and the following chapters were dictated viva voce by Jehovah; for they appear in the letter to be just such things as are contained in the laws of nations. Thus this law concerning men-servants, that such of them as were not willing to go forth from service should be brought to a door or to a post, and should have an ear bored -through with an awl by their master; in the sense of the. letter this does not savour of the Divine, and yet it is most Divine. But this does not appear except by the internal sense. The internal sense is, that they who are in truths alone and not in corresponding good, but yet are in the delight of the remembrance of spiritual goods, have some communication and conjunction with spiritual good. This was represented by the ear of the man-servant being bored through at a door or a post by-his master; for a door is communication; a post is conjunction; the ear is obedience; and to bore it through with an awl is representative of the state in which he was to remain. Thus the angels who are with man while he reads this Word perceive these things. For the angels do not think of a door, or of a post, or of an ear and of its being bored, or even of a man-servant; but instead of these they think of the aforesaid communication and conjunction. For the angels are intelligent in such things,. because they are in the light; and they only occur to their minds as spiritual and celestial, and not as natural and worldly, which the things in the literal sense of the Word are. For the literal sense of the Word is natural and worldly, and its internal sense is spiritual and celestial. That is for men; this for angels; and hence there is communication and conjunction of heaven with man by means of the Word. That the mysteries involved in this procedure with men-servants remaining with their master may be further laid open, it must be told whence it is that a door and post signify communication and conjunction. Angels and spirits have habitations which appear quite like those that are in the world; and what is a mystery, each and all things that appear in their habitations are significative of spiritual things. They flow forth also from the spiritual things that are in heaven, and which are from heaven in their minds. Communications of truth with good are represented there by doors, and conjunctions by posts; and other things by the rooms themselves, by the courts, by the windows, and by the various decorations. That this is so men at this day cannot believe, especially those who are merely natural; because such things do not lie open to their bodily senses. And yet it is evident from the Word that such things were seen by the prophets when their interiors were open into heaven; they have also been apperceived and seen by me a thousand times. I have frequently heard them say, too, that the doors of their apartments were open when their thoughts were communicated to me, and that they were shut when they were not communicated. Hence it is that doors are mentioned in the Word where it speaks of communication, as in Isaiah: "Go away, My people, enter into thy chambers, and shut thy door after thee, hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the anger be overpast" (xxvi. 20). To shut the door after them until anger is overpast denotes non-communication with the evils which are [meant by] anger.... And in John: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber; but he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.... I am the door; by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved" (x. 1, 2, 9). To enter in by the door is to enter in by the truth which is of faith to the good of charity and love, and so to the Lord; for the Lord is Good itself. He is likewise the Truth which leads in; so also the door, for faith is from Him. That communication is signified by a door appears like a metaphorical way of speaking, or comparison; but there are no metaphors or comparisons in the Word, but actual correspondences. Even the comparisons therein are made with such things as correspond. This is evident from what has been said of a door; namely, that doors actually appear in heaven to angels and spirits, and the opening and shutting of them is according to communications. So too with other things.
"And his master shall bore through his ear with an awl," signifies a representative of obedience. This appears from the signification of the ear, which is obedience; and from the signification of the boring through with an awl,—that is, at a door or at a post,—which is to attach; here, because it concerns obedience, it signifies to devote [i.e. to service]. The injunction follows therefore that "he shall serve him," that is, obey, "for ever." From this it is plain that boring through the ear of the servant with an awl at a door or at a post by his master, is a representative of obedience. How these things are may be seen from what has preceded; namely, that those who are in truths only and not in corresponding good, that is who are in faith and not in charity, are not free but servants. On the other hand, those who act from good or charity are free, since they act from themselves; for to act from good or charity is to act from the heart, that is from the will, and thus from what is man's own. For that which is of the will is of the man; and what is done from the will is said to go forth from the heart. But those who are only in truths of faith, and not in the good of charity, are relatively servants; for they do not act from themselves,—because they have not the good within themselves from which to act, but out of themselves; and they do it as often as they think of it. Those who remain such to the end of life continue in that state after death; nor can they be brought to such a state that they may act from an affection of charity, thus from good; but they act from obedience.... They who actually, that is in very life, put the doctrine of faith in the first place and charity in the second, are Hebrew servants in the representative sense.... That the boring of the ear with an awl by his master is representative of obedience, is evident too from the consideration that to fix the ear to a door was to effect that attention should be paid to those things which his master who is in the chamber commands; thus to cause to hear continually, and accordingly obey; here, in the spiritual sense, to cause to obey the things which good wills and commands, for by the lord of the servant spiritual good is represented. As the ear signifies the hearing which is of obedience, therefore from an origin out of the spiritual world there has passed into human speech the expression to pull the ear, for to make to give heed and to remember; [This expression, though not unknown in English parlance, is less common than perhaps in some of the other modern languages, and than it appears to have been anciently, at least in the spoken Latin language. (Virg. Ecl. vi. 3)] and likewise the words hear and hearken in the sense of to obey. For the interior sense of very many expressions has flowed from correspondences from the spiritual world; as when we speak of spiritual light, and of sight from it, which are things belonging to faith; also of spiritual fire and of life therefrom, which things pertain to love.
"And he shall serve him for ever." ... In the literal sense for ever here signifies service with his master to the end of his life. But in the internal or spiritual sense it signifies to eternity, because it refers to the state after death. It is said to eternity, for the reason that they who do good from the obedience of faith, and not from an affection of charity,—who are represented by men-servants,--can never be brought to a state of good, that is to such a state that they act from good, in the other life. For the life of every one remains after death. Such as a man is when he dies, such he remains; according to the common saying, "As the tree falleth so it lies." Not that he is such as he was about the hour of death; but such as from the whole course of his life he is when he dies. They therefore who during their life in the world have been accustomed to do good only from obedience, and not from-charity, remain so to eternity. These are perfected indeed in respect to obedience, but do not attain to anything of charity. (AC n. 8989-8991)
The Breaking of the Tables of the Decalogue by Moses, and his hewing out other Tables
"And Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them, beneath the mount" (Exod. xxxii. 19). The external of the Word is its literal sense. This sense is signified by the tables, because this sense is as a table, or as a plane, on which the internal sense is inscribed. That the tables which were the work of God were broken by Moses when he saw the calf and the dances, and that at the command of Jehovah other tables were hewn out by Moses, and on them were afterwards inscribed the same words, and thus that the tables were no longer the work of God, but the work of Moses, while the writing was still the writing of God, involves a mystery as yet unknown. The mystery is, that the literal sense of the Word would have been different if the Word had been written among another people, or if this people had not been of such a character. For, because the Word was written among them the literal sense of the Word is concerning that people, as is plain both from the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word; and that people were in evil, because in heart they were idolators. And yet, that the internal and external sense might agree, this people was to be commended, and to be called the people of God, a holy nation, and peculiar. The simple therefore who were to be instructed by the external sense of the Word were to believe that such was the character of that nation, as that nation also itself believes, and likewise the greater part of the Christian world at this day. And besides, many things were permitted them on account of the hardness of their heart, which stand forth in the external sense of the Word, and constitute it. As for example what is mentioned in Matt. xix. 8, and other things also which are here passed by. Since therefore the literal sense of the Word was made such for the sake of that people, those tables which were the work of God were broken, and by command of Jehovah others were hewn out by Moses. But as the same holy Divine was still within, therefore the same words which were upon the former tables were inscribed by Jehovah upon these, as is plain from these words in Moses: "Jehovah said unto Moses, Hew thee out two tables of stones, like unto the first, that I may write upon the tables the words that were on the former tables, which thou hast broken: And Jehovah wrote upon those tables the words of the covenant, ten words" (Exod. xxxiv. 1, 4, 28). (AC n. 10,453)
To make this subject more clear, it may be here explained how the external or literal sense was changed for the sake of that nation. For the sake of that nation altars, burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and libations were commanded and on this account, both in the historical and prophetical Word, these are mentioned as the most holy things of worship, when in fact they were merely allowed because they were first instituted by Eber. But in the Ancient representative church they were entirely unknown. For the sake of that nation also it came to pass that Divine worship was performed in Jerusalem alone, and that on this account that city was esteemed holy, and was also called holy, both in the historical and prophetical Word. The reason was because that nation was in heart idolatrous; and therefore unless they had all met together at that city on each festival, every one in his own place would have worshipped some god of the Gentiles, or some graven and molten thing. For the sake of that nation too it was forbidden to celebrate holy worship on mountains and in groves, as the ancients had done. This was done lest they should place idols there, and should worship the very trees. For the sake of that nation also it was permitted to marry several wives; which was a thing entirely unknown in ancient times; and likewise to put away their wives for various causes. Hence laws were enacted concerning such marriages and divorces which otherwise would not have entered the external of the Word. This external is therefore called by the Lord that of Moses, and is said to have been "suffered for the hardness of their heart" (Matt. xix. 8). It was for the sake of that nation that Jacob, and also the twelve sons of Israel, were so often mentioned as the only elect and heirs; as in the Apocalypse, vii. 4-8, and elsewhere,—although their character was such as is described in the song of Moses (Deut. xxxii. 15-43), and in the prophets also throughout, and by the Lord Himself. Besides other things of which the external of the Word was composed for the sake of that nation. It is this external which is signified by the two tables hewed out by Moses. That within this external there is yet the Divine internal, unchanged, is signified by Jehovah writing on these tables the same words which were on the former tables. (ibid.. n. 10,603)
Signification of the Jewish Sacrifices
The animals which were offered up in the sacrifices and burnt-offerings were oxen, bullocks, he-goats, rams, she-goats, he-kids; and he-lambs, ewe-lambs, and kids of the she-goats. He who does not know what these animals signify cannot know at all what is signified in particular by the sacrifices and burnt-offerings of them. It should be known that all the animals on earth signify such things as pertain to man; which in general refer to the affections which are of his will, and to the thoughts which are of his understanding, and therefore to goods and truths; for goods are of the will, and truths are of the understanding. And as they refer to goods and truths, they also refer to love and faith; for all things that pertain to love are called goods, and all things that pertain to faith are called truths. The fact that animals of different kinds have such a signification has its cause in representatives in the other life; for animals of many kinds, and of innumerable species, appear there. Such animals there are appearances, exactly to the life, corresponding to the affections and the thoughts in spirits and angels. That this is so is in fact evident from the prophetic visions in the Word throughout; for the things seen by the prophets were all such as appear in heaven before the angels. It is for this reason that beasts are so frequently mentioned the Word; and by every one of them something is signified which relates to such things in man as are spoken of above. Nor is man anything but an animal as to his external man; but he is distinguished by the internal, by which both that and this can be elevated towards heaven and to God, and thence receive faith and love. Hence it is that beasts were devoted to sacrifices and burnt-offerings. He who does not know these things cannot know at all why it was commanded at one time to offer bullocks, rams, and he-lambs; at another, oxen, she-goats, and ewe-lambs; and at another time, he-goats, he-kids, and kids of the she-goats; for otherwise to what purpose would be such distinctions? ... The sacrifices and burnt-offerings, in general, signified the regeneration of man, and in the highest sense the glorification of the Lord's Humanity. The whole of worship was also represented by the sacrifices and burnt-offerings, according to the various things pertaining to it, thus with every variety; and therefore were the various kinds of animals commanded.... That the sacrifices and burnt-offerings, in general, signified the regeneration of man by the truths of faith and the goods of love to the Lord from the Lord, is evident from this fact, that all things of worship have reference to purification from evils and falsities; to the implantation of truth and good; and to their conjunction,—and so to regeneration; for by these three things man is regenerated. Hence it is that sacrifices and burnt-offerings were offered for every sin and for all guilt; and when they were offered it is said that expiation was made, and that it was pardoned (Lev. iv. 20, 26, 31, 35; v. 6, 10, 13, 16, 18; vi. 7; vii. 7; x. 17; xiv. 18, 19; xv. 30, 31; xvi. 6, 24; xvii. 11). The pardon of sins, expiation, propitiation, and redemption, are nothing else than purification from evils and falsities, the implantation of good and truth, and their conjunction, thus regeneration. The whole process of regeneration is also described by the particular rituals of each sacrifice and burnt-offering, and is explained when the representatives are unfolded by the internal sense.... By the sacrifices and burnt-offerings of the bullock, the ox, and the he-goat, the purification and regeneration of the external or natural man was represented; by those of the ram, the she-goat, and the he-kid, the purification, and regeneration of the internal or spiritual man was represented; and by those of the he-lamb, the ewe-lamb, and the kid of the she-goats was represented the purification or regeneration of the inmost or celestial man. Because there are three degrees in man in succession [from this inmost], the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural; and because, in order that he may be regenerated, man must be regenerated both as to internals and as to externals.... The reason why in the highest sense the sacrifices and burnt-offerings signify the glorification of the Lord's Humanity is that all the rituals of the worship instituted among the Israelitish and Jewish nation had reference to the Lord alone; and so the sacrifices and burnt-offerings by which in general the whole of worship was represented, referred principally to Him. And besides, the regeneration of man is from no other source than the Lord: and therefore, wherever in the Word the regeneration of man is referred to, in the highest sense it refers to the glorification of the Lord's Humanity. For man's regeneration is an image of the Lord's glorification. To glorify the Human was to make it Divine; and to regenerate man is to make him heavenly, that the Divine of the Lord may dwell in him. (AC n.10,042).
Magic, Sorcery, and Enchantments
By the Egyptians the representatives and significatives of the Ancient church, which church had also existed among them, were turned into magic. For by the representatives and significatives of the church at that time there was communication with heaven; which communication was among those who lived in the good of charity, and with some of them was open. But with those who did not live in the good of charity, but in the opposites of charity, there was sometimes open communication with evil spirits, who perverted all the truths, and destroyed together with them the goods of the church. Thence magic originated. This may even be seen from the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, which they also employed in sacred things; for they signified spiritual things by them, and perverted Divine order. Magic is nothing else than a perversion of order; especially it is the abuse of correspondences. (AC n. 6692)
Sorcerers are those who pervert Divine order, that is the laws of order. Sorcery and magic are nothing else, as is evident from sorcerers; and especially in the other life, where they abound. For they who have practised cunning in the life of the body, and have contrived various arts of defrauding others, and, at length, in consequence of success, have attributed all things to their own prudence, in the other life learn in addition magical arts, which are nothing else than abuses of Divine order, especially of correspondences. For it is according to Divine order that each and all things correspond. As for example, the hands, the arms, and the shoulders, correspond to power; and thence a staff also has the same correspondence. Therefore they form to themselves staffs, and also representatively present shoulders, arms, and hands, and thereby exercise magical power. So in a thousand and a thousand other ways. The abuse of order and of correspondences is when those things which are of order are not applied to good ends, but to evil ends; and to the end of ruling over others, and to the end of destroying; for the end of order is salvation, thus to do good to all.
Where sorceries and enchantments are mentioned in the Word they signify also the art of so presenting falsities that they appear as truths, and of so presenting truths that they appear as falsities; which is done chiefly by fallacies.... Such is the signification of enchantments in this passage, "By thy enchantments were all nations seduced" (Rev. xviii. 23); which is said of Babylon.... From this it may now be known what is signified by the sorceries which were to be cut off out of the hand, in Micah v. 12; namely, the arts of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths. These arts also correspond to the fantasies by which the evil in the other life present beautiful things before the eyes as ugly, and ugly things as beautiful; which fantasies are in truth a species of sorcery, for they also are abuses and perversions of Divine order. (AC n. 7296, 7297)
They are called drunkards who believe nothing but what they comprehend, and therefore inquire into the mysteries of faith; for, as this is done by means of things sensual, known, or philosophical, man is so constituted that he cannot but fall into errors. The thought of man is merely worldly, corporeal, and material; because it is from worldly, corporeal, and material things, which continually cleave to it, and upon which the ideas of his thought are founded and in which they are terminated. To think and reason therefore from these concerning things Divine is to rush into errors and perversions; and it is as impossible for a man thence to obtain faith as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The error and unsoundness of mind that come from this are called in the Word drunkenness. Indeed souls or spirits in the other life who argue about the truths of faith and against them even become as drunkards, and act like them.... Spirits who are in the faith of charity are clearly distinguished from those who are not. Those that are in the faith of charity do not argue about the truths of faith, but say that they are thus; and they also confirm them as far as they can by matters of sense, of knowledge, and the analysis of reason. But as soon as anything obscure arises which they do not understand they set it aside, nor do they ever suffer it to bring them into doubt; saying that there are very few things which they comprehend, and therefore to think a thing is not true because they do not comprehend it would be insane. These are they who are in charity. But those on the contrary who are not in the faith of charity desire nothing but to argue whether it is so, and to know how it is; saying that unless they know how it is they cannot believe it is so. From this merely it is instantly known that they have no faith; and the indication of it is that they not only doubt about everything, but in their heart deny; and when instructed how things are they still persist, and move all manner of scruples against them, and are never at rest, even though it were to eternity. It is these, or such as these, who in the Word are said to be drunk with wine or strong drink. As in Isaiah: "They also have erred through wine, and through strong drink have gone out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink, they err in vision.... All tables are full of vomit of filthiness.... Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand what is heard? Them that are weaned from the milk, and torn away from the breast" (xxviii. 7-9). Again in the same prophet: "How say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? ... Where now are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now.... Jehovah hath mingled a spirit of perversities in the midst thereof, and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit" (xix. 11, 12, 14). A drunken man here stands for those who desire by means of knowledges to search into things spiritual and celestial. Egypt signifies knowledges and therefore calls himself the son of the wise.... They who believe nothing but what they can comprehend by things sensual and things known were also called "mighty to drink;" as in Isaiah: "Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink! (v. 21, 22) They are said to be wise in their own eyes and intelligent in their own sight, because those that argue against the truths of faith deem themselves wiser than others. But those that care nothing for the Word and the truths of faith, and thus have no desire to know anything about faith, denying its principles, are called "drunken without wine;" as in Isaiah: "They are drunken, but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink; for Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes" (xxix. 9, 10). (AC n. 1072)
As regards prodigies and signs, it should be known that they were produced among such as were in external worship and did not desire to know anything of internal; for those who were in such worship were to be constrained by external means. Hence it is that miracles were performed among the Israelitish and Jewish people. For they were solely in external worship, and in no internal; and external worship was also what they ought to be in when they were not willing to be in internal worship,—to the intent that in externals they might represent holy things, and that so communication might be given with heaven, as by something of a church; for correspondences, representatives, and significatives conjoin the natural world to the spiritual. It was then for this reason that so many miracles were performed among that nation. But miracles were not performed among those who were in internal worship, that is in charity and faith; for they are hurtful to them, since miracles compel belief, and what is of compulsion does not remain, but is dissipated. The internal things of worship, which are faith and charity, are to be implanted in a state of freedom; for then they are appropriated, and things which are so appropriated remain. But things which are implanted in a state of compulsion remain outside of the internal man in the external; for nothing enters into the internal man but by means of intellectual ideas, which are reasons, for the ground which receives there is an enlightened rational. Hence it is that no miracles are wrought at this day. That they are also hurtful is therefore evident; for they compel belief, and fix in the external man the idea that it is so; if afterwards the internal man denies what miracles have confirmed, there arises an opposition and collision between the internal and external of man; and at length, when the ideas derived from miracles are dissipated, a conjunction of the false and the true takes place, which is profanation. Hence it appears how hurtful are miracles at this day in the church, when the internals of worship are made known. These things are signified too by the Lord's words to Thomas, "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that do not see, and yet believe" (John xx. 29). So also they are blessed who believe and not by miracles. But miracles are not hurtful to those who are in external worship without internal, for with such there is no opposition between the internal and external of man; therefore no collision, and so no profanation. That miracles do not contribute anything to faith is sufficiently manifest from the miracles wrought among the people of Israel in Egypt and in the wilderness; in that they had no effect at all upon them. For that people, although a little time before they had seen so many miracles in Egypt, and afterwards the Red Sea divided and the Egyptians overwhelmed, the pillar of cloud going before them by day and the pillar of fire by night, and the manna daily showering down from heaven; and although they had seen Mount Sinai in smoke, and heard Jehovah speaking thence, besides other miracles, yet even in the midst of such things that people declined from all faith, and from the worship of Jehovah to the worship of a calf (Exod. xxxii). It is evident from this what is the effect of miracles. They would be of still less effect at this day, when it is not acknowledged that anything exists from the spiritual world, and when everything of the kind that takes place, and is not attributed to nature, is denied. For there universally reigns a spirit of denial against the Divine influx and government in the earth. Therefore, if at this day the man of the church were to see the veriest Divine miracles, he would first drag them down into nature and defile them there, and then reject them as phantasms, and finally would laugh at all who attributed them to the Divine and not to nature. That miracles are of no effect is also evident from the Lord's words in Luke: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead" (xvi. 31). (AC n. 7290)
It should be known that all the miracles which were wrought by the Lord always involved, and therefore signified, such things as are meant by the blind, the lame, the leprous, the deaf, the dead, and the poor, in the internal sense. The miracles of the Lord were therefore Divine; as were also those wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, and others recorded in the Word. (AC n. 2383)
Spiritual fermentations take place in many ways, both in the heavens and on earth; but in the world it is not known what they are, and how they are effected. There are in truth evils and attendant falsities, which admitted into societies act as the ferments put into meal and new wine; by which heterogeneous things are separated and the homogeneous are united, and it becomes pure and clear. These are the fermentations which are meant by these words of the Lord: "The kingdom of the heavens is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened" (Matt. xiii. 33; Luke xiii. 21). (DP n. 25)
Prayer and Worship
"All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall receive" (Matt. xxi. 22) By these words the power is described of those who are in the Lord. They desire nothing, and so ask nothing but from the Lord, and whatsoever they from the Lord desire and ask the same is done; for the Lord says, "Without Me ye can do nothing; . . abide in Me and I in you." The angels in heaven have such power that if they only desire a thing they obtain it; but they do not desire anything but what is of use, and they desire it as if of themselves but yet from the Lord. (AR n. 951)
Prayer in itself considered is discourse with God; and there is then a certain internal intuition of those things which are objects of prayer, corresponding to which there is a something like influx into the perception or thought of the mind of him who prays; so that there is a kind of opening of man's interiors towards God. But this with a difference according to the man's state, and according to the essence of the thing which is the object of prayer. If it be from love and faith, and only for celestial and spiritual things that he prays, then there exists a something resembling revelation in the prayer, which is manifested in the affection of him who prays, in respect to hope, consolation, or some internal joy. Hence it is that prayer in the internal sense signifies revelation. (AC n. 2535)
But a man ought not while he lives in the world to omit the practice of external worship also, for by external worship internal things are awakened; and external things are kept by external worship in a state of sanctity, so that the internal can flow, in. Besides which a man is thus caused to imbibe knowledge, and prepared to receive celestial things, that he may be endued also with states of sanctity of which he is unconscious; which states of sanctity are preserved to him by the Lord, for the use of eternal life. For in the other life all man's states of life return. (AC n. 1618)
In all worship there must be humiliation. If there is no humiliation there is nothing of adoration, and therefore nothing of worship. That a state of humiliation is essential to worship is 'for this reason, that in the degree that the heart is humbled in the same degree self-love and every evil therefore ceases, and so far as this ceases good and truth, that is charity and faith, flow in from the Lord. For self-love is what chiefly opposes the reception of these, because in this there is contempt of others in comparison of one's self, together with hatred and revenge if he is not worshipped. (ibid.. n. 2327)
By worship according to the order of heaven is meant all practice of good according to the Lord's precepts. The worship of God at this day means principally the worship of the lips in a temple morning and evening. But the worship of God does not consist essentially in this, but in a life of uses. This is worship according to the order of heaven. The worship of the lips also is worship, but it is entirely without avail unless there be worship of the life; for this worship is of the heart, and that, in order that it may become worship, must proceed from this. (ibid.. n. 7884)
The man who is in the course of purification from evils and falsities, and in good and truth, is in genuine worship. For purification from evils and falsities consists in desisting from them, and in shunning them and holding them in aversion; and the implantation of good and truth consists in thinking and purposing what is good and true and speaking and doing them. And the conjunction of the two is life from them; for when good and truth are conjoined in a man he has a new will and a new understanding, and therefore new life. When a man becomes of such a character, in every work that he does there is Divine worship; for he then looks to the Divine [Being] in everything, venerates Him, loves Him, and accordingly worships Him. This is genuine Divine worship. (ibid n. 10,143)
It is believed by those who do not know the mysteries of heaven that worship is from man, because it goes forth from the thought and from the affection that are in him. But the worship which is from man is not worship, consequently the confessions, adorations, and prayers which are from man are not confessions, adorations, and prayers which are heard and received by the Lord. But they must be from the Lord Himself in man. The church knows that this is so; for she teaches that no good proceeds from man, but that all good is from heaven, that is from the Divine there. Therefore all good is worship also, and worship without good is not worship. The Church, accordingly, when she is in a holy [state], prays that God may be present and lead their thoughts and discourse. The case is this: When man is in genuine worship the Lord flows into the goods and truths that are in him, and He raises them up to him, and with them raises the man according to the degree and manner that he is in them. This elevation does not appear to a man unless he is in the genuine affection of truth and good, and in the knowledge, acknowledgment, and faith that all good comes from above, from the Lord. That this is so may be apprehended even by those who are wise from the world; for they know from their erudition that there is not natural influx, which is called by them physical influx, but spiritual influx; that is, that nothing can flow in from the natural world into heaven, but the reverse. From these considerations it may appear how it is to be understood that the influx and operation of the Divine of the Lord is into all and everything of worship. That in truth it is so it has been granted me frequently to experience; for I was permitted to perceive the very influx, the calling forth of the truths which were with me, the application to the objects of prayer, the affection of good adjoined, and the elevation itself. But although this is so, yet a man ought not to hang down his hands and wait for influx, for this would be to act the part of an image without life. He ought still to think, to purpose, and to act, as if from himself, and yet ascribe to the Lord every thought of truth and every effort of good; thereby there is implanted in him by the Lord the capability of receiving Him and influx from Him. (ibid. n.10,299)
Why it is the Lord's Will to be Worshipped
The essence of spiritual love is to do good to others, not for the sake of self, but for their sake. Infinitely more is this the essence of Divine love. It is like the love of parents for their children, in that they do them good from love to them, not for the sake of themselves, but for their sakes. This is plainly seen in the love of a mother towards infants. Because the Lord is to be adored, worshipped, and glorified, it is believed that He loves adoration, worship, and glory, for His own sake; but He loves them for man's sake, because by means of them man comes into such a state that the Divine can flow into him and be perceived; for by means of them man removes his own [proprium] which prevents the influx and reception; for what is his own, which is the love of himself, hardens and closes the heart. This is removed by the acknowledgment that nothing but evil conies from himself, and nothing but good from the Lord. Hence comes a softening of the heart and humiliation, from which flow forth adoration and worship. It follows from this that the uses which the Lord renders to Himself through man are in order that He may do good to him from love; and as it is His love [to do this], reception [by man] is the joy of His love. Let no one therefore believe that the Lord is with those who adore Him merely; but that He is with those that do His commandments, thus who perform uses. He has His abode with these, but not with those. (DLW n. 335)
The Lord's Prayer
In the Word those things which precede govern in those that follow, and so in a series. This is evident from everything that the Lord spake; and especially from His prayer, which is called the Lord's Prayer. In this prayer all things follow in such a series that they constitute as it were a column increasing from the highest part to the lowest. In the interiors of this are those things which precede in the series; what is first [or highest] is inmost, and what follows in order adds itself in succession to the inmost, and thus it increases. What is inmost governs universally in those things which are round about it, that is in each and all things, for hence is the essential of the existence of all. (AC n. 8864)
That there are innumerable things within the ideas of thought, arid that they are within them in order from the interiors, has been evident to me when in the morning and evening I have been reading the Lord's Prayer. The ideas of my thought were then constantly opened towards heaven, and innumerable things flowed in, so that I clearly observed that the ideas of thought received from the contents of the Prayer were made full from heaven. And such things were poured in, too, as cannot be uttered, and such also as I cannot comprehend; I was only sensible of the general affection thence resulting. And it is wonderful that the things which flowed in were varied every day. From this it was given me to know that there are more things in the contents of that Prayer than the universal heaven has capacity to comprehend; and that to man there are more things in it in proportion as his thought is more opened towards heaven; and on the other hand that there are fewer things in it in proportion as his thought is more closed. To those indeed whose thought is closed nothing more appears therein than the sense of the letter, or the sense which is nearest to the words. (ibid. n. 6619)
The Lord's Prayer is daily read in heaven, as it is by men on earth. And the angels do not then think of God the Father, because He is invisible; but they think of Him in His Divine Human, because in this He is visible. And in this Human He is not called by them Christ, but Lord; and thus the Lord is their Father in heaven.... In that prayer it is said, "Hallowed be Thy name" and "Thy kingdom come." The name of the Father is His Divine Human; and the Kingdom of the Father comes when the Lord is immediately approached, and by no means when God the Father is approached immediately. (AR n. 839.)
The Spiritual Sense of Numbers
As respects numbers in the Word, the half and the double involve a similar signification; as for instance that of twenty is similar to ten, and that of four to two, that of six to three, of twenty-four to twelve, and so on. So also numbers further multiplied are similar in signification, as a hundred and also a thousand is similar to ten, and seventy-two, and a hundred and forty-four are similar to twelve. What therefore the compound numbers involve may be known from the simple numbers from which and with which they are multiplied. What the more simple numbers involve may also be known from the integral numbers; as what five involves may be known from ten, and what two and a half involves may be known from five, and so on. It should be known in general that numbers multiplied involve the same as the simple numbers, but more full; and that numbers divided involve the same, but not so full. As regards five specifically, this number has a double signification. It signifies a little and hence some; and it signifies remains. It signifies a little from its relation to those numbers which signify much; namely, to a thousand, and to a hundred, and therefore also to ten. When it has relation to ten, five signifies remains; for ten signifies remains. He who does not know that there is any internal sense of the Word which does not appear in the letter, will be quite amazed that even numbers in the Word signify things; especially, because he can form no spiritual idea from numbers; but yet numbers flow from the spiritual ideas which the angels have. What the ideas are, and what the things are to which numbers correspond, may indeed be known; . but whence that correspondence is, still lies hidden. As for instance, whence is the correspondence of twelve with all things of faith; and the correspondence of seven with things that are holy; and the correspondence of ten, and likewise of five, with goods and truths stored up in the interior man by the Lord, and so on. But yet it is enough to know that there is a correspondence, and that from such correspondence all the numbers in the Word signify something in the spiritual world; consequently also that the Divine inspired into them lies stored up therein. For example, in the following passages where five is mentioned: In the Lord's parable concerning the man who "went into a far country, and delivered to his servants his goods, to one five talents, to another two, and to another one; ... and he that received five talents, traded with the same and gained other five talents; and likewise he that had received two, gained other two; but he that received one, hid his Lord's silver in the earth" (Matt. xxv. 14, and following verses). One who does not think beyond the literal sense cannot know but that these numbers, five, two, and one, were assumed merely for composing the story of the parable, and involve nothing further; and yet even in these numbers themselves there is an arcanum. For by the servant who received five talents, they are signified who have admitted goods and truths from the Lord, that is who have received remains; by him who received two, they are signified who in advanced age have adjoined charity to faith; and by him who received one they who have received faith only, without charity, are signified. Of this one it is said that he hid his Lord's silver in the earth; for the silver, which is mentioned in connection with him in the internal sense signifies truth which is of faith; and faith without charity cannot make gain, or bear fruit. Such things are contained in these numbers. So in the other parables.... Likewise in these words of the Lord, "Think ye that I am come to give peace on the earth? I tell you nay, but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three" (Luke xii. 51, 52). And also in these actual historical incidents, that the Lord fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes; and that at that time He commanded them to sit down by hundreds and by fifties; and that after they had eaten, they gathered of the fragments twelve baskets (Matt. xiv. 15-21; Mark vi. 38, and following verses; Luke ix. 12-17.; John vi. 5-13). Because these incidents are historical it can scarcely be believed that the numbers in them are significative; as the number five thousand, which was that of the men; the number five, which was that of the loaves; and two, which was that of the fishes; and also the number a hundred, and the number fifty, which were those of the companies that sat down; and lastly twelve, which was that of the baskets containing the fragments. And yet in each number there is an arcanum; for each particular circumstance took place of Providence, to the end that Divine things might be represented. That the number five contains within it a heavenly mystery, and similar to that in the number ten, is plain from the cherubim of which we read in the first book of the Kings: "Within the oracle Solomon made two cherubim of olive wood; the height of each was ten cubits; five cubits was the wing of one cherub, and five cubits was the wing of the other cherub: it was ten cubits from the extremities of its wings to the extremities of its wings; thus ten cubits was the cherub; both cherubim had one measure and one proportion" (vi. 23-25). It is also evident from the lavers about the temple, and from the candlesticks, of which we read in the same book that "five bases of the lavers were set near the shoulder of the house to the right, and five near the shoulder of the house to the left" ... and that "five candlesticks were set on the right, and five on the left, before the holy place" (vii. 39, 49). That "the brazen sea was ten cubits from, brim to brim, and five cubits in height, and thirty cubits in circumference" (vii. 23), was that holy things might be signified both by the numbers ten and five, and by thirty; which number of the circumference in fact does not geometrically answer to the diameter, but it spiritually involves that which is signified by the compass of that vessel. That all numbers signify things in the spiritual world, is very evident from the numbers in Ezekiel where the new earth, the new city, and the new temple are treated of, which the angel measured as to all its particulars (see chapters xl. xli. xlii. xliii. xlv. xlvi. xlvii. xlviii. xlix). A description of almost all the holy things therein is exhibited by numbers; and therefore one who does not know what those numbers involve can know scarcely anything of the arcana contained therein. The number ten and the number five occur there (xl. 7, 11, 48; xli. 2, 9, 11, 12; xlii. 4; xlv. 11, 14), besides the multiplied numbers; namely, twenty-five, fifty, five hundred, five thousand. It is manifest from the particulars that the new earth, the new city, and the new temple there signify the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, and His church therefrom on the earth. (AC n. 5291)
A greater and lesser number, or a multiplied and divided number, involves a similar signification to that of the simple numbers from which it is derived. This is very manifest from the number twelve, which has a similar signification, whether it be divided into six or multiplied into seventy-two or into 144; that is twelve into twelve, or into 12,000, or into 144,000. As for instance 144,000 in the Apocalypse: "I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred forty-four thousand, they were sealed out of every tribe of Israel; out of each tribe twelve thousand" (vii. 4, 5, and following verses). In this passage the sons of Israel are not meant by the sons of Israel; nor the tribes by the tribes, nor number by number, but such things as are in the internal sense are meant; namely, all things of faith and charity; and so by each tribe specifically one genus or one class, as has been explained at Genesis xxix. and xxx. So again in the Apocalypse: "Lo, a Lamb standing upon mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 having His Father's name written upon their foreheads.... They sung a new song before the throne, ... and no one could learn the song but the 144,000 bought from the earth....These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were bought from among men, the first fruits to God and the Lamb" (xiv. 1, 3, 4). It is evident from this description, that they who are in charity are meant by the 144,000; and it is also evident that that number merely designates their state and quality. For that number denotes the same as twelve, since it arises from 12,000 and 12 multiplied into each other; in like manner as the lesser number 144, which is twelve times twelve, in the same book, "He measured the wall of the Holy Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, 144 cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel" (Apoc. xxi. 2, 17). In the spiritual sense the wall of the Holy Jerusalem is not a wall, but the truth of faith defending the things which are of the church; for this reason too it is said that it was 144 cubits. It is very plain that this is so, for it is said that it is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. By a man and by an angel, all of the truth and good of faith is signified. And it is plain also from the twelve precious stones which formed the foundation of the wall, and from the twelve gates, each of which was one pearl (ver. 19-21); for by precious stones truths of faith which are from the good of charity are signified; likewise by a gate, and also by a pearl. Hence now it is evident, that a lesser and greater number involves a similar signification to that of the simple number from which it is formed. From all this it may now be seen that the number of six hundred thousand men going forth out of Egypt also signifies such things. Scarcely any one can believe that this number has such a signification, because it is an historical fact, and everything historical keeps the mind continually in the external sense, and withdraws it from the internal sense. But this number, too, has such a signification; for there is not even the least word, nay not one jot nor a single point in the Word which is not in itself holy, because it involves within it what is holy. That in the historical fact alone there is nothing holy every one must see. (ibid. n. 7973. [See also p. 127, section on The Apocalypse])
Measures and Weights
"And he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand" (Rev. vi. 5). This signifies the estimation of good and truth, of what kind it was with those referred to. The estimation of good and truth is signified by the balances in his hand; for all measures as well as weights, in the Word, signify estimation of the thing treated of. That measures and weights have such a signification is plain from the following in Daniel: "There was a handwriting before Belshazzar the king of Babylon, when he was drinking wine out of the vessels of gold and of silver which were taken out of the temple in Jerusalem, Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin; which is, numbered, weighed, and divided; wherefore this is the interpretation; mene, God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it; tekel, thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting; peres, thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians " (v. 1, 2, 26-28). By drinking out of the vessels of gold and silver of the temple in Jerusalem, and at the same time worshipping other gods, the profanation of good and truth is signified; so also by Babel; mene, or to number, signifies to know his quality as to truth; tekel, or to weigh, signifies to know his quality as to good; peres, or to divide, signifies to disperse. That the quality of truth and good is signified by measures and balances in the Word, is evident in Isaiah: "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out the heavens with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in, a balance?" (xl. 12). And in the Apocalypse: "The angel measured the wall of the Holy Jerusalem, an hundred and forty and four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel" (xxi. 17). (AR n. 313)
Alpha and Omega
The Lord is called the Alpha and the Omega, because Alpha is the first and Omega the last letter in the Greek alphabet, and from this circumstance signify all things in the complex; the reason is that each letter of the alphabet in the spiritual world signifies something; and a vowel, because it is used for sound, signifies something of affection or love. From this origin is spiritual and angelic language, and also that of the Scriptures. But this is an arcanum hitherto unknown.... The Lord describes His Divinity and infinity by Alpha and Omega; which signify that He is the All in all of heaven and the church. Because in the spiritual world, and therefore in angelic language, each letter of the alphabet signifies something, David wrote the 119th Psalm, in order according to the letters of the alphabet, beginning with Aleph and ending with Thou, as may be seen from the initials of the verses. Something similar to this appears in Psalm cxi., but not so evidently. On this account also Abram was called Abraham, and Sarai was called Sarah. This was done in order that in heaven not they but the Divine should be understood by Abraham and Sarah. And it is so understood; for the letter H involves infinity, because it is only an aspirate. (AR n. 29, 38)
There is not a nation in the whole world which does not know that it is evil to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, and to testify falsely; and that if these evils were not guarded against by laws, the kingdom, republic, or established order of society of whatever form would perish. Who then can conceive that the Israelitish nation was so senseless beyond others that it did not know that those things were evil? One may therefore wonder that' these laws, universally known in the world, should be so miraculously promulgated from mount Sinai by Jehovah Himself. But listen: they were thus miraculously promulgated, that they might know these laws are not only civil and moral laws, but also Divine laws; and that to act contrary to them is not only to do evil against the neighbour, that is against the citizen mid against society, but is also to sin against God. Therefore these laws, by their promulgation from mount Sinai by Jehovah, were made also laws of religion. It is evident that whatever Jehovah commands, He commands that it be a matter of religion, and thus that it be done for the sake of salvation. But before the commandments are explained something shall be premised concerning their holiness, that it may be manifest that religion is in them.
Because the commandments of the decalogue were the first-fruits of the Word, [In other places...the author calls the Decalogue the " first-fruits" (primitive) of the Word and of the church [see section on The Ten Commandments] see p. 192]. He teaches that the command of the Lord to Moses, "Be ready for the morning, and . . . . come up unto Mount Sinai, and present thyself there to Me on the top of the mount" (Ex. xxxiv. 2), signifies "a new rising of revelation of Divine truth, from the inmost heaven " (AC n. 10,606). And speaking elsewhere of the promulgation of the Decalogue from Mount Sinai, he says, " It was the beginning of revelation; for the rest of the things that are in the Word were written afterwards" (ib. n. 9414 ; and n. 10,632. See also AR n. 623).] and therefore the first-fruits of the church that was about to be established with the Israelitish nation, and because they were in a brief summary a complex of all things of religion, by which the conjunction is effected of God with man and of man with God, therefore they were so holy that there is nothing holier. That they are most holy is evidently manifest from the following facts: That the Lord Jehovah Himself descended upon Mount Sinai in fire and with angels, and therefrom promulgated them by the living voice, and that the mountain was hedged about lest any should draw near and die. That neither the priests nor the elders approached, but Moses only. That these commandments were written upon two tables of stone by the finger of God. That when Moses brought the tables down the second time his face shone. That the tables were afterwards deposited in the ark, and this in the inmost of the tabernacle, and over it was placed the propitiatory, and over this were placed the cherubim of gold; that this inmost of the tabernacle, where the ark was, was called the holy of holies. That without the veil within which was the ark, various things were arranged which represented the holy things of heaven and the church; which were the table overlaid with gold on which was the bread of faces; the golden altar on which incense was burned; and the golden candlestick with seven lamps; also the curtains round about, of fine linen, purple, and scarlet. The holiness of this whole tabernacle arose from nothing else than the law which was in the ark. On account of the holiness of the tabernacle from the law in the ark, all the people of Israel by command encamped around it, in order according to the tribes, and marched in order after it; and then a cloud was over it by day and a fire by night. On account of the holiness of that law, and the presence of Jehovah therein, Jehovah talked with Moses over the propitiatory between the cherubim, and the ark was called Jehovah There; but it was not lawful for Aaron to enter within the veil except with sacrifices and incense, lest he should die. On account of the presence of Jehovah in and about that law miracles also were wrought through the ark which contained the law. Thus the waters of the Jordan were divided, and so long as the ark rested in the middle of it the people passed over on dry ground; the walls of Jericho fell down by the ark being carried around them; Dagon the god of the Philistines fell on his face before it, and afterwards, severed from the head, lay with the two palms of the hands upon the threshold of the temple; the Bethshemites were smitten on account of it to the number of several thousands; and Uzzah died because he touched it. And the ark was introduced by David into Zion, with sacrifice and jubilation; and afterwards by Solomon into the temple at Jerusalem, where it became its sanctuary. Besides many other facts, from all which it is plain that the decalogue was holiness itself in the Israelitish church. (TCR n. 282, 283)
In the spiritual and celestial senses the decalogue contains universally all the precepts of doctrine and of life, thus all things of faith and charity. This is because the Word in the sense of the letter, in all and the least things of it, or in the whole and in every part, contains two interior senses; one which is called spiritual and another which is called celestial; and because in these senses Divine truth is in its light and Divine goodness in its heat. Now the Word being of such a nature in the whole and in every part, it is necessary that the ten commandments of the decalogue should be explained according to the three senses, called. natural, spiritual, and celestial. (TCR n. 289)
The laws of spiritual life, the laws of civil life, and the laws of moral life also, are delivered in the ten precepts of the decalogue; in the first three the laws of spiritual life, in the following four the laws of civil life, and in the last three the laws of moral life. (HH n. 531)
The First Commandment
"Thou shalt have no other God before my faces." These are the words of the first commandment (Exod. xx. 3; Deut. v. 7). In the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, its most obvious meaning is that idols must not be worshipped; for it follows:—"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, and shalt not serve them; for I am Jehovah thy God, a jealous God" (ver. 4, 5). The reason why this commandment most obviously means that idols must not be worshipped was, that before that time, and after it down to the Lord's advent, there was idolatrous worship in much of the Asiatic world....The Israelitish nation also. was in such worship when in Egypt, as may appear from the golden calf which they worshipped in the wilderness instead of Jehovah; and it appears from many places in the Word, both historical and prophetical, that they were not afterwards alienated from that worship.
This commandment, "Thou shalt have no other God before my faces," also means in the natural sense that no man, dead or alive, shall be worshipped as God; which also was done in the Asiatic world, and in various neighbouring regions. Many gods of the Gentiles were no other than men; as Baal, Ashtaroth, Chemosh, Milcom, Beelzebub; and at Athens and Rome, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, Pallas, etc. Some of these they at first worshipped as saints, afterwards as powers (numina), and finally as gods. That they also worshipped living men as gods is evident from the edict of Darius the Mede, that for thirty days no man should ask anything of God, but only of the king, or otherwise he should be cast into a den of lions (Dan. vi. 8 to the end).
In the natural sense, which is that of the letter, this commandment also means that no one but God, and nothing but that which proceeds from God, is to be loved above all things; which is also according to the Lord's words in Matt. xxii. 35-37, and Luke x. 25-28. For to him who loves any person or thing above all things that person or thing is God, and is Divine. For example, to him who loves himself or the world above all things himself or the world is his God. This is the reason why such do not in heart acknowledge any God. They are conjoined with their like in hell, where all are collected who love themselves and the world above all things.
The spiritual sense of this commandment is that no other God than the Lord Jesus Christ is to be worshipped; because He is Jehovah who came into the world and wrought the redemption without which no man nor any angel could have been saved.
The celestial sense of this commandment is that Jehovah the Lord is Infinite, Immense, and Eternal; that He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent; that He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End; who Was, Is, and Will Be; that He is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or Good itself and Truth itself consequently Life itself; thus the Only One, from whom all things are. (TCR n. 291-295)
The Second Commandment
"Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." In the natural sense this means the name itself, and the abuse of it in various kinds of conversation; especially in speaking falsely or lying, and in oaths without cause, and for the purpose of exculpation in one's evil intentions (which are cursings), and in sorceries and enchantments. But to swear by God and His Holiness, the Word, and the Evangelists, in coronations, in inaugurations into the priesthood, and inductions into offices of trust, is not taking the name of God in vain, unless the swearer afterwards casts aside his solemn promises as vain. And the name of God, because it is Holiness itself, must continually be used in the holy things pertaining to the church; as in prayers, psalms, and in all worship; and also in preaching, and in writing on ecclesiastical subjects. For God is in all things pertaining to religion, and when rightly invoked by His name He is present and hears. In these things the name of God is hallowed.... The name Jesus is likewise holy, as is known from the saying of the Apostle, that at that name every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth; and moreover from the fact that no devil in hell can speak that name. The names of God are many, which must not be taken in vain; as Jehovah, Jehovah God, Jehovah of Hosts, the Holy One of Israel, Jesus, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
In the spiritual sense, the name of God means all that the church teaches from the Word, and through which the Lord is invoked and worshipped. All these things in the complex are the name of God. To take the name of God in vain means to take anything therefrom in frivolous conversation, in speaking falsely, in lying, imprecations, sorceries, and enchantments; for to do this also is to revile and blaspheme God, thus His name.
In the celestial sense, to take the name of God in vain means what the Lord said to the Pharisees, that "All sin and blasphemy shall be remitted unto man, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be remitted" (Matt. xii. 31, 32). By blasphemy of the Spirit is meant blasphemy against the Divinity of the Lord's Humanity, and against the holiness of the Word. (TCR n. 297-299)
The Third Commandment
"Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy; six days thou shalt labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah thy God." In the natural sense, which is that of the letter, this means that the six days are for man and his labours, and the seventh for the Lord and for man's rest from Him. The word Sabbath in the original tongue signifies Rest. The Sabbath among the children of Israel was the sanctity of sanctities, because it represented the Lord; the six days represented His labours and conflicts with the hells; and the seventh, his victory over them, and therefore rest; and it was holiness itself, because that day was representative of the close of the Lord's whole work of redemption. But when the Lord came into the world, and the representations of Him therefore ceased, that day became a day of instruction in Divine things; and thus too a day of rest from labours, and of meditation on such things as relate to salvation and eternal life; as also a day of love towards the neighbour.
By this commandment, in the spiritual sense, the reformation and regeneration of man by the Lord is signified; the six days of labour signify his warfare against the flesh and its concupiscences, and at the same time against the evils and falsities that are in him from hell; and the seventh day signifies his conjunction with the Lord, and regeneration thereby. Man's reformation and regeneration are signified by this commandment, in the spiritual sense, because they coincide with the Lord's labours and conflicts with the hells, and with His victory over them, and the rest after victory; for the Lord reforms and regenerates man, and renders him spiritual, in the same manner that He glorified His Human and made it Divine.
In the celestial sense conjunction with the Lord is meant by this commandment, and then peace, because protection from hell; for rest is signified by the Sabbath, and in this highest sense, peace. (TCR 301-303)
The Fourth Commandment
"'Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy clays may be prolonged, and that it may be well with thee upon the earth." To honour thy father and thy mother in the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, means, to honour parents, to obey them, to be attentive to them, and to show gratitude to them for the benefits they confer; which are, that they feed and clothe their children, and introduce them into the world, that they may act in it the part of civil and moral beings, and also into heaven by the precepts of religion, and thus consult their temporal prosperity, and also their eternal felicity; and all these things they do from the love in which they are from the Lord, in whose stead they act. In an adapted sense, if the parents are dead, the honour of guardians by their wards is meant. In a wider sense, to honour the king and the magistracy meant by this commandment; since they exercise the care over things necessary to all in common which parents do in particular. In the widest sense this commandment means that men should love their country, because it sustains them and protects them; it is therefore called fatherland (patria), from father (pater). But to their country and to the king and magistracy the honours must be paid by parents, and be implanted by them in their children.
In the spiritual sense, to honour father and mother means to adore and love God and the church. In this sense by father God is meant, who is the Father of all; and by mother, the church. Infants in the heavens and - angels know - no other father and no other mother, since they are there born anew of the Lord by the church. The Lord therefore says, "Call no man your father on the earth; for one is your Father, who is in the heavens" (Matt. xxiii. 9). These words were spoken for children and angels in heaven, but not for children and men on earth. The Lord teaches the same in the common prayer of the Christian churches: "Our Father, who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name." That the church is meant by mother, in the spiritual sense, is because just as a mother on earth feeds her children with natural food the church feeds them with spiritual food; and for this reason the church is frequently called mother in the Word; as in Hosea: "Plead with your mother....; she is not my wife, neither am I her husband" (ii. 2, 5); in Isaiah: "Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom 1 have put away? (1. 1; and Ezek. xvi. 45; xix. 10). And in the Evangelists: "Jesus, stretching out His hand to the disciples, said, My mother and My brethren are those who hear the Word of God and do it" (Matt. xii. 48, 49; Luke viii. 21; Mark iii. 33-35; John xix. 25-27.
In the celestial sense, our Lord Jesus Christ is meant by father; and by mother the communion of saints, by which His church is meant, scattered over the whole world. (TCR n. 305-307)
The Fifth Commandment
"Thou shalt not kill." This commandment not to kill, in the natural sense means not to kill man, and not to inflict upon him any wound of which he may die, and also not to mutilate his body; and it means, moreover, not to bring any deadly evil upon his name and fame, since with many fame and life go hand in hand. In a wider natural sense murder means enmity, hatred, and revenge, which breathe the spirit of murder; for murder lies concealed within them, as fire in wood beneath the ashes. Infernal fire is nothing else; hence one is said to be inflamed with hatred, and to burn with revenge. These are murders in intention and not in act; and if the fear of the law and of retaliation and revenge were taken away from them, they would burst forth into act; especially if there be treachery or ferocity in the intention. That hatred is murder is evident from these words of the Lord: "Ye have heard, that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you, that whosoever is rashly angry with his brother, shall be in danger of hell-fire" (Matt. v. 21, 22). This is because all that is of the intention is also of the will, and thus in itself is of the act.
In the spiritual sense murder means all modes of killing and destroying the souls of men, which are various and manifold; as turning them away from God, religion, and Divine worship, by throwing out scandals against them, and by persuading to such things as excite aversion and also abhorrence.
In the celestial sense, to kill means to be rashly angry with the Lord, to hate Him, and wish to blot out His name. It is those who do this of whom it is said that they crucify Him; which they would even do, as did the Jews, if as before He were to come into the world. This is meant by "the Lamb standing as it had been slain" in Rev. v. 6, xiii. 8; and by "the crucified" in Rev. xi. 8; Heb. vi. 6; Gal. iii. 1. (TCR n. 309-311)
The Sixth Commandment
"Thou shalt not commit adultery." In the natural sense this commandment not only forbids to commit adultery, but also to purpose and to do obscene acts, and therefore to think and speak of lascivious things. That merely to lust is to commit adultery is known from these words of the Lord: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on the woman of another to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. v. 27, 28).
In the spiritual sense, to commit adultery means to adulterate the goods of the Word, and to falsify its truths. (TCR n. 313, 314)
Scarcely any one at this present day knows that these things are signified in the spiritual sense by committing adultery and whoredom, because at this day few within the church know what the spiritual is, and in what respect it differs from the natural; and scarcely any one knows that there is a correspondence of each with the other,—and in truth of such a nature that the image of the one is presented in the other, that is the spiritual is represented in the natural; consequently that the spiritual is as the soul and the natural as its body, and that thus by influx and by conjunction thence they constitute one,—just as in the regenerate man his internal man, which also is called spiritual, and his external, which also is called natural, make one. Since such things are unknown at this day it cannot therefore be known what to commit adultery signifies further, than that it is to be illegitimately conjoined as to the body. Because these things, as was said, are at this day unknown, it is permitted to declare the reason why in the spiritual sense to commit adultery signifies to pervert those things which are of the doctrine of faith and charity, and so to adulterate goods and falsify truths. The reason (which at this day is an arcanum) is, that conjugial love descends from the marriage of good and truth, which is called the heavenly marriage; the love that exists between good and truth in heaven, which flows in from the Lord, is turned into conjugial love on earth, and this by correspondence. Hence it is that in the internal sense the falsification of truth is fornication, and the perversion of good is adulteration. Hence also it is that they who are not in the good and truth of faith cannot be in genuine conjugial love; and that they who find the delight of their life in adulteries can no longer receive anything of faith. I have heard it said by the angels that as soon as any one commits adultery on earth, and takes delight in it, heaven is closed to him; that is he refuses any longer to receive thence anything of faith and charity. The reason why adulteries are made light of by very many at this day in the kingdoms where the church exists is because the church is at its end, so that there is no longer any faith, because there is no charity. For the one corresponds to the other; where there is no faith falsity is in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good; and it flows therefrom that adulteries are no more reputed as crimes; for when heaven is closed in man such things flow in from hell. That in the internal or spiritual sense to commit whoredom and adultery is to falsify and pervert the truths and goods of faith and charity, consequently also to confirm what is false and evil by perverse applications of the Word, may appear from the several passages in the Word where the commission of adultery, whoredom, and fornication is mentioned. This will be very plain from the following in Ezekiel: "Son of man, make Jerusalem to know her abominations.... Thou didst play the harlot because of thy renown, and didst pour out thy fornication on every one that passed by. Thou didst take of thy garments and didst make to thyself variegated high places, and didst play the harlot upon them. Thou hast also taken the implements of thine adorning, of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and didst make to thyself images of a male, and didst commit fornication with them. . Thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters whom thou hast borne unto Me, and hast sacrificed them. Is this, concerning thy fornications, a small thing?....Thou hast committed fornication with the sons of Egypt thy neighbours, great of flesh, and hast multiplied thy fornications, to provoke Me to anger.... And thou didst commit whoredom with the sons of Ashur, when thou wast not satiated with whom thou didst also commit whoredom, and yet wast not satisfied. And thou didst multiply thy fornication ... even to Chaldea, the land of merchandise; and yet in this thou wast not satisfied.... An adulterous woman, under her husband, hath received strangers. They give a gift to all whores; but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and dost remunerate them, that they may come to thee from every side to thy fornications.... Wherefore, Oharlot, hear the word of Jehovah,... I will judge thee with the judgments of adulterous [women] and of them that shed blood" (xvi.1, 15-17, 20, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35, 38). Who does not see that falsifications of truth and adulterations of good are meant here by fornications? And who can understand a single word here unless he knows that fornication has such a signification, and also knows what is meant by the sons of Egypt, the sons of Ashur, and Chaldea, with whom Jerusalem is said to have committed fornication? That she did not commit fornication with those people themselves is evident. (AC n. 8904)
Because Babylon adulterates and falsifies the Word beyond others she is called THE GREAT WHORE, and these words are spoken of her in the Revelation: "Babylon hath made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (xiv. 8). The angel said, "I will show thee the judgment of the great Whore .. . with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication" (xvii.1, 2). "He hath judged the great Whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication" (xix. 2). Because the Jewish nation had falsified the Word, it was called by the Lord, "an adulterous generation" (Matt. xii. 39; xvi. 4; Mark viii. 33), and "the seed of the adulterer" (Isa. lvii. 3). Besides which there are many other places where by adulteries and whoredoms adulterations and falsifications of the Word are meant.
In the celestial sense, to commit adultery means to deny the holiness of the Word, and to profane it. That this is meant in this sense follows from the former, the spiritual sense, which is to adulterate its goods and to falsify its truths. They deny and profane the holiness of the Word who in heart laugh at everything of the church and of religion; for all things of the church and of religion in the Christian world are from the Word. (TCR n. 314, 315)
The Future State of Adulterers
Because adulteries are contrary to conjugial love it is impossible for adulterers to be with the angels in heaven; and because also they are in the opposites to good and truth. And so it is impossible that they should be in the heavenly marriage; for the reason, too, that they have none but impure ideas of marriage. When marriage is but named or the idea of it occurs, there instantly enter into their ideas lascivious, obscene, yea, abominable things. So when the angels converse respecting good and truth adulterers think contrary to them; for with man after death all affections, and the thoughts from them, continue such as they were in the world. Adulterers are in the disposition to destroy societies; thus in heart they are opposed to charity and mercy, laughing at the miseries of others; they desire to deprive every one of his own, and do it as far as they dare; and it is a pleasure to them to destroy friendships and stir up enmities. Their religion is, that they say they acknowledge a Creator of the universe, and a Providence,—but only universal, and salvation by faith, and that worse cannot be done to them than to others. But when they are explored as to what they are at heart,—which is done in the other life,—they do not in fact believe these things; but think of universal nature as Creator of the universe, instead of a universal Providence believe in none, and think nothing of faith. All these things because adulteries are entirely opposed to good and truth. How then adulterers can come into heaven any one may judge. (AC n. 2747)
I have been informed by the angels that when any one commits adultery on earth heaven is instantly closed to him, and that afterwards he lives only in worldly and corporeal things. And that then though he hears about matters of love and faith they do not penetrate to his interiors; and what he himself says about them does not come from his interiors, but only from his memory and his mouth under the impulse of conceit or the love of gain. For the interiors are closed, and cannot be opened but by earnest repentance. (AC n. 2750)
All who regard adulteries as of no consequence, that is who believe that they are not sins, and from this confirmed belief, and purposely, commit them, are evil doers and impious in heart; for the conjugial human [principle] and religion go together at every pace; and every step and every advance by religion and in religion, is also a step and advance by and in the conjugial [principle] which is peculiar and proper to a Christian man. (CL n. 80)
The Seventh Commandment
"Thou shalt not steal." In the natural sense this commandment means according to the letter, not to steal, rob, or commit piracy in time of peace and in general not to take from any one his goods, secretly, or under any pretext. It also extends itself to all impostures, illegitimate gains, usuries, and exactions; and also to fraudulent practices in paying duties and taxes, and in discharging debts. Workmen offend against this commandment who do their work unfaithfully and dishonestly; merchants who deceive in merchandise, in weight, in measure, and in accounts; officers who deprive the soldiers of their just wages; and judges who give judgment for friendship, bribes, relationship, or for other reasons by perverting the laws or the judicial investigations, and who thus deprive others of their goods which they should rightfully possess.
In the spiritual sense to steal means to deprive others of the truths of their faith, which is done by falsities and heresies. Priests who minister only for the sake of gain or worldly honour, and teach such things as they see or may see from the Word are not true, are spiritual thieves; since they take away from the people the means of salvation, which are the truths of faith.
In the celestial sense by thieves are meant those who take away Divine power from the Lord; and also those who claim for themselves His merit and righteousness. These, though they adore God, yet do not trust in Him, but themselves; and they also do not believe in God, but in themselves. (T. C. It a 317-319)
The Eighth Commandment
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." To bear false witness against the neighbour, or testify falsely, in the natural sense most obviously means to act the part of a false witness before a judge, or before others out of a court of justice, against any one who is inconsiderately accused of any evil, and to asseverate this by the name of God or anything holy, or by himself and such things of himself as are of some repute. In a wider natural sense this commandment forbids lies of every kind, and artful hypocrisies which regard an evil end; and also to traduce and defame the neighbour, so that his honour, name, and fame, on which the character of the whole man depends, are injured. In the widest natural sense it forbids plots, deceits, and premeditated evils against any one, from various motives, as from enmity, hatred, revenge, envy, rivalry, etc.; for these evils conceal within them the testifying to what is false.
In the spiritual sense, to bear false witness means to persuade that falsity is truth in a matter of faith, and that evil is good in a matter of life, and the reverse; but it is to do these of purpose, and not from ignorance, that is, to do them after one knows what is true and good, and not before.
In the celestial sense, to bear false witness means to blaspheme the Lord and the Word, and so to banish the very truth from the church; for the Lord is the Truth itself, and also the Word. On the other hand, in this sense to witness means to utter truth; and testimony means the truth itself. Hence the Decalogue is also called the Testimony. (TCR n. 321-323)
The Ninth and Tenth Commandments
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's." These two commandments look to the commandments which precede, and teach and enjoin that as evils must not be done, they also must not be lusted after; consequently that they are not of the external man only, but of the internal also; for he who does not commit evils, and yet lusts to commit them, even does commit them. For the Lord says, "Whosoever lusteth after the wife of another hath already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. v. 28); and the external man does not become internal, or act as one with the internal, until lusts are put away. This also the Lord teaches, saying, "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, ... for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also" (Matt. xxiii. 25, 26). And moreover, in that whole chapter the internals which are Pharisaical are lusts after those things which are commanded not to be done in the first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments.... That these two commandments might look to all those which precede, that [the evils prohibited] should not be lusted after, therefore the house is first named, afterwards the wife, and then the man-servant, the maid-servant, the ox and the ass, and lastly, all that is the neighbour's. For the house involves all things that follow; for it contains the husband, the wife, the man-servant, the maid-servant, the ox, and the ass. The wife, who is afterwards named, involves again the things which follow; for she is the mistress, as the husband is the master, in the house; the man-servant and maid-servant are under them, and the oxen and asses under them; and lastly come all things that are below or without, in that it is said, "anything that is thy neighbour's." From which it is plain that these two commandments have reference to all the preceding in general and in particular, in a wide and in a restricted sense.
In the spiritual sense these commandments prohibit all lusts which are contrary to the spirit, thus which are contrary to the spiritual things of the church, which relate chiefly to faith and charity; for unless lusts are subdued, the flesh with its liberty would rush into all wickedness. For it is known from Paul, that "The flesh lusteth, against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh" (Gal. v. 17). In short, these two commandments, understood in the spiritual sense, regard all things that have before been presented in the spiritual sense, and forbid to lust after them; and likewise all that have before been presented in the celestial sense. But to repeat them is unnecessary. (TCR n. 326, 327)
The ten commandments of the decalogue contain all things which are of love to God, and all that are of love to the neighbour.
In eight precepts, the first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth, there is nothing said of love to God and of love towards the neighbour; for it is not said that God should be loved, nor that the name of God should be hallowed, nor that the neighbour should be loved, nor therefore that he should be dealt with sincerely and uprightly; but only that Thou shalt have no other God before My face; Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain; Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bare false witness; Thou shalt not covet the things that are thy neighbour's. That is, in general, that evil ought not to be purposed, meditated, or done, either against God or against the neighbour. But the reason why such things as relate directly to love and charity are not commanded, but that it is only commanded that such things as are opposed to them should not be done, is that in so far as a man shuns evils as sins in so far he purposes the goods which are of love and charity. The first thing of love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour is to do no evil; and the second is to do good.
It was said that in so far as a man shuns evils he desires to do good; the reason is that evils and goods are opposites, for evils are from hell and goods from heaven. So far therefore as hell, that is evil, is removed heaven draws near and the man looks to good. That it is so is very manifest from the above eight commandments of the decalogue thus viewed. Thus, I. In so far as any one does not worship other gods, in so far he worships the true God. II. In so far as any one does not take the name of God in vain, in so far he loves the things which are from God. III. In so far as any one is not willing to kill, and to act from hatred and revenge, in so far he wishes well to the neighbour. IV.In so far as any one is not willing to commit adultery, in so far he desires to live chastely with a wife. V. In so far as any one is not willing to steal, in so far he practises sincerity. VI. In so far as any one is not willing to bear false witness, in so far he is willing to think and speak the truth. VII. and VIII. In so far as any one does not covet the things that are the neighbour's, in so far he is willing that the neighbour should enjoy his own. Hence it is evident that the commandments of the decalogue contain all things which are of love to God, and of love towards the neighbour. Therefore Paul says, "He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Charity worketh, no evil to the neighbour; therefore charity is the fulfilment of the law" (Rom. xiii. 8-10). (TCR n. 329, 330)
Offending in One Commandment offending in All
It is affirmed that no one can fulfil the law, and the less because he who offends against one commandment of the decalogue offends against all. But this form of speech is not just as it sounds. For it is to be understood in this manner; that he who of purpose or determination acts contrary to one commandment, acts contrary to the rest; since to act from purpose and determination is entirely to deny that it is a sin, and if he is told that it is sin, to reject the admonition as of no moment. He who thus denies, and makes a sin a matter of no concern, makes light of everything that is called sin. (TCR n. 523)
What Faith is
Faith is an internal acknowledgement of truth. They who are in the spiritual affection o truth have an internal acknowledgment of it. As the angels are in that affection they totally reject the tenet that the understanding ought to be kept in subjection to faith for they say, "How can you believe a things when you do note see whether it is true? And if any one affirms that what he advances must be believed for all that, they reply, "Dost thou think thyself a God, that I am to believe thee '? or that I am mad, that I should believe an assertion in which I do not see any truth? If I must believe it, cause me to see it." The dogmatizer is thus constrained to retire. Indeed, the wisdom of the angels consists solely in this, that they see and comprehend what they think.
There is a spiritual conception, of which few have any cognizance, which enters by influx into the minds of those who are in the affection of truth, and interiorly dictates that the thing which they are hearing or reading is true or not true. In this conception the are who read the Word in enlightenment from the Lord. To be in enlightenment is nothing else than to be in the perception, and hence in an internal acknowlgement, that this or that is true. It is they who are in this enlightenment that are said to be taught of Jehovah, in Isaiah liv. 13; John vi. 45; and of whom it is said in Jeremiah, "Behold, the days come, ... that I will make a new covenant; ... this shall be the covenant; ... I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts: ... and they shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know ye Jehovah; for they shall all know Me" (xxxi. 31, 33, 34).
From these considerations it is plain that faith and truth are a one. This also is the reason why the ancients, who were accustomed to think of truth from affection much more than we, used the word truth instead of faith; and for the same reason in the Hebrew language truth and faith are expressed by one word, which is Amuna, or Amen. (F. n.1, 4-6).
The angels who are in celestial love will not hear anything of faith, saying, "What is faith? Is it not wisdom? And what is charity? Is it not to do?" And when they are told that faith consists in believing what is not understood they turn away, saying, "He is out of his senses." It is these who are in the third heaven, and are the wisest of all. Such have they become who in the world applied the Divine truths which they heard immediately to the life, turning away from evils as infernal, and worshipping the Lord alone.
The angels also who are in spiritual love do not know what faith is. If it be mentioned they understand truth and if charity be mentioned they understand doing the truth; and when they are told they must believe they call it a vain saying, and add, "Who does not believe truth?" They say this because in the light of their heaven they see truth; and to believe what they do not see they call either simplicity or foolishness. (DLW n. 427, 428).
The veriest faith, which saves, is trust; but there can never be this trust save in the good of life. Without the good of life there is no reception; and where there is no reception there is no trust,—unless sometimes a certain apparent trust, in disordered states of mind or body, when the lusts of the love of self and of the world are quiescent. But with those who are in evil of life, when this crisis passes or is changed, this deceptive trust entirely vanishes. For there is a trust even with the wicked. But he who would know the quality of this trust, let him examine within himself hi affections, and ends, as well as the actions of his life. ( AC n. 2982)
The Essence of Faith is Charity
It should be known that charity and faith form one, as the will and understanding; because charity belongs to the will, and faith to the understanding. In like manner charity and faith form one like affection and thought; because affection belongs to the will, and thought to the understanding. So again charity and faith form one like good and truth; because good has relation to affection which belongs to the will, and truth has to thought which belongs to the understanding.
In a word, charity and faith constitute one like essence and form; for the essence of faith is charity, and the form of charity is faith. Hence it is evident that faith without charity is like a form without an essence, which is nothing; and that charity without faith is like an essence without a form, which likewise is nothing.
It is with charity and faith in man just as with the motion of the heart, which is called its systole and diastole, and the motion of the lungs, which is called respiration. There is also an entire correspondence of these with the will and understanding of man, and of course with charity and faith; for which reason the will and its affection are meant by the heart when mentioned in the Word, and the understanding and its thought by the soul, and also by the spirit. Hence, to yield the breath (or soul) is to retain animation no longer; and to give up the ghost (or spirit) is to respire no longer. Hence it follows that there can be no faith without charity, nor charity without faith; and that faith without charity is like respiration of the lungs without a heart, which cannot take place in any living thing, but only in an automaton; and that charity without faith is like a heart without lungs, in which case there can be no sense of life; consequently, that charity accomplishes uses by faith, as the heart by the lungs accomplishes actions. So great indeed is the similitude between the heart and charity, and between the lungs and faith, that in the spiritual world it is known by a person's breathing what is the nature of his faith, and by his pulse what is the nature of his charity. For angels and spirits as well as men live by the pulsation of the heart and by respiration; hence it is that they, as well as men in this world, feel, think, act, and speak. (F. n. 18, 19)
There are many who have not an internal acknowledgment of truth, and yet have the faith of charity. They are such as have had respect to the Lord in their life, and from a principle of religion have avoided evils, but who have been kept from thinking of truths by cares and business in the world, and also from a want of truth in their teachers. Yet interiorly or in their spirit, these are in the acknowledgment of truth, because they are in the affection of it; and therefore after death, when they become spirits and are instructed by the angels, they acknowledge truths and receive them with joy. But it is otherwise with those who in their life have not looked to the Lord, and have not avoided evils from a principle of religion. These inwardly or in their spirit are not in any affection of truth, and consequently are not in any acknowledgment of it; after death therefore, when they become spirits and are instructed by the angels, they are unwilling to acknowledge truths, and of course do not receive them. For evil that is of the life interiorly hates truths; but good that is of the life interiorly loves truths. (ibid. n. 30)
Cognitions of Truth and Good are not of Faith until a Man is in Charity
[By the terms scire and noscere (or nosse) and cognoscere, the author throughout his writings expresses an important distinction in the process of the acquisition of truth, which it is difficult to convey by words in common use in our language, without circumlocution. By scire (to know), and the corresponding scientia (knowledge), he refers to the mere outward acquisition of knowledge, or knowledge as facts or truths in the outer memory, acquired by means of the senses,—whether from the Word, or from the world and nature. By noscere and cognoscere (to become acquainted with), and the corresponding cognitio, he designates the higher and more interior and real knowledge that is attained when these facts or truths are taken up and actually seen in the light of reason. For the expression of this idea the words cognize and cognition are warranted,—if any warrant is needed for a necessary term,—by the usage of some of the recent speculative philosophers. Knowledges may be considered as the means or materials of cognitions.]
The cognitions of truth and good which precede faith appear to some as if they were of faith; and yet they are not. Men do not therefore believe because they think and say they believe. And these [truths] are not of faith; for it is only cognized that they are so, and not internally acknowledged that they are truths. And faith that they are truths while it is not known that they are, is a species of persuasion remote from internal acknowledgment. But as soon as charity is implanted they become cognitions of faith, yet only so far as there is charity within it. (F. n. 31)
The Truths of Faith are first in Time, but Charity is first in End
Faith, by which also truth is meant, is first in time; and charity, by which good also is meant, is first in end. And that which is first in end is actually the first, because it is primary, and so is also the first-born; but that which is first in time is not actually first, but apparently. But that this may be comprehended it shall be illustrated by comparisons; as with the creation of a temple, and of a house, the formation of a garden, and the preparation of a field. In the erection of a temple, the first thing in point of time is to lay the foundation, to build the walls, to put on the roof, and then to put in the altar, and rear the pulpit; but the first thing in end for the sake of which these things are done is the worship of God in it. In the building of a house, the first thing in time is to build its outer parts, and to furnish it with various articles of necessity; but the first thing in end is a suitable-dwelling for one's self and for the others who shall be in the house. In the formation of a garden, the first thing in time is to level the ground, and prepare the soil, and plant trees, and sow the seeds of such things as will be of use; but the first thing in end is the use of their fruits. In the preparation of a field, the first thing in time is to clear the land, to plough, to harrow, and then to sow the seeds; but the first thing in end is the harvest, and so also the use. From these comparisons any one may conclude which in itself is first; for does not every one, when he would build a temple or a house, or make a garden or cultivate a field, first purpose a use, and constantly keep and turn this over in his mind while he is procuring the means to it? We conclude then that the truth of faith is first in time, but that the good of charity is first in end; and that this therefore because it is primary is actually the first-begotten in the mind. (TCR n. 336)
Faith never becomes Faith till the Truths of it are willed and done
All the things of faith which are signified by the first-born of sons are those which are from the good of charity; for faith exists from this good. For truths, whether taken from the Word or from the doctrine of the church, can in no wise become truths of faith unless there be good in which they may be implanted. The reason is that the intellectual [faculty] is what first receives truths, since it sees them and introduces them to the will; and when they are in the will they are in the man, for the will is the man himself. He therefore who supposes that faith is faith with man before he wills these truths, and from willing does them, is exceedingly deceived; the very truths of faith have no life before. All that is of the will is called good, because it is loved; and so truth becomes good, or faith becomes charity, in the will.... That the man of the church has been in obscurity on these subjects is because he has not perceived that all things in the universe relate to truth and good, and that they must have relation to both in order that anything may exist; and has not perceived that in man there are two faculties, the understanding and the will, and that truth has relation to the understanding and good to the will, and that if there is not the relation to each nothing is appropriated to man. Inasmuch as these things have been in obscurity, and yet the ideas of man's thought are founded on such things [according to his conception of them] therefore the error could not be made manifest to the natural man. And yet if it had once been made manifest the man of the church would have seen as in clear light from the Word, that the Lord Himself has spoken innumerable things of the good of charity, and that this is the chief thing of the church; and that faith is nowhere but in that good. The good of charity consists in doing good from purposing good. (AC n. 9224)
Insofar as any one shuns Evils as Sins he has Faith
Evil which is of the life destroys the truth of faith; because evil of life belongs to the will and the truth of faith to the understanding; and the will leads the understanding and causes it to act in unity with itself. If therefore there be any truth in the understanding which does not agree with the will, when a man is left to himself, or thinks under the influence of his evil and the love of it, he either casts out such truth, or by falsification forces it into unity. It is otherwise with those who are in good which is of the life; for when left to themselves they think under the influence of good, and love the truth which is in the understanding because it agrees therewith. Thus a conjunction of faith and of life is effected like the conjunction of truth and good, each resembling the conjunction of the understanding and the will.
Hence then it follows that in the degree that a man shuns evils as sins, in the same degree he has faith, because in the same degree he is in good. This is confirmed also by its contrary, that whosoever does not shun evils as sins has not faith, because he is in evil and evil has an inward hatred against truth. Outwardly indeed it can put on a friendly appearance, and endure, yea love that truth should be in the understanding; but when the outward is put off, as is the case after death, the truth which was thus for worldly reasons received in a friendly manner is first cast off, afterwards is denied to be truth, and finally is held in aversion. (Life, n. 44, 45)
Faith is the first Principle of the Church in appearance, but Charity is actually the first
Since man does not see good in his thought,—for good as has been said is only felt, and is felt under the manifold form of delight,—and as man does not attend to the things that he feels in thought, but to those that he sees in it, therefore he calls all that which he feels with delight good; and he feels evil with delight, because this is innate from his birth, and proceeds from the love of self and of the world. This is the reason why it is not known that the good of love is the all of heaven and of the church; and that this is only from the Lord in man; and that it does not flow from the Lord into any but such as shun evils and the delights thereof as sins. This is what is meant by the Lord's words, that the law and the prophets hang upon these two commandments, Thou shalt love God above all things, and thy neighbour as thyself (Matt. xxii. 35-38). And I can aver that there is not in man a grain of truth which is truth in itself except so far as it is from the good of love from the Lord; and therefore that there is not a grain of faith which is faith in itself, that is which is living, salutary, and spiritual, except so far as it is from charity which is from the Lord. Since the good of love is the all of heaven and the church, therefore the universal heaven and the church universal are arranged in order by the Lord according to the affections of love, and not according to anything of thought separated from them; for thought is affection in form, just as speech is sound in form. (AR n. 908)
How Faith is formed from Charity
It shall also be explained how faith from charity is formed. Every man has a natural mind and a spiritual mind; a natural mind for the world, and a spiritual mind for heaven. As to his understanding man is in both worlds; but not as to his will until he shuns and turns away from evils as sins. When he does this his spiritual mind also is open in respect to the will; and then spiritual heat flows thence into the natural mind from heaven,— which heat in its essence is charity,—and gives life to the know-ledges of truth and good that are therein, and out of them forms faith. It is the same as with a tree, which does not receive vegetative life until heat flows from the sun and conjoins itself with the light, as it does in the time of spring. There is moreover a full parallelism between the quickening of man with life and the vegetation of a tree, in this respect, that the one is effected by the heat of this world and the other by the heat of heaven; which is the reason why man is so often likened to a tree by the Lord. (F. n. 32)
Truth rooted in the Mind by doing it
All truth is sown in the internal man, and rooted in the external; unless therefore the truth which is inseminated takes root in the external man,—which is effected by doing it,—it becomes like a tree set not in the ground but upon it, which on exposure to the heat of the sun withers. The man who has done the truth takes this root with him after death; but not the man who has only known and acknowledged it. (AR n. 17)
The Errors and Blindness of those who are in Faith alone
They who place salvation in faith alone and not at the same time in the life of faith, that is in the life of charity, believe that any one can come into heaven, and to the Lord, however he may have lived. For they do not know what the life of man is, and because they do not know this, they suppose the life is nothing. If therefore they are asked whether an evil person can be among the good, they say that through the mercy of God he can, because it is a work of Omnipotence. Nay, if asked whether a devil can become an angel of heaven they answer in the affirmative, if only he be willing to receive faith; for they have no doubt about his power to receive. And if they are told that evil cannot be turned into good, thus hell into heaven with man, and that this is impossible because contrary to order, therefore contrary to Divine Truth, and so contrary to God Himself, who is order, they respond to this that such things are reasonings about salvation, with which they have nothing to do. From these, and innumerable other illustrations, it may be seen into what blindness concerning salvation and eternal life the doctrine of faith alone leads. (AC n. 8765)
They who place salvation in faith alone, when they read the Word, attend not at all to the things which are said therein concerning love and charity; indeed they do not see them, for these things fall into the shade of vision, as things that are quite aside, or as things which are behind. (ibid. n. 8780)
The Lord's Providence over those who are taught the Doctrine of Faith alone
That the Divine Providence of the Lord is continually operating in order that they may be saved with whom faith separate from charity has become [the faith] of religion, shall now be shown: It is of the Lord's Divine Providence that although that faith has become [the faith] of religion, every one may yet know that that faith dues not save, but a life of charity with which faith acts as one. For in all the churches where that religion is received it is taught that there is no salvation unless a man examines himself, sees his sins, acknowledges them, repents, desists from them, and enters on a new life. This is read with much zeal before all who approach the Holy Supper; and it is added that unless they do this they will mix holy things with profane, and cast themselves into eternal damnation; yea, in England, that unless they do this the devil will enter into them, as he entered into Judas, and destroy them as to body and soul. It is evident from this that in the churches where faith alone is received, every one yet is taught that evils are to be shunned as sins. Further, every one who is born a Christian knows that evils are to be shunned as sins, from the fact too that the decalogue is put into the hands of every boy and every girl, and is taught by parents and masters. And all the citizens of the kingdom, especially the common people, are examined by the priest out of the decalogue alone, repeated from memory, as to what they know of the Christian religion; and they are also admonished that they should do the things which it contains. It is never said then by any bishop that they are not under the yoke of that law, nor that they cannot do those things because there is no good from themselves. The Athanasian Creed is also received in the whole Christian world, and that also which is last said in it is acknowledged, that the Lord will come to judge the living and the dead, and then they that have done good will enter into eternal life, and they that have done evil into eternal fire. In Sweden, where the religion of faith alone is received, it is also taught openly that there is no faith separate from charity or without good works. This is inserted in a kind of admonitory Appendix to all the books of Psalms, which is called Hindrances or Stumbling-blocks of the Impenitent (Obotferdigas Foerhinder), wherein are these words: "They who are rich in good works show thereby that they are rich in faith; since when faith is saving it operates by charity; for justifying faith never exists alone and separate from good works, as a good tree does not exist without fruit, nor the sun without light and heat, nor water without moisture." These few facts are adduced to show that although the religion of faith alone is received, yet the goods of charity which are good works are everywhere taught, and that this is of the Lord's Divine Providence, lest the common people should be misled by it. I have heard Luther (with whom I have several times spoken in the spiritual world) execrate faith alone, and say that when he established it he was admonished by an angel of the Lord not to do it; but that he thought within him that if he did not reject works a separation from the Catholic religion would not be effected. Contrary therefore to the admonition he confirmed that faith. (DP n. 258)
Many of the Learned who were in Truths of Doctrine are in Hell, while others who were in Falsities are in Heaven
There are some who are in genuine truths, some who are in truths not genuine, and some who are in falsities; and yet those who are in genuine truths are often damned, and those who are in truths not genuine, and also those who are in falsities, are often saved. This to most will seem a paradox, but still it is a truth; experience itself has confirmed it. For there have been seen in hell those who were more learned than others, in truths from the Word and from the doctrine of their church, dignitaries as well as others; and on the other hand, there have been seen in heaven those who were not in truths, and also those who were in falsities, both Christians and Gentiles. The reason why the former were in hell was indeed because they were in truths as to doctrine, but in evils as to life; and the reason why the latter were in heaven was that though they were not in truths as to doctrine, they were yet in good as to life. Some newly arrived spirits with whom it was granted me to speak expressed their surprise that those who had been distinguished for learning, in the Word and in the doctrine of their church, were among the damned; of whom they had yet believed that they would become luminaries in heaven, according to the words in Daniel: "The intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that justify many as the stars, for ever and ever" (xii. 3). But they were told that the intelligent are those that are in truth and teach truths, and they that justify are those who are in good and lead to good; and that therefore the Lord said, "The just shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. xiii. 43). They were further told that those that are learned as to doctrine, but evil as to life, are the ones who are meant by the Lord in Matthew: "Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name have done many wonderful works? But then will I confess unto them, I know you not: depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity!" (vii. 22, 23); and in Luke: "Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets; but He shall say, I tell you, I know you not, whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity" (xiii. 26, 27); and that they were also meant by the foolish virgins who had no oil in their lamps, of whom it is thus written in Matthew: "Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but He answering, said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not" (xxv. 11, 12). To have oil in the lamps is to have good in the truths which are of the faith of the church. And they were told that those who are not in truths, yea, who from ignorance are in falsities, and yet in good and thence in the affection of knowing truth, were meant by the Lord in Matthew: "I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom, of the heavens; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness" (viii. 11,12); and in Luke: "They shall come from, the east and the west, and from the north and the south, and shall recline in the kingdom of God; and behold there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last" (xiii. 29, 30). They who are in evil as to life, although they are in truths as to doctrine, are yet in the falsities of their evil. That this is so clearly manifests itself in the other life; when they are left to themselves they think from evil against the truths which they have known and professed, and so think falsities. They likewise do the same in the world, when being left to themselves they think; for they then either pervert truths or deny truths to defend the evils of their life. But those who are in good and yet not in truths, yea, who from ignorance are in falsities,—as many are within the church, and many also out of the church, who are called Gentiles,—regard their own falsities indeed as truths; but as those falsities come from good they bend them to good; there is therefore nothing of malignity in them, as there is in falsities which are from evil. And as the falsities are on this account mild and flexible they are capable of receiving truths, and also do receive them when instructed by the angels. (AC n. 9192)
Of Persuasive Faith
With evil of life there is persuasive faith, but not saving faith; for persuasive faith is the persuasion that all things which are of the doctrine of the church are true, not for the sake of truth, nor for the sake of life, nor even for the sake of salvation,—for this latter they scarcely believe,—but for the sake of gain; that is for the sake of hunting after honours and wealth, and for the sake of reputation on account of them. With a view to obtain such things they learn doctrinals; thus not to the end that they may serve the church and promote the salvation of souls, but that they may serve themselves and their connections. It is therefore the same to them whether the doctrinals be true or false. This they are not concerned about, still less inquire into, for they are in no affection of truth for the sake of truth but they confirm them whatsoever their quality, and when they have confirmed them they persuade themselves that they are true; not considering that falsities may be confirmed as well as truths. (AC n. 8148)
They who in the world aspire after greatness, and covet many things, are more strongly in the persuasion that truth is what the doctrine of the church teaches than those that do not aspire after greatness and covet many things. The reason is that the doctrine of the church is to the former only a means of attaining their own ends; and in the degree that the ends are desired the means are loved and are also believed.
But the case in itself is this: In so far as men are in the fire of the loves of self and of the world, and from that fire talk, preach, and act, in so far they are in that persuasive faith, and then do not see otherwise than that it is so. But when they are not in the fire of those loves they believe nothing, and many of them deny. Hence it is evident that persuasive faith is a faith of the mouth and not of the heart; thus that in itself it is not faith.
They who are in a persuasive faith do not know from any internal enlightenment whether what they teach is true or false, nor indeed do they care about it if only they are believed by the people; for they are in no affection of truth for the sake of truth. They also more than others defend faith alone; and make account of the good of faith, which is charity, in proportion as they can gain by it.
Those who are in a persuasive faith abandon faith if they are deprived of honours and gains, provided their reputation is not imperiled for a persuasive faith is not interiorly within a man, but stands without in the memory only, from which it is brought forth when it is taught. After death therefore that faith with its truths vanishes away; for then there remains only so much of faith as is interiorly within a man; that is which is enrooted in good, thus which has become of the life. (ibid. n. 93659368)
No one ought to be persuaded instantaneously of the Truth
It is according to the laws of order that no one should be instantaneously persuaded of truth, that is that truth should instantaneously be so confirmed as to leave no doubt at all about it. The reason is that the truth which is so impressed becomes persuasive truth and is without any extension, and is also unyielding. Such truth is represented in the other life as hard, and as of such a quality as not to admit good into it, that it may become applicable. Hence it is that as soon as any truth is presented before good spirits in the other life by manifest experience, there is presently afterwards presented some opposite which causes doubt. Thus it is given them to think and consider whether it be so, and to gather reasons, and so bring that truth rationally into their mind. By this the spiritual sight has extension as to that truth even to the opposites. It therefore sees and perceives in the understanding every quality of truth; and hence can admit influx from heaven according to the states of things, for truths receive various forms according to circumstances. This also is the reason why it was permitted the magicians to do the like to what Aaron did; for thereby doubt was excited among the children of Israel concerning the miracle, as to whether it was Divine; and thus opportunity was given them to think and consider whether it was Divine, and at length to confirm in themselves a conviction that it was so. (AC n. 7298)
The Source of Spiritual Light
Every man has exterior and interior thought; interior thought is in the light of heaven, and is called perception, and exterior thought is in the light of the world. And the understanding of every man is so constituted that it can be elevated even into the light of heaven, and also is elevated if from any delight he desires to see the truth. It has been given me to know that this is so from much experience; concerning which wonderful things may be seen in The Wisdom of Angels concerning the Divine Providence; and still more in The Wisdom of Angels concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom. For the delight of love and wisdom elevates the thought, enabling it to see as in the light that a thing is so, although the man had never heard of it before. This light which illuminates the mind, flows from no other source than out of heaven from the Lord; and as those who will be of the New Jerusalem are to approach the Lord directly, that light will flow in in the way of order, which is through the love of the will, into the perception of the understanding. But those who have confirmed themselves in the dogma that the understanding is to see nothing in theological subjects, but that men ought blindly to believe what the church teaches, cannot see any truth in the light; for they have obstructed the way of light into themselves. (AR n. 914)
It is known that one man excels another in the faculty of understanding and of perceiving what is honest in moral life, what is just in civil life, and what is good in spiritual life. The reason consists in the elevation of the thought to the things which are of heaven; thereby the thought is withdrawn from the outward things of sense. For those who think only from the things of sense cannot at all see what is honest, just, and good; they therefore trust to others and speak much from the memory, and thereby appear to themselves wiser than others. But those who are able to think above the things of sense, if the things that are in the memory are in orderly arrangement, are in a superior faculty of understanding and perceiving, and this according to the degree in which they view things from the interior. (AC n. 6598)
Every Man may see Spiritual Truth who desires it
Every man whose soul desires it is capable of seeing the truths of the Word in the light. No animal exists which does not know the food proper to its life, when it sees it; and man is a rational and spiritual animal, who sees the food of his life, not that of his body but of his soul, which is the truth of faith,—if he hunger after it, and seek it from the Lord. (AR n. 224)
Why Saving Faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ
The reason why men ought to believe, that is to have faith, in God the Saviour Jesus Christ, is that it is faith in a visible God, in whom is the invisible; and faith in a visible God, who is Man and at the same time God, enters into man. For in its essence faith is spiritual, but in its form it is natural; with man therefore it becomes spiritual-natural; for everything spiritual is received in the natural, in order that it may be a reality to man. The naked spiritual indeed enters into man, but it is not received; it is like the ether which flows in and flows out without effect; for in order to effect there must be perception, and thus reception,—each in man's mind; and this cannot be with man except in his natural. But on the other hand a merely natural faith or faith devoid of spiritual essence is not faith, but only persuasion or knowledge. Persuasion emulates faith in externals, but because there is nothing spiritual in its internals there is therefore nothing saving. Such is the faith of all who deny the Divinity of the Lord's Human; such was the Arian faith, and such also is the Socinian faith, because both reject the Divinity of the Lord. What is faith without a definite object? Is it not like a look into the universe, which falls as it were into an empty void and is lost? And it is like a bird flying above the atmosphere into the ether, where it expires as in a vacuum. The abode of this faith in the mind of man may be compared to the dwelling of the winds in the wings of Aeolus. And to the habitation of light in a falling star; it comes forth like a comet, with a long tail, but it also passes away like a comet and disappears. In a word, faith in an invisible God is actually blind, because the human mind does not see its God. And the light of this faith, because it is not spiritual-natural, is a fatuous light; and this light is like that of the glowworm, and like the light in marshes, or on sulphurous glebes at night, and like the light of rotten wood. Nothing arises from this light but what is of the nature of fantasy, in which an appearance is seen as if it were a reality, and yet it is not. Faith in an invisible God shines with no other light; and especially when it is thought that God is a spirit, and a spirit is thought of as like the ether. What follows from this, but that man looks upon God as he looks upon the ether? And so he seeks Him in the universe; and when he does not find Him there, he believes nature to be the God of the universe. The naturalism reigning at this day is from this origin. Did not the Lord say, that "No man hath heard the voice of the Father at any time, nor seen His shape"? (John v. 37). And also, that "No man hath seen God at any time"? And that "The only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath revealed [Him]"? (i. 18). And "No one hath seen the Father, but He who is with the Father; He hath seen the Father"? (vi. 46). Also that no one cometh to the Father, but through Him? (xiv. 6). And further, that the man who seeth and knoweth Him seeth and knoweth the Father? (xiv. 7, and the following verses). But faith in the Lord God the Saviour, who since He is God and Man can be approached and seen in thought, is different. It is not an indeterminate faith, but has an object from whence it proceeds and to whom it is directed (habet terminum, a quo et ad quem). And when once received it remains,—just as when one has seen an emperor or a king, as often as he is reminded of it, their image returns. The sight of that faith is as if one should see a bright cloud and an angel in the midst of it who invites man to him, that he may be elevated into heaven. Thus the Lord appears to those who have faith in Him; and He draws near to every one just as he recognises and acknowledges Him. This is done as he knows and does His commandments, which are to shun evils and do good; and at length the Lord comes into his house, and together with the Father who is in Him makes His abode with him; according to these words in John: "Jesus said, He that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him; ... and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John xiv. 21, 23). These things were written in the presence of the twelve apostles of the Lord, who were sent to me by the Lord while I was writing them. (TCR n. 339)
That the natural man can confirm whatever he will is manifest from the numerous heresies in the Christian world, each of which is confirmed by its adherents. Who does not know that evils and falsities of every kind may be confirmed? It is possible to confirm, and the wicked actually do confirm, that there is no God, and that nature is everything, and is self-created; that religion is only a means whereby simple minds may be held under restraint; that human prudence does everything, and Divine Providence nothing, except that it maintains the universe in the order in which it was created; also that murder, adultery, theft, fraud, and revenge are allowable, according to Machiavelli and his followers. The natural man can confirm these and such like things, yea can fill books with the confirmations; and when these falsities are confirmed they appear in an infatuating light, and truths in such obscurity that they cannot be seen but as spectres at night. In a word, take the falsest thing and form it into a proposition, and tell an ingenious person to confirm it, and he will confirm it, to the complete extinction of the light of truth. But put aside his confirmations, return, and look at the proposition itself from your own rationality, and you will see its falsity in all its deformity. (DLW n. 267)
They who by various considerations can confirm a dogma once received whatever its quality, and by various reasonings make it appear like the truth, believe themselves wiser than others. But this is very far from the part of a wise man; any one can do this who is distinguished by some ingenuity, and the wicked more skilfully than the well-disposed. For it is not of the rational man to do this, inasmuch as the rational man can see as from a superior [light] whether what is confirmed be true or false. And seeing this, he makes no account of things confirmative of falsity, and in his own mind regards such things but as ridiculous and vain, however another may believe them chosen from the school of wisdom itself. In a word, nothing is less the part of a wise man, yea nothing is less rational, than to be able to confirm falsities; for it is the part of a wise man and is rational first to see that a thing is true, and next to confirm it; inasmuch as to see what is true is to see from the light of heaven, which is from the Lord, whereas to see the false as true is to see from a delusive light which is from hell. (AC n. 4741).
Difficulty of extirpating Falsities that have been confirmed by Evil
Those who have confirmed themselves against the truths and goods of faith, as all do who live wickedly, close the internal man above within them, and open it beneath; so that their internal man looks only to the things that are beneath, that is, looks into the external or natural man, and through that into the things that are in the world, and into the things that are about its body, and which are upon the earth. And when this is so they look downwards, which is towards hell. With such the internal man cannot be opened towards heaven, unless the things negative of truth or affirmative of falsity which have closed it are first shaken off, and they must be shaken off while in the world; which cannot be done except by a total inversion of the life, thus in the course of several years. For falsities arrange themselves in series, and form a continual connection between each other, and give shape to the natural mind itself, and its view as to the things which are of the church and heaven. Hence it is that all things of faith and charity, that is of the doctrine of the church or of the Word,—in general all things heavenly and Divine are to them thick darkness; and on the other hand worldly and terrestrial things are light to them. It is therefore evident that to destroy the falsities with such is to destroy life itself; and that if they are to have a new [principle] of life, falsities must be successively extirpated, and in their place truths and goods implanted, which in like manner shall form a continual connection with each other, and be arranged in series. This is meant by the total inversion of the life, which can only be effected in the course of several years. (AC n. 9256)
Man cannot search into the Mysteries of Faith by things known
By things known to explore the mysteries of faith is as impossible as for a camel to pass through the eye of needle, or for a rib to govern the purest fibrils of the chest and heart;—so gross, yea much more gross, is the sensual and knowing relatively to the spiritual and celestial. He who would investigate only the secrets of nature, which are innumerable, with difficulty discovers one; and as is known, he falls into errors while investigating. What then if he would investigate the secrets of spiritual and celestial life, where there are myriads of things for one that is invisible in nature! For the sake of illustration take only this example:—Of himself man cannot act otherwise than wickedly, and so turn away from the Lord; yet the man does not act but evil spirits who are with him; nor do the evil spirits, but evil itself which they have appropriated; and yet man does evil, and turns himself away, and is in fault; and yet he lives only from the Lord. On the other hand, man of himself cannot do good and turn to the Lord but by the angels; nor can the angels but by the Lord only; and yet man can as of himself do good, and turn to the Lord. That this is so can neither be comprehended by the senses, nor by knowledge and philosophy. They would, if consulted, utterly deny these things, although in themselves they are true. So in all other things. From this it is evident that they who consult things sensual and things known about matters of faith, not only cast themselves into doubt, but also into denial, that is into darkness; and when in darkness into all cupidities. For while they believe falsity they also do falsity. And while they believe there is no spiritual and celestial, they believe there is only what is corporeal and worldly. Thus they love whatever is of themselves and the world, therefore lusts and evils, from falsity. (AC n. 233)
Of the False Assumption that nothing is to be believed until it is understood
Every one may see that a man is governed by the principles he adopts, be they ever so false, and that all his knowledge and reasoning favour his principles; for innumerable considerations tending to support them readily present themselves to his mind, and thus he is confirmed in falsities. He therefore who assumes as a principle that nothing is to be believed until it is seen and understood can never believe; for spiritual and celestial things are neither seen with the eyes nor grasped by the imagination. But the true order is that a man should have wisdom from the Lord, that is from His Word; then all things follow in their order, and he is enlightened even in matters of reason and knowledge. For man is by no means forbidden to acquire knowledges, —they are both serviceable to life and delightful, nor is it denied to one who is in faith to think and speak as the learned in the world. But it should be from this principle; that he believes the Lord's Word, and confirms spiritual and celestial truths by natural truths, in terms familiar to the learned world, as far as lies in his power. His principle of belief will therefore be from the Lord and not from himself. The former is life and the latter death. (AC n. 129)
So long as men continue in dispute as to whether a thing exist, and whether it be so, they can never advance into anything of wisdom; for in the thing itself about which they dispute there are innumerable particulars, which they can never see so long as they do not acknowledge the thing; because each and all its particulars are at once unknown. The learning of this day scarcely advances beyond these limits; namely, the inquiry whether a thing exists, and whether it be so; and therefore they stand excluded from the discernment of truth. For example, he who merely contends whether there is an internal sense of the Word can never see the innumerable, yea, indefinite things which are in the internal sense. Just so he who disputes whether charity is anything in the church, and whether or not all things of the church are matters of faith, cannot know the innumerable, yea, indefinite things that are in charity, but remains altogether in ignorance as to what is charity. And so with the life after death, the resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, and with heaven, and hell; they who only dispute as to whether such things exist stand the while outside the doors of wisdom, and are like persons who but knock at the door, and cannot even look into wisdom's magnificent palaces. And what is surprising, those who are of this description think themselves wiser than others, and the more wise the better they are able to discuss whether a thing is so, and the more to confirm that it is not so when yet the simple, who are in good and whom they despise, can perceive in a moment without any dispute, not to say without learned controversy, both the existence of the thing and its nature. They have a general sense of apperception of truth; while the former have extinguished this sense by such dispositions, which determine first to discuss whether a thing exists. The Lord speaks of these two classes when He says, "that things are hidden from the wise and intelligent, and are revealed unto babes" (Matt. xi. 25; Luke x. 21). (ibid. n. 3428)
It is one thing to believe from the rational, the known, and the sensual, or to consult them that one may believe; and another to confirm and corroborate what is believed by matters of reason and knowledge and of sense. (ibid. n. 2538)
Affirmative and Negative States of Mind
There are two principles, one of which leads to all folly and madness, the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in one's heart that he cannot believe them, until he is convinced by what he can comprehend or be sensible of this principle is what leads to all folly and madness, and may be called the negative principle.
The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within one's self that they are true, because the Lord has said it; this principle is what leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and may be called the affirmative principle. Those who think from the negative principle, the more they take counsel of matters of reason, of knowledge, and of philosophy, the more they plunge themselves into darkness, until at length they come to deny all things. The reason is that from things inferior no one comprehends things superior, that is things spiritual and celestial,—still less things Divine, because they transcend all understanding; and besides, everything is then involved in negatives from the beginning. But on the contrary they who think from the affirmative principle may confirm themselves in things spiritual and celestial by whatever rational considerations, by whatever matters of knowledge, yea, and of philosophy, they are able; for all such things were given them for confirmation, and afford them a fuller idea of a subject. Moreover there are some who are in doubt before they deny; and others who are in doubt before they affirm. They who are in doubt before they deny are those that incline to a life of evil, and in so far as this life carries them away, as often as they think of things spiritual and celestial they deny. But they who are in doubt before they affirm are those that incline to a life of good, and in so far as they suffer themselves to be turned to this life by the Lord, as often as they think of these things they affirm them. (AC n. 2568)
But let this be illustrated by examples: According to the doctrine of the Word, the first and principal thing of doctrine is love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour. They who are in the affirmative in respect to this, may enter into whatever considerations of reason and knowledge, yea, and of sense they please, every one according to his gift, his knowledge, and his experience; indeed the more they enter the more they are confirmed, for universal nature is full of confirmation. But they who deny this first and chief matter of doctrine, and wish first to be convinced that it is so by matters of knowledge and of reason, never suffer themselves to be convinced, because they deny it in heart, and continually insist on some other principle which they believe essential; at length, by confirmations of their own principle, they so blind themselves that they cannot even know what is love to the Lord and what is love towards the neighbour. And because they confirm themselves in things contrary to them, they at length confirm themselves also in the belief that there is no other love attended with delight but the love of self and of the world; and this to such a degree that, if not in doctrine yet in life, they embrace infernal love instead of heavenly love. Take also another example: it is one of the primary points of the doctrine of faith that all good is from the Lord, and all evil from man or from self. They who are in the affirmative respecting this may confirm themselves by many considerations both of reason and knowledge; as that no good can flow into man from any other source than from Good itself, that is from the fountain of good and therefore from the Lord; and that there can be no beginning of good from elsewhere they may illustrate to themselves by what is truly good in themselves, in others, in the community, yea, in the created universe. But those who are in the negative principle confirm themselves in the contrary conclusion by all things that ever come under their consideration; insomuch that at length they do not know what is good, but dispute with each other as to what is the highest good,—in profound ignorance of the truth that celestial and spiritual good, which is from the Lord, is that good; by which every lower good is vivified, and that from this delight is truly delightful. Some even conceive that good cannot be from any other source than themselves. Again, take for example the truth that they who are in love to the Lord and in charity towards the neighbour can receive the truths of doctrine, and have faith from the Word, and not those that are in the life of self-love and of the love of the world; or what is the same, that they who are in good can believe, but not those who are in evil. They who are in the affirmative principle can confirm this by innumerable evidences both of reason and of knowledge; of reason by the consideration that truth and good agree together, but not truth and evil; and that as in evil so also from evil everything is false, and that if in some there be yet truth, it is upon the lips and not in the heart; of knowledge, by many things, as that truths shun evils, and that evils spew out truths. But they who are in the negative principle confirm themselves in the belief that every one, of whatever character, even though he live in continual hatred, in the delights of revenge, and in deceits, is capable of believing like others; and this until they entirely reject from doctrine the good of life, which being rejected they believe nothing. To make it still more plain, take another example, respecting the Word. They who are in the affirmative, that the Word was so written that it has an internal sense, which does not appear in the letter, may confirm themselves by many rational considerations; as that by the Word man has connection with heaven; that there are correspondences of natural things with spiritual, and that these latter do not so much appear; that the ideas of interior thought are entirely different from material ideas which fall into expressions of speech; that during his abode in the world man may also be in heaven (inasmuch as he was born to live in both), by means of the Word which is for both; that with some a certain Divine light flows in into their intellectual operations and into their affections while the Word is being read; that it was necessary that something which descended from heaven should be written, and that in its origin it could not be such as it is in the letter; that nothing can be holy but by virtue of a holiness which is within. They may also confirm themselves by things known; as that in old time men were in representatives, and that the writings of the ancient church were of such a character; that therefore the writings of many even among the Gentiles w ere also of a similar character; and that for this reason the style was venerated in the churches as holy, and among the Gentiles as learned; several books may likewise be mentioned (as instances of this kind of writing). But they who are in the negative principle, if they do not deny all this, yet do not believe it; and they persuade themselves that the Word is such as it is in the letter, appearing indeed worldly, but yet that it is spiritual,—but where the spiritual is concealed does not concern them, though for manifold reasons they are willing to assert it,—and this they can confirm by many arguments. In order that this subject may be presented even to the apprehension of the simple, it may be expedient to illustrate it scientifically by the following example. They who are in the affirmative in respect to the truth that sight is not of the eye but is of the spirit, which by the eye as by an organ of its body sees things that are in the world, may confirm themselves by many things; as from speech, in that when it is heard it reports itself to a certain interior sight and is transmuted into it,—which could not be the case if there did not exist an interior sight or vision; also that whatever is thought of is seen by an interior sight, by some more clearly, by others more obscurely; moreover that things of the imagination present themselves in a manner not unlike the objects of sight; and further, that unless the spirit which is in the body saw that which the eye as an organ takes in, the spirit in the other life could see nothing; when yet it must needs be that it will there see numberless astonishing things which the eye of the body can never see. They may likewise reflect on dreams, especially those of the Prophets, in which many things were equally well seen and yet not by the eyes; lastly, if they have a taste for philosophical contemplations, they may confirm themselves by the consideration that exterior things cannot enter into interior; as things compound cannot enter into things simple, so the things of the body cannot enter into those which are of the spirit, but the reverse;—besides very many other considerations; till at length they are persuaded that sight belongs to the spirit, and not to the eye except from the spirit. But they who are in the negative either call these things all natural, or fantasies; and when they are told that a spirit exercises and enjoys a more perfect sight than a man does in the body, they ridicule and make light of it,—believing that they shall live in darkness when they are deprived of the sight of the eye; when exactly the contrary is true, that they will then be in light. From these examples it may be seen what it is to enter from truths into reasonings and knowledges, and what to enter from reasonings and knowledges into truths; namely, that the former is according to order, but the latter contrary to order; and that when it is done according to order man is enlightened, but when contrary to order he is made blind. It is clear then of how much concern it is that truths should be known and believed; for by truths man is enlightened, while by falsities he is blinded. By truths an immense and almost unbounded plain is opened to the rational faculty; but by falsities almost none comparatively, although it appears otherwise. Hence the angels have so great wisdom, because they are in truths; for truth is the very light of heaven.... Those who have blinded themselves by their unwillingness to believe anything that they do not comprehend by the senses, in the other life are readily distinguished from other spirits by this,—that concerning everything that relates to faith they reason whether it be so; and though it be shown them a thousand and a thousand times that it is so, they still raise negative doubts against every confirming proof; and this they would do to eternity, They are consequently blinded to such a degree that they have not common sense; that is, they cannot comprehend what is good and true. And yet every one of them supposes that he is wise beyond all in the universe; placing their wisdom in this,—the conceit that they are able to make null that which is Divine, and deduce it from the natural. Many who have been accounted wise in the world are of this character beyond others; for in proportion as any one excels in the gift of talent and in knowledge, if at the same time he is in the negative principle, he is more insane than others; but in proportion as he excels in the gift of talent and in knowledge, and is in the affirmative principle, he is capable of becoming more wise than others. To cultivate the rational by knowledge is in nowise forbidden; but it is forbidden to fortify one's self against the truths of faith, which are of the Word. (AC n. 2588)
Nature and Spiritual Use of Outward Acquisitions of Knowledge
Truth known is one thing, rational truth is another, and intellectual truth another; they succeed each other. Truth known is a matter of knowledge; rational truth is truth known confirmed by reason; intellectual truth is conjoined with an internal perception that it is so. (AC n. 1496)
Knowledges are procured in childhood with no other purpose than for the sake of knowing.... The knowledges which are procured in childhood are very many, but are disposed by the Lord in order, so that they may be subservient to use; first, that he may be able to think; afterwards that by means of thought they may be used; and finally, that he may bring them into effect, that is that his very life may consist in use, and be a life of uses. These are the offices of the knowledges which he imbibes in childhood. Without these his external man cannot be conjoined with the internal, and together with it become a use. When man becomes a use, that is, when he thinks of all things from a purpose of use, and does all things for the sake of use (if not by manifest yet by tacit reflection, from a disposition thus acquired), then the knowledges which had subserved the first use, that he might become rational, are destroyed, because they are no longer serviceable; and so on. (ibid. n. 1487)
So far as a man has become rational in the world by means of languages and knowledges, he is rational after death; but not at all in proportion as he is skilled in languages and knowledges. I have talked with many whom they in the world believed to be learned, from the fact that they were acquainted with ancient languages, such as Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, but who had not cultivated their rational by the things that are written in them. Some of these appeared as simple as those who knew nothing of those languages; some appeared stupid; and yet there remained with them a pride as if they were wiser than others. I have conversed with some who in the world believed that a man is wise in proportion to the capacity of his memory, and who. had also enriched their memory with many things; and they spoke also from it alone, thus not from themselves but from others, and had nowise perfected the rational by the things of memory. Some of these were stupid, some foolish, not at all comprehending any truth, as to whether it is a truth or not, but seizing all falsities that were commended as truths by those who call themselves learned; for of themselves they cannot see whether anything be so or not so; and therefore they can see nothing rationally when they listen to others. I have also conversed with some who had written much in the world, and indeed on matters of knowledge of every kind, and had thereby acquired an extensive reputation for learning. Some of these, indeed, could reason about truths as to whether they are truths or not; some when they turned to those who were in the light of truth understood that they were truths; and yet they did not desire to understand them, and therefore denied them when they returned into their own falsities, and so into themselves; others had no more discernment than the unlearned vulgar. Thus each was differently affected, according as he had cultivated his rational by the matters of knowledge he had written and copied. But those who were opposed to the truths of the church, and thought from their acquisitions of knowledges, and confirmed themselves thereby in falsities, did not cultivate their rational, but only the faculty of arguing, which in the world is believed to be rationality. But it is a faculty different from rationality; it is the faculty of confirming whatever one pleases, and, from assumed principles and from fallacies, of seeing falsities and not truths. Such can never be brought to acknowledge truths, since truths cannot be seen from falsities. But falsities can be seen from truths. The rational of man is like a garden and floretum, and as land newly ploughed; the memory is the ground, truths known and cognitions are seeds, the light and heat of heaven cause them to spring forth; without these there is no germination. So it is also if the light of heaven, which is Divine truth, and the heat of heaven, which is Divine love, are not admitted; from these alone the rational exists. The angels very much grieve that the learned in great part ascribe all things to nature, and that they have thus so shut the interiors of their minds that they can see nothing of truth by the light of truth, which is the light of heaven. Therefore in the other life they are deprived of the faculty of arguing, lest by argumentations they should disseminate falsities among and seduce the simple good; and they are sent into desert places. (HH n. 464)
Memorabilia concerning Faith
One morning being awaked from sleep I saw two angels descending from heaven, one from the south of heaven and the other from the east of heaven, both in chariots, to which white horses were attached. The chariot in which the angel from the south of heaven was carried shone as with silver, and the chariot in which the angel from the east of heaven was carried shone as with gold, and the reins which they held in their hands glittered as from the flamy light of the morning. Thus did those two angels appear to me at a distance; but when they came near they did not appear in a chariot, but in their angelic form, which is human. The one who came from the east of heaven was dressed in raiment of shining purple, and the one that came from the south of heaven in raiment of violet blue. When they reached the lower region below the heavens they ran to each other, as if they were striving to see which would be first, and mutually embraced and kissed each other. I heard that those two angels while they lived in the world were joined in interior friendship; but now one was in the eastern heaven and the other in the southern heaven. In the eastern heaven are those who are in love from the Lord; and in the southern heaven are those who are in wisdom from the Lord. When they had conversed together for some time concerning the magnificent things in their heavens, their conversation turned upon this subject: "Whether heaven in its essence is love, or wisdom." They agreed immediately that one is of the other; but they discussed the question, which was the original. The angel who was from the heaven of wisdom asked the other, "What is love?" And he answered, "Love originating from the Lord as a sun is the heat of the life of angels and men; thus the esse of their life; and the derivations of love are called affections, and by these perceptions are produced, and thus thoughts. Whence it follows, that wisdom in its origin is love consequently that thought in its origin is the affection of that love; and it may be seen from the derivations viewed in their order that thought is nothing else than the form of affection. This is not known, because the thoughts are in light, and the affections in heat; and therefore one reflects upon thoughts, but not upon affections. That thought is nothing else than the form of the affection of some love, may also be illustrated by speech, in that this is nothing else than the form of sound. It also is similar, because sound corresponds to affection and speech to thought; wherefore affection sounds and thought speaks. This indeed may be made obvious if it is asked, Take away sound from speech, and is there anything of speech? So take away affection from thought, and is there anything of thought? From this now it is manifest that love is the all of wisdom; and therefore, that the essence of the heavens is love, and that their existence is wisdom; or what is the same, that the heavens are from the Divine love, and exist from the Divine love by the Divine wisdom. Wherefore as was said before the one is of the other." There was a novitiate spirit with me, who hearing this asked whether it is the same with charity and faith, because charity is of affection, and faith is of thought. And the angel replied, "It is quite the same. Faith is nothing but the form of charity, just as speech is the form of sound; faith also is formed by charity, as speech is formed by sound. We in heaven know also the manner of formation, but there is not time to explain it here." He added, "By faith I mean spiritual faith, in which alone there is spirit and life from the Lord through charity; for this is spiritual, and by it faith becomes so. Faith therefore without charity is merely natural faith, and this faith is dead; it also conjoins itself with merely natural affection, which is no other than concupiscence." The angels spoke of these things spiritually; and spiritual language embraces thousands of things which natural language cannot express; and, what is wonderful, which cannot even fall into the ideas of natural thought. After the angels had conversed on these subjects they departed; and as they returned each to his own heaven there appeared stars about their heads; and as the distance from me increased they appeared again in chariots as before.
After these two angels were out of my sight I saw on the right a garden, in which were olives, fig trees, laurels, and palms, arranged in order according to correspondences. I looked thitherward and saw angels and spirits walking and talking together among the trees. And then one of the angelic spirits looked at me (they are called angelic spirits who are in the world of spirits preparing for heaven). He came to me from the garden and said, "If you will come with me into our paradise you will hear and see wonderful things?" And I went with him. And he then said to me, "These whom you see (for there were many) are all in the love of truth, and thence in the light of wisdom. There is also a palace here which we call the TEMPLE OF WISDOM. But no one can see it who believes himself to be very wise; still less one who believes himself to be wise enough; and least of all one who believes that he is wise from himself. The reason is that they are not in the reception of the light of heaven, from the love of genuine wisdom. It is genuine wisdom for a man to see from the light of heaven that what he knows, understands, and appropriates (sapit), is as little compared with what he does not know, understand, and appropriate, as a drop of water to the ocean; or scarcely anything. Every one who is in this paradisiacal garden, and from perception and sight within himself acknowledges that he has comparatively so little wisdom, sees that TEMPLE OF WISDOM; for the interior light in the mind of man enables him to see it, but not his exterior light without that. Now as I have often thought, and from knowledge, and then from perception, and at last from interior light have acknowledged that man has so little wisdom, lo, it was granted me to see that temple. As to form it was wonderful. It was very lofty above the ground, quadrangular, with walls of crystal, a gracefully curved roof of transparent jasper, and a foundation of various precious stones. The steps by which they ascended to it were of polished alabaster; at the sides of the steps there appeared, as it were, lions with whelps. And then I asked whether it was allowable to enter; and was told that it was. I therefore ascended; and when I entered I saw as it were cherubim flying under the roof, but presently vanishing. The floor upon which we walked was of cedar; and the whole temple, by the transparency of the roof and walls, was constructed for a form of light. The angelic spirit entered with me, and I related to him what I had heard from the two angels concerning LOVE and WISDOM, and concerning charity and faith; and he then said, "Did they not speak also of a third?" I answered, "What third? "He replied, "THE GOOD OF USE. Love and wisdom are nothing without the good of use. They are but ideal entities; nor do they become real until they exist in use. For love, wisdom, and use, are three things that cannot be separated; if they are separated neither is anything. Love is not anything without wisdom; but in wisdom it is formed to something. This something into which it is formed is use; therefore when love by wisdom is in use then it really is, because it actually exists. They are precisely like end, cause, and effect; the end is not anything unless through the cause it exists in an effect; if one of the three is dispersed the whole is dispersed and becomes as nothing. It is the same with charity, faith, and works. Charity is nothing without faith, neither is faith anything without charity, nor charity and faith without works; but in works they are something, and a something of the same nature as the use of the works. It is the same with affection, thought, and operation. And it is the same with the will, the understanding, and action; for the will without the understanding is like the eye without sight; and both without action are as a mind without a body. It may be clearly seen that it is so in this temple; because the light in which we are here is a light which enlightens the interiors of the mind. And geometry also teaches that there is nothing complete and perfect unless it is a trine; for a line is nothing unless it becomes a surface, nor is a surface anything unless it becomes a body; one therefore is drawn into another that they may exist, and they coexist in the third. As in this, so it is also in each and all created things, which are all terminated in a third. This now is the reason why in the Word the number three signifies what is complete and entire. Since this is so I cannot but wonder that some profess faith alone, some charity alone, and some works alone; when yet one without another of them, or even one with another without the third is nothing." But then I asked, "Cannot a man have charity and faith and yet not works? Cannot a man be in the love of .a certain object, and in thought about it, and yet not in the performance of it?" And the angel answered me, "He can ideally only; but not really. He must yet be in the endeavour or will to perform and the will or endeavour is the act in itself; because it is the continual effort to act, which, adding determination, becomes action in externals. Endeavour and will are therefore accepted by every wise man as an internal act; because they are accepted by God, precisely as an external act,—if only it does not fail when opportunity is given." (TCR n. 386, 387)
Fruits of Faith and Capability of Receiving it in the Other Life
The fruits of faith are none other than a life according to the precepts of faith. A life according to these precepts is therefore saving; but not faith without the life. For a man carries all the states of his life with him after death, so that he is such as his character had been in the body. For example, he who had despised others in comparison with himself in the life of the body, in the other life also despises others in comparison with himself; he who had indulged in hatred to his neighbour in the life of the body, bears hatred to his neighbour in the other life also; he who had dealt deceitfully with his associates in the life of the body, is deceitful to his associates also in the other life; and so on. Every one retains in the other life the nature he had acquired in the life of the body; and it is known that the nature cannot be put away, and that if put away nothing of life would remain. Hence it is that only works of charity are mentioned by the Lord; for he who is in works of charity, or what is the same, in the life of faith, has the capability of receiving faith, if not in the body yet in the other life; but he who is not in works of charity, or in the life of faith, has by no means any capability of receiving faith, either in the body or in the other life. For evil never harmonizes with truth, but the one rejects the other; and if they who are in evil speak truths they say them from the mouth; and not from the heart. And so evil and truth are very far apart. (AC n. 4663)