Spiritual background for EXODUS 11previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 7752. All things in the universe bear relation to Good and Truth. That which does not bear relation to good and truth is not in Divine order; and that which does not bear relation to both together, produces nothing. Good is that which produces, and truth is that by which it produces.
AC 7753. These facts may illustrate how the case is with spiritual good and truth, which are called charity and faith; namely, that all things which belong to the church bear relation to these, and those which do not bear relation to them have nothing of the church in them; and also that which does not contain both within it produces no fruit, that is, no good of charity or of faith.
AC 7754. For in order that anything may be produced, there must be two forces, one which is called active, the other which is called passive; the one without the other brings forth nothing. Such forces, or lives, are charity and faith in the man of the church.
AC 7755. The first of the church is good, the second is truth; or the first of the church is charity, and the second is faith. For the truth of the doctrine of faith is for the sake of the good of life. That which is the end for the sake of which something else exists, this is the first.
AC 7756. With the conjunction of the good which is of charity, and the truth which is of faith, in man, the case is this. The good which is of charity enters through the soul into man, but the truth which is of faith enters through the hearing; the former flows in immediately from the Lord, but the latter mediately through the Word. Hence the way by which the good of charity enters is called the internal way; and the way by which the truth of faith enters is called the external way. That which enters by the internal way is not perceived, because it is not plainly subject to sensation; whereas that which enters by the external way is perceived, because it is plainly subject to sensation. For this reason everything of the church is attributed to faith. It is otherwise with those who have been regenerated; with such the good that is of charity is plainly perceived.
AC 7757. The conjunction of the good of charity with the truth of faith is effected in the interiors of man. The good itself which flows in from the Lord adopts truth there, and appropriates it to itself, and thereby causes the good with the man to be good, and the truth to be truth; or the charity to be charity, and the faith to be faith. Without this conjunction charity is not charity, but only natural goodness; neither is faith faith, but only the memory-knowledge of such things as are of faith, and in some cases a persuasion that a thing is so for the sake of earning gain or honor.
AC 7758. When truth has been conjoined with good it is no longer called truth, but good; and so when faith has been conjoined with charity it is no longer called faith, but charity; the reason is that the man then wills and does the truth, and that which he wills and does is called good.
AC 7759. With the conjunction of the good of charity with the truth of faith, the case, further, is this. This good obtains its quality from truth, and truth its essence from good. From this it follows that the quality of good is according to the truths with which it is conjoined; and therefore good becomes genuine if the truths with which it is conjoined are genuine. Genuine truths of faith are possible within the church, but not out of it, for within the church is the Word.
AC 7760. Moreover the good of charity receives its quality also from the abundance of the truths of faith; likewise from the connection of one truth with another: thus is formed spiritual good with man.
AC 7761. A clear distinction must be made between spiritual good and natural good. As before said, spiritual good has its quality from the truths of faith, their abundance, and their connection; but natural good is born with the man, and also arises by accident, as by misfortunes, diseases, and the like. Natural good saves no one, but spiritual good saves all. The reason is that the good which is formed through the truths of faith is a plane into which heaven can flow, that is, the Lord through heaven, and lead man, and withhold him from evil, and afterward uplift him into heaven; but not so natural good; and therefore they who are in natural good can be as easily carried away by falsity as by truth, provided the falsity appears in the form of truth; and they can be as easily led by evil as by good, provided the evil is presented as good. They are like feathers in the wind.
AC 7762. The confidence of trust which is said to be of faith and is called faith, is not spiritual confidence or trust, but natural. Spiritual confidence or trust has its essence and life from the good of love; but not from the truth of faith separate. The confidence of faith separate is dead; and therefore there cannot be true confidence with those who have led an evil life. Moreover that confidence which depends on salvation through the Lord‘s merit, irrespective of what the life has been, is likewise not from truth.
ON THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE PLANET JUPITER
AC 7799. Social intercourse with the spirits and angels of the planet Jupiter has been granted me a longer time than with the spirits of the other planets, and therefore more particulars are to be related concerning their state, and that of the inhabitants of this planet.
AC 7800. The planet Jupiter does not indeed appear to those who are in the other life; but the spirits who are from it. These appear in front, to the left, at some distance, and this constantly; there also the planet is in the idea of spirits and angels. The spirits of each planet are separate from those of other planets, and are near their own world. The reason why they are separated is that they are of a different disposition, and are in a different province in the Grand Man; and they who are of a different disposition appear remote from others according to the diversity. All separation and distinction of spirits and angels in respect to places and distances in the other life, appear in accordance with the diversities of dispositions and genius, for place corresponds to state (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 4321, 4882, 5605, 7381).
AC 7801. There are many kinds of spirits from the planet Jupiter, but there are three with which I have been in company, and with which I have often spoken. One kind, which is also the lowest, appear dark, almost black. They are contemned by others, and are called "chastisers," because they chastise the inhabitants of their earth who live evilly; they are continually desirous to come to heaven. Another kind have shining faces, as from the reflected light of a candle. These appear to sit like idols, for they suffer themselves to be adored by others, especially by the servants whom they had in the world; for there they persuaded them that they were mediators with the Lord: they are called by them "saints," and also "lords." The third kind, which is the best, excel the rest in intelligence and wisdom. They appear in blue clothing, or clothing of the color of the sky, with interwoven little grains of gold. But the angels themselves who are from that earth, are together with the angels of the rest of the earths; for all who are truly angels constitute one general heaven.
AC 7802. It is a common thing on that earth for spirits to speak with the inhabitants and instruct them, and also chastise them if they have done evil; on which subject, as many things have been related to me by their angels, I would speak in order. The reason why the spirits of that planet speak with the men, is that these think much about heaven, and about the life after death; and are comparatively but little solicitous about life in the world; for they know that they will live after their decease, and in a state of happiness according to the state of their internal man as formed in the world. It was also a common thing on our earth in ancient times to speak with spirits and angels, from a like cause, namely, that those men thought about heaven, and little about the world. But this living communication with heaven was in time closed, as man from internal became external, that is, as he began to think about the world and little about heaven, and especially when he no longer believed that there is a heaven or a hell, nor that there is in himself a spirit man who lives after death. For at this day it is believed that the body lives from itself, and not from its spirit; and therefore unless man could now have faith that he is to rise again with the body, he would have no belief in a resurrection.
AC 7803. As regards the speech of spirits with the inhabitants of the planet Jupiter, there are spirits who chastise; there are those who instruct; and there are those who rule them. The spirits who chastise apply themselves to the left side, and incline themselves toward the back; and when they are there, they draw forth from the man‘s memory all his deeds and thoughts; for this is easy to spirits, because, when they come to a man, they come instantly into all his memory (n. 6192, 6193, 6198, 6199, 6214). If they find that he has done evil or thought evil, they reprove him, and also chastise him with a pain in the joints of the feet or of the hands, or with pain about the epigastric region; this moreover spirits can do dexterously, when it is permitted. When such chastisers come to a man, they excite horror together with fear; whereby he is aware of their approach. Evil spirits can excite fear when they approach anyone, especially those who when they lived in the world had been robbers. That I might know in what manner these spirits act when they come to a man of their earth, it was permitted that such a spirit should come also to me. When he was near, horror attended with fear palpably seized me; but I was not terrified and in horror inwardly, but outwardly, because I knew that he was such a spirit. He was also seen, and appeared like a dark cloud with little moving stars in the cloud; moving stars signify falsities; but fixed stars truths. He applied himself to my left side, toward the back; and he also began to reprove me on account of the things I had done and thought, which he drew forth from my memory and gave a wrong interpretation to; but he was hindered by the angels who also were present. When he noticed that he was with another than a man of his own earth, he began to speak to me, and to say that when he comes to a man, he knows all and everything which the man has done and thought; also that he severely reproves him, and likewise chastises him with various pains.
AC 7804. The spirits who instruct, however, also apply themselves to the left side of those whom they instruct, but more in front. They also reprove, but gently, and presently teach how they ought to live. These also appear dark, yet not as the former, like clouds; but as if clothed with sackcloth. These are called "instructors," but the former "chastisers."
AC 7805. When these spirits are present, angelic spirits also, likewise from their earth, are present, and take their seat at the head, and as it were fill it in a special manner. Their presence is also perceived there as a gentle breathing, for they are afraid lest the man should perceive even the least pain or anxiety from their approach and influx. They rule the chastising and instructing spirits, preventing the former from doing worse to the man than is permitted by the Lord, and enjoining the latter to speak the truth. It has also been given me to speak with these angelic spirits.
AC 7806. There are two signs which appear to those spirits when they are with a man. They see an old man with a whitish face: this is a sign to say nothing but what is true. They also see a face in a window: this is a sign to depart thence. I have seen both that old man, and likewise the face in the window; when the latter was seen, the spirit immediately departed from me.
AC 7807. When the chastising spirit was with me, the angelic spirits kept my face constantly cheerful and smiling, and the region about the lips prominent, and my mouth open. This the angels very easily do by means of influx. They said that when present they induce such a countenance upon the inhabitants of their earth.
AC 7808. If after chastisement and instruction the man again does evil or thinks to do evil, and does not restrain himself by virtue of the precepts of truth, on the return of the chastising spirit he is more severely punished. But the angelic spirits moderate the punishment according to the intention in the deeds, and according to the will in the thoughts.
AC 7809. Spirits there speak with man, but not conversely man with spirits, except these words, when he is instructed, that "he will do so no more." Nor is he allowed to tell any of his companions that a spirit has spoken to him; and if he does, he is severely punished. These spirits of Jupiter at first supposed that when they were with me, they were with a man of their own earth; but when in my turn I spoke to them, and also when I thought that I would publish such things, and they were not allowed to chastise, or to instruct me, they noticed that they were with another.
AC 7810. At another time also a chastising spirit came to me, and applied himself to my left side below the middle of the body, as before, and also desired to punish me; but he was driven away by their angels, who likewise were present. He then showed me the kinds of punishments which they are permitted to inflict on the men of their earth if they do evil and intend to do evil. Besides a pain in the joints, there was a painful contraction around the middle of the belly, which is felt like a compression by a sharp girdle; there was alternate withdrawal of the respiration, even to distress; also a prohibition against eating anything but bread; lastly, a denunciation of death if they did not leave off doing such things; and at the same time a deprivation of the joy from consort, children, and companions, resulting in the insinuation of grief.
AC 7811. From all this it can be seen that their angels, who sit at the head, exercise a kind of judicature over the man, for the angels permit, moderate, restrain, and inflow. But it was given me to say to them that they ought not to believe that they judge; but that the Lord alone is the Judge, and that from Him flow in with them all the things which they direct and enjoin upon the chastising and instructing spirits, and that these things only appear as if from them.
AC 7812. Besides the spirits of whom mention has now been made, there are also spirits who infuse contrary persuasions; being those who while they lived in the world were banished from the society of others, because they were evil. When they approach, there appears as it were a flying flame which glides down near the face; they place themselves beneath, at the man’s hinder parts, and speak from there toward the parts above. They speak things contrary to those which the instructing spirit from the angels has said; namely, that they need not live according to the instruction, but at their own good will and pleasure, and the like. They usually come immediately after the former spirits have departed. But the men on that earth know who and of what quality these spirits are, and therefore they pay no regard to them. Nevertheless they thus learn what evil is, and so what good is; for by evil is learned what is good, the quality of good being known from its opposite. All perception of a thing is according to reflection bearing on the distinctions that come from contraries in various ways and in various degrees.
AC 7813. The subject of the spirits and inhabitants of the planet Jupiter will be continued at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page