Spiritual background for EXODUS 18previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 8635. No one can be regenerated unless he knows such things as are of the new life, that is, of spiritual life; for man is introduced into this life by means of regeneration. The things which are of the new life, or of spiritual life, are truths which must be believed, and goods which must be done; the former are of faith, the latter of charity.
AC 8636. No one can know these things from himself, for man apprehends only those things which have been obvious to his senses; from these he has procured for himself a light which is called natural light, by virtue of which he sees nothing else than what belongs to the world and to himself, and not what belongs to heaven and to God; these he must learn from revelation.
AC 8637. For example, that the Lord, who was God from eternity, came into the world to save the human race; that He has all power in heaven and in earth; that everything of faith and everything of charity, thus everything of truth and good is from Him; that there is a heaven, and that there is a hell; that man will live to eternity, in heaven if he has done well, in hell if he has done evil.
AC 8638. These things and more are of faith, which must be known by the man who is to be regenerated; for he who knows them can think them, then will them, and lastly do them, and thus have new life.
AC 8639. On the other hand, he who does not know that the Lord is the Saviour of the human race, cannot have faith in Him, worship Him, love Him, and thus do good for His sake. He who does not know that all good is from Him, cannot think that his own righteousness and his own salvation are from Him, still less can he will it to be so, thus he cannot live from Him. He who does not know that there is a hell, and that there is a heaven, nor that there is eternal life, cannot even think about the life of heaven, nor apply himself to receiving it; and so in all other things.
AC 8640. From all this it can be seen what the quality of the life of a regenerate person is, that it is a life of faith; and also that it cannot be given to a man until he is in such a state as to be able to acknowledge the truths of faith, and in so far as he acknowledges them, to will them.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE SPIRITS AND THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH JUPITER
AC 8733. As the spirits of the earth Jupiter bear relation in the Grand Man to the Imaginative of Thought, they speak little and think much; and when they speak, their speech is cogitative, and differs from the speech of others in the fact that it does not terminate so much in sound, as in a kind of soft murmur which is inwardly rapid. The very thought with them in this way unfolds itself into speech. The reason is that they are of a genius intermediate between the spiritual and the celestial; for the spiritual speak sonorously, and bring the whole of their thought into their speech; wherefore in order that their thought may be known, it must be gathered from the words. But not so the celestial; for that which is of their will rolls itself by somewhat of thought into what is like a wave, which affects and moves the will of another according to the state of the matter.
AC 8734. The speech of spirits in general is formed from ideas of thought that fall into words according to the fulness and the affection; and as the entire idea of the thing is thus presented and communicated, spirits can express more within a minute than a man in the world can within an hour; for the whole idea of the thing, such as it is in the thought, is fully transmitted into the thought of the other. From this it was made plain to me what the conjunction of minds or spiritual conjunction is (which is charity or mutual love), namely, that the mind of the one presents itself in the mind of the other with all the good of its own thought and will toward him, and in this way affects him; and on the other hand, what spiritual disjunction is (which is enmity and hatred), namely, that the mind of the one presents itself in the mind of the other with the thought and will of destroying him, which causes rejection.
AC 8735. I was further instructed by the spirits of the earth Jupiter who were with me for a considerable time, that on that earth there are also those who call themselves "saints," and who, under a penalty, command their servants, whom they multiply, to call them "lords." They likewise forbid them to adore the Lord of the universe, saying that they are the Lord’s mediators, and that they will bring their supplications to the Lord of the universe. The Lord of the universe, who is our Lord, they do not call "the One Only Lord," as the rest do, but "the Supreme Lord," for the reason that they also call themselves lords.
AC 8736. These saints, who are saluted as lords by their servants, call the sun the face of the Supreme Lord, and believe His abode to be there, wherefore they also adore the sun. The rest of the inhabitants hold them in aversion, and will not have intercourse with them, both because they adore the sun, and because they call themselves lords, and are worshiped by their servants as mediatory gods.
AC 8737. The instructing and chastising spirits (n. 7802-7812), do not come to these, as to others on that earth, because they do not suffer themselves to be instructed, nor are they amended by discipline. They are inflexible, because they act from the love of self. The spirits say that they know from the coldness that it is they; and that when they notice the coldness, they depart from them.
AC 8738. There was shown me by the spirits the head-covering of those who call themselves saints: it was a towering hat of a darkish color.
AC 8739. In the other life such appear to the right, backward, at some height, and there sit like idols, and also are at first worshiped by their servants, who had been with such; but are afterward held by them‘ in derision. And what surprised me, their faces shine there as if from fire, which is because of their having believed that they were saints, and in the likeness of the Lord, who is in the sun. But notwithstanding this fiery appearance of their faces, they are cold, and have an intense desire to be made warm. From’ this it is plain that the fire with which they shine is as it were an ignis fatuus.
AC 8740. In order to make themselves warm, the same seem‘ to themselves to cut wood, and while they are cutting, there appears underneath the wood somewhat of a man whom they at the same time attempt to strike. This comes to pass because of their attributing merit to themselves; and as they attribute sanctity, they also impute to themselves righteousness. They who do this in the world, in the other life seem to themselves to cut wood; as is the case likewise with some from our earth, concerning whom previously, from’ experience, which experience, for the sake of illustrating the subject, may here be quoted (n. 4943): "In the lower earth, under the soles of the feet, are also those who have placed merit in good deeds and in works. Some of them appear to themselves to cut wood. The place where they are is rather cold, and they seem‘ to themselves to acquire warmth by their labor. With these also I conversed; and it was given me to ask them whether they wished to come out of that place. They replied that they had not yet merited it by their labor. But when this state has been passed through, they are taken out thence. These spirits also are natural, because the wish to merit salvation is not spiritual, for it comes from their own; not from the Lord. Moreover they regard themselves as superior to others, and some of them even despise others. If these persons do not receive more joy than others in the other life, they are indignant against the Lord; and therefore when they cut wood, there sometimes appears as it were somewhat of the Lord under the wood, and this from their indignation. But as they have led a pious life, and have acted in this way from ignorance, in which there was something of innocence, therefore angels are occasionally sent to them who console them. And sometimes too there appears to them from above on the left as it were a sheep, at the sight of which they also receive consolation." (n. 1110).
AC 8741. The subject of the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Jupiter will be continued at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page