Spiritual background for EXODUS 22previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 9112. What Conscience is shall now be stated. Conscience is formed in a man from his religious persuasion, according to the reception of this within himself.
AC 9113. With the man of the church, Conscience is formed by means of truths of faith from the Word, or from doctrine drawn from the Word, according to the reception of these in the heart. For when a man knows the truths of faith and apprehends them in his own way, and afterward wills them and does them, a Conscience is then being formed in him. Reception in the heart is reception in the will, for the will of man is that which is called his "heart."
AC 9114. From this it is that those who have Conscience speak from the heart what they speak, and do from the heart what they do. Such also have an undivided mind, for they act in accordance with what they believe to be true and good, and in accordance with what they understand. Consequently a more perfect Conscience is possible with those who are more enlightened than others in the truths of faith, and who are in a clearer perception than others, than is possible with those who are less enlightened, and who are in an obscure perception.
AC 9115. Those have Conscience who have received from the Lord a new will. This will is itself the Conscience; and therefore to act contrary to Conscience is to act contrary to this will And as the good of charity makes the new will, the good of charity also makes the Conscience.
AC 9116. Seeing that, as before said (n. 9113). Conscience is formed by means of the truths of faith, as also is the new will, and charity, it follows that to act contrary to the truths of faith is to act contrary to Conscience.
AC 9117. As the faith and charity which are from the Lord make a man‘s spiritual life, it follows that to act contrary to Conscience is to act contrary to this life.
AC 9118. As therefore to act contrary to Conscience is to act contrary to the new will, contrary to charity, and contrary to the truths of faith, consequently contrary to the life which man has from the Lord, it is evident from this that a man is in the tranquillity of peace, and in internal blessedness, when he acts according to Conscience; and that he is in intranquillity, and also in pain, when he acts contrary to Conscience. This pain is what is called "the stings of Conscience."
AC 9119. Man has a Conscience of what is good, and a Conscience of what is just. The Conscience of what is good is the Conscience of the internal man; and the Conscience of what is just is the Conscience of the external man. The Conscience of what is good consists in acting according to the precepts of faith from internal affection; while the Conscience of what is just consists in acting according to civil and moral laws from external affection. They who have a Conscience of what is good, have also a Conscience of what is just; but they who have only a Conscience of what is just, have the capacity of receiving a Conscience of what is good, and moreover do receive it when they are instructed.
AC 9120. What Conscience is may also be illustrated by examples. If unknown to the other, a man has the property of that other in his possession, and thus can keep it for himself without any fear of the law, or of the loss of honor and reputation, and nevertheless restores it to the other because it is not his own, he has Conscience, for he does what is good for the sake of what is good, and what is just for the sake of what is just. Again, if a man who has it in his power to attain a high position, sees that another, who also is a candidate, would be more useful to his country, and yields the position to this other man for the sake of his country’s good, he has Conscience. So in all other cases.
AC 9121. From these examples may be inferred the character of those who have no Conscience. They are known from the opposite. Those among them who for the sake of their own advantage would make what is unjust to appear as just, and what is evil to appear as good; and the reverse; have no Conscience. Those of them who know that what they do is unjust and evil, and yet do it, do not know what Conscience is, and if instructed, do not wish to know. Such are they who do all things for the sake of themselves and the world.
AC 9122. Those who have not received Conscience in the world cannot receive Conscience in the other life. Thus they cannot be saved, because they have no plane into which heaven (that is, the Word through heaven) can flow, and whereby it may operate, and so draw them to itself; for Conscience is the plane and receptacle of the influx of heaven. Wherefore in the other life such persons are associated with those who love themselves and the world above all things; and these are in hell.
ON THE SPIRITS OF THE MOON
AC 9232. Certain spirits appeared overhead, and voices were heard thence like thunders; for their voices made a loud thundering noise just like thundering from the clouds after flashes of lightning. I supposed that it was a vast multitude of spirits who had learned to utter their voice with such a sound. The more simple spirits who were with me laughed at them, at which I was much surprised. The reason why they laughed at them was soon disclosed, and it was‘ that the spirits who thundered were not many, but few; and also were little men, like children; and moreover had previously excited terror by such sounds, and yet could not do any harm.
AC 9233. That I might know their character, some were sent down from on high where they were thundering, and strange to say, one carried another on his back, and two of them approached me in this attitude. In their faces they appeared not unbeautiful, but their faces were longer than those of other spirits. In stature they were like boys of seven years of age, but they had stouter bodies. Thus they were dwarfs. I was told by the angels that they were from the Moon.
AC 9234. The one who was borne by the other, upon being set down, came to me, applying himself to my left side below my elbow. From that position he spoke, saying that when they utter their voice, they thunder in this manner, and thereby terrify those spirits who wish to do them harm; and some they put to flight; thus being able to go in safety wherever they wish. That I might know of a certainty that they made such a sound, he went away from me to some others, but not quite out of sight, and thundered in the same way. And they further showed to me how their voice, sent forth from the abdomen like a belching forth, made this loud thundering noise.
AC 9235. It was perceived that this arose from the fact that the inhabitants of the Moon do not speak from the lungs, like the inhabitants of other earths, but from the abdomen, thus from some air that has collected there; for the reason that the Moon is not encompassed with an atmosphere like that of other earths.
AC 9236. I have been instructed that the inhabitants of the Moon bear relation in the Grand Man to the ensiform or xiphoid cartilage, to which the ribs are joined in front, and from which descends the fascia alba, which is the point of attachment for the muscles of the abdomen.
AC 9237. That there are inhabitants in the Moon also, is known to spirits and angels, for they often speak with them; and in like manner that there are inhabitants in the moons or satellites which revolve about the planet Jupiter and the planet Saturn. Those who have not seen and spoken with them nevertheless have no doubt that there are men in them, for they too are earths; and where there is an earth, there is man; for man is the end for the sake of which every earth was created; and nothing has been made by the Supreme Creator without a purpose. That the end of creation is the human race, that there may be a heaven from it, can be seen by everyone one who thinks from reason. The angels also say that an earth cannot subsist apart from the human race, because the Divine provides all things on an earth for the sake of man.
AC 9238. At the end of the following chapter it shall be told why the Lord willed to be born on our earth, and not on another. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page