Spiritual background for EXODUS 24previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY AND FAITH
AC 9363. To believe those things which the Word teaches, or which the doctrine of the church teaches, and not to live according to them, appears as if it were faith, and some also suppose that they are saved by this faith; but no one is saved by this alone, for it is Persuasive Faith, the quality of which shall now be told.
AC 9364. There is Persuasive Faith when the Word and the doctrine of the church are believed and loved, not for the sake of serving the neighbor, that is, one‘s fellow citizen, our country, the church, heaven, and the Lord Himself; consequently not for the sake of life, for serving these is life; but for the sake of gain, honors, and the reputation of learning, as ends. Wherefore they who are in this faith do not have in view the Lord and heaven, but themselves and the world.
AC 9365. They who aspire after great things in the world, and covet many things, are in a stronger persuasion that what the doctrine of the church teaches is true, than are those who do not aspire after great things and covet many things. The reason is that to the former the doctrine of the church is merely a means to their ends; and the means are loved and also believed in proportion as the ends are desired.
AC 9366. In itself however the fact is that in so far as such men are in the fire of the loves of self and of the world, and speak, preach, and act from this fire, so far they are in that persuasion, and they then know no otherwise than that what they say is so. But when they are not in the fire of these loves, they believe nothing, and many of them deny everything; from which it is evident that a Persuasive Faith is a faith of the lips, and not of the heart; thus that in itself it is no faith.
AC 9367. They who are in Persuasive Faith do not know from any internal enlightenment whether what they teach is true or false; nay, they do not care, provided they are believed by the common people; for they are in no affection of truth for the sake of truth Moreover above all others they defend faith alone; and the good of faith, which is charity, they make of importance only in so far as they can profit by its means.
AC 9368. They who are in Persuasive Faith abandon faith, if they are deprived of honors and gains, provided their reputation is not endangered; for Persuasive Faith is not within the man, but stands outside, in the memory only, out of which it is drawn while it is being taught. And therefore after death this faith vanishes, together with its truths; for then only that much of faith remains which is within the man; that is, which has been rooted in good; thus has been made of the life.
AC 9369. They who are in Persuasive Faith are meant by those of whom we read in these passages:--
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name, and by Thy name have cast out demons, and in Thy name done many mighty deeds? But then will I confess unto them, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity (Matt. 7:22, 23).
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 (Luke 13:26, 27).
They are also meant in Matthew by the five foolish virgins, who had no oil in their lamps:--
Afterward came the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said, Verily, I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:11, 12);
"oil in the lamps" denotes good in the faith (n. 886, 4638).
ON THE EARTHS IN THE STARRY HEAVEN; AND THEIR INHABITANTS, SPIRITS AND ANGELS
AC 9438. They who are in heaven can speak and be in company with angels and spirits, not only from the earths in this solar system, but also with those who are from earths in the universe outside this system; and not only with spirits and angels therefrom, but also with the inhabitants themselves there whose interiors have been opened so that they are able to hear those who speak from heaven. The same is possible for a man during his life in the world, to whom it has been granted by the Lord to speak with spirits and angels; for as to his interiors a man is a spirit and angel, the body which he carries about in the world being merely of service to him for activities in this natural or earthly sphere, which is the ultimate one.
 But to no one is it given to speak as a spirit and angel with angels and spirits, unless he is of such a character that he can be consociated with them in respect to faith and love; and he cannot be so consociated unless he has faith in the Lord and love to the Lord, because a man is conjoined through faith in Him, thus through the truths of doctrine, and through love to Him; and when he has been conjoined with Him, he is safe from the attack of evil spirits who are from hell. With others the interiors cannot be opened at all, because they are not in the Lord
 This is the reason why at the present day it is given to few to speak and be in company with angels. A plain proof of this is that at the present day the existence of spirits and angels is scarcely credited, still less that they are with every man, and that through them man has connection with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. And still less is it believed that when a man dies as to his body, he lives a spirit, also in a human form as before.
AC 9439. As, with most in the church at this day, there is no faith in the life after death, and scarcely any in heaven, or in the Lord as being the God of heaven and earth; therefore the interiors of my spirit have been opened by the Lord, so that I may, while in the body, be at the same time with the angels in heaven, and not only speak with them, but also see there amazing things, and describe the same; lest perchance hereafter people may say, Who has come to us from heaven, and told us that it exists, and what there is there? But I know that those who have previously at heart denied a heaven and a hell, and the life after death, will still harden themselves against them, and will deny them; for it is easier to make a raven white, than to cause those to believe who have once at heart rejected faith. But let the things which have thus far been shown concerning heaven and hell and the life after death, be for those few who are in faith. That the rest, however, may be brought to something of acknowledgment, it has been granted that I should relate such things as delight and attract the man who is desirous of having knowledge; and which at present shall be about the earths in the universe.
AC 9440. He who is not acquainted with the arcana of heaven, may believe it to be impossible for a man to see earths which are so remote, and from the evidence of the senses to give any account of them. But he should know that in their first cause and origin, the spaces and distances, and consequently the progressions, which appear in the spiritual world, are changes of state of the interiors, and that they appear with angels and spirits in accordance with these changes; and that by means of such changes angels and spirits can be translated from one place to another, and from one earth to another, even to earths which are at the end of the universe. And so can a man in respect to his spirit, his body still remaining in its own place. So too has it been done with me, for of the Lord‘s Divine mercy it has been given me to be in company with spirits as a spirit, and at the same time with men as a man. That in heaven the spaces and distances, and consequently the progressions, are appearances arising from changes of state of the interiors, (n. 5605). A sensuous man cannot conceive that in respect to his spirit a man can be translated in this manner, because such a man is in space and in time, and measures his progressions according to these.
AC 9441. Everyone can see that there are many worlds, from the fact that so many stars appear in the universe, and it is known in the learned world that every star is like a sun in its own place, for it remains fixed as the sun of our earth does in its place; and that the distance causes it to appear in a small form like a star; consequently that, like the sun of our system, it has planets revolving around it, which are earths. For what else could there be so great a heaven with so many stars? For the end of the creation of the universe is man; in order that from man there may be an angelic heaven. But what would mankind and an angelic heaven from one single earth be for the infinite Creator, for whom a thousand earths, nay, tens of thousands of them, would not suffice? A calculation has been made, that if there were in the universe one million earths, and on every earth three hundred million men, and two hundred generations within six thousand years, and that to every man there was allotted a space of three cubic ells, the sum of so many men collected into one mass would not occupy a space equal to a thousandth part of this earth; thus not the space of one of the satellites of Jupiter or Saturn; which would be a space in the universe too small to be seen; for any satellite of Jupiter or Saturn is barely visible to the naked eye. And what would this be for the Creator of the universe, to whom the whole universe, if so filled up, would not suffice; for He is infinite. In speaking on this subject with the angels, they said that they have a similar idea concerning the fewness of the human race relatively to the infinity of the Creator; but that still they do not think from spaces, but from states; and that according to their idea, supposing the number of earths to be as many myriads as could possibly be conceived of in thought, they would still be absolutely nothing to the Lord; moreover, that the angelic heaven, of which the human race is the seminary, corresponds to all things that are in man; and that such a heaven cannot be built up of angels from one earth, but only from innumerable earths.
AC 9442. But concerning the earths in the starry heaven, something shall be said in what follows, from experience itself; from which it will be seen how I have been repeatedly translated thither in respect to my spirit; my body remaining in its own place. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page