Spiritual background for EXODUS 32    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Exodus  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY AND FAITH

AC 10386. Baptism was instituted as a sign that the man belongs to the church, and as a memorial that he is to be regenerated; for the washing of Baptism is nothing else than spiritual washing, which is regeneration.

AC 10387. All regeneration is effected by the Lord by means of the truths of faith and a life according to them. Therefore Baptism testifies that the man belongs to the church, and that he can be regenerated; for in the church the Lord is acknowledged, who regenerates; and in it is the Word which contains the truths of faith whereby regeneration is effected.

AC 10388. This the Lord teaches in John:--

Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5);

in the spiritual sense "water" denotes the truth of faith from the Word; "the spirit" denotes a life according to this truth; and "to be born" of these denotes to be regenerated.

AC 10389. As everyone who is regenerated also undergoes temptations, which are spiritual combats against evils and falsities, therefore by the waters of Baptism these temptations also are signified.

AC 10390. As Baptism is for a sign and a memorial of these things, therefore a man may be baptized when an infant, and if not then, when an adult.

AC 10391. Be it known therefore by those who are baptized, that Baptism itself does not confer faith, or salvation; but that it testifies that men receive faith, and that they are saved, if they are regenerated.

AC 10392. From this it can be seen what is meant by the Lordís words in Mark:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned (Mark 16:16);

"he that believeth" is he who acknowledges the Lord and receives Divine truths from Him through the Word; "he that is baptized" is he who is regenerated by the Lord by means of these truth.

CONTINUATION ABOUT THE THIRD EARTH IN THE STARRY HEAVEN

AC 10513. There were represented before the spirits of that earth magnificent palaces, after the likeness of those in which kings and princes dwell on our earth; for such things can be represented before spirits, and when represented they appear exactly as if they were real. But the spirits from that earth held them in no estimation, calling them marble effigies. And then they told us that with them there are things more magnificent, but that these are their holy edifices, not of stone, but of wood. And when it was said to them that these too are earthly things, they answered that they are not earthly, but heavenly, because when they behold them they have not an earthly idea, but a heavenly one, believing that they will see the like in heaven after death.

AC 10514. They also represented their holy edifices before the spirits of our earth, who said that they had never seen anything more magnificent. They were also represented to me, and the manner of their construction was consequently seen. They are constructed of trees, not cut down, but growing in their native soil. They said that on that earth there are trees of extraordinary growth and height. These they set in rows when young, that they may serve for porticoes and arboreal walks; and while their branches are tender they adapt and prepare them by means of cuttings and prunings to entwine one with another and join themselves together, so as to form the groundwork and floor of the edifice to be constructed; and other branches at the sides rise to serve as walls; and yet others bend into arches above to form the roof. In this manner they construct the edifice with wonderful art, raised high above the ground. They also prepare an ascent into it by means of continuous branches of trees, stretched out and firmly connected together. Moreover they adorn this edifice in various ways, both without and within, by fastening the leaves together into forms. So do they build an entire grove. But it was not granted me to see the nature of the interior of these edifices, except that the light of their sun is let in through openings between the branches, and is everywhere transmitted through crystals, whereby the light all round the walls is variegated into colors like those of the rainbow, especially the colors blue and orange, which they love more than the other colors. Such is the nature of their architecture, which they prefer to the most magnificent palaces of our earth, and which was also esteemed and praised above these by the spirits of our earth.

AC 10515. They said further that the inhabitants do not dwell in high places, but upon the ground in low cottages, because high places are for the Lord who is in heaven, and low ones are for men who are on earth. Their cottages were also shown me. They were oblong, having within along the walls a continuous bench on which they lie, one behind another. On the side opposite to the entrance, where it is rounded, there is a table, and behind it a fireplace, from which the whole chamber is illuminated. In the fireplace however, there is no fire burning, but luminous wood which emits from itself as much light as does the flame of a fireplace. They said that in the evening these logs appear as if there were in them a fire of burning coal.

AC 10516. They said that they do not live in societies, but each household by itself, and that they are in societies when they come together for worship; and that then those who teach walk beneath the edifice in the porticoes, and the rest at the sides, and that in these meetings they have interior joys, from the sight of the edifice, and from the worship therein.

AC 10517. Besides all this they are upright, insomuch that they may be called probities. They bear the injuries done them without any revengeful feeling. They become anxious as soon as they approach those who think about bodily and earthly things, but glad and cheerful on approaching those who think about heavenly things. The anxiety excited in them by the spirits of our earth who were about me, on account of these being of a contrary nature, was plainly perceived. For the spirits of our earth think little about heavenly things, and much about bodily and earthly things; and when they think about heavenly things, they think about truths, and not about good; whereas the spirits from that earth think about good, and but little about truths. From this it is that the inhabitants of that earth love plantations of trees, and their sacred edifice made of trees; and that they hold in aversion works of stone and houses of stone; for trees and wood from the correspondence signify goods, whereas stones and houses built of stone signify truths (n. 3720). Moreover man is such that he loves those things which correspond to his interior affections, although during his life in the world he does not know this.

AC 10518. A fourth earth in the starry heaven, together with its spirits and inhabitants, will be described at the end of the following chapter.

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