Spiritual background for EXODUS 38previous - next - text - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY AND FAITH
AC 10773. The government of the Lord in the heavens and on earth is called Providence. And as all the good which is of love, and all the truth which is of faith, are from Him, and absolutely nothing from man, it is evident from this that the Divine Providence of the Lord is in each and all things that conduce to the salvation of the human race. This the Lord thus teaches in John:--
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the name, so neither can ye, except ye abide in Me: without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:4, 5).
AC 10774. Moreover the Divine Providence of the Lord is over the veriest singulars of man’s life; for there is one only fountain of life, which is the Lord, from whom we live and act and have our being.
AC 10775. Those who think about the Divine Providence from worldly things, conclude from these that it is only universal, and that the singulars appertain to man. But these persons are not acquainted with the arcana of heaven, for they form their conclusions solely from the loves of self and of the world and their pleasures; and therefore when they see the evil exalted to honors, and gaining wealth rather than the good; and also that the evil succeed in accordance with their skill, they say in their hearts that it would not be so if the Divine Providence were in each and all things. But these persons do not consider that the Divine Providence does not look to that which is fleeting and transitory, and which comes to an end together with the life of man in the world; but that it looks to that which remains to eternity, thus which has no end. That which has no end is; but that which has an end, relatively as not.
AC 10776. Everyone who duly reflects is able to know that eminence and wealth in the world are not real Divine blessings, although from the pleasure in them men so call them; for they pass away, and likewise seduce many, and turn them away from heaven; but that life in heaven and happiness there are the real blessings which are from the Divine. This the Lord also teaches in Luke:--
Make for yourselves treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where thief draweth not near, nor moth destroyeth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:33, 34).
AC 10777. The reason why the evil succeed in accordance with their skill, is that it is according to order that everyone should do what he does from reason and also from freedom; and therefore unless it were left to a man to act in freedom according to his reason, and thus also unless the consequent arts succeeded, the man could not possibly be disposed to receive eternal life, because this is insinuated when the man is in freedom, and his reason is enlightened. For no one can be compelled to good, because nothing compulsory cleaves to the man, for it is not his. That becomes the man‘s own which is done from freedom, for that which is from the will is done from freedom, and the will is the man himself; and therefore unless a man is kept in the freedom to do evil also, good from the Lord cannot be provided for him.
AC 10778. To leave man from his freedom to do evil also, is called permission.
AC 10779. To be led to happiness in the world by means of his skill, appears to the man as if it were done from his own sagacity. Nevertheless the Divine Providence continually accompanies by permitting and by constantly withdrawing from evil. But to be led to happiness in heaven is known and perceived not to be of man’s own sagacity, because it is from the Lord, and is effected from His Divine Providence by disposing and continually leading to good.
AC 10780. That this is the case a man cannot apprehend from the light of nature, for from this light he does not know the laws of Divine order.
AC 10781. Be it known that there is providence and there is foresight. Good is that which is provided by the Lord, but evil is that which is foreseen by the Lord. The one must be with the other, for that which comes from man is nothing but evil; but that which comes from the Lord is nothing but good.
ON A SIXTH EARTH IN THE STARRY HEAVEN
AC 10783. Once more was I conducted to another earth that was in the universe outside our solar world, and this also by means of changes of state continued for about twelve hours. In company with me there were a number of spirits and angels from our earth, with whom I conversed on the way or during the progression. I was carried sometimes obliquely upward, and sometimes obliquely downward, continually toward the south In two places only did I see spirits, and in one I spoke to them.
AC 10784. On the way, or doing this progression, it was given me to observe how immense is the Lord‘s heaven that is for the angels. For from the regions not inhabited it was given me to conclude that it is so immense that if there were many myriads of earths, and in each as great a multitude of men as in our own, still there would he room for them to eternity, and it would never be filled. This I could conclude from a comparison made with the extent of the heaven which is about our earth, and for it.
AC 10785. When the angelic spirits who were from that earth came into view, they accosted us, asking who we were, and what we desired. We said that we were travelers, and that we had been conveyed thither, and that they need not be afraid of us. For they were afraid that we were of those who disturb them about God, about faith, and about other like things, on account of whom they had betaken themselves into that quarter of their earth, avoiding them wherever they could. They were asked by what those persons disturb them. They replied, By the idea of Three, and by the idea of a Divinity in God without any Humanity, when yet they know and perceive that God is one, and that He is a Man. It was then perceived that those who disturbed them, and whom they fled from, were from our earth. This was perceived also from the fact that those in the other life who wander about in this way from an eagerness and delight in traveling which they contracted in the world, are from our earth; for on other earths there are no such travelings about. It was afterward found that their visitors were monks who had traveled about on our globe from a zeal for converting the Gentiles; and therefore we said that they do well to avoid them, because their intention is not to teach, but to get rich, and to rule; and that they first take pains to captivate the minds of others, and then they subject them to themselves as slaves. We also said that they do well in not suffering their own idea about the Lord to be disturbed by such persons.
AC 10786. They said further that these persons also confuse them by telling them that they ought to have faith, and to believe all that they say; and that they reply to them that they do not know what faith is, or what it is to believe, seeing that they perceive within themselves that the thing is so. For they were of the Lord’s celestial kingdom, where all know from interior perception the truths which with us are called truths of faith, because they are in enlightenment from the Lord, differently from those who are in the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom That they were of this nature it was also given to see from the flame-like source of their ideas. When there is discourse about truths, those who are of the Lord’s celestial kingdom say no more than Yea, yea, or Nay, nay; and they never reason about them as to whether they are so or are not so. These are they of whom the Lord says, "Let your communication he, Yea, yea; Nay, nay that which is more than these is from evil." From this it is that these spirits said that they do not know what it is to have faith, or to believe. They consider this to be like some one telling his companion, who sees houses or trees with his own eyes, that he ought to have faith or believe that they are houses and trees, while he clearly sees that such is the fact. Such are they who belong to the Lord‘s celestial kingdom, and such were these angelic spirits. We told them that there are few on our earth who have interior perception, for the reason that in their youth they learn truths and do not practise them. For man has two faculties, which are called the understanding and the will; and as those who do not admit truths further than into the memory and thus a little into the understanding, but not into the life, that is, into the will, cannot be in any enlightenment or in interior sight from the Lord, they say that things must be believed, or that people must have faith. And they also reason about these things as to whether they are true or not; nay, they do not wish them to be perceived by any interior sight or understanding. They speak in this way because with them truths are devoid of light from heaven, and to those who see without light from heaven, falsities can appear as truths, and truths as falsities. From this a blindness so great has taken possession of many there, that although a man does not practise truths, that is, live according to them, they nevertheless say that he can be saved by faith alone.
AC 10787. We afterward spoke to them about the Lord, about love to Him, about love toward the neighbor, and about regeneration, saying that to love the Lord is to love the commandments which are from Him, that is, to live according to them from this love; that love toward the neighbor is to will good and from this to do good to one’s fellow-citizen, to our country, to the church, to the Lord‘s kingdom, not for the sake of self, to be seen, or to have merit; but from the affection of good. With regard to regeneration, we said that those who are being regenerated by the Lord, and who introduce truths at once into the life, come into interior perception about them; but that those who receive truths first in the memory, and then in the understanding, and finally in the will, are those who are in faith; for they act from faith, which is then called conscience. They said that they perceived these things to be so, consequently also what faith is.
AC 10788. A continuation about this sixth earth in the starry heaven will be found at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - BM Home - Full Page