Spiritual background for EXODUS 9    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Exodus  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY

AC 7488. From all that has been said about the loves of self and of the world, it is evident that all evils spring from them, and because all evils spring from them, so do all falsities; and on the other hand, from love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor spring all goods, and because all goods spring from them, so do all truths.

AC 7489. This being the case, it is evident that in so far as a man is in the loves of self and of the world, so far he is not in love toward the neighbor, still less in love to the Lord; for these are opposites.

AC 7490. It is also evident that in so far as a man is in the loves of self and of the world, so far he does not know what charity is, until at last he does not know that it exists; also that so far the man does not know what faith is, until at last he does not know that it is anything; and that so far the man does not know what conscience is, until at last he does not know that it exists; nay, that so far the man does not know what the spiritual is, nor what the life of heaven; and finally that he does not believe there is a heaven and a hell; consequently he does not believe that there is a life after death. These are the effects of the loves of self and of the world when they reign.

AC 7491. The good of heavenly love and the truth of its faith continually flow in from the Lord, but are not received where the loves of self and of the world reign; but on the contrary where these loves reign, that is, are continually in the thought, are the end, are in the will, and make the life, the good and truth which flow in from the Lord are either rejected, or extinguished, or perverted.

AC 7492. With those with whom they are rejected, the good which is of love and the truth which is of faith are held in contempt, and also in aversion. With those with whom they are extinguished, the good of love and the truth of faith are denied, and the contrary evils and falsities are affirmed. But with those with whom they are perverted, the good of love and the truth of faith are misinterpreted and are applied to favor evil and its falsity.

AC 7493. The loves of self and of the world with man begin to reign when he comes to years of discretion and self-government; for then the man begins to think from himself or from his own, and to appropriate these loves to himself, and this the more as he confirms himself in a life of evil. In so far as a man appropriates evils to himself, so far the Lord separates the good of innocence and charity which the man has received in infancy and childhood and at times afterward, and stores them up in his interiors; for the good of innocence and the good of charity can in no wise abide with the evils of these loves; and the Lord is not willing that they should perish.

AC 7494. They therefore who either pervert or extinguish or reject in themselves the good of love and the truth of faith, have no life in them; for the life which is from the Divine is to will good and believe truth. But they who do not will good but evil, nor believe truth but falsity, have what is contrary to life. This contrary to life is hell, and is called "death," and they are called "dead." That the life of love and faith is called "life," also "eternal life," and that they who have it in themselves are called "living men;" and that the contrary of life is called "death," also "eternal death," and such men "dead," is evident from many passages in the Word (Matt. 4:16; 8:21, 22; 18:8, 9; 19:16, 17, 29; John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24, 25; 6:33, 35, 47, 48, 50, 51, 53, 57, 58, 63; 8:21, 24, 51; 10:10; 11:25, 26; 14:6, 19; 17:2, 3; 20:31).

CONTINUATION ABOUT THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH MARS

AC 7620. I saw a certain most beautiful flame; it was of various colors, crimson, and also from white reddening, and the colors likewise sparkled beautifully from the flame. I saw also a certain hand, which did not hold this flame, but to which it adhered, at first on the back part, afterward on the palm or hollow of the hand, and thence it played around the hand. This continued for some time. Then the hand together with the flame were removed to a distance, and where they rested, there was light; in this light the hand withdrew, and then the flame was changed into a bird, which at first had like colors with the flame, the colors in like manner sparkling. But the colors gradually changed, and with the colors the vigor of life in the bird. It flew around, and at first about my head, then forward into a kind of narrow chamber; and as it flew forward, its life in proportion departed, until at last it became stone, at first of the color of a pearl, afterward dark; but although devoid of life, it continued flying.

AC 7621. While the bird was flying about my head, and was still in the vigor of life, there was seen a spirit rising up from beneath, through the region of the loins to that of the breast, who desired to take away the bird from that place. But because it was so beautiful, the spirits around me prevented him from taking it away; for they all kept their eyes upon it. Then the spirit who rose up from beneath strongly persuaded them that the Lord was with him, and thus that he did this from the Lord. And although most of the spirits about me did not believe this, because he rose up from beneath, they no longer hindered him from taking away the bird; but as heaven then flowed in, he could not retain it, but presently let it fly out of his hand at liberty.

AC 7622. When this had passed, the spirits who were about me who had gazed intently upon the bird and its successive changes, began to converse together about it, and this for a long time. They perceived that such a sight must signify something heavenly. They knew that a flame signifies celestial love and its affections; that a hand, to which the flame adhered, signifies life and its power; that changes of color signify varieties of life in respect to wisdom and intelligence; that a bird signifies the same, but with this difference, that a flame signifies celestial love and what is of this love, whereas a bird signifies spiritual love and what is of this love; celestial love is love to the Lord, and spiritual love is mutual love and charity toward the neighbor; and the changes of color and likewise of life in the bird until it became stone, signify successive varieties of spiritual life in respect to intelligence. They also knew that the spirits who ascend from beneath through the region of the loins to that of the breast, are in a strong persuasion that they are in the Lord, and thence believe that all that they do, even though evil and wicked, is done according to the Lordís will. Nevertheless they could not from this know who were meant by this sight. At last they were instructed from heaven that the inhabitants of Mars were meant; that their celestial love, in which many of them still are, was signified by the flame which adhered to the hand; and their wisdom and intelligence by the successive variations of color; and that the bird in the beginning, when it was in the beauty of its colors and the vigor of its life, signified their spiritual love; but that the bird becoming as of stone and void of life, and then of a dark color, signified the inhabitants who had removed themselves from the good of love, and are in evil, and yet believe that they are in the Lord. But as more things have been disclosed and also shown as to those inhabitants who are of this quality, and as to the state of their life, I may relate them at the end of the following chapter.

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