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AR Chapter 9
AR 463. To this I will add this Relation.
I looked forth to the seacoast in the spiritual world, and saw there a magnificent dock. I drew near, and looked at it; and, behold, there were vessels there great and small, and merchandise in them of every kind; and upon the decks were boys and girls distributing it to those that wished. And they said, "We are waiting to see our beautiful tortoises, which now and then rise up to us out of the sea." And, behold, I saw tortoises great and small, upon whose shells and scales young tortoises were sitting, which were looking at the islands around. The father tortoises had two heads, the one large, covered over with a shell similar to the shell of their body, whence they had a reddish glow; and the other small, such as tortoises have, which they drew back into the front parts of the body, and also to insert in an unobserved manner in the larger head. But I kept my eyes on the great reddish head; and I saw that this had a face like a man, and spoke with the boys and girls upon the decks, and licked their hands. And the boys and girls then stroked them, and gave them eatables and dainties, and also costly things, as pure silk for garments, thyine wood for tablets, purple for decorations, and scarlet for paints. Seeing these things, I desired to know what they represented; as I knew that all the things that appear in the world of spirits are correspondences, and represent something spiritual coming down from heaven. And they then spoke with me out of heaven, and said, "You yourself know what the dock represents, also what the ships, and the boys and the girls upon the decks; but you do not know what the tortoises represent." And they said, "The tortoises represent those of the clergy there, who altogether separate faith from charity and its good works, affirming in themselves that there is plainly no conjunction between them; but that the Holy Spirit, through faith in God the Father for the sake of the Son’s merit, enters into a man, and purifies his interiors even to his own will, out of which they make as it were an oval plane; and that when the operation of the Holy Spirit approaches this plane, it bends itself around it on the left side, and does not at all touch it: and thus that the interior or higher part of a man‘s nature is for God, and that the exterior or lower is for man; and that thus nothing that the man does, neither good nor evil, appears before God: not the good, because this is meritorious; and not the evil, because this is evil since, if these appeared before God, the man would perish from both; and since it is so, that man is permitted to will, think, speak, and do whatever he pleases, provided he is careful before the world." I asked whether they also assert that it is permitted to think of God, that He is not omnipresent and omniscient? They said from heaven, that "this also is permitted them; because God, in him who has once been purified and so justified, does not look at anything of his thought and will; and that he still retains in the interior bosom or higher region of the mind or nature the faith which he had received in its first operation; and that that operation may sometimes return, when the man does not know it. These are the things which the small head represents, which they draw into the fore parts of the body, and conceal, and also insert in the great head, when they speak with the laity: for they do not speak with them from the small head, but from the large one, which appears in front as furnished with a human face. And they speak with them from the Word concerning love, charity, good works, the precepts of the Decalogue, repentance, and they quote from the Word almost all the things that are there on these subjects. But they then insert the small head into the large one, from which they understand inwardly in themselves, that all those things are not to be done for the sake of God, of heaven, and of salvation; but only on account of the public and private good. But because they speak concerning these things from the Word, especially concerning the Gospel, the operation of the Holy Spirit, and salvation, agreeably and elegantly, they therefore appear before their hearers as handsome men, and as wise above all others in the whole world. For which reason also you saw that rich and precious things were given to them by the boys and girls that sat upon the decks of the vessels. It is these, therefore, whom you saw represented as tortoises. In your world they are little distinguished from others, only by this, that they believe themselves to be wiser than all, and laugh at others, especially at their companions who they say are not wise as themselves, and whom they despise. They carry a kind of small seal with them on their garments, by which they are known to one another." He that spake with me said, "I shall not tell you what they think concerning other matters of faith; as election, free agency, Baptism, the Holy Supper; which are such things as they do not divulge, but we in heaven know. But because they are such in the world, and after death it is not permitted anyone to speak otherwise than he thinks, therefore because they cannot then do otherwise than speak from the insane things of their thoughts, they are reputed as insane, and are cast out of the societies, and are at length let down into the pit of the abyss, and become corporeal spirits, and appear like mummies: for a callousness is induced over the interiors of their minds, because in the world also they had interposed a barrier. There is an infernal society of them on the confines of the infernal society from the Machiavellists, and they sometimes enter from the one into the other, and call themselves companions; but they go away because there is a diversity, on this account, that there was with them something religious concerning faith in act, but none with the Machiavellists. Afterwards I saw them cast out of the societies, and gathered together to be cast down; there was seen a vessel in the air flying with seven sails, and therein officers and sailors clothed in a purple dress, having magnificent laurels upon their hats, crying, "Lo, we are in heaven; we are the purple-robed doctors, and crowned with laurel above all, because we are the chief of the wise from all the clergy in Europe." I wondered what this was; and it was said to me that they were images of the pride, and the ideal thoughts which are called fantasies, from those who were before seen as tortoises, and now as the insane ones cast out of the societies, and gathered together into one, and they stood together in one place. And I then desired to speak with them; and I approached the place where they were standing, and saluted them, and said, "Are you they who have separated men’s internals from their externals, and the operation of the Holy Spirit as in faith from its cooperation with man outside of faith, and so have separated God from man? Have you not thus removed not only charity itself and its works, from faith, like many other doctors from the clergy, but also faith itself as to its manifestation before God, from man? But, I pray, Do you wish that I should speak with you on this matter from reason, or from the Sacred Scripture?" They said, "Speak first from reason." And I spoke, saying, "How can the internal and the external with a man be separated? Who does not see, or cannot see, from common perception, that all of a man‘s interiors proceed and are continued into his exteriors and even into the outermosts, that they may produce their effects and do their works? Are not the internals for the sake of the externals, that they may terminate in them, and subsist in them, and so exist, scarcely otherwise than as a column does upon its pedestal? You can see that if there were not continuation, and so conjunction, the outermosts would be dissolved, and would disperse like bubbles in the air. Who can deny that the interior operations of God with men are myriads of myriads, of which man knows nothing. And what use is it to know them, provided he knows the outermosts, in which he is together with God in his thought and will. But this shall be illustrated by an example. Does a man know the interior operations of his speech? as how the lungs draw in the air, and fill the vesicles, the bronchia, and the lobes with it? how it emits this air into the trachea, and there turns it into sound? how that sound is modified in the glottis by the help of the larynx? and how the tongue then articulates it, and the lips complete the articulation, so that it becomes speech? All these interior operations, of which the man knows nothing, are they not for the sake of the outermost, that man may be able to speak? Remove or separate one of those internal things from its continuous connection with the outermosts, could the man speak any more than a stock? Take another example. The two hands are the ultimates of man. Are there not interiors, which are continued thither? They are from the head through the neck, then through the breast, the shoulders, the arms, and the forearms; and there are the innumerable muscular textures, the numberless orders of the moving fibres, the innumerable bundles of the nerves and blood-vessels, and the many connections of the bones with their membranes and ligaments. Does man know anything concerning these? and yet his hands are operated from all of them. Suppose that those interiors around the elbow were turned to the left, and did not enter the hand; would not the hand from the elbow pine away, and go to decay like something torn off without life? Indeed, if you are willing to believe it, it would be as with the body, if the man were beheaded. It would be altogether similar with the will and thought of man, if the Divine operation should cease before it reaches them, and not flow into them. These things are according to reason. Now if you are willing to hear it, these same things are also according to the Sacred Scripture. Does not the Lord say:--
Abide in me, and I in you; I am the Vine, and ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye cannot do anything (John 15:4, 5)?
Is not the fruit the good works which the Lord does through the man, and which the man does as of himself? Does not the Lord also say that:--
He stands at the door and knocks; and that to him who opens He will enter in, and will sup with him, and he with Him (Apoc. 3:20)?
Does not the Lord Give the pounds and the talents, that man may trade with them, and get gain; and as he gains, give him eternal life (Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:13-26)?
He gives reward to everyone according to his labor in His vineyard (Matt. 20:1-17).
These are but a few passages. Pages might he filled from the Word concerning this, that man ought to produce fruit as a tree; he should do the commandments, love God and the neighbor, and other like things. But I know that your own intelligence can hold no such principle, as it really is, in common with the Word, which although you quote, still your ideas pervert it. And you cannot do otherwise, because you remove all the things of God away from man as regards communication and thence conjunction. What then remains, except also all the things of worship?" They were afterwards seen by me in the light of heaven, which discloses and makes manifest what the quality of each one is; and then they were not seen as before in a vessel in the air as it were in heaven, nor in purple garments, nor with heads crowned with laurel; but in a sandy place, and in garments of rags, and girded with fishing nets as it were around the loins; through which their nakedness appeared; and they were then sent down into the society on the confines next the Machiavellists, spoken of above.