Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
VII. IT IS A LAW OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT MAN SHOULD NOT BE COMPELLED BY EXTERNAL MEANS TO THINK AND WILL, AND THUS TO BELIEVE AND LOVE, THE THINGS OF RELIGION, BUT SHOULD PERSUADE AND AT TIMES COMPEL HIMSELF TO DO SO
 A man may be compelled to say that he thinks and wills the things of religion, and that he believes and loves them; but if they are not, or do not become, matters of affection and consequently of his reason, he nevertheless does not think, will, believe and love them. A man may also be compelled to speak in favour of religion and to act according to it; but he cannot be compelled to think in favour of it from any faith in it, or to will the things of religion from any love of it. Moreover, in kingdoms where justice and judgment are guarded, everyone is restrained from speaking and acting against religion; but still no one can be compelled to think and will in favour of it. For it is within the liberty of everyone to think with hell and to will in its favour, and also to think and will in favour of heaven; but reason teaches what man’s nature is in the one case and in the other, and the nature of his abiding lot; and it is from reason that the will has liberty to choose and make its selection.
 From these considerations it can be seen that the external may not compel the internal; nevertheless, this is sometimes done, but that it is pernicious will be shown in the following order:
 The state of man’s thought is such that from the internal of his thought he sees a thing in the external of his thought as in a kind of mirror; for, as was said above, a man is able to see his own thought, and this is only possible from a more interior thought. When he sees the thing as in a mirror, he can also turn it this way and that, and shape it until it appears to him to be a thing of beauty. If this is a truth it may be compared to a maiden or a youth, beautiful and living. If, however, the man cannot turn it this way and that and shape it, but can only believe it from the persuasion induced by a miracle, it may be compared, if it is then a truth, to a maiden or a youth carved from stone or wood, in which there is no life. It may also be compared to an object that is constantly before the sight and, being alone seen, hides from view everything that is on either side of it and behind it. Again, it may be compared to a continual sound in the ear that takes away the perception of harmony arising from many sounds. Such blindness and deafness are induced on the human mind by miracles. It is the same with everything that is confirmed which is not seen with some degree of rationality before being confirmed.
 Miracles were wrought among the people of Judah and Israel because they were a wholly external people; and they were led into the land of Canaan solely in order that they might represent the Church and its internal things by means of the external things of worship, a wicked man equally with a good man being able to represent. For external things are the rituals, all of which with them signified spiritual and celestial things. Aaron indeed, although he made the golden calf and commanded the worship of it (Exod. 32:2, 3, 4, 5, 35), could nevertheless represent the Lord and His work of salvation. Since they could not be led by means of the internal things of worship to represent these things, therefore they were led, even driven and compelled by miracles to do so.
 They could not be led to such representation because they did not acknowledge the Lord, although the whole Word which was among them treats of Him alone; and he who does not acknowledge the Lord cannot receive any internal of worship; but after the Lord manifested Himself and was received and acknowledged in the Churches as the eternal God, miracles ceased.
DP 134. II. NO ONE IS REFORMED BY VISIONS AND BY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DEAD, BECAUSE THEY COMPEL. Visions are of two kinds, Divine and diabolical. Divine visions are produced by means of representatives in heaven, and diabolical visions by means of magic in hell. There are also fantastic visions, which are the delusions of a distracted mind. Divine visions, which as has been said, are produced by representatives in heaven, are such as the prophets had, who were not in the body but in the spirit when they were in them; for visions cannot appear to anyone in a state of bodily wakefulness. When, therefore, they appeared to the prophets it is said also that they were then in the spirit, as is evident from the following passages:
The spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision (of God), in the Spirit of God, into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. (Ezek. 11:1, 24).
That the spirit lifted him up between the earth and the heaven, and brought him in the visions of God to Jerusalem, (Ezek. 8:3, 4).
In like manner he was in a vision of God or in the spirit when he saw four living creatures, which were cherubim, (Ezekiel 1:1; 10:1). As also when
he saw the new temple and the new earth, and the angel measuring them, (Ezekiel 40:40-48).
That he was then in the visions of God, (Ezek. 40:2, 26).
That he was in the spirit, (Ezekiel 43:5).
 Zechariah was in a similar state,
When he saw a man riding among the myrtle trees. (Zech. 1:8).
When he saw the four horns (Zech. 1:18);
and a man in whose hand was a measuring line, (Zech. 2:1-3).
When he saw a candlestick and two olive trees, (Zech. 4:1).
When he saw a flying roll and an ephah, (Zech. 5:1-6).
When he saw four chariots coming out from between four (A.V. two) mountains and horses, (Zech. 6:1).
Daniel was in a similar state,
When he saw four beasts coming up from the sea. (Dan. 7:1).
And when he saw the combat between the ram and the he-goat, (Dan. 8:1).
That he saw these things in a vision of his spirit is stated, (Dan. 7:1, 2, 7, 13; 8:2; 10:1, 7, 8). And that the angel Gabriel was seen by him in a vision, (Dan. 9:21).
 John also was in a vision of the spirit when he saw the things which he has described in the Revelation:
As when he saw seven candlesticks and in the midst of them the Son of Man. (Rev. 1:12-16).
When he saw a throne in heaven, and One sitting on the throne, and four animals which were cherubim round about it, (Rev. 4:1).
When he saw the book of life taken by the Lamb, (Rev. 5:1).
When he saw horses going out from the book, (Rev. 6:1).
When he saw seven angels with trumpets, (Rev. 8:1).
When he saw the bottomless pit opened, and locusts going out of it, (Rev. 9:1).
When he saw the dragon, and his combat with Michael, (Rev. 12:1).
When he saw two beasts, one rising up out of the sea, and the other out of the earth, (Rev. 13:1).
When he saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast, (Rev. 17:1).
And Babylon destroyed, (Rev. 18:1).
When he saw a white horse and Him that sat upon it, (Rev. 19:1).
When he saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the Holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, (Rev. 21:1).
And when he saw the river of the water of life, (Rev. 22:1).
It is stated that he saw these things in a vision of the spirit, (Rev. 1:10; 4:2; 5:1; 6:1; 21:1, 2).
 Such were the visions that appeared from heaven, before the sight of their spirit and not before the sight of their body. Such visions do not appear at the present day; for if they did they would not be understood, because they are produced by means of representatives, the particulars of which signify internal things of the Church and spiritual truths of heaven. It is also foretold by Daniel (Daniel 9:24), that these visions would cease when the Lord came into the world. However, infernal visions have sometimes appeared, induced by fanatical and visionary spirits who, from the madness which possessed them, called themselves the Holy Spirit. But these spirits have now been gathered together by the Lord and cast into a hell separate from the hells of others. From these things it is clear that no one can be reformed by any other visions than those which are recorded in the Word. There are also fantastic visions, but these are mere illusions of a distracted mind.
I pray thee father Abraham, that thou wouldest send Lazarus (A.V. him) to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him: They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. And he said: Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him: If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:27-31).
Conversation with the dead would have the same effect as miracles, about which something has just been said above, namely, that a man might indeed be persuaded and driven to worship for a short time. But as this deprives him of rationality and at the same time shuts in his evils, as was said above, this spell or internal restraint is loosed, and the evils that have been shut in break out with blasphemy and profanation. This happens, however, only when spirits induce upon the mind some religious dogma; and this is never done by any good spirit, still less by any angel of heaven.
 First: The external cannot compel the internal, but the internal can compel the external. Who can be compelled to believe and to love? One can no more be compelled to believe than to think that a thing is so when he thinks that it is not so; and one can no more be compelled to love than to will what he does not will, for belief belongs to the thought and love to the will. There is, however, an internal which may be restrained by the external from speaking ill against the laws of the kingdom, the moralities of life and the sanctities of the Church. To this extent the internal may be compelled by threats and punishments; and it, moreover, is compelled and ought to be. This internal, however, is not the human internal that is properly so-called: it is an internal that man has in common with beasts; and beasts can be compelled. The human internal has its seat above this animal internal; and it is the human internal that is here meant, and it cannot be compelled.
 Second: The internal is so averse to compulsion by the external that it turns itself away. This is because the internal wishes to be in freedom, and loves freedom, for freedom belongs to the love or life of man, as was shown above. Therefore, when freedom feels itself being compelled it withdraws as it were within itself and turns itself away, and regards compulsion as its enemy; for the love that constitutes the life of man is irritated and causes the man to think that in this matter he is not master of himself, and consequently that his life is not his own. Man’s internal is such from the law of the Divine Providence of the Lord that man should act from freedom according to reason.
 From this it is clear that it is harmful to compel men to Divine worship by threats and punishments. There are, however, some who suffer themselves to be forced to religion and some who do not. Many Roman Catholic people suffer themselves to be so compelled, but this takes place with those in whose worship there is nothing internal, but all is external. Many of the English nation do not suffer themselves to be compelled, and as a consequence of this there is an internal in their worship, and what there is in the external is from the internal. Their interiors with respect to religion appear in spiritual light like bright clouds; but the interiors of the foyer with respect to religion appear in the light of heaven like dark clouds. Both of these appearances are to be seen in the spiritual world, and anyone who wishes will see them when he comes into that world after death. Moreover, worship that is compelled shuts in evils, which then lie concealed like fire in wood under ashes, which continues to increase and spread till it breaks out into flames; while worship that is not compelled but spontaneous does not shut in evils, and these are then like fires that blaze up at once and are burnt out. From these things it is clear that the internal is so averse to compulsion that it turns itself away. The internal can compel the external because the internal is like a master and the external like a servant.
 Third: External delights allure the internal to consent and also to love. Delights are of two kinds, delights of the understanding and delights of the will; those of the understanding are also the delights of wisdom, and those of the will are also the delights of love; for wisdom is of the understanding and love is of the will. Now since the delights of the body and its senses, which are external delights, act as one with the internal delights which are of the understanding and the will, it follows that as the internal is so averse to compulsion by the external as to turn itself away from it, so the internal looks with such favour on what is delightful in the external as to turn itself to it. Thus arises consent on the part of the understanding and love on the part of the will.
 In the spiritual world all infants are led by the Lord into angelic wisdom, and by that into heavenly love by means of delights and pleasures; first, by means of beautiful things in their homes and pleasant things in gardens; then by means of representatives of spiritual things which affect the interiors of their minds with pleasure; and finally by means of truths of wisdom and so by goods of love. They are thus led continually by means of delights in due order; first by the delights of the love of the understanding and of its wisdom; and finally by the delights of the will’s love, which becomes their life’s love; and in subordination to this are held all other things that have entered their minds by means of delights.
 This takes place because everything of the understanding and of the will must be formed by means of the external before it is formed by means of the internal. For everything of the understanding and of the will is formed first by means of what enters through the senses of the body, especially through the sight and hearing. When, however, the first understanding and the first will have been formed, the internal of thought regards them as the external things of its thought, and either conjoins itself with them or separates itself from them, conjoining itself with them if they are delightful to it and separating itself from them if they are not.
 It should be clearly understood, however, that the internal of the understanding does not conjoin itself with the internal of the will, but that the internal of the will conjoins itself with the internal of the understanding, and causes the conjunction to be reciprocal. But this is brought about by the internal of the will, and not at all by the internal of the understanding. Hence it is that man cannot be reformed by faith alone, but by the love of the will which forms a faith for itself.
 Fourth: There can be a forced internal and a free internal. A forced internal is possible with those whose worship is only external and in no degree internal; for their internal consists in thinking and willing that to which their external is compelled. Such are those who worship men, living and dead, and hence who worship idols, and those who are in faith based on miracles. In those there is no internal but what is at the same time external. In those, however, whose worship is internal a forced internal is possible. This may be either an internal forced by fear or an internal compelled by love. Those have an internal forced by fear who worship from fear of the torment of hell and its fire. This internal, however, is not the internal of thought before treated of, but the external of thought, and is here called an internal because it is of thought. The internal of thought before treated of cannot be forced by any fear; but it can be compelled by love and by the fear of losing love. The fear of God in the true sense is none other than this. To be compelled by love and by the fear of losing it is to compel oneself; and it will be seen later that compelling oneself is not contrary to liberty and rationality.
 It was shown above that man has an internal and an external of thought. Fear can in no wise invade the internal of thought, this being always in freedom because it is his life’s love; but it can invade the external of thought, and when it does this the internal of thought is closed; and when this is closed man can no longer act from freedom according to his reason, and therefore cannot be reformed.
 The fear that invades the external of thought and closes the internal is chiefly a fear of the loss of honour or of gain; but the fear of civil punishments and of external ecclesiastical punishments does not close the internal of thought, because the laws relating to these only prescribe penalties for those who speak and act contrary to the civil interests of the state and the spiritual interests of the Church, but not for those who think in opposition to them.
 The fear of infernal punishments does indeed invade the external of thought, but only for some moments, hours or days: it is soon restored to the freedom it has from the internal of thought which properly belongs to its spirit and its life’s love, and which is called the thought of the heart.
 However, fear of the loss of honour and gain invades the external of man’s thought; and when it does this it closes the internal of thought from above against influx from heaven and makes it impossible for man to be reformed. This is because the life’s love of every man from his birth is the love of self and of the world; and the love of self makes one with the love of honour, and the love of the world makes one with the love of gain. Therefore, when a man is in possession of honour or wealth, from fear of losing them he strengthens in himself the means that serve to promote his honour and gain. These means are both civil and ecclesiastical, and in each case they pertain to rule. He who is not yet in possession of honour or wealth acts in similar fashion if he aspires to win them, but he does so from a fear of the loss of reputation on account of them.
 It is said that this fear invades the external of thought and closes the internal from above against influx from heaven; and this is said to be closed when it completely makes one with the external, for then it is not in its self, but in the external.
 Since, however, the loves of self and of the world are infernal loves and the source of all evils, it is clear what the nature of the internal of thought is in itself in those in whom these loves are their life’s loves, or in whom they reign, namely, that it is full of the lusts of evils of every kind.
 This is not known to those who, from fear of the loss of dignity and wealth, under strong persuasion hold to the religiosity which they profess, especially as it is a form of religion which involves the worship of themselves as deities and also as rulers (plutones) in hell. These can burn, as it were, with zeal for the salvation of souls, and yet they do so from infernal fire. Since this fear especially takes away rationality itself and liberty itself which are heavenly in their origin, it is clearly a hindrance to the possibility of man’s reformation.
 It is the same with those who renounce the world and all business in it and give themselves up solely to thoughts about God, heaven and salvation; but on this subject more will be said elsewhere. If these persons, therefore, were not reformed before their sickness, they become after it such as they were before the sickness. Hence it is vain to think that any can repent or receive any faith during sickness, for there is no action in that repentance and no charity in that faith; thus it is all lip-service and nothing of the heart in both cases.
 For example, when one is in the lust of adultery his will, which is in the delight of his love, moves his understanding to confirm it, saying, "What is adultery? Is there anything wicked in it? Is there not the same thing between husband and wife? Cannot children be born from adultery just as from marriage? Cannot a woman admit more than one without harm? What has the spiritual to do with this?" So thinks the understanding which is then the courtesan of the will, and so stupid has it become from debauchery with the will that it cannot see that marriage love is spiritual, heavenly love itself, an image of the love of the Lord and of the Church from which it is derived; and thus that it is in itself holy, that it is chastity itself, purity and innocence; and that it makes men to be forms of love, since consorts can love each other mutually from inmost things and thus form themselves into loves; and that adultery destroys this form and with it the image of the Lord; and what is horrible, that the adulterer mingles his life with the husband’s life in his wife, for a man’s life is in the seed.
 As this is profane, therefore hell is called adultery, and heaven on the other hand is called marriage. Moreover, the love of adultery communicates with the lowest hell but true marriage love communicates with the inmost heaven; and the organs of generation in both sexes also correspond to societies of the inmost heaven. These things have been recorded that it may be known how blinded the understanding is when the will is in the lust of evil; and that no one can be reformed in a state of blindness of the understanding.
 Now since the internal and the external of the mind are in this way distinct, the internal can even fight with the external and by combat force it to compliance. Combat takes place when a man thinks that evils are sins and therefore resolves to desist from them; for when he desists a door is opened, and when it is opened the lusts of evil which occupied the internal of his thought are cast out by the Lord and affections of good are implanted in their place. This is done in the internal of thought. But as the delights of the lusts of evil which invest the external of thought cannot be cast out at the same time, a combat takes place between the internal and the external of thought. The internal wishes to cast out these delights because they are delights of evil and not in accord with the affections of good in which the internal now is; and instead of the delights of evil it wishes to introduce delights of good that are in accord. The delights of good are what are called goods of charity. From this opposition arises a combat, and if it increases in severity it is called temptation.
 Now since a man is a man by virtue of the internal of his thought, this being the spirit of man itself, it is evident that a man compels himself when he forces the external of his thought to compliance, that is, to receive the delights of his affections, which are the goods of charity. It is evident that this is not contrary to rationality and liberty but is in accordance with them; for rationality causes the combat and liberty carries it on. Liberty itself with rationality also has its seat in the internal man and from that in the external.
 When, therefore, the internal conquers, as happens when the internal has reduced the external to obedient compliance, then liberty itself and rationality itself are given to man by the Lord; for man is then withdrawn by the Lord from infernal freedom, which in itself is slavery, and is brought into heavenly freedom, which in itself is freedom itself and he is granted association with angels. That those are slaves who are in sins, and that the Lord makes those free who receive truth from Him through the Word, He teaches in (John 8:31-36).
Woe unto you, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is witin the cup and the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Matt. 23:25, 26).
 That reason declares it is shown in many passages in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM. For what the Lord teaches He grants to men to perceive rationally, and this in two ways; in one, man sees in himself that a thing is so, as soon as he hears it; and in the other, he understands it by means of reasons. His seeing in himself is in his internal man, and his understanding by means of reasons is in the external man. Everyone sees it within himself when he hears that the internal man must first be purified and the external by means of it. But he who does not receive a general idea of this by influx from heaven may be led astray when he consults the external of his thought. From this alone no one sees otherwise than that the external works of charity and piety, apart from the internal, are saving: It is the same in other things; as that sight and hearing flow into thought, and smell and taste into perception; thus the external into the internal, when nevertheless the contrary is the case. The appearance that what is seen and heard flow into the thought is a fallacy; for it is the understanding that sees in the eye and hears in the ear, and not the reverse. So it is in everything else.
 From these few considerations it can be seen how the external man is reformed by means of the internal. This also is what is meant by the Lord’s words to Peter:
Jesus said: If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (Simon) Peter saith unto Him: Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him: He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. (John 13:8, 9, 10).
By washing is meant spiritual washing, which is purification from evils; by washing the head and hands is meant purifying the internal man; and by washing the feet is meant purifying the external man. That the external man must be purified when the internal has been purified is meant by this, "He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet." That all purification from evils is from the Lord is meant by this, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." It has been shown in many places in the ARCANA CAELESTIA that washing among the Jews represented purification from evils, and that this is signified in the Word by washing; and that by washing the feet is signified the purification of the natural or external man.
Whosoever looketh on the wife of another (A.V. a woman) to lust after her committeth (A.V. hath committed) adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5:28).
Such is the examination of the internal man, from which the essential examination of the external man is effected.