Spiritual Meaning of

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In the genuine sense body signifies the good which is of love, and ground the truth which is of faith; but when the truths and goods of truth which are signified by silver and cattle are no longer visible on account of the desolation, then by body is signified only a receptacle of good, and by ground only a receptacle of truth. That in the genuine sense body signifies the good which is of love, is because the body, or the whole man which is meant by the body, is a receptacle of life from the Lord, thus a receptacle of good; for the good of love makes the life itself in man, because the vital heat, which is love, is the vital heat itself; and unless this heat is in a man, he is a dead thing. Therefore it is that by the body in the internal sense is meant the good of love. And even if a man has no heavenly love, but only infernal love, still the inmost of his life is from heavenly love, for this love continually flows in from the Lord and effects in him vital heat in its beginning; but in its progress it is perverted by the man, whence comes infernal love, from which there is an unclean heat.

[3] That in the genuine sense body is the good of love, is very evident from the angels, for when they become present, love so pours out of them that you would believe them to be nothing but love, and this from their whole body, which also appears bright and shining from the light which is from the love; for the good of love is like a flame which emits from itself light, which is the truth of faith thence derived. This being the character of the angels in heaven, what must not the Lord Himself be, from whom the angels have everything of love, and whose Divine Love appears as a Sun from which the universal heaven has its light, and all who are therein have their heavenly heat, that is, their love, thus their life. It is the Lord's Divine Human which so appears, and from which all these things are. From this it is evident what is meant by the Lord's body, namely, the Divine love, in like manner as by His flesh (AC 3813). Moreover the Lord's very body when glorified, that is, made Divine, is nothing else. What else must we think about the Divine, which is infinite?

[4] From all this it may be known that by the body in the Holy Supper nothing else is meant than the Lord's Divine love toward the universal human race, concerning which it is thus written in the Gospels:--

Jesus taking the bread, and blessing, brake and gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19);

this is My body, He said of the bread, because by the bread also is signified the Divine love (AC 276, 680, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478, 3735, 4735, 5915).

[5] The Divine love is also signified by the Lord's body in John:--

Jesus said, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But He spake of the temple of His body (John 2:19, 21);

the temple of His body is the Divine truth from the Divine good. The temple is the Lord as to Divine truth, (AC 3720). And because His body in the supreme sense is the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love, therefore all who are in heaven are said to be in the Lord's body.

[6] That the Lord's body is the Divine good, is evident also from these words in Daniel:--

I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz; his body also was like the tarshish, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as torches of fire, and his arms and his feet like the shining of burnished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude (Daniel 10:5, 6);

by the gold of Uphaz with which the loins were girded, by the appearance of lightning which was on his face, by the torches of fire which his eyes presented, and by the shining of brass which was of his arms and his feet, are signified the goods of love; that gold is the good of love, may be seen above (AC 113, 1551, 1552, 5658), and also fire (AC 934, 4906, 5215), and because fire so also lightning; and that brass is the good of love and of charity in the natural (AC 425, 1551); by the tarshish, like to which the rest of the body appeared, namely-the middle of the body between the head and the loins, is signified the good of charity and of faith, for the tarshish is a flashing precious stone.

from AC 6135

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info