Spiritual Meaning of

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 Sack cloth

As being clothed in sack-cloth and rolling in ashes represented mourning over evils and falsities, it also represented humiliation, and likewise repentance; for the primary thing in humiliation is to acknowledge that of himself one is nothing but evil and falsity. The same is true of repentance, which is effected solely through humiliation, and this through the confession of the heart that of himself one is of such a nature. That putting on sackcloth was a token of humiliation can be seen in (1 Kings 21:27-29); and that it was of repentance, in (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13); but that it was nothing but a representative, thus only an external thing of the body, and not an internal thing of the heart, is plain from Isaiah:--

Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah? Is not this the fast that I choose, to open the bonds of wickedness, to break bread to the hungry? etc. (Isa. 58:5-7).

from AC 4779

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