Spiritual Meaning of
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That in the external or proximately interior sense to confess signifies doctrine from the Word, is manifest; for confession is nothing else, even in common speech, than a man's declaration of his faith before the Lord; thus it comprehends in it whatever the man believes; consequently, whatever is to him doctrine. That in the internal sense to confess signifies the Word, follows from this, for all the doctrine of faith and charity must be from the Word; because from himself man knows nothing of things celestial and spiritual, and therefore he can know them only from Divine revelation, which is the Word. That in the supreme sense to confess signifies the Lord, is because the Lord is the Word, consequently doctrine from the Word, and because the Word in the internal sense has regard to the Lord alone, and treats of His kingdom (AC 1871, 2859, 2894, 3245, 3305, 3393, 3432, 3439, 3454). Thus it is that by confessing Jehovah is dignified the Divine of love and His celestial kingdom for the Lord is Divine love itself, and the influx of this constitutes His kingdom, and this by means of the Word which is from Him. That by Judah, who was named from confessing Jehovah, is signified the Divine of love and the Lord's celestial kingdom, has been shown above (AC 3654); and hence it is here said that confessing has this signification.
 But the signification of to confess and of confession, may be seen from the passages in the Word in which these expressions occur; as in Isaiah:--
In that day thou shalt say, I will confess to Thee, O Jehovah though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou hast comforted me. And in that day ye shall say, Confess to Jehovah, call upon His name, make known His works among the people, make mention that His name is exalted (Isa. 12:1, 4).
We confess to Thee, O God, we confess, and Thy name is near, Thy wondrous works declare (Ps. 75:1).
A psalm for confession: Make a joyful noise to Jehovah, all the earth; He hath made us, and not we ourselves, His people and the flock of His pasture. Enter through His gates with confession, into His courts with praise; confess ye to Him, and bless His name. For Jehovah is good, His mercy is forever, and His truth to generation and generation (Ps. 100:1-5).
Here it is evident what confessing and " confession' signify, namely, acknowledging Jehovah or the Lord, and the things which are His. That this acknowledgment is doctrine and the Word, is manifest.
 Again in Isaiah:--
Jehovah will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places joy and gladness shall be found therein, confession and the voice of singing (Isa. 51:3).
And in Jeremiah:--
Thus saith Jehovah, Behold I am bringing back the captivity of Jacob's tents, and I will have compassion on his dwelling places and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall be inhabited after the manner thereof and out of them shall proceed confession, and the voice of them that make merry (Jer. 30:18, 19).
I will confess to Jehovah according to His righteousness, and I will sing to the name of Jehovah Most High (Ps. 7:17).
When I shall go to the house of God, with the voice of singing and of confession, with a multitude that keep a festival (Ps. 42:4).
I will confess unto Thee O Lord among the nations, I will sing psalms unto Thee among the peoples for Thy mercy is great, even to heaven (Ps. 57:9, 10).
 From these passages it is evident that confession has reference to the celestial of love, for it is distinguished from terms that belong to the spiritual of love; for it is said confession and the voice of singing, confession and the voice of them that make merry, I will confess unto Thee among the nations, and I will sing psalms unto Thee among the peoples,- confession and confessing being celestial, and the voice of singing, the voice of them that make merry and sing psalms, being spiritual expressions. It is also said, confess among the nations, and sing psalms among the peoples, because nations signify those who are in good, and peoples those who are in truth (AC 1416, 1849, 2928); that is, those who are in celestial love, and those who are in spiritual love. For in the Word, with the Prophets, two expressions for the most part occur, one having reference to the celestial or good, and the other to the spiritual or truth, in order that there may be a Divine marriage in every part of the Word, thus a marriage of good and truth (AC 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 3132). From this it is also manifest that confession involves the celestial of love; and that genuine confession, or that which is from the heart, can only be from good; the confession which is from truth being called the voice of singing, the voice of them that make merry, and that sing psalms.
 So also in the following passages. In David:--
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with confession (Ps. 69:30).
I will confess to Thee with the psaltery, even Thy truth O my God; unto Thee will I sing with the harp, O Thou Holy One of Israel (Ps. 71:22).
That to sing with the harp and with other stringed instruments signifies spiritual things, may be seen above (AC 415-420). Again:--
Enter into His gates with confession, into His courts with praise confess to Him, bless His name (Ps. 100:4);
here confession and confessing are from the love of good but praise and blessing from the love of truth. Again:--
Answer unto Jehovah with confession sing psalms upon the harp unto our God (Ps. 147:7).
I will confess to Thee in the great congregation I will praise Thee among much people (Ps. 35:18).
I will confess to Jehovah with my mouth, and in the midst of many will I praise Him (Ps. 109:30).
We Thy people and the flock of Thy pasture will confess to Thee forever; we will recount Thy praise to generation and generation (Ps. 79:13).
Let them confess to Jehovah His mercy, and His wonderful works to the sons of man. Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of confession, and declare His works with singing (Ps. 107:21, 22).
 That these passages contain two expressions for one thing, is manifest, and they would appear like vain repetitions unless one involved the celestial, which is good, and the other the spiritual, which is truth; consequently the Divine marriage, the Lord's kingdom itself being such a marriage. This mystery pervades the Word throughout, but can never be disclosed except by means of the internal sense, and the derivative knowledge as to which expression belongs to the celestial class, and which to the spiritual. But it must be known in general what the celestial is, and what the spiritual, and these have often been treated of above.
 Real confession of the heart, being from celestial love, is in the genuine sense confession. The man who is in' this confession acknowledges that all good is from the Lord, and that all evil is from himself; and when he is in this acknowledgment, he is in a state of humiliation, for he then acknowledges that the Lord is everything in him, and that he himself is relatively nothing; and when confession is made from this state, it is made from celestial love.
 But the sacrifices of confession that were offered in the Jewish Church were thanksgivings, and in a universal sense were called eucharistic and repaying sacrifices, which were of two kinds- confessional, and votive. That the sacrifices of confession involved the celestial of love, may be seen from their institution, concerning which we read in Moses:--
This is the law of the sacrifice of the eucharistics that shall be offered to Jehovah if he has offered it for confession, then he shall offer, besides the sacrifice of confession, unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and fine flour boiled, cakes mingled with oil, upon leavened cakes of bread he shall offer his gift, besides the sacrifice of confession (Lev. 7:11-13).
All the things here mentioned-the unleavened cakes mingled with oil, the unleavened wafers anointed with oil, the fine flour boiled, and the leavened cakes of bread, signify the celestial things of love and faith, and confessions therefrom, and that those who made the offerings must be in humiliation. By fine flour and cakes thereof are signified the celestial of love and the derivative spiritual of faith, which is charity, (AC 2177); by what is unleavened, purification from evils and falsities, (AC 2342); by oil, the celestial of love, (AC 886, 3728); by bread, the same, (AC 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478, 3735).
 But the votive sacrifices, which were another kind of eucharistics, in the external sense signified repayment; in the internal sense the will that the Lord should provide; and in the supreme sense a state of providence (AC 3732). This is the reason why mention is made of all these in the Word throughout; as in David:--
Offer unto God the sacrifice of confession and pay thy vows unto the Most High. Whoso offereth the sacrifice of confession, honoreth Me; and he who ordereth his way, to him will I show the salvation of God (Ps. 50:14, 23).
Thy vows are upon me, O God I will repay confessions unto Thee (Ps. 56:12).
I will sacrifice to Thee the sacrifice of confession, and will call upon the name of Jehovah I will pay my vows unto Jehovah (Ps. 116:17, 18).
And in Jonah:--
I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of confession I will pay that which I have vowed (Jonah 2:9).
 From all this it is now manifest what is the confession from which Judah was named; namely, that in the supreme sense it signifies the Lord and the Divine of love; in the internal sense, the Word and also the Lord's celestial kingdom; and in the exterior sense, the doctrine from the Word which is of the celestial church.
from AC 3880
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