Arcana Coelestia #1618

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1618. 'And there he built an altar to Jehovah' means worship as the outcome of that state. This is clear from the meaning of 'an altar' as the representative of all worship in general, dealt with already in 921. Worship in the internal sense means all conjunction by means of love and charity. A person is worshipping all the time if love and charity abide in him, external worship being only the outward expression of it. Such is the worship of angels, and therefore with them the sabbath never comes to an end; and this in turn explains why in the internal sense 'the sabbath' means the Lord's kingdom. While a person is in the world however he ought certainly to participate in external worship as well; for it is by external worship that internal things are aroused, and by means of external worship external things are kept holy so as to enable internal to flow in. Furthermore a person is endowed with cognitions by this means, and is made ready to receive celestial things, and also has states of holiness conferred on him, though he is not conscious of this. These states of holiness are preserved by the Lord for his use in eternal life; in fact all the states of his life reappear in the next life.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.