Arcana Coelestia #2023

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2023. 'And to your seed after you' means the Divine from that source with those who have faith in Him. This is clear from the meaning of 'seed' as the faith that inheres in charity, dealt with in 1025, 1447, 1610, and also from the meaning of 'after you' as following Him, dealt with just above in 2019. The Divine as it resides with those who have faith in Him is love and charity - love to the Lord being understood by 'love', and love towards the neighbour by 'charity'. Love to the Lord cannot possibly be separated from love towards the neighbour, for the Lord's love is directed towards the whole human race whom He wishes to save eternally and to join so completely to Himself that not a single one of them perishes. Anyone therefore who has love to the Lord possesses the Lord's love and so cannot help loving the neighbour.

[2] But not all people who are moved by love towards the neighbour are on that account moved by love to the Lord. This is so in the case of honest gentiles with whom, though they do not know the Lord, the Lord is nevertheless present in their charity, as shown in Volume One, in 1032, 1059. And this also applies to others inside the Church, for love to the Lord is of a higher order. People who have love to the Lord are celestial, but those who have love towards the neighbour, which is charity, are spiritual. The Most Ancient Church which existed before the Flood and was celestial was moved by love to the Lord, whereas the Ancient Church which existed after the Flood and was spiritual was moved by love towards the neighbour, which is charity. This distinction between love and charity will be maintained, when they are mentioned, in what follows.

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