Arcana Coelestia #2338

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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2338. That 'he urged them strongly' means a state of temptation when a person overcomes does not become clear except to those who have experienced temptations. As has been stated, temptations involve feelings of doubt regarding the Lord's presence and mercy, and also regarding His salvation. The evil spirits who are present with man at such times and who are the cause of temptation do all they can to infuse a negative outlook, but good spirits and angels from the Lord in every way disperse that doubting attitude, all the time preserving a feeling of hope and in the end strengthening an affirmative outlook. Consequently a person undergoing temptation hangs between a negative outlook and an affirmative outlook. Anyone who gives way in temptation remains in a doubting, and sinks into a negative, frame of mind, whereas one who overcomes still experiences feelings of doubt; yet he who allows himself to be filled with hope remains steadfastly in an affirmative outlook. Because man seems during such conflict to urge the Lord, especially through prayers, to be at hand, to take pity, to bring help, and to free from condemnation, this is described at this point where the temptation of those who are becoming members of the Church is the subject. It is described by the angels first of all saying, No, they would spend the night in the street, but by Lot urging them strongly, so that they turned aside to him and came into his house.

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