Arcana Coelestia #1079

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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1079. 'He saw his father's nakedness' means that he noticed the errors and perversities. This becomes clear from the meaning of 'nakedness', dealt with just above and also previously in 213, 214, as evil and perversity. Here Ham's noticing his father's nakedness, that is, his errors and perversities, describes people with whom faith is separated from charity. Such people see nothing else but errors and perversities residing with a person. But those who have faith that inheres in charity are different. They notice the goods, and if they do see evils and falsities they excuse them, and if possible endeavour with that person to correct them, as is said here of Shem and Japheth.

[2] Where charity does not exist self-love is present and consequently hatred towards all who do not show favour to self. As a result they see in the neighbour nothing except his evil. Or if they do see anything good they either perceive it as nothing or else place a bad interpretation on it. It is altogether otherwise with those with whom charity is present. And from such presence or absence of charity these two kinds of people are distinguished from each other. Especially when they enter the next life, with those who have no charity, a feeling of hatred is manifest in every single thing; they wish to try everyone and indeed to pass judgement on them. Their one desire is to discover what is evil in them, all the time having it in mind to condemn, punish, and torment. But those who have charity hardly notice the evil in another person, but instead notice all the goods and truths that are his; and on his evils and falsities they place a good interpretation. Of such a nature are all angels, it being something they have from the Lord, who bends everything evil into good.

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