Spiritual Experiences #4099

Spiritual Experiences (Buss translation)

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4099. THAT THERE IS NO EXTERNAL WORSHIP EXCEPT FROM INTERNAL PRINCIPLES.

I spoke with spirits saying that affections have with them gestures or external signs which serve them [the affections] as a kind of bodies; as, for instance, humility of heart prompts kneels and other acts, and deep pity tears. Thus interior emotions have in them an exterior [language of] worship, prompting to the frequenting of churches and so forth. Wherefore one who places worship in externals only is a hypocrite, feigning gestures and reverential acts similar to those that flow from internals. Even preachers may by habit acquire such devout airs, and be able to move the feelings of others, when yet it is all mere outside show. Thus the worship in externals is of no account except as flowing from internal promptings. - 1748, November 29.

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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.


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