Arcana Coelestia #2189

Par Emanuel Swedenborg

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2189. They said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? means rational truth, which did not at that time show itself because it existed within rational good. This is clear from the representation of 'Sarah' here as rational truth, dealt with above in 2173. The implications of these things - as also of those that follow where the state of the Lord's Rational is the subject, which state is represented by 'Sarah' - cannot so easily be explained intelligibly unless the general nature of the state of the rational as regards good and as regards truth is known; and also in the Lord's case as regards the Divine and as regards the Human in which He was at that time.

[2] The first and foremost element of the rational with man is truth, as stated already in 2072, and therefore it is the affection for truth, which exists with man to enable him to be reformed and so regenerated, such reformation being effected by means of cognitions and facts, which are matters of truth. These are being constantly implanted in good, that is, in charity, so that in this manner he may receive the life of charity. It is therefore the affection for truth with man that predominates in his rational. For the situation with the life of charity, which is the life of heaven itself, is that in people who are being reformed and regenerated it is constantly being born and developing and increasing, such growth being achieved by means of truths. Therefore the more truth that is implanted, the more is the life of charity perfected. Thus as is the nature and the amount of truth present with man, so is the charity present with him.

[3] These few observations may to some extent show what the position is with man's rational. Within truth however no life is present, only within good. Truth is merely the recipient of life, that is, of good. Truth is like the clothing or a garment worn by good. In the Word too therefore truths are called clothes, and also garments. But when good composes the rational, truth passes out of sight and becomes as though it was good; for good is now shining through the truth, in the same way as when angels are seen clothed they appear in brightness that looks like a garment, as also was the case when angels appeared before the prophets.

[4] These then are the implications of the explanation given, that rational truth did not at that time show itself because it existed within rational good, meant by 'they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife?' But because the Lord's Rational Good at that time was Divine, as it can never be with any angel, it cannot be described other than by the use of a comparison, thus by the use of an illustration presenting something similar but not the same.

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