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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

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Arcana Coelestia #3128

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3128. And told her mother’s house according to these words. That this signifies toward natural good of every kind whithersoever enlightenment could reach, is evident from the signification of the “mother’s house,” as being the good of the external man, that is, natural good. (That a “house” denotes good may be seen above, n. 2233, 2234, 2559; also that man’s external or natural is from the mother, but the internal from the father, n. 1815.) The good with man is compared in the Word to a “house,” and on this account a man who is in good is called a “house of God;” but internal good is called the “father’s house,” and the good that is in the same degree is called the “house of the brethren;” but external good, which is the same as natural good, is called the “mother’s house.” Moreover all good and truth are born in this manner, namely, by the influx of internal good as of a father into external good as of a mother.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)


[2] As this verse treats of the origin of the truth which is to be conjoined with good in the rational, it is therefore said that Rebekah (by whom this truth is represented) ran to the house of her mother, for that was the origin of this truth. For as before said and shown, all good flows in by an internal way (that is, by the way of the soul) into man’s rational, and through this into his faculty of knowing, even into that which is of the senses; and by enlightenment there it causes truths to be seen. Truths are called forth thence, and are divested of their natural form, and are conjoined with good in the midway, that is, in the rational, and at the same time they make the man rational, and at last spiritual. But how these things are accomplished is utterly unknown to man; because at this day it is scarcely known what good is, and that it is distinct from truth; still less that man is reformed by means of the influx of good into truth, and by the conjunction of the two; neither is it known that the rational is distinct from the natural. And when these things, which are most general, are not known, it cannot possibly be known how the initiation of truth into good, and the conjunction of the two, is effected-which are the subjects treated of in this chapter in its internal sense. But whereas these arcana have been revealed, and are manifest to those who are in good, that is, who are angelic minds, therefore however obscure they may appear to others, they nevertheless are to be set forth, because they are in the internal sense.

[3] Concerning the enlightenment from good through truth in the natural man, which is here called the “mother’s house,” the case is this: Divine good with man inflows into his rational, and through the rational into his natural, and indeed into its memory-knowledges, that is, into the knowledges and doctrinal things therein, as before said; and there by a fitting of itself in, it forms truths for itself, through which it then enlightens all things that are in the natural man. But if the life of the natural man is such that it does not receive the Divine good, but either repels it, or perverts it, or suffocates it, then the Divine good cannot be fitted in, thus it cannot form for itself truths; and consequently the natural can no longer be enlightened; for enlightenment in the natural man is effected from good through truths; and when there is no longer enlightenment, there can be no reformation. This is the reason why in the internal sense the natural man also is much treated of in regard to its quality; thus whence truth is, namely, that it is from good there.

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Arcana Coelestia 3142, 3538, 3607, 3720, 3809, 3987, 4390, 4982, 5134, 5135, 5297, 5353, 5648, 5694, 5776, 6041, 7833, 7848, 9150, 9372

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 27


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 175, 193, 240


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The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine #121

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine (Whitehead translation)      

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121. Faith separate from love or charity is like the light of winter, in which all things on earth are torpid, and no harvests, fruits, or flowers, are produced; but faith with love or charity is like the light of spring and summer, in which all things flourish and are produced (n. 2231, 3146, 3412, 3413). The wintry light of faith separate from charity is changed into dense darkness when light from heaven flows in; and they who are in that faith then come into blindness and stupidity (n. 3412, 3413).

They who separate faith from charity, in doctrine and life, are in darkness, thus in ignorance of truth, and in falsities, for these are darkness (n. 9186). They cast themselves into falsities, and into evils thence (n. 3325, 8094). The errors and falsities into which they cast themselves (n. 4721, 4730, 4776, 4783, 4925, 7779, 8313, 8765, 9224). The Word is shut to them (n. 3773, 4783, 8780). They do not see or attend to all those things which the Lord so often spoke concerning love and charity, and concerning their fruits, or goods in act, concerning which (n. 1017, 3416). Neither do they know what good is, nor thus what celestial love is, nor what charity is (n. 2517, 3603, 4136, 9995).

Faith separate from charity is no faith (n. 654, 724, 1162, 1176, 2049, 2116, 2343, 2349, 2417, 3849, 3868, 6348, 7039, 7342, 9783). Such a faith perishes in the other life (n. 2228, 5820). When faith alone is assumed as a principle, truths are contaminated by the falsity of the principle (n. 2335). Such persons do not suffer themselves to be persuaded, because it is against their principle (n. 2385). Doctrinals concerning faith alone destroy charity (n. 6353, 8094). They who separate faith from charity were represented by Cain, by Ham, by Reuben, by the firstborn of the Egyptians, and by the Philistines (n. 3325, 7097, 7317, 8093).

They who make faith alone saving, excuse a life of evil, and they who are in a life of evil have no faith, because they have no charity (n. 3865, 7766, 7778, 7790, 7950, 8094). They are inwardly in the falsities of their own evil, although they do not know it (n. 7790, 7950). Therefore good cannot be conjoined with them (n. 8981, 8983). In the other life they are against good, and against those who are in good (n. 7097, 7127, 7317, 7502, 7545, 8096, 8313). Those who are simple in heart and yet wise, know what the good of life is, thus what charity is, but not what faith separate is (n. 4741, 47 4754).

All things of the church have relation to good and truth, consequently to charity and faith (n. 7752-7754). The church is not with man before truths are implanted in his life, and thus become the good of charity (n. 3310). Charity constitutes the church, and not faith separate from charity (n. 809, 916, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844). The internal of the church is charity (n. 1799, 7755). Hence there is no church where there is no charity (n. 4766, 5826). The church would be one if all were regarded from charity, although men might differ as to the doctrinals of faith and the rituals of worship (n. 1285[1-3], 1316, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844, 2385, 2982, 3267, 3451). How much of good would be in the church if charity were regarded in the first place, and faith in the second (n. 6269, 6272). Every church begins from charity, but in process of time turns aside to faith, and at length to faith alone (n. 1834, 1835, 2231, 4683, 8094). There is no faith at the last time of the church, because there is no charity (n. 1843). The worship of the Lord consists in a life of charity (n. 8254, 8256) The quality of the worship is according to the quality of the charity (n. 2190). The men of the external church have an internal if they are in charity (n. 1100, 1102, 1151, 1153). The doctrine of the ancient churches was the doctrine of life, which is the doctrine of charity, and not the doctrine of faith separate (n. 2385, 2417, 3419, 3420, 4844, 6628, 7259-7262).

The Lord inseminates and implants truth in the good of charity when he regenerates man (n. 2063, 2189, 3310). Otherwise the seed, which is the truth of faith, cannot take root (n. 880). Then goods and truths increase, according to the quality and quantity of the charity received (n. 1016). The light of a regenerate person is not from faith, but from charity by faith (n. 854). The truths of faith, when man is regenerated, enter with the delight of affection, because he loves to do them, and they are reproduced with the same affection, because they cohere (n. 2484, 2487, 3040, 3066, 3074, 3336, 4018, 5893).

They who live in love to the Lord, and in charity towards the neighbor, lose nothing to eternity, because they are conjoined to the Lord; but it is otherwise with those who are in separate faith (n. 7506, 7507). Man remains such as is his life of charity, not such as his faith separate (n. 8256). All the states of delight of those who have lived in charity, return in the other life, and are increased immensely (n. 823). Heavenly blessedness flows from the Lord into charity, because into the very life of man; but not into faith without charity (n. 2363). In heaven all are regarded from charity, and none from faith separate (n. 1258, 1394). All are associated in the heavens according to their loves (n. 7085). No one is admitted into heaven by thinking, but by willing good (n. 2401, 3459). Unless doing good is conjoined with willing good and with thinking good, there is no salvation, neither any conjunction of the internal man with the external (n. 3987). The Lord, and faith in Him, are received by no others in the other life, than those who are in charity (n. 2343).

Good is in the perpetual desire and consequent endeavor of conjoining itself with truths, and charity with faith (n. 9206, 9207, 9495). The good of charity acknowledges its own truth of faith, and the truth of faith its own good of charity (n. 2429, 3101, 3102, 3161, 3179, 3180, 4358, 5807, 5835, 9637). Hence there is a conjunction of the truth of faith and the good of charity, concerning which (n. 3834, 4096, 4097, 4301, 4345, 4353, 4364, 4368, 5365, 7623-7627, 7752-7762, 8530, 9258, 10555). Their conjunction is like a marriage (n. 1904, 2173, 2508). The law of marriage is that two be one, according to the Word of the Lord (n. 10130, 1 0168, 10169). So also faith and charity (n. 1094, 2173, 2503). Therefore faith which is faith, is, as to its essence, charity (n. 2228, 2839, 3180, 9783). As good is the esse of a thing, and truth the existere thence, so also is charity the esse of the church, and faith the existere thence (n. 3409, 3180, 4574, 5002, 9145). The truth of faith lives from the good of charity, thus a life according to the truths of faith is charity (n. 1589, 1947, 2571, 4070, 4096, 4097, 4736, 4757, 4884, 5147, 5928, 9154, 9667, 9841, 10729). Faith cannot be given but in charity, and if not in charity, there is not good in faith (n. 2261, 4368). Faith does not live with man when he only knows and thinks the things of faith, but when he wills them, and from will does them (n. 9224).

There is no salvation by faith, but by a life according to the truths of faith, which life is charity (n. 379, 389, 2228, 4663, 4721). They are saved who think from the doctrine of the church that faith alone saves, if they do what is just for the sake of justice, and good for the sake of good, for thus they are still in charity (n. 2442, 3242, 3459, 3463, 7506, 7507). If a mere cogitative faith could save, all would be saved (n. 2361, 10659). Charity constitutes heaven with man, and not faith without it (n. 351 3, 3584, 3815, 9832, 10 714, 10715, 10721, 10724). In heaven all are regarded from charity, and not from faith (n. 1258, 1394, 2361, 4802). The conjunction of the Lord with man is not by faith, but by a life according to the truths of faith (n. 9380, 10143, 10153, 103 10310, 10578, 10645, 10648). The Lord is the tree of life, the goods of charity the fruits, and faith the leaves (n. 3427, 9337). Faith is the "lesser luminary," and good the "larger luminary" (n. 30-38).

The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom do not know what faith is, so that they do not even name it, but the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom speak of faith, because they reason concerning truths (n. 202, 203, 337, 2715, 3246, 4448, 9166, 10786). The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom say only yea, yea or nay, nay, but the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom reason whether it be so or not so, when there is discourse concerning spiritual truths, which are of faith (n. 2715, 3246, 4448, 9166, 10786), where the Lord's words are explained:

Let your discourse be yea, yea, nay, nay; what is beyond these is from evil (Matt. 5:37).

The reason why the celestial angels are such, is, because they admit the truths of faith immediately into their lives, and do not deposit them first in the memory, as the spiritual angels do; and hence the celestial angels are in the perception of all things of faith (n. 202, 5 85, 597, 607, 784 1 121, 1387, 1398, 1442, 1919, 5113, 5897, 6367, 7680, 7877, 8521, 8780, 9936, 9995, 10124).

Trust or confidence, which in an eminent sense is called saving faith, is given with those only who are in good as to life, consequently with those who are in charity (n. 298 2982, 4352, 4683, 4689, 7762, 8240, 9239-9245). Few know what that confidence is (n. 3868, 4352).

What difference there is between believing those things which are from God, and believing in God (n. 9239, 9243). It is one thing to know, another to acknowledge, and another to have faith (n. 896, 4319, 5664). There are scientifics of faith, rationals of faith and spirituals of faith (n. 2504, 80 8078). The first thing is the acknowledgment of the Lord (n. 10083). All that flows in with man from the Lord is good (n. 1614, 2016, 2751, 2882, 2883, 2891, 2892,2904, 6193, 7643, 9128).

There is a persuasive faith, which nevertheless is not faith (n. 2343, 2682, 2689, 3427, 3865, 8148).

It appears from various reasonings as though faith were prior to charity, but this is a fallacy (n. 3324). It may be known from the light of reason, that good, consequently charity, is in the first place, and truth, consequently faith, in the second (n. 3324-6273). Good, or charity, is actually in the first place, or is the first of the church, and truth, or faith, is in the second place, or is the second of the church, although it appears otherwise (n. 3324, 3325, 3330, 3336, 3494, 3539, 3548, 3556, 3570, 3576, 3603, 3701, 3995, 4337, 4601, 4925, 4926, 4928, 4930, 5351, 6256, 6269, 6272, 6273, 8042, 8080, 10110). The ancients disputed concerning the first or primogeniture of the church, whether it be faith or whether it be charity (n. 367[1-2], 2435, 3324).

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Apocalypse Explained 20, 84, 136, 142, 154, 155, 204, 210, 227, 250, 329


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.


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