From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous    Next →

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)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous    Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

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

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3


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

From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #4736

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous    Next →

4736. Cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness. That this signifies that they should conceal it meanwhile among their falsities, that is, that they should regard it as false, but still retain it because it was of importance to the church, is evident from the signification of a “pit,” as being falsities (see n. 4728); and from the signification of a “wilderness,” as being where there is no truth. For the word “wilderness” has a wide signification, it means where the land is uninhabited, and thus not cultivated; and when predicated of the church, it denotes where there is no good, and consequently no truth (n. 2708, 3900). Thus by a “pit in the wilderness” are here meant falsities in which there is no truth, because no good. It is said in which there is no truth because no good; for when anyone believes that faith saves without works, truth may indeed exist, but still it is not truth in him, because it does not look to good, nor is it from good. This truth is not alive, because it has in it a principle of falsity, consequently with anyone who has such truth, the truth is but falsity from the principle which rules in it. The principle is like the soul, from which the rest have their life. On the other hand there are falsities which are accepted as truths, when there is good in them, especially if it is the good of innocence, as with the Gentiles and also with many within the church.

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous    Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4743, 4744, 5965, 7055, 9253, 9261, 9304, 9372, 10109, 10402

Apocalypse Revealed 161

The Last Judgment 39

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 21, 23, 24, 121, 171


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 240, 275, 434, 452


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

From Swedenborg's Works

The Last Judgment #39

Last Judgment (Chadwick translation)

Study this Passage

Go to section / 74  

← Previous    Next →

39. Because the Christian world does not know that there can be no faith without charity, or what charity towards the neighbour is, not even that it is the will which is the real person, and his thought contributes only so far as it is inspired by the will, I should like, so as to shed some intellectual light on these matters, to add here my collected notes of passages in ARCANA CAELESTIA, which may be of use as illustration.

ON FAITH

If anyone does not know that all things in the universe relate to truth and to good and that they have both to be linked for anything to be produced, he also does not know that all things in the church relate to faith and to love and to their linking (7752-7762, 9186, 9224). All things in the universe relate to truth and good and to their linking (2451, 3166, 4390, 4409, 5232, 7256, 10122, 10555). Truths belong to faith, and kinds of good to love (4352, 4997, 7178, 10367).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 885, 1798-1799, 2027, 2243, 2373, 2426, 2429, 2452, 2517, 3412-3413, 3419-3420, 3451-3452, 3876-3877, 4096-4097, 4647, 5028, 5033, 5859, 6388-6393, 6865, 7262, 8033, 8120-8121, 9133, 9232, 10109-10110)


[2] If anyone does not know that every detail in the make-up of a human being relates to the intellect and the will and to their linking, which must happen for the person to be human, neither do they know that everything in the church relates to faith and love and to their linking, which must happen for the church to be present in a person (2231, 7752-7754, 9224, 9995, 10122). A person has two faculties, one called the intellect, the other the will (641, 803, 3623, 3539). The intellect is assigned to the reception of truths, and so of things to do with faith; the will is assigned to the reception of kinds of good, and so of things to do with love (9300, 9930, 10064). Hence it follows that it is love or charity which makes a church and not faith alone, that is, faith separated from love and charity (809, 916, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844, 4766, 5826).

[3] Faith separated from charity is no faith (654, 724, 1162, 1176, 2049, 2116, 2343, 2349, 2417, 3419, 3849, 3868, 6348, 7039, 7342, 9783). A faith of this kind is lost in the other life (2228, 5820). Teachings about faith alone destroy charity (6353, 8094). Those who separate faith from charity are represented in the Word by Cain, Ham, Reuben, by the first-born of the Egyptians and by the Philistines (3325, 7097, 7317, 8093). The further charity is withdrawn, the stronger becomes the dogma of faith alone (2231). A church in course of time turns aside from charity to faith, and finally to faith alone (4683, 8094) In the final period of a church there is no faith because there is no charity (1843, 3489, 4689). If anyone regards faith alone as offering salvation, he is excusing wickedness of life; and those who lead wicked lives have no faith, because they have no charity (3865, 7766, 7778, 7790, 7950, 8094). These people are inwardly subject to the falsities of their own evil, although they do not know it (7790, 7950). Consequently good cannot be linked to them (8981, 8983). In the other life too they oppose good and those who have good in them (7097, 7127, 7317, 7502, 7545, 8096, 8313). Those who are simple at heart know better than the wise what constitutes goodness of life, and so charity, but not what faith is separately (4741, 4754).

[4] Good is being and truth is coming into existence from this being. Thus the truth of faith has its being in life from the good of charity (3049, 3180, 4574, 5002, 9154). Consequently the truth of faith is given life by the good of charity; so the life of faith is charity (1589, 1947, 1997, 2571, 4070, 4096, 4097, 4736, 4757, 4884, 5147, 5928, 9154, 9667, 9841, 10729). A person's faith is not alive when he merely knows and thinks about matters to do with faith, but only when he wills them and by willing does them (9224). The Lord is not linked with a person by faith, but by the life of faith, which is charity (9380, 10143, 10153, 10578, 10645, 10648). Worship based on the good of charity is true worship; but if it is based upon the truth of faith without the good of charity it is only an external act (7724).

[5] Faith alone, that is, separated from charity, is like light in wintertime when everything on earth is sluggish and no growth takes place. But faith with charity is like light in spring and summertime, when everything flowers and grows (2231, 3146, 3412, 3413). Winter light, that given by faith separated from charity, is in the other life turned into thick darkness, when light pours in from heaven. Those whose faith is of that kind are then reduced to blindness and stupidity (3412, 3413). Those who separate faith from charity are in darkness, or in ignorance of the truth, so they are subject to falsities; for these are darkness (9186). They plunge themselves into falsities and so into evils (3325, 8094); the errors and falsities into which they plunge (4721, 4730, 4776, 4783, 4925, 7779, 8313, 8765, 9224). The Word is a closed book to them (3773, 4783, 8780). They do not see or pay attention to all the Lord's many statements about love and charity (1017, 3416). Neither do they know what good or heavenly love or charity are (2057, 3603, 4136, 9995).

[6] Charity makes the church, not faith separated from charity (809, 916, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844) How much good there would be in the church, if charity were regarded as its primary concern (6269, 6272). If charity were its essential element, there would be one church, not a division into many; and it would then not matter if their teachings about faith and external forms of worship were different (1285, 1316, 2385, 2853, 2982, 3267, 3445, 3451, 3452). Everyone in heaven is seen from the point of view of charity, and no one from that of faith without charity (1258, 1394, 2364, 4802).

[7] The Lord's twelve disciples represented the church as regards the whole of faith and charity taken together, in the same way as the twelve tribes of Israel (2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397). Peter, James and John represented respectively faith, charity and the good works of charity (3750). Peter stands for faith (4738, 6000, 6073, 6344, 10087, 10580); John the good works of charity (AC preface to chapters 18, 22 of Genesis). There being in the final periods no faith in the Lord because there is no charity was represented by Peter's thrice-repeated denial of the Lord before the cock crew the second 1 time; for Peter in the representative sense there is faith (6000, 6073). Cock-crow and twilight mean in the Word the final period of a church (10134). Three or thrice means final completion (2788, 4495, 5159, 9198, 10127). There is a similar meaning in the Lord's words to Peter, when he saw John follow the Lord, 'What is it to you, Peter? Follow me, John.' For Peter said about John 'What of him?' John 21:21-22 (10087). John reclined on the Lord's breast, because he represented the good works of charity (3934, 10081). All personal and place names in the Word stand for abstract qualities (768, 1888, 4310, 4442, 10329).

ON CHARITY

[8] Heaven is divided into two kingdoms, one called the celestial kingdom, the other the spiritual kingdom. Love in the celestial kingdom is love to the Lord, called celestial love, and love in the spiritual kingdom is charity towards the neighbour, called spiritual love (3325, 3653, 7257, 9002, 9835, 9961). The division of heaven into those two kingdoms is described in HEAVEN AND HELL 20-28. The Lord's Divine in the heavens is love to Him and charity towards the neighbour (13-19).

[9] There is no knowledge of what good and truth are without knowledge of what love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are, since all good has to do with love and charity, and all truth has to do with good (7255, 7366). Knowing truths, willing truths and having affection for truths for truths' sake, that is, because they are true, is charity (3876, 3877). Charity consists in an inward affection for doing what is true, and not in an outward affection without an inward one (2439, 2442, 3776, 4899, 4956, 8073). Charity equally consists of performing services for their own sake and its nature depends upon the services performed (7078, 8253). Charity is a person's spiritual life (7081). The whole of the Word is a lesson in love and charity (6632, 7261). There is ignorance to-day about what charity is (2417, 3398, 4776, 6632). Still one can know even by the light of one's own reason that it is love and charity that make one a person (3957, 6273); also that good and truth are in harmony, and belong each to the other, and so do charity and faith (7627).

[10] In the highest sense the Lord is the neighbour, because He is to be loved above all. Consequently everything that proceeds from Him and in which He is present, and so good and truth, are the neighbour (2425, 3419, 6706, 6819, 6823, 8124). The difference between one neighbour and another depends upon the nature of good, and so on the Lord's presence (6707-6710). Every person and every community, as well as one's country and one's church, and in the universal sense the Lord's kingdom, are the neighbour. Loving the neighbour is doing good to them appropriately to their condition. So the neighbour is the good of those for whom one should take thought (6818-6824, 8123). Civic good, which is justice, and moral good, which is goodness of life in the community, are the neighbour (2915, 4730, 8120-8122). Loving the neighbour is not loving a person, but what he possesses which gives him his nature, so his good and truth (5025, 10336). Those who love a person, and not what he possesses and which gives him his nature, love evil as much as good (3820). These people do good to wicked as much as to good people, yet doing good to the wicked is doing harm to the good; and this is not loving the neighbour (3820, 6703, 8120). A judge, who punishes the wicked to reform them and to prevent the good being infected by their evil, is loving the neighbour (3820, 8120, 8121).

[11] Loving the neighbour is doing good, behaving fairly and correctly in every task and in every office (8120-8122). Thus charity towards the neighbour extends to every single thing a person thinks, wills and does (8124). Doing what is good and true for the sake of goodness and truth is loving the neighbour (10310, 10376). Those who do this love the Lord, who is in the highest sense the neighbour (9210). A life of charity is living in accordance with the Lord's commands, so living in accordance with Divine truths is loving the Lord (10143, 10153, 10310, 10578, 10645).

[12] True charity seeks no reward (Arcana Caelestia 2027, 2273,fff2 2380, 2400, 3887, 6388-6393), because it comes from inward affection, so from the pleasure of doing good (2273, 2400, 3887, 6788-6393). In the other life, those who separate faith from charity regard faith and what seem outwardly like good deeds they have done as deserving reward (2273).

[13] The teaching of the Ancient Church was about how to live, which is teaching about charity (2385, 2417, 3419, 3420, 4844, 6628). The ancients who belonged to the church reduced the good deeds of charity to an order and divided them into classes, giving each its name. This was the source of their wisdom (2417, 6629, 7259-7262). The wisdom and intelligence of those who have lived a charitable life in the world increase immeasurably in the other life (1941, 5849). The Lord fills charity with Divine truth, because this is the real life of a person (2363). A person resembles a garden when charity and faith are linked in him, a desert when they are not (7626). In so far as a person departs from charity he equally departs from wisdom (6630). Those who lack charity are ignorant about Divine truths, however wise they think themselves (2417, 2435). The life of angels consists in performing the good deeds of charity, which are services (454). Spiritual angels are models of charity (553, 3804, 4735).

ON THE WILL AND THE INTELLECT

[14] A person has two faculties, one called the intellect, the other called the will (35, 641, 3539, 10122). Those two faculties constitute the true person (10076, 10109, 10110, 10264, 10284). The nature of those faculties determines the person's nature (7342, 8885, 9282, 10064, 10284). These faculties serve to distinguish man from animals, because the human intellect can be uplifted by the Lord so as to see Divine truths; and likewise the will can be uplifted so as to perceive Divine kinds of goodness. Thus a person can be linked to the Lord by the two faculties which constitute him. But the case is different with animals (4525, 5114, 5302, 6323, 9231). Because man is superior to animals in having that ability, he is unable to die as regards the interiors which belong to his spirit, but he lives for ever (5302).

[15] All things in the universe relate to good and truth; so all things in a person relate to the will and the intellect (803, 10122), because the intellect receives truth and the will receives good (3332, 3623, 5835, 6065, 6125, 7503, 9300, 9930). It comes to the same thing whether you speak of truth or of faith, since faith has to do with truth and truth with faith. It comes to the same thing whether you speak of good or of love, since love has to do with good and good with love. A person calls true what he believes and he calls good what he loves (4353, 4997, 7178, 10122, 10367). It follows from this that the intellect is a receiver for faith and the will for love (7179, 10122, 10367). Because a person's intellect is capable of receiving faith in God and his will is capable of receiving love to God, he can by faith and love be linked to God; and being capable of this, he cannot ever die (4525, 6323, 9231).

[16] A person's will is the real being of his life, because it serves to receive love or good. His intellect is the coming-into-existence of his life from this source, because it serves to receive faith or truth (3619, 5002, 9282). Thus it is the life of the will which is the chief element in a person's life, and the life of the intellect is derived from it (585, 590, 3619, 7342, 8885, 9282, 10076, 10109, 10110); similarly light comes from fire or flame (6032, 6314). A person makes his own what enters into the intellect and at the same time into the will, but not what only enters into the intellect (9009, 9069, 9071, 9128, 9182, 9386, 9393, 10076, 10109, 10110). What is received by the will becomes part of a person's life (3161, 9386, 9393). It follows from this that what makes a person human depends on his will and on his intellect derived from it (8911, 9069, 9071, 10076, 10109, 10110). It is also true that every individual is loved and esteemed by others in proportion to the good of his will, and thus of his intellect. Anyone who wishes well and understands well is loved and esteemed, and anyone who understands well but does not wish well is rejected and criticised (8911, 10076).

After death a person remains in the state of his will and intellect derived from it (9069, 9071, 9386, 10153). Matters of the intellect which are not at the same time matters of will then fade away, because they are not in the person (9282). To put it another way, a person's state after death remains such as was his love and thus his faith, or such as was his good and thus his truth. Matters which have to do with faith, but not also with love, or matters to do with truth, but not also with good, then fade away, because they are not in the person or part of him (553, 2363, 10153). A person can grasp intellectually what he does not willingly do; that is, he can understand what he cannot will, because it opposes his love (7539). The reason why people have difficulty in making the distinction between thinking and willing (9995).

[17] How perverse is the state of those whose intellect and will do not act as one (9075) This state is found in hypocrites, tricksters, toadies and charlatans (3573, 4327, 4799, 8250).

[18] All willing of good and thus understanding of truth is from the Lord; but not the understanding of truth separated from the willing of good (1831, 3514, 5482, 5649, 6027, 8685, 8701, 10153). It is the intellect which is enlightened by the Lord (6222, 6608, 10659). This enlightenment occurs to the extent that a person receives truth in his will, that is, to the extent that he wishes to act in accordance with truth (3169). The intellect depends upon light from heaven, just as sight depends on light from the world (1524, 5114, 6608, 9128). The nature of the intellect is determined by the nature of the truths derived from good by which it is formed (10064). The intellect is properly formed by truths derived from good, but not by falsities derived from evil (10675). It is the function of the intellect on the basis of experience to see truths, causes, connexions and logical consequences (6125). It is the function of the intellect to see and perceive whether a thing is true before it is proved, not to be able to prove anything whatever (4741, 7012, 7680, 7950, 8521, 8780). The ability to see and perceive whether a thing is true before it is proved is only possible for those who have an affection for truth for truth's sake, those, that is, who enjoy spiritual light (8521). The light afforded by proofs is natural light, which even the wicked may possess (8780). All dogmas, however false, can be proved to the point where they appear to be true (Arcana Caelestia 2482, 2490, 5033, 6865, 7950 3 ).

-----
Footnotes:

1. [The first edition has 'the third time'.]
2. [The first edition gives the references 2340, 2373. The numbers in the text seem most likely to have been intended.]
3. [The first two references appear to be incorrect.]

-----

Go to section / 74  

← Previous    Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

The Last Judgment (Continuation) 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 8


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 20, 39, 84, 104, 128, 155, 198, 204, 210, 227, 229, 232, 233, 250, 264, 486, 612, 918

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Garden versus Desert
Illustrate a garden and a desert side by side. What can we do to make our lives like a beautiful garden?
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Inspirational Quotation - When Faith and Charity Are Linked
Color poster with a quotation about charity and faith.
Picture | Ages over 12

 Memory Verse: Looking for the Good in Others
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 What Is Charity?
New Church teachings extend the idea of charity, making it more than compassionate actions towards others.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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


Translate: