Verse 1. That in times of spiritual temptation, man is led to examine himself respecting the goods and truths which he has received from his heavenly father, under a consciousness of having perverted them.
Verse 2. And to see the necessity of such examination, with a view to the preservation of those goods and truths.
Verse 3. On which occasion he is brought into perplexity and distress of mind, arising from a sense of the apparent impossibility of procuring to himself either any truth or any good.
Verses 4-8. In which perplexity and distress he presently begins to discover, that all the good imparted to his will, and all the truth imparted to his understanding, were not from himself, but from the Lord, and that consequently he is the Lord's debtor for all, and this to a large amount, and further, that the debt is fully discharged by its acknowledgement.
Verses 8-9. The lord accordingly accepts this acknowledgement as a discharge of the debt, and recommends to all his followers to make the same profitable use of the knowledges of good and truth, that so they may secure eternal conjunction with Himself and His kingdom.
Verse 10. For the knowledge of good and truth becomes more interior by its right application, as on the other hand it becomes more external by misapplication.
Verse 11. Since by misapplication it is limited to its residence in the memory, and never gains admission into man's love and life, so as to conduct him to the supreme truth.
Verse 12. Thus it is rather the property of another, than of the man himself.
Verse 13. That man cannot be principled at the same time in good and in evil, or in love to the Lord and self-love, since one must be the ruling love, and the other must serve.
Verses 14-15. This doctrine however is rejected by those who are in self-love, and who on that account seek worldly reputation, not aware that all their secret purposes and thoughts are exposed to the light of the Divine Truth, and that the love of human reputation, when exalted above that light, is an infernal love.
Verse 16. Therefore the prophecies concerning the Lord and His kingdom, together with the representatives of the Lord and His kingdom, ceased when the Divine Truth was made flesh by assuming the Human nature, and thus being made known to mankind in all the fullness of its power.
Verse 17. Yet they ceased only as to external appearances, not as to their internal meaning, since in their internal meaning they all and singularly treat of the Lord.
Verse 18. Announcing that the understanding of truth shall not in any wise separate itself from its proper affection of good, so long as that affection abides in good, and does not decline to evil.
Verses 19-31. And that the Church, which is gifted with the knowledges of good and truth, shall not reject those who are out of the Church, and who are yet in the desire of receiving those knowledges.
Verse 19. For such was the Jewish nation.
Verses 20-21. Who despised and rejected the Gentiles, because they had not the Word, and therefore by reason of ignorance were in many falsities, yet desirous of learning a few truths, and thus of removing falsities as far as possible by good.
Verses 22-23. And who, in the other life, are accepting of good from the Lord, whereas they who are in knowledges alone without good are incapable, in that life, of receiving either truth or good, being in a state most remote from those principles.
Verse 24. Insomuch that they desire nothing more ardently than to pervert truth, and since this is not allowed, therefore they are in torment.
Verse 25. For all that they had called good, during their life in the world, is now turned into evil, as on the other hand, all that had been called evil by those, who were desirous of knowledges, and yet did not possess them in the present life, is now turned into good.
Verse 26. Moreover it is an established law in the other life, that good and evils, as being opposites, cannot dwell together, since they are averse to each other, and in conflict against each other.
Verses 27-31. It is also a law of Divine order, that no one shall be reformed by discourse with the deceased, since by such discourse he might indeed be persuaded and driven to worship for a short time, but inasmuch as this deprives man of rationality, it is a persuasion which has no solid ground in the man himself, and therefore shuts in evils, instead of expelling them.
Verses 29-31. Real reformation therefore can only be effected by a cordial reception of the Word in the understanding, in the will, and in the life.