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Hemel en Hel #73

Hemel en Hel (Janssens vertaling)      

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73. IEDERE ENGEL HEEFT DAAROM EEN VOLLEDIG MENSELIJKEVORM

Inde twee voorafgaande hoofdstukken is getoond dat de hemel in zijn volledigheid een mens weergeeft, en dat iedere gemeenschap in de hemel dit ook doet. Uit de opeenvolging van redenen die daar gegeven zijn volgt dat iedere engel er ook als een mens uitziet. Aangezien de hemel de mens in de grootste vorm is en een gemeenschap van de hemel dit in een kleinere vorm is, is een engel dit in de kleinste vorm. Want in de meest volmaakte vorm, zoals die van de hemel dat is, bestaat er een gelijkenis van het geheel in het onderdeel en van het onderdeel in het geheel. Dat dit het geval is, komt omdat de hemel een gemeenschap is, want het deelt alles wat het bezit met iedereen en iedereen ontvangt alles wat hij heeft uit die gemeenschap. Een engel is een ontvangbekken en zodoende een hemel in de kleinste vorm, zoals hierboven eveneens in het betreffende gedeelte werd uitgelegd. Voor zover iemand de hemel in zich opneemt, is hij ook een ontvangbekken, een hemel en een engel (zie nr. 57). it wordt in de Apocalyps als volgt beschreven: En hij mat de muur op van het heilige Jeruzalem, honderdvierenveertig el, mensen maat, die engelenmaat is. (Apocalyps 21:17) Jeruzalem is hier de kerk van de Heer, en in hogere betekenis de hemel; de muur is het ware, dat een bescherming is tegen de onjuistheden en zonden; de honderdvierenveertig zijn alle waarheden en al het goede bij elkaar genomen; de maat is de hoedanigheid; mensen maat is iemand in wie al het goede en ware in het algemeen en in het bijzonder aanwezig is, dat is, in wie de hemel is; en omdat een engel door deze dingen ook een mens is, wordt er gezegd mensenmaat, wat ook de maat van een engel is. Dit is de geestelijke betekenis van die woorden. Wie zou zonder die betekenis kunnen begrijpen dat de muur van het heilige Jeruzalem de maat van een mens is, dat is, van een engel?

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalyps Onthuld 943

Engelenwijsheid over de Goddelijke Liefde en de Goddelijke Wijsheid 11, 19, 133, 328

Goddelijke Voorzienigheid 64, 204, 254, 306

Leer over de Gewijde Schrift 70, 105, 107

Hemel en Hel 170, 200, 250, 314, 453, 454, 460, 485

Het Laatste Oordeel 9, 18, 25

Ware Christelijke Religie 240, 268, 269

Over het Nieuwe Jeruzalem en haar Hemelse Leer 2


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 69, 199, 228, 280, 294, 299, 302, 313, 351, 391, 392, 404, 427, 490, 546, 554, 595, 600, 606, 617, 837, 955, 1222

Over het Woord (Janssens vertaling) 17


Thanks to the Swedenborg Boekhuis NL and Guus Janssens for their permission to use this translation.

Van Swedenborgs Werken

 

Apocalypse Explained #837

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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837. As many things have been said about faith and works, I will now bring them together in a brief summary, as follows:

1. Every man after death comes to be his own love, and the spirit of man is nothing but the affection that is of his love; when therefore a man becomes a spirit he thinks and thence speaks from his affection; he also wills and thus acts from his affection; and he desires and imbibes the things that are of his affection or love, and those that do not belong to his affection or love he turns away from and rejects. And in fact, his face gradually becomes the face of his affection or love, from which he is then known, as he is also known from his speech, the tone of which is the tone of his affection. In a word, a man after death becomes his love or his affection in form; and consequently when anyone speaks against the affection which is of his love, or assaults it, his face is changed, and he himself goes away or suddenly vanishes. As all men after death are the substances and forms of their love, therefore the whole heaven, which consists of angels who have been men, is divided into societies according to the genera and species of the affections, thus according to all the differences and varieties of the affections. And hell, also, which consists of spirits who have been men, is divided into societies according to the affections opposite to heavenly affections, and according to all the differences and varieties of these in general and in particular. That man after death is his love, or his affection which is of the love, has been heretofore unknown in the world; for the world has believed that affection does nothing and that thought does everything; and for the reason that man has not been able to reflect upon the affections and the variations of them in himself, but only upon thoughts and their variations; for thoughts he sees inwardly in himself as it were, but not affections; and what does not reach the sight of his thought, and thus become manifest, is not considered by him. But whoever is wise can know his affections by his thoughts; for the affections manifest themselves in the thoughts whenever a man is in the freedom of his spirit and is alone with himself; for he then thinks from the affection which belongs to his love. Nor is thought anything else than affection made visible in various forms by the influx of light; therefore if you take away affection the thought immediately perishes, just as light does if you take away the flame. From this it is clear how important it is to acquire for oneself heavenly love or affection. How this is acquired shall be told in what follows. But it is to be known that by affection love in its continuity is meant.

(Referenties: Revelation 13:16)


[2] That the whole life of man is the life of his love, and that the love and the life make one and are one with man, can be seen from what has been said above, namely, that everyone appears in the spiritual world with a face according to his love, that he speaks according to it, thinks, wills, desires, lusts, rejoices, and is sad, according to it, and these are the things that constitute his life, and that proceed from it. That this is so is clearly evident in the case of spirits and angels, who are all men both in face and in body; for as soon as the love of one of them is assaulted he vanishes with his whole body, even though he were sitting shut up in a room; and this I have frequently seen; and thus it was made clear that an angel or spirit is not only an affection in a human form, but also that his whole life from the head to the sole of the foot, or from cap to shoe, is nothing but affection which is of love; otherwise he could not have wholly vanished from the eyes of those sitting by him. When inquiry was made whether his corporeal form with its members is also affection which is of the love, it was found that each thing and all things of these were so; for the reason that the universal heaven, which, as has been said above, is divided and formed into societies according to all the differences and varieties of the affections, has a relation to one man, and from this all angels and spirits are human forms; therefore as heaven is a complex of all affections, so, too, is an angel and a spirit, who are least forms of heaven. This arcanum was thus made clear to me, and it was also confirmed from heaven, that all things and everything of man, both of his mind and of his body, are forms of love in a wonderful series, and that the organs of the brain and of the face, as also the members and viscera of the body, are perpetual contextures corresponding to those affections of heaven in which its societies are. And from this still another arcanum was made clear to me, namely, that the affections of the mind and the thoughts therefrom spread out and pour themselves forth into all things of the body, as into the field of their excursion and circumgyration, which field and circumgyration are from the affection of the mind and its thought into the uses from which, in which, and according to which, the members and viscera of the body are formed. For it is similar as with the affections and thoughts therefrom of the angels, in that they pour themselves forth in every direction into heaven and its societies; and according to their extension is the wisdom of the angels. (But on this see further in the work on Heaven and Hell, namely, that all angels are images of heaven, and thus are as it were heavens in the least form, n. 51-58; that the universal heaven has a relation to one man; and that thence angels and spirits are human forms, n. 59-102; that all thought from affection proceeding from angels has extension into the societies of heaven according to the quality of their love and wisdom, n 200-212.)

[3] Since love constitutes the life of man, and man is to live to eternity either in heaven or in hell in accordance with the life he has acquired in the world, it is a matter of the highest importance to know how man acquires heavenly love and becomes imbued with it, so that his life, which is to have no end, may be blessed and happy.

[4] There are two chief faculties of man's life, namely, the will and the understanding. The will is the receptacle of all things of good, and the understanding is the receptacle of all things of truth from that good. Man cannot be reformed except by means of these two faculties of life, and only by their being filled by goods and truths. Reformation is effected in this order: first, man must fill the memory with knowledges and cognitions of truth and good, and by means of these he must acquire for himself the light of reason; especially be must learn that God is one, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, that there is a heaven and a hell, that there is a life after death, and that the Word is holy.

[5] Next he must learn what evils are sins, first from the Decalogue, and afterwards from the Word everywhere, and must think that they are sins against God, and that they therefore withhold and separate man from heaven, and condemn and sentence him to hell. Consequently, the first thing of reformation is to refrain from sins, to shun them, and finally to be averse to them; but that he may refrain from them, shun them, and be averse to them he must pray to the Lord for help. But he must shun them and turn away from them because they are opposed to the Word, thus opposed to the Lord, and thence opposed to heaven, and because they are in themselves infernal.

[6] So far as man shuns evils, and turns away from them because they are sins, and thinks about heaven, his salvation and eternal life, so far he is adopted by the Lord, and conjoined to heaven, and so far he is endowed with spiritual affection, which is such that he not only wishes to know truths, but also to understand them, and to will and do them.

[7] Thus is man reformed by the Lord; and so far as he then knows and understands truths and wills and does them, so far he becomes a new man, that is, a regenerate man, and thus becomes an angel of heaven, and has a heavenly love and life.

[8] The love and life of such a one are wholly according to the works of his will; and the works of the will are according to the truths that are applied to the life. The knowledges of truth and good that a man has acquired for himself from infancy, and with which he has filled his memory, are not living in him until he begins to be affected by truths because they are truths, and begins to will and to do them. Until then they are only outside of the life of man. 9.

[9] By good works are meant each and every thing that a man does after he has turned away from evils because they are sins against God; for then he no longer does good works or operates them from self but from the Lord. He then also learns daily what he is to do; and he has a clear discernment of goods and evils, and shuns evils and does good with prudence, intelligence, and wisdom. Thus much respecting the love, which constitutes the life of man. Something shall now be said respecting faith.

[10] The ancients did not know what faith is; but in place of faith they had truth; for when truth is perceived or is seen in the understanding, and thus acknowledged, it is believed on its own account; consequently it cannot be said of it that faith must be had in it, since faith is in it. If, for example, one sees a tree and a flower in a garden, and another should say that he should believe or have faith that there is a tree and a flower there, and that it is such a tree and such a flower, would he not answer, Why do you wish me to believe or to have faith in this when I myself see it? This is why the angels of the third heaven, since they perceive truths from good, are unwilling even to mention faith, and in fact, do not know that it exists; and why angels of the second heaven, since they see truths from the light of truth by which their understanding is enlightened, do not acknowledge the word faith. They wonder and laugh when they hear anyone saying that the understanding is to be held captive under obedience to faith, and that one should have faith in what is not perceived and seen; and they say that in this way what is false may be believed, and by confirmations be placed as if in light, and truth itself as if in darkness; and thus falsity may play with truth as with a ball.

[11] When the world could no longer see truths from the love of them and from their light, because men had become natural and external, then faith began to be mentioned, and everything of faith began to be called truth, although it was not perceived or seen but only asserted by some leader and confirmed by passages of the Word not understood. This is the condition of the churches in the Christian world at this day, in every one of which the doctrinals of their faith are believed to be truths, and this for the sole reason that these are held by the church of their native land; and yet that it is not perceived or seen whether they are true is clear from the discussions, disputings, opinions, and heresies respecting them, in general and in particular, both public and private.

[12] So long as faith was joined with works, and charity was acknowledged in an equal degree with faith, or above it, the church was in truths from the Word, but only in a few, because they did not see them. But as soon as faith was separated from charity the church fell from truths into falsities, and at length into a faith that has destroyed all the truths of the church. This faith is a faith in justification and salvation by the merit of the Lord with the Father. For if man is saved by this faith alone, and this faith also is separated from the goods of life, which are good works, what need is there of truths, which teach the way to heaven and lead to it? Live and believe in any way you wish, and merely hold that faith, and you will be saved. But let me tell you, my reader, that all who live that faith are in natural love separated from spiritual love; and natural love separated from spiritual love is the love of self and the world, and thus the love of all evils and of all falsities from evils; and that all who thus live are so empty and so blind that they do not even know and do not see a single genuine truth of the church in the Word, although they have it and read it; and many of them have no desire to know or see truth of any kind.

[13] The reason for this is that there is no truth with man, still less any faith, unless he wills it and does it, for until then it is not a truth of the life, but only a truth of the memory, which is outside of man and not within him; and what is outside of him is dispersed. From this it is clear that faith without works is not faith-unless it be a faith in falsity from evil, which is a dead faith, such as reigns in hell.

(Referenties: Revelation 13:16)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 889

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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