(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 2027

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2027. That "to thy seed after thee" signifies that He would give all these things to those who should have faith in Him, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being faith (see n. 1025, 1447, 1610), and in fact the faith of charity (see n. 379, 389, 654, 724, 809, 916, 1017, 1162, 1176, 1258). They who place merit in the actions of their lives have not the faith of charity, and therefore are not the seed here meant; for thereby they desire to be saved, not because of the Lord's righteousness, but because of their own. That there is no faith of charity in them, that is, no charity, is evident from the fact, that they set themselves before others, and thus regard themselves and not others, except insofar as they are of service to them; and they either despise or hate those who are not willing to render them service. Thus by the love of self they dissociate, and never associate; and thus destroy what is heavenly, namely, mutual love, which gives heaven its stability; for heaven itself is in it, and all its consociation and unanimity subsist and consist in it; for in the other life whatever destroys unanimity is contrary to the order of heaven itself, and thus conspires to the destruction of the whole. Such are they who place merit in the actions of their lives, and claim righteousness for themselves. Of these there are many in the other life.
[2] They sometimes shine in the face like little torches, but from an illusive fire that proceeds from self-justification, and in fact they are cold. They are sometimes seen running about and confirming self-merit from the literal sense of the Word, for they hate the truths which are of the internal sense (n. 1877). Their sphere is a sphere of self-regard, and is thus destructive of all ideas that do not regard self as a kind of deity. The sphere of many of this sort together is so conflicting that there is nothing there but enmity and hostility; for when everyone desires the same thing, namely, to be served, he murders others in his heart.
[3] Some of them are among those who say that they have labored in the Lord's vineyard, whereas they have at the same time continually had in mind their own preeminence, glory, and honors, as well as gain; and even that they might become the greatest in heaven and be served by the angels, in heart despising others in comparison with themselves, and thus being imbued with no mutual love, in which heaven consists, but with the love of self, in which they place heaven; for they know not what heaven is. (Respecting such see above, n. 450-452, 1594, 1679.) These are of those who desire to be first, but become last (Matt. 19:30; 20:16; Mark 10:31); and who say that they have prophesied by the name of the Lord, and have done many wonderful works; but to whom it is said, "I know you not" (Matt. 7:22, 23).
[4] Very different is the case with those who from simplicity of heart have supposed that they merit heaven, and have lived in charity; these have looked upon meriting heaven as something that is promised, and they easily acknowledge it to be of the Lord's mercy; for the life of charity is attended with this, because true charity loves all truth.


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