(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 10694

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10694. And they feared to come near unto him. That this signifies that they could not endure the external of the church, of worship, and of the Word when it was of this nature, is evident from the signification of "fearing to come near," as being not to endure, for those who cannot endure interior things are afraid to come near; and from the representation of Moses, as being that external of the Word, of the church, and of worship in which is the internal (n. 10563, 10571, 10607, 10614). The case herein is this. Those who are only in the externals of the church, of worship, and of the Word without the internal cannot endure interior things. The reason is that those who are in external things without what is internal are in the love of self and of the world; and from this are in a light which is called natural light. But those who are in the externals and at the same time in the internals of the church, of worship, and of the Word are in love toward the neighbor and in love to the Lord, and from this are in the light of heaven. As these loves are opposites, and consequently the lights also, therefore the one cannot endure the other; for when heavenly love (which is love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor) inflows into earthly loves (which are the loves of self and of the world), it induces agonies like those of death; and when heavenly light inflows into the light of the world, it induces thick darkness and a consequent stupor. From this it is that what is external without what is internal cannot endure the external while the internal is in it. As the Jewish nation was of this character, they could not endure to hear of the Lord, of love to Him, and of faith in Him, which are the interior things of the Word, of the church, and of worship. These then are the things which are signified by the sons of Israel fearing to come near unto Moses, because the skin of his faces shone. (What is signified by "the skin of Moses' faces" may be seen in n. 10691.)


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