(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 1175

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1175. That by "Nimrod" are signified those who made internal worship external, and that "Nimrod" thus signifies such external worship, may be seen from what follows. It must be here stated, beforehand, what is meant by making internal worship external. It was said and shown above that internal worship, which is from love and charity, is worship itself; and that external worship without this internal worship is no worship. To make internal worship external is to make external worship essential, rather than internal, which is the reverse of the former, being as if it was said that internal worship without external is no worship, while the truth is that external worship without internal is no worship. Such is the religion of those who separate faith from charity, in that they set the things which are of faith before those which are of charity, or the things which are of the knowledges of faith before those which are of the life, thus formal things before essential ones. All external worship is a formality of internal worship, for internal worship is the very essential; and to make worship consist of that which is formal, without that which is essential, is to make internal worship external. As for example, to hold that if one should live where there is no church, no preaching, no sacraments, no priesthood, he could not be saved, or could have no worship; when yet he can worship the Lord from what is internal. But it does not follow from this that there ought not to be external worship.
[2] To make the matter yet more clear, take as a further example the setting up as the essential itself of worship the frequenting of churches, going to the sacraments, hearing sermons, praying, observing feasts, and many other things which are external and ceremonial, while, talking about faith, men persuade themselves that these are sufficient-all of which are formal things of worship. It is quite true that those who make worship from love and charity the essential, act in the same way, that is, they frequent churches, go to the sacraments, hear sermons, pray, observe feasts, and the like, and this very earnestly and diligently; but they do not make the essential of worship consist in these things. In the external worship of these men there is what is holy and living, because there is internal worship in it; but in the external worship of those referred to before there is not what is holy and not what is living. For the very essential itself is what sanctifies and vivifies the formal or ceremonial; but faith separated from charity cannot sanctify and vivify worship, because the essence and life are absent. Such worship is called "Nimrod;" and it is born of the knowledges which are "Cush," as these are born from faith separated from charity, which faith is "Ham." From "Ham," or faith separated, through the knowledges which belong to faith separated, no other worship can possibly be born. These are the things that are signified by "Nimrod."


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