(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 1408

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1408. These and the things which follow occurred historically as they are written; but the historicals are representatives and all the words are significative. The case is the same with all the historicals of the Word, not only with those in the books of Moses, but also with those in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. In all these, nothing is apparent but mere history; but although it is history in the sense of the letter, still in the internal sense there are arcana of heaven, which lie stored up and hidden there, and which can never be seen so long as the mind, together with the eye, is kept in the historicals; nor are they revealed until the mind is removed from the sense of the letter. The Word of the Lord is like a body that contains within it a living soul; the things belonging to the soul do not appear while the mind is so fixed in corporeal things that it scarcely believes that there is a soul, still less that it will live after death; but as soon as the mind withdraws from corporeal things, those which are of the soul and life become manifest. And this also is the reason, not only why corporeal things must die before man can be born anew, or be regenerated, but also why the body itself must die so that he may come into heaven and see heavenly things.
[2] Such also is the case with the Word of the Lord: its corporeal things are those which are of the sense of the letter; and when the mind is kept in these, the internal things are not seen at all; but when the former are as it were dead, then for the first time are the latter presented to view. But still the things of the sense of the letter are similar to those which are with man while in the body, to wit, to the knowledges of the memory that come from the things of sense, and which are general vessels that contain interior or internal things within them. It may be known from this that the vessels are one thing, and the essentials contained in the vessels another. The vessels are natural; the essentials contained in the vessels are spiritual and celestial. So likewise the historicals of the Word, and all the expressions in the Word, are general, natural, and indeed material vessels, in which are things spiritual and celestial; and these in no wise come into view except by the internal sense.
[3] This will be evident to everyone from the mere fact that many things in the Word are said according to appearances, and indeed according to the fallacies of the senses, as that the Lord is angry, that He punishes, curses, kills, and many other such things; when yet in the internal sense they mean quite the contrary, namely, that the Lord is in no wise angry and punishes, still less does He curse and kill. And yet to those who from simplicity of heart believe the Word as they apprehend it in the letter, no harm is done while they live in charity. The reason is that the Word teaches nothing else than that everyone should live in charity with his neighbor, and love the Lord above all things. They who do this have in themselves the internal things; and therefore with them the fallacies taken from the sense of the letter are easily dispelled.


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