(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 1712

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1712. He divided himself against them by night. That this signifies the shade in which the apparent goods and truths were, is evident from the signification of "night," as being a state of shade. There is said to be a state of shade when it is not known whether the good and truth are apparent or are genuine. When anyone is in apparent good and truth, he supposes them to be genuine good and truth; the evil and falsity that are in apparent good and truth are what cause the shade, and make them appear genuine. They who are in ignorance can know no otherwise than that the good which they do is their own, and that the truth which they think is their own, and it is the same with those who attribute to themselves the goods they do, and place merit in them, not knowing that in this case they are not good, although they appear so; and that the Own and self-merit which they place in them are the evils and falsities which obscure and darken. So in many other cases.
[2] The kind and the measure of the evil and falsity which lie concealed in them, cannot possibly be so well seen in the life of the body as in the other life, where they are presented to view as in clear light. But the case is different if this is done from ignorance that is not confirmed, for in this case those evils and falsities are easily dispersed. But if men confirm themselves in the belief that they can do good and resist evil by their own powers, and that they thus merit salvation, in this case this idea remains attached, and causes the good to be evil, and the truth to be falsity. But still it is according to order for a man to do good as of himself; and therefore he ought not to slacken his hand, with the thought, "If I can do nothing of good from myself, I ought to wait for immediate influx," and thus remain in a passive state, for this would be contrary to order; but he must do good as of himself; yet, when he reflects upon the good which he does or has done, let him think, acknowledge, and believe that the Lord has done the work in him.
[3] If he slackens his effort, thinking as has been said, he is then not a subject into which the Lord can operate. The Lord cannot flow into anyone who deprives himself of everything into which power can be infused. It is as if one were not willing to learn anything without a revelation to himself; or as if one would teach nothing unless the words were put into him; or as if one would attempt nothing unless he were put into action as one without will. But if these things were done, he would be still more indignant at being like an inanimate thing; when yet that which is animated by the Lord in a man is that which appears as if it were from himself. It is thus an eternal truth that a man does not live from himself, but that if he did not appear to live from himself he could not live at all.


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