(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 2049

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2049. From every son that is a stranger who is not of thy seed. That this signifies those who are outside the church, is evident from the signification of "son that is a stranger," as being those who are not born within the church, thus are not in the goods and truths of faith, because not in the knowledges of them. "Sons that are strangers" also signify those who are in external worship (concerning whom, n. 1097); but where this is the meaning, those who are within the church are treated of, whereas in the passage before us the Lord's church in the universal is treated of, and therefore "sons that are strangers" signify those who are not born within the church, as is the case with the Gentiles. Gentiles, who are outside the church, may be in truths, but not in the truths of faith. Their truths, like the precepts of the Decalogue, are that parents are to be honored, that men are not to kill, steal, commit adultery, or covet things that belong to others; also that the Deity is to be worshiped. But the truths of faith are all doctrinal things concerning eternal life, the Lord's kingdom, and the Lord Himself, which cannot be known to the Gentiles because they have not the Word.
[2] These are they who are signified by "sons that are strangers who are not of thy seed," and yet were to be circumcised, that is purified, together with them. This shows that they can be purified, equally with those within the church; as was represented by their being circumcised. They are purified when they reject filthy loves, and live with one another in charity; for then they live in truths, since all truths are of charity; but in the truths already mentioned. They who live in these truths readily imbibe the truths of faith, if not in the life of the body, yet in the other life, because the truths of faith are the interior truths of charity, and they then love nothing more than to be admitted into the interior truths of charity. The interior truths of charity are those in which the Lord's kingdom consists (see n. 932, 1032, 1059, 1327, 1328, 1366)
[3] In the other life a memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith is of no avail, for the worst, nay, the infernals, can be in the memory-knowledge of them, sometimes more than others; but that which avails is a life according to the knowledges, for all knowledges have life as their end. Unless knowledges were learned for the sake of life, they would be of no use except that men might talk about them, and thereby be esteemed learned in the world, be exalted to honors, and gain reputation and wealth. From this it is evident that a life of the knowledges of faith is no other than a life of charity; for the Law and the Prophets, that is, the universal doctrine of faith together with all its knowledges, consists in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor; as is manifest to all from the Lord's words in Matthew 22:34-39 and Mark 12:28-35.
[4] But still doctrinal things, that is, the knowledges of faith, are most necessary for forming the life of charity, which cannot be formed without them. This is the life that saves after death, and by no means any life of faith without it; for without charity there cannot be any life of faith. They who are in the life of love and charity are in the Lord's life, and by no other life can anyone be conjoined with Him. Hence also it is evident that the truths of faith can never be acknowledged as truths, that is, the acknowledgment of them so much talked of is impossible, except outwardly, and by the mouth, unless they are implanted in charity; for inwardly or in the heart they are denied, since, as already said, they all have charity as their end; and if this is not within them they are inwardly rejected. When the exteriors are taken away-as is done in the other life-the interiors are manifest in their true character, in that they are utterly contrary to all the truths of faith. When men have had no life of charity-that is, no mutual love-during their bodily life, it is utterly impossible to receive it in the other life, because they are averse to and hate it, for after death the same life remains with us that we have lived here. When such persons merely approach a society where there is the life of mutual love, they tremble, shudder, and feel torture.
[5] Such persons, although born within the church, are called "sons that are strangers, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh," who are not to be admitted into the sanctuary, that is, into the Lord's kingdom; and who are also meant in Ezekiel:
No son that is a stranger, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary (Ezek. 44:7, 9).
To whom art thou thus become like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? and thou shalt be brought down with the trees of Eden into the lower earth, thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are slain by the sword (Ezek. 31:18);
where Pharaoh is treated of, by whom are signified memory-knowledges in general (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462); by "the trees of Eden" with which they should go down into the lower earth, are also signified memory-knowledges, but those of the knowledges of faith. All this shows what "the uncircumcised" is in the internal sense, namely, one who is in filthy loves and the life of them.


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