(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 3428

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3428. And they digged another well, and they strove over that also. That this signifies the internal sense of the Word as to whether there is such a thing, is evident from the signification of "another well," and of "striving" (concerning which see above), thus from the series; for when those who deny anything, as for instance those who deny the internal sense of the Word, again strive or contend, it must needs be as to whether it has any existence. It is known that most disputes at this day go no further; but so long as men remain in debate as to whether a thing is, and whether it is so, they can never advance into anything of wisdom; for in the thing itself concerning which they debate there are innumerable things which they can never see so long as they do not acknowledge that thing, because in this case they are all the time ignorant of everything that belongs to it.
[2] The learning of the present day scarcely passes the point of debating whether a thing has any existence, and whether it is thus, or thus; the result of which is that men are shut out from the understanding of truth. For example: he who merely disputes whether there is an internal sense of the Word can never see the innumerable, nay, illimitable things which are in the internal sense; and again, he who disputes whether charity is anything in the church, and whether all things of this are not of faith, cannot possibly know the innumerable, nay, illimitable things which are in charity, but remains in complete ignorance of what charity is.
[3] The like is the case with the life after death, with the resurrection of the dead, with the last judgment, with heaven and with hell-they who merely debate whether these things exist, stand meanwhile outside the doors of wisdom, and are like persons who merely knock, and cannot even look into wisdom's magnificent palaces. And yet strange to say such men believe themselves to be wise in comparison with others, and that they are wise in proportion to their ability to debate whether a thing be so, and especially to prove that it is not so; when yet the simple who are in good, and whom they despise, can perceive in a moment, without any dispute, much more without learned controversy, that the thing is, and what is its quality. These have a common sense of the perception of truth, whereas the former have extinguished this sense by such methods, in desiring first of all to discuss whether the thing has any existence. The Lord speaks both of the former and of the latter when He says that things are hidden from the wise and intelligent, and revealed unto babes (Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21).


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