(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 3479

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3479. The Jews who lived before the coming of the Lord, as well as those who lived afterwards, had no other opinion concerning the rituals of their church than that Divine worship consisted solely in external things, and cared naught for what these represented and signified. For they did not know, and were not willing to know, that there was anything internal in worship and in the Word, thus that there was any life after death, nor consequently that there was any heaven, for they were altogether sensuous and corporeal; and inasmuch as they were in externals separate from things internal, relatively to these externals their worship was merely idolatrous, and therefore they were very prone to worship any gods whatsoever, provided only they were persuaded that such gods could cause them to prosper.
[2] But as that nation was of such a nature that they could be in a holy external, and thus could have holy rituals by which the heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom were represented, and could have a holy veneration for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also for Moses and Aaron, and afterwards for David; by all of whom the Lord was represented; and especially could have a holy reverence for the Word, in which each and all things are representative and significative of Divine things, therefore in that nation a representative church was instituted. If however that nation had known internal things so far as to acknowledge them, they would have profaned them, and thereby when in a holy external would have been at the same time in a profane internal, so that there could have been through them no communication of representatives with heaven; and for this reason interior things were not disclosed to them, not even that the Lord was within, in order that He might save their souls.
[3] Inasmuch as the tribe of Judah was of this character more than the other tribes, and at this day just as in former times regard as holy the rituals which can be observed outside Jerusalem, and as they have a holy veneration for their fathers, especially as they regard the Word of the Old Testament as holy, and inasmuch as it was foreseen that Christians would almost reject this Word, and would likewise defile its internal things with things profane, therefore that nation has been preserved until this time, according to the words of the Lord in Matt. 24:34. It would have been otherwise if Christians, being acquainted with internal things, had also lived as internal men; in this case that nation, like other nations, would before many generations have been cut off.
[4] But the case with that nation is that their holy external or holy of worship cannot at all affect their internals, because these are unclean from the base love of self and from the unclean love of the world; and also from the idolatry of worshiping external things separate from internal; and thus because they have not anything of heaven in them, neither can they carry anything of heaven with them into the other life, except a few who live in mutual love, and thus do not despise others in comparison with themselves.


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