(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 4189

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4189. And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou, and let it be for a witness between me and thee. That this signifies the conjunction of the Divine natural with the goods of works, in which are they who are aside, or the Gentiles, is evident from the signification of a "covenant," as being conjunction (see n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021); from the representation here of Laban, who is "I," as being the goods of works, as shown in what follows; and from the representation of Jacob, who here is "thou," as being the Divine natural.
[2] That by "Laban" are here signified the goods of works in which are those who are aside, or the Gentiles, is for the reason that as Laban is now separated from Jacob (that is, mediate good from the good Divine of the natural), he can no longer represent mediate good; but as he had served for a means, he therefore represents some good, and indeed good that is aside, or collateral good. Before Laban had been thus conjoined with Jacob, he represented collateral good (see n. 3612, 3665, 3778), and accordingly good that is aside, the nature of which will be stated in what follows. It is similar with Laban as with Lot and Ishmael. So long as Lot was with Abraham, he represented the Lord as to the external sensuous man (n. 1428, 1434, 1547, 1597, 1598, 1698); but when he had been separated from Abraham, he represented those who are in external worship, but yet in charity (n. 2317, 2324, 2371, 2399), and also several states of the church successively (n. 2422, 2459).
[3] It was so with Ishmael: so long as he was with Abraham, he represented the Lord's first rational (n. 1893, 1949-1951); but when he was afterwards separated, he represented those who are called the spiritual (n. 2078, 2691, 2699, 3263, 3268). Such also is the case with Laban. The reason is, that although a separation has been made, conjunction still remains, but not that which existed before. It is for this reason that Laban here and in what now follows represents the goods of works, such as are with those who are aside, that is, with the Gentiles. The Gentiles are said to be aside, or in collateral good, because they are outside of the church. Those within the church who are in truth and good are not in a collateral line, but in the direct line, for they have the Word, and through the Word they have direct communication with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord; but not so the Gentiles, for these have not the Word, and know not the Lord. For this reason they are said to be aside. Those Gentiles are meant who are in the goods of works, that is, who are in externals within which there is the good of charity. These are what are called the "goods of works," but not "good works;" for good works may exist without having goods within, but not so the goods of works.


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