(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 4211

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4211. And called his brethren to eat bread. That this signifies the appropriation of good from the Lord's Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "brethren," as being those who were now conjoined by a covenant, that is, by friendship; and in the internal sense those who are in good and truth (that these are called "brethren" may be seen above, n. 367, 2360, 3303, 3459, 3803, 3815, 4121, 4191); from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (see n. 3168, 3513, 3832; and that banquets and feasts with the ancients signified appropriation and conjunction by love and charity, see above, n. 3596); and from the signification of "bread," as being the good of love (n. 276, 680, 1798, 3478, 3735), and in the supreme sense the Lord (n. 2165, 2177, 3478, 3813). As in the supreme sense "bread" signifies the Lord, it therefore signifies everything holy which is from Him, that is, everything good and true; and because there is nothing else good, which is good, except that which is of love and charity, "bread" signifies love and charity. Nor did the sacrifices of old signify anything else, for which reason they were called by the one word "bread" (n. 2165). They also ate together of the flesh of the sacrifices, in order that the heavenly feast might be represented, that is, conjunction by the good of love and charity. This is what is now signified by the Holy Supper; for this succeeded in the place of sacrifices, and of the feasts from the sanctified things; and the Holy Supper is an external of the church that contains within itself an internal, and by means of this internal it conjoins the man who is in love and charity with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. For in the Holy Supper also, "eating" signifies appropriation, the "bread" celestial love, and the "wine" spiritual love; and this so entirely that when a man is in a holy state while eating it, nothing else is perceived in heaven.
[2] The reason why the expression "the appropriation of good from the Lord's Divine natural" is made use of, is that the subject treated of is the good of the Gentiles, and it is this good which is now represented by Laban (n. 4189). Man's conjunction with the Lord is not a conjunction with His Supreme Divine Itself, but with His Divine Human; for man can have no idea whatever of the Lord's Supreme Divine, which so transcends his idea as altogether to perish and become nothing; but he can have an idea of His Divine Human. For everyone is conjoined by thought and affection with one concerning whom he has some idea, but not with one concerning whom he has no idea. If when anyone is thinking about the Lord's Human, he has holiness in his idea, he is thinking also of that holy which coming from the Lord fills heaven, so that he is also thinking of heaven; for in its complex heaven bears relation to a man, and it does this from the Lord (n. 684, 1276, 2996, 2998, 3624-3649); and this accounts for the fact that no conjunction is possible with the Lord's Supreme Divine, but only with His Divine Human, and through His Divine Human with His Supreme Divine. Hence it is said in John that no one hath seen God at any time, except the Only begotten Son (1:18); and that no one can come to the Father except through Him; and hence also He is called the Mediator. That such is the case may be very well known from the fact that all within the church who say they believe in a Supreme Being, and make no account of the Lord, are precisely those who believe nothing at all, not even that there is a heaven, or that there is a hell, and who worship nature. Moreover, if such persons are willing to be instructed by experience, they will see that the evil, even the worst of them, say the same thing.
[3] But as regards the Lord's Human, men think in various ways, one in one way and another in another, and one in a more holy way than another. They who are within the church are able to think that His Human is Divine, and also that as He says He is one with the Father, and that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father. But they who are without the church cannot do this, both because they know nothing about the Lord and because they have no idea of the Divine except from the images which they see with their eyes, and the idols which they can touch with their hands. And yet the Lord conjoins Himself with these by means of the good of their charity and obedience that is within their gross idea of Him. For this reason it is here said that such have an "appropriation of good from the Lord's Divine natural;" for the conjunction of the Lord with man is according to the state of his thought and the derivative affection. They who are in the most holy idea concerning the Lord, and at the same time in the knowledges and affections of good and truth-as those can be who are within the church-are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine rational; whereas they who are not in such holiness, nor in such interior idea and affection, and yet are in the good of charity, are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine natural. They who have a holiness of a still grosser kind are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine sensuous; and this conjunction is what is represented by the brazen serpent, in that those who looked at it recovered from the bite of the serpents (Num. 21:9). In this conjunction are those among the Gentiles who worship idols, and yet live in charity in accordance with their religion. From all this it is now evident what is meant by the appropriation of good from the Lord's Divine natural, which is signified by Jacob's calling his brethren to eat bread.


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