(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 4366

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4366. And Esau said, I have much, my brother, be to thee what is to thee. That this signifies tacit acceptance, in order that he might thus instill the affection of the good from truth, may be seen from this refusal, in that it involves assent; for he nevertheless accepted. In anyone's refusing and at the same time accepting, the end sometimes is that affection may be instilled; and moreover this is thereby increased, and thus passes from thinking well into willing well. In spiritual life man is led by the Lord by things nearly like those by which a man leads others in civil life, in which it is usual to refuse to accept, to the end that the giver may act from affection; thus not from thinking only, but also from willing. For if the favor should not be accepted, the end in view would be lost; and therefore the end urges the giver to think of it still more intently, and thus to will it from the heart.
[2] The reason why this kind of thing does not appear in spiritual life as in civil life, is that there are few in whom good is being conjoined with truths, that is, who are being regenerated; and moreover the few who are being regenerated do not reflect upon such things; nor can they do so, for they do not know what spiritual good is, because they do not know what charity is and what in the genuine sense the neighbor is. And as they do not know these things, neither can they have an interior idea of the truth that belongs to faith. And moreover they separate spiritual life from civil life so widely, that they would not dare to draw any idea of the one from the other. That the two correspond, and that spiritual life is represented in civil life, they know not at all, and some do not even allow any comparison; when yet the case really is that no idea can be had of spiritual life except from the things that are in civil life; and therefore if the latter is set aside, the former falls to the ground, until at last it is no longer believed in-as may be plainly evident from the fact that it is no longer believed that spirits and angels associate and converse together as men do, and reason in like manner as men do about what is honorable and becoming, just and fair, and good and true, and this much more perfectly; still less that they see, hear, and explore one another, join together in societies, dwell together, and many other like things.


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