(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 4545

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4545. And purify yourselves, and change your garments. That this signifies that holiness was to be put on, is evident from the signification of "to be purified" or "cleansed," as being to be sanctified (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "changing the garments," as being to put on, here to put on holy truths; for in the internal sense of the Word by "garments" are signified truths. It is very evident that to change the garments was a representative received in the church, but what it represented no one can know unless he knows what garments signify in the internal sense (see n. 2576). As the subject here treated of is the rejection of falsities and the disposition of truths by good in the natural, mention is made of the fact that they were commanded by Jacob to change their garments.
[2] That to change the garments was a representative that holy truths were to be put on, may be seen also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:
Awake, awake, O Jerusalem, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on the garments of thy adornment, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall not continue to come into thee any more the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isa. 52:1);
as "Zion" is the celestial church, and "Jerusalem" the spiritual church, and as the celestial church is that which is in good from love to the Lord, and the spiritual church is that which is in truth from faith and charity, therefore "strength" is predicated of Zion, and "garments" of Jerusalem; and it is signified that thereby they were clean.
[3] In Zechariah:
Joshua was clothed with defiled garments, and stood thus before the angel; and [the angel] answered and said unto those that stood before him, saying, Remove the defiled garments from upon him; and unto him he said, See, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from upon thee by putting on thee change of garments (Zech. 3:3-4);
from this passage also it is evident that to remove the garments and to put on a change of garments, represented purification from falsities, for it is said, "I have made thine iniquity to pass from upon thee." It was also for this reason that men had changes of garments, and they were so called (whereof occasional mention is made in the Word) because representations were thereby exhibited.
[4] As such things were represented by changes of garments, therefore where the new temple is treated of in Ezekiel, by which in the internal sense is signified a new church, it is said:
When the priests enter in, they shall not go out of the holy place to the outer court, but there they shall lay aside their garments wherein they ministered, for they are holiness, and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which pertain to the people (Ezek. 42:14).
And again:
When they go forth into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they minister, and shall lay them aside in the chambers of holiness, and they shall put on other garments, and shall sanctify the people with other garments (Ezek. 44:19).
[5] Everyone can see that by the new temple and by the holy city and land, here described by the prophet and in the chapters which precede and follow, is not meant any new temple, nor a new city and a new land, for mention is made of sacrifices and rituals as to be instituted anew which nevertheless were to be abrogated; and mention is also made by name of the tribes of Israel dividing the land into inheritances among themselves, which nevertheless have been dispersed and have never returned. Hence it is evident that by the rituals there mentioned are signified spiritual and celestial things of the church, similar to what are signified by the changes of garments when Aaron ministered, in Moses:
When he maketh a burnt offering he shall put on his clothing, and his linen breeches, the ashes he shall put beside the altar. Afterward he shall put off his garments, and shall put on other garments, and shall bring forth the ashes into a clean place outside the camp, and thus shall he make the burnt-offering (Lev. 6:9-11).
[6] That to be cleansed denotes to be sanctified, may be seen from the cleansings which were commanded, as that they should wash their flesh and their garments, and that they should be sprinkled with the waters of separation. That no one is sanctified by such things, everyone may know who has any knowledge about the spiritual man; for what has iniquity and sin in common with the garments with which a man is clothed? And yet it is sometimes said that after they had cleansed themselves, they should be holy. From this it is also manifest that the rituals enjoined upon the Israelites were holy simply because they represented holy things; consequently that those who were representative did not thereby become holy as to their persons; but that the holiness abstractedly represented by them affected the spirits who were with them, and thereby the angels in heaven (n. 4307).
[7] For of necessity there must be communication of heaven with man, in order that the human race may subsist, and this by means of the church, for otherwise they would become like beasts, devoid of internal and external bonds; and thus each would rush without restraint to accomplish the destruction of others, and they would annihilate each other. And as at that time this communication was not possible by means of any church, it was therefore provided by the Lord that it should be miraculously effected by means of representatives. That sanctification was represented by the ritual of washing and cleansing, is manifest from many passages in the Word, as when Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai, He said to Moses:
Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day (Exod. 19:10, 11).
In Ezekiel:
I will sprinkle upon you clean waters, and ye shall be cleansed from all your uncleannesses, and I will cleanse you from all your idols, and I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in the midst of you (Ezek. 36:25-26);
where it is manifest that "sprinkling clean waters" represented the purification of the heart; thus that "to be cleansed" is to be sanctified.


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