(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 4802

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4802. There are also spirits who though evil still in some measure admit the light of heaven and receive the truths of faith, so that they have some perception of truth. They also eagerly receive truths, yet not for the purpose of living according to them, but that they may glory in seeming more intelligent and sharpsighted than others; for the intellect of man is such that it can receive truths, and yet truths are not appropriated to any but those who live according to them. Unless man's intellect were such he could not be reformed.
[2] They who in the world have been of such a quality, that is, have understood truths and yet have lived a life of evil, are in the other life also of this quality, but there abuse their capacity to understand truths in order to acquire dominion; for they know there that by means of truths they have communication with some societies of heaven, and consequently that they can be with the evil and have power; for in the other life truths have power in them; but because their life is evil they are in hell.
[3] I have spoken with two persons who had been such in the life of the body, and they wondered at their being in hell, when yet they had had a persuasive belief in the truths of faith. But they were told that the light with them by which they understood truths was a light like that of winter in the world, in which objects appear in their beauty and colors equally as in the light of summer; but that nevertheless in this winter light all things are torpid, and nothing pleasant and gladsome is produced; and that as their end of understanding truths had been glorying, and consequently self, therefore when the sphere of their ends exalts itself toward the interior heavens to the angels there, by whom ends only are perceived, it cannot be endured, but is rejected; and that for this reason they are in hell.
[4] It was added that formerly such persons were pre-eminently called serpents of the tree of knowledge, because when they reason from the life they speak against truths; and moreover that they were like a woman with a lovely face, and a noisome odor, and who wherever she goes is therefore rejected from societies. Moreover, when in the other life such persons come to angelic societies they actually have a foul smell, and this even they themselves perceive as soon as they approach those societies. From this also it is evident what faith is without a life of faith.


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