(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 4956

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4956. The essence of charity toward the neighbor is the affection of good and truth, and the acknowledgment of self as being evil and false; yea, the neighbor is good and truth itself, and to be affected by these is to have charity. The opposite to the neighbor is evil and falsity, which are held in aversion by one who has charity. He therefore who has charity toward the neighbor is affected by good and truth, because they are from the Lord, and holds in aversion what is evil and what is false because these are from self; and when he does this, he is in humiliation from self-acknowledgment, and when he is in humiliation, he is in a state of reception of good and truth from the Lord. These are the characteristics of charity which in the internal sense are involved in these words of the Lord: "I was hungry, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye gathered Me; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me." That these words involve such things, no one can know except from the internal sense. The ancients, who had the doctrinals of charity, knew these things; but at this day they appear so remote that everyone will wonder at its being said that these things are within. Moreover, the angels who are with man perceive these words no otherwise, for by the "hungry" they perceive those who from affection desire good; by the "thirsty," those who from affection desire truth; by a "stranger," those who are willing to be instructed; by the "naked," those who acknowledge that there is nothing of good and of truth in themselves; by the "sick," those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but evil; and by the "bound," or those who are "in prison," those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but falsity. If these things are reduced into one meaning, they signify what has been stated just above.


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