(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 7127

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7127. I will by no means give you straw. That this signifies no longer thence the most general memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "by no means giving," as being no longer to furnish; and from the signification of "straw," as being the most general memory-knowledges of all (see n. 7112). How the case herein is has already been told. But it must be told further, that in the other life those who have been of the church, and have persuaded themselves that faith alone saves, yet have not lived the life of faith, but a life of evil, especially put straw (that is, the most general memory-knowledges of all) before the upright whom they are infesting. These men are of the same character there as they had been in the world; they are acquainted with confirming arguments in favor of faith alone, by which they say that man is saved no matter how he had lived; but these confirming arguments are nothing but reasonings that agree with the given proposition; for everything, even what is most false, can be confirmed by reasonings, and can also be presented to the simple as true, by means of the arts of eloquence and of inference.
[2] For this purpose they especially employ such things from the Word as are the most general of all, and which without the internal sense of the word can be drawn to favor any opinion whatever. Such are the things which they put before those who are of the spiritual church; and by means of which they infest them; although they are nothing but chaff or straw for making bricks, for they exclude the most essential thing of all, namely, charity.
They indeed say that works of charity are the fruits of faith, but still they make these works of no account, and persuade their hearers that man is saved by faith alone no matter what his life has been, even in life's last moments; thus by faith without its fruits, consequently without the life of faith and charity.
[3] So long as such things are put before the upright in the other life, these wield fighting arguments, and are able to defend themselves, for they see that reasonings are fallacious when the essential, which is charity, is thus excluded, and also when they see that no regard is paid to the life. From everything in the other life, both in general and in particular, they see these things as in clear day. Such then is what is meant by the memory-knowledges the lowest and most general of all, which are signified by "straw." They who have persuaded themselves that faith alone saves, and yet have lived a life of evil, are in hell at a considerable depth toward the right, a little in front; and I have heard them from thence infesting the upright with reasonings; but these, being led of the Lord by the angels, rejected the reasonings as being empty, and they also exposed the fallacies which were in the confirmations and arguments from the general things of the Word.


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