(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 7778

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7778. And every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die. That this signifies the damnation of faith separate from charity, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being damnation (see n. 5407, 6119); and from the signification of "firstborn," as being the faith of the church through which is charity (n. 352, 2435, 6344, 7035); but the "firstborn in the land of Egypt" denotes faith without charity (of which above, n. 7766).
[2] As regards faith without charity, it is to be said further that faith without charity is not faith, but only the memory-knowledge of such things as are of faith; for the truths of faith look to charity as their ultimate end, and afterward proceed from charity as their first end. From this it is manifest that those things which are of faith have no existence with those who are not in charity, and yet it is known that the memory-knowledge of the truths of faith does exist with them. This memory-knowledge is that which they call faith. And when the memory-knowledges of the truth and good of faith are applied by them to confirm falsities and evils, then the truths and goods of faith no longer exist with them, because the truths and goods give assent to the falsities and evils which they serve, for then those very falsities and evils which they confirm are seen in them.
[3] Those things which are of genuine faith look upward to heaven and to the Lord; but those which are of faith separate from charity look downward, and when they confirm evils and falsities they look toward hell. From this also it is evident that faith separate from charity is not faith. From all this it can be seen what is meant by the damnation of faith separate from charity, namely, that it is the damnation of the falsified truth and adulterated good of faith; for when good has been falsified it is no longer truth but falsity, and when good has been adulterated it is no longer good but evil; and faith itself is no longer the faith of truth and good, but of falsity and evil, no matter how it may appear and sound in the outward form.
And (what is a secret) the quality of everyone's faith is such as is the quality of his life. If therefore the life has been damned, so also has the faith; for it is the faith of falsity when the life is a life of evil. That this is so does not appear in the world, but it is clearly shown in the other life when the evil there are being deprived of the memory-knowledge of truth and good, for then the falsities from evils which had lain hidden within them, come forth.
[4] With some of the evil there is a persuasion that the truth of faith is truth, which persuasion is also supposed to be faith, but is not faith; for it is impressed from this end, that it may serve as a means of securing gain, honors, and reputation. So long as these truths serve as means, they are loved for the sake of the end, which is evil; but when they no longer so serve, they are left behind, nay, they are regarded as falsities. This persuasion is what is called "persuasive faith," and is what is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name, and by Thy name have cast out demons, and in Thy name done many mighty works? But then will I confess unto them, I know you not; depart from Me ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:22-23).
The same faith is also meant by the "lamps without oil" with the five foolish virgins, who also said, "Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said, Verily I say to you, I know you not" (Matt. 25:11-12); by "lamps" are signified the truths of faith, and by "oil" the good of charity; thus by "lamps without oil," the truths of faith without the good of charity.


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