(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 880

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880. And he stayed yet other seven days. That this signifies the beginning of a second state of regeneration, may be evident from the fact that the time is thus described which intervenes between the first state (described in the eighth and ninth verses) and this second state (described here in the tenth and eleventh verses). In order to maintain the historic connection, this intervening time is expressed by his "staying." How the case is with the second state of regeneration may be seen in some degree from what has been said and shown about the first state, which was that the truths of faith could not yet take root, because falsities hindered. The truths of faith are first rooted when man begins to acknowledge and believe, and they are not rooted before. What man hears from the Word and holds in memory, is only the sowing; the rooting does by no means begin until the man accepts and receives the good of charity. All the truth of faith is rooted by the good of faith, that is, by the good of charity. This is as with seed that is cast into the ground while it is still winter and the ground is cold; there indeed it lies, but does not take root. But as soon as the heat of the sun warms the earth in the time of early spring, the seed begins first to push its root within itself, and afterwards to send it forth into the ground. The case is the same with spiritual seed that is being implanted: this is never rooted until the good of charity as it were warms it; then for the first time it pushes its root within itself, and afterwards sends it forth.
[2] There are three things in man which concur and unite together, namely, the Natural, the Spiritual, and the Celestial. His natural never receives any life except from the spiritual, and the spiritual never except from the celestial, and the celestial from the Lord alone, who is life itself. But in order that a still fuller idea may be gained: the natural is the receptacle that receives the spiritual, or is the vessel into which the spiritual is poured; and the spiritual is the receptacle which receives, or is the vessel into which is poured, the celestial. Thus, through things celestial, life comes from the Lord. Such is the influx. The celestial is all the good of faith; in the spiritual man it is the good of charity. The spiritual is truth, which never becomes the truth of faith unless there is in it the good of faith, that is, the good of charity, in which there is life itself from the Lord. That a yet clearer idea may be gained: man's natural is what does the Work of Charity, by hand or by mouth, and thus by the organs of the body; but this work in itself is dead, and does not live except from the spiritual that is in it; and the spiritual does not live except from the celestial, which lives from the Lord. From this the work is said to be good, since there is nothing good except from the Lord.
[3] This being the case, it must be evident to everyone that in every work of charity the work itself is nothing but a material affair, and that the work is living is attributable to the truth of faith that is in it; and further that neither is the truth of faith anything but an inanimate affair, and that the truth of faith is living is attributable to the good of faith; moreover that the good of faith is not living except from the Lord only, who is Good itself and Life itself. This shows why the celestial angels are unwilling to hear about faith, and are still more unwilling to hear about work (see n. 202). For the celestial angels ascribe to love both the faith and the work, making faith to be from love, and making even the work of faith to be from love, so that with them both the work and the faith vanish, and there remains nothing but love and its derivative good, and within their love is the Lord. In consequence of having ideas so heavenly these angels are distinct from those angels who are called spiritual, their very thought (together with the speech that is derived from this thought) being much more incomprehensible than are the thought and the speech of the spiritual angels.


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