(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 9281

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9281. And the son of thy handmaid, and the sojourner, may take breath. That this signifies the state of life of those outside the church who are in truths and goods, is evident from the signification of "the son of a handmaid," as being those who are in the affection of external truth; for by "a son" is signified truth (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257), and by "a handmaid" is signified external affection (n. 1895, 2567, 3835, 3849, 7780, 8993); and from the signification of "a sojourner," as being those who wish to be instructed in the truths and goods of the church (n. 1463, 8007, 8013, 9196). That by "the son of a handmaid," and "a sojourner," are here signified those who are outside the church, is because in the preceding portion of this verse those who are within the church were treated of; and for this reason those who are without the church are meant by the "sons of a handmaid," and those who have not been born within the church by "sojourners;" because the former are of a lower descent, and the latter are of a different lineage. And from the signification of "breathing," as being the state of life in respect to the truths and goods of faith. The reason why "breathing" signifies this state of life, is that the lungs, whose office it is to breathe, correspond to the life of faith from charity, which is spiritual life (n. 97, 1119, 3351, 3635, 3883-3896, 9229).
[2] Man has an outward and an inward breathing; the outward breathing is from the world, but the inward is from heaven. When a man dies, the outward breathing ceases; but the inward breathing, which during his life in the world is tacit and imperceptible to him, continues. This breathing is altogether according to the affection of truth, thus according to the life of his faith. But those who are in no faith, as is the case with those who are in hell, do not draw their breathing from within, but from without, thus in a contrary manner; and therefore when they approach an angelic society, where there is breathing from within, they begin to be suffocated, and become like images of death (n. 3894). Therefore they cast themselves down headlong into their hell, where they resume their former breathing, which is contrary to that of heaven.
[3] As the breathing corresponds to the life of faith, therefore the life of faith is also signified by the "soul" [anima] (n. 9050), from "animation," which denotes the breathing; and therefore also the breath is called the "spirit," as in the expressions "drawing the breath" [spiritus], and "letting out the breath" [spiritus]. From this also in the original tongue, "spirits" are so called from the wind, and in the Word are compared to "the wind;" as in John:
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).
From this also it is evident what is signified by its being said that after His resurrection the Lord, when speaking with His disciples, "breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22).


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