E-text prepared by William J. Rotella
SPIRITUAL LIFE AND THE WORD OF GOD
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)
Extracted from the Apocalypse Explained
Part First—THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
I. How Spiritual Life is Acquired II. Goods of Charity III. Shunning Evils IV. Cleansing the Inside V. What Religion Consists In
Part Second—THE COMMANDMENTS
I. The First Commandment II. The Second Commandment III. The Third Commandment IV. The Fourth Commandment V. The Fifth Commandment VI. The Sixth Commandment VII. The Seventh Commandment VIII. The Eighth Commandment IX. The Ninth and Tenth Commandments X. The Commandments in General
Part Third—PROFANATIONS OF GOOD AND TRUTH
I. Goods and Truths and Their Opposites II. The First Kind of Profanation III. The Second Kind of Profanation IV. The Third Kind of Profanation V. The Fourth and Fifth Kinds of Profanation
Part Fourth—THE DIVINE WORD
I. The Holiness of the Word II. The Lord is the Word III. The Lord's Words Spirit and Life IV. Influx and Correspondence V. The Three Senses of the Word VI. Conjunction by the Word VII. The Sense of the Letter
Part First—THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
I. How Spiritual Life is Acquired
Spiritual life is acquired solely by a life according to the commandments in the Word. These commandments are given in summary in the Decalogue, namely, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet the goods of others. These commandments are the commandments that are to be done, for when a man does these his works are good and his life is spiritual, and for the reason that so far as a man shuns evils and hates them so far he wills and loves goods.
For there are two opposite spheres that surround man, one from hell, the other from heaven; from hell a sphere of evil and falsity therefrom, from heaven a sphere of good and of truth therefrom; and these spheres do [not immediately] affect the body, but they affect the minds of men, for they are spiritual spheres, and thus are affections that belong to the love. In the midst of these man is set; therefore so far as he approaches the one, so far he withdraws from the other. This is why so far as a man shuns evils and hates them, so far he wills and loves goods and the truths therefrom; for no one can at the same time serve two masters, for he will hate the one and will love the other. (Matt. vi. 24).
But let it be noted, that man must do these commandments from religion, because they are commanded by the Lord; and if he does this from any other consideration whatever, for instance, from regard merely to the civil law or the moral law, he remains natural, and does not become spiritual. For when a man acts from religion, he acknowledges in heart that there is a God, a heaven and a hell, and a life after death. But when he acts from regard merely to the civil and moral law, he may act in the same way, and yet in heart may deny that there is a God, a heaven and a hell, and a life after death. And if he shuns evils and does goods, it is merely in the external form, and not in the internal; thus while he is outwardly in respect to the life of the body like a Christian, inwardly in respect to the life of his spirit he is like a devil. All this makes clear that a man can become spiritual, or receive spiritual life, in no other way than by a life according to religion from the Lord.
I have had proof that this is true from angels of the third or inmost heaven, who are in the greatest wisdom and happiness. When asked how they had become such angels, they said it was because during their life in the world they had regarded filthy thoughts as abominable, and these had been to them adulteries; and had regarded in like manner frauds and unlawful gains, which had been to them thefts; also hatreds and revenges, which had been to them murder; also lies and blasphemies, which had been to them false testimonies; and so with other things. When asked again whether they had done good works, they said they loved chastity, in which they were because they had regarded adulteries as abominable; that they loved sincerity and justice, in which they were because they had regarded frauds and unlawful gains as abominable; that they loved the neighbor because they had regarded hatreds and revenges as abominable; that they loved truth because they had regarded lies and blasphemies as abominable, and so on; and that they perceived that when these evils have been put away, and they acted from chastity, sincerity, justice, charity and truth, it was not done from themselves, but from the Lord, and thus that all things whatsoever that they had done from these were good works, although they had done them as if from themselves; and that it was on this account that they had been raised up by the Lord after death into the third heaven. Thus it was made clear how spiritual life, which is the life of the angels of heaven, is acquired.
It shall now be told how that life is destroyed by the faith of the present day. The faith of this day is that it must be believed that God the Father sent His Son, who suffered the cross for our sins, and took away the curse of the law by fulfilling it; and that this faith apart from good works will save everyone, even in the last hour of death. By this faith instilled from childhood and afterward confirmed by preachings, it has come to pass that no one shuns evils from religion, but only from civil and moral law; thus not because they are sins but because they are damaging.
Consider, when a man thinks that the Lord suffered for our sins, that He took away the curse of the law, and that merely to believe these things, or to have faith in them without good works saves, whether this is not to regard as of little worth the commandments of the Decalogue, all the life of religion as prescribed in the Word, and furthermore all the truths that inculcate charity. Separate these, therefore, and take them away from man, and is there any religion left in him? For religion does not consist in merely thinking this or that, but in willing and doing that which is thought; and there is no religion when willing and doing are separated from thinking. From this it follows that the faith of this day destroys spiritual life, which is the life of the angels of heaven, and is the Christian life itself.
Consider further, why the ten commandments of the Decalogue were promulgated from Mount Sinai in so miraculous a way; why they were engraved on two tables of stone, and why these were placed in the ark, over which was placed the mercy-seat with cherubs, and the place where those commandments were was called the Holy of holies, within which Aaron was permitted to enter only once a year, and this with sacrifices and incense; and if he had entered without these, he would have fallen dead; also why so many miracles were afterward performed by means of that ark. Have not all throughout the whole globe a knowledge of like commandments? Do not their civil laws prescribe the same? Who does not know from merely natural lumen, that for the sake of order in every kingdom, adultery, theft, murder, false witness, and other things in the Decalogue are forbidden? Why then must those same precepts have been promulgated by so many miracles, and regarded as so holy? Can there be any other reason than that everyone might do them from religion, and thus from God, and not merely from civil and moral law, and thus from self and for the sake of the world? Such was the reason for their promulgation from Mount Sinai and their holiness; for to do these commandments from religion purifies the internal man, opens heaven, admits the Lord, and makes man as to his spirit an angel of heaven. And this is why the nations outside the church who do these commandments from religion are all saved, but not anyone who does them merely from civil and moral law.
Inquire now whether the faith of this day, which is, that the Lord suffered for our sins, that he took away the curse of the law by fulfilling it, and that man is justified and saved by this faith apart from good works, does not cancel all these commandments. Look about and discover how many there are at this day in the Christian world who do not live according to this faith. I know that they will answer that they are weak and imperfect men, born in sins, and the like. But who is not able to think from religion? This the Lord gives to everyone; and in him who thinks these things from religion the Lord works all things so far as he thinks. And be it known that he who thinks of these things from religion believes that there is a God, a heaven, a hell, and a life after death; but he who does not think of these things from religion does not, I affirm, believe them. (A.E., n. 902.)
II. Goods of Charity
What is meant by goods of charity or good works is at this day unknown to most in the Christian world, because of the prevalence of the religion of faith alone, which is a faith separated from goods of charity. For if only faith contributes to salvation, and goods of charity contribute nothing, the idea that these goods may be left undone has place in the mind. But some who believe that good works should be done do not know what is meant by good works, thinking that good works are merely giving to the poor and doing good to the needy and to widows and orphans, since such things are mentioned and seemingly commanded in the Word. Some think that if good works must be done for the sake of eternal life they must give to the poor all they possess, as was done in the primitive church, and as the Lord commanded the rich man to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and take up the cross and follow Him (Matt. xix. 21). (A.E., n. 932.)
It has just been said that at this day it is scarcely known what is meant by charity, and thus by good works, unless it be giving to the poor, enriching the needy, doing good to widows and orphans, and contributing to the building of churches and hospitals and lodging houses; and yet whether such works are done by man and for the sake of reward is not known; for if they are done by man they are not good, and if for the sake of reward they are not meritorious; and such works do not open heaven, and thus are not acknowledged as goods in heaven. In heaven no works are regarded as good except such as are done by the Lord in man, and yet the works that are done by the Lord in man appear in outward form like those done by the man himself and cannot be distinguished even by the man who does them. For the works done by the Lord in man are done by man as if by himself; and unless they are done as if by himself they do not conjoin man to the Lord, thus they do not reform him. (A.E., n. 933.)
But for works to be done by the Lord, and not by man, two things are necessary: first, there must be an acknowledgment of the Lord's Divine, also that He is the God of heaven and earth even in respect to the Human, also that every good that is good is from Him; and secondly, it is necessary that man live according to the commandments of the Decalogue, by abstaining from those evils that are there forbidden, that is, from worshipping other gods, from profaning the name of God, from thefts, from adulteries, from murders, from false witness, from coveting the possessions and property of others. These two things are requisite that the works done by man may be good. The reason is that every good comes from the Lord alone, and the Lord cannot enter into man and lead him so long as these evils are not set aside as sins; for they are infernal, and in fact are hell with man, and unless hell is set aside the Lord cannot enter and open heaven. This is what is meant by the Lord's words to the rich man:
Who asked Him about eternal life, and said that he had kept the commandments of the Decalogue from his youth; whom the Lord is said to have loved, and to have taught that one thing was lacking to him, that he should sell all that he had and take up the cross (Matt. xix. 16-22; Mark x. 17-22; Luke xviii. 18-23).
"To sell all that he had" signifies that he should relinquish the things of his religion, which were traditions, for he was a Jew, and also should relinquish the things that were his own, which were loving self and the world more than God, and thus leading himself; and "to follow the Lord" signifies to acknowledge Him only and to be led by Him; therefore the Lord also said, "Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but God only." "To take up his cross" signifies to fight against evils and falsities, which are from what is one's own (proprium). (A.E., n. 934.)
III. Shunning Evils
In the previous chapter two things are said to be necessary that works may be good, namely, that the Divine of the Lord be acknowledged, and that the evils forbidden in the Decalogue be shunned as sins. The evils enumerated in the Decalogue include all the evils that can ever exist; therefore the Decalogue is called the ten commandments, because "ten" signifies all.
The first commandment, "Thou shalt not worship other gods," includes not loving self and the world; for he that loves self and the world above all things worships other gods; for everyone's god is that which he loves above all things.
The second commandment, "Thou shalt not profane the name of God," includes not to despise the Word and doctrine from the Word, and thus the church, and not to reject these from the heart, for these are God's "name."
The fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," included the shunning of frauds and unlawful gains, for these also are thefts.
The sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," includes having delight in adulteries and having no delight in marriages, and in particular cherishing filthy thoughts respecting such things as pertain to marriage, for these are adulteries.
The seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," includes not hating the neighbor nor loving revenge; for hatred and revenge breathe murder.
The eighth commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," includes not to lie and blaspheme; for lies and blasphemies are false testimonies.
The ninth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house," includes not wishing to possess or to divert to oneself the goods of others against their will.
The tenth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, his man-servants," and so on, includes not wishing to rule over others and to subject them to oneself, for the things here enumerated mean the things that are man's own. Anyone can see that these eight commandments relate to evils that must be shunned, and not to goods that must be done. (A.E., n. 935.)
But many, I know, think in their heart that no one can of himself shun these evils enumerated in the Decalogue, because man is born in sins and has therefore no power of himself to shun them. But let such know that anyone who thinks in his heart that there is a God, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, that the Word is from Him, and is therefore holy, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that there is a life after death, has the ability to shun these evils. But he who despises these truths and casts them out of his mind, and still more he who denies them, is not able. For how can one who never thinks about God think that anything is a sin against God? And how can one who never thinks about heaven, hell, and the life after death, shun evils as sins? Such a man does not know what sin is.
Man is placed in the middle between heaven and hell. Out of heaven goods unceasingly flow in, and out of hell evils unceasingly flow in; and as man is between he has freedom to think what is good or to think what is evil. This freedom the Lord never takes away from anyone, for it belongs to his life, and is the means of his reformation. So far, therefore, as man from this freedom has the thought and desire to shun evils because they are sins, and prays to the Lord for help, so far does the Lord take them away and give man the ability to refrain from them as if of himself, and then to shun them.
Everyone is able from natural freedom to shun these same evils because of their being contrary to human laws. This every citizen of a kingdom does who fears the penalties of the civil law, or the loss of life, reputation, honor, wealth, and thus of office, gain, and pleasures; even an evil man does this. And the life of such a man appears exactly the same in external form as the life of one who shuns these evils because they are contrary to the Divine laws; but in internal form it is wholly unlike it. The one acts from natural freedom only, which is from man; the other acts from spiritual freedom, which is from the Lord; both acting from freedom. When a man is able to shun these same evils from natural freedom, why is he not able to shun them from spiritual freedom, in which he is constantly held by the Lord, provided he thinks to will this because there is a heaven, a hell, a life after death, punishment and reward, and prays to the Lord for help?
Let it be noted, that every man when he is beginning the spiritual life because he wishes to be saved, fears sins on account of the punishments of hell, but afterward on account of the sin itself, because it is in itself abominable, and finally on account of the truth and good that he loves, thus for the Lord's sake. For so far as anyone loves truth and good, thus the Lord, he so far turns away from what is contrary to these, which is evil. All this makes clear that he that believes in the Lord shuns evils as sins; and conversely, he that shuns evils as sins believes; consequently to shun evils as sins is the sign of faith. (A.E., n. 936.)
But as all the evils into which man is born derive their roots from a love of ruling over others and from a love of possessing the goods of others, and all the delights of man's own life flow forth from these two loves, and all evils are from them, so the loves and delights of these evils belong to man's own life. And since evils belong to the life of man, it follows that man from himself can be no means refrain from them, for this would be from his own life to refrain from his own life. An ability to refrain from them of the Lord is therefore provided, and that he may have this ability the freedom to think that which he wills and to pray to the Lord for help is granted him. He has this freedom because he is in the middle between heaven and hell, consequently between good and evil. And being in the middle he is in equilibrium; and he who is in equilibrium is able easily and as of his own accord to turn himself the one way or the other; and the more so because the Lord continually resists evils and repels them, and raises man up and draws him to Himself. And yet there is combat, because the evils which belong to man's life are stirred up by the evils that unceasingly rise up from hell; and then man must fight against them, and, indeed, as if of himself. If he does not fight as if of himself the evils are not set aside. (A.E., n. 938.)
IV. Cleansing the Inside
It is acknowledged that man's interior must be purified before the good that he does is good; for the Lord says,
"Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may be clean also" (Matt. xxiii. 26).
Man's interior is purified only as he refrains from evils, in accordance with the commandments of the Decalogue. So long as man does not refrain from these evils and does not shun and turn away from them as sins, they constitute his interior, and are like an interposed veil or covering, and in heaven this appears like an eclipse by which the sun is obscured and light is intercepted; also like a fountain of pitch or of black water, from which nothing emanates but what is impure. That which emanates therefrom and that appears before the world as good is not good, because it is defiled by evils from within, for it is Pharisaic and hypocritical good. This good is good from man and is meritorious good. It is otherwise when evils have been removed by a life according to the commandments of the Decalogue.
Now since evils must be removed before goods can become good the Ten Commandments were the first of the Word, being promulgated from Mount Sinai before the Word was written by Moses and the prophets. And these do not set forth goods that must be done, but evils that must be shunned. For the same reason these commandments are the first things to be taught in the churches; for they are taught to boys and girls in order that man may begin his Christian life with them, and by no means forget them as he grows up; although he does so. The same is meant by these words in Isaiah:
"What is the multitude of sacrifices" to Me? Your meat offering, your incense, "your new moons, and your appointed feasts, My soul hateth. . . And when you multiply prayer I will not hear. . . Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil . . . . Then though your sins were as scarlet they shall be white as snow; though they were red as purple they shall be as wool" (i. 11-19).
"Sacrifices," "meat offerings," "incense," "new moons," and "feasts," also "prayer," mean all things of worship. That these are wholly evil and even abominable unless the interior is purified from evils is meant by "Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings, and cease to do evil." That afterward they are all goods is meant by words that follow. (A.E., n. 939.)
When man's interior is purified from evils by his refraining from them and shunning them because they are sins, the internal which is above it, and which is called the spiritual internal, is opened. This communicates with heaven; consequently man is then admitted into heaven and is conjoined to the Lord.
There are two internals in man, one beneath and the other above. While man lives in the world he is in the internal which is beneath and from which he thinks, for it is natural. This may be called for the sake of distinction the interior. But the internal that is above is that into which man comes after death when he enters heaven. All angels of heaven are in this internal, for it is spiritual. This internal is opened to the man who shuns evils as sins; but it is kept closed to the man who does not shun evils as sins.
This internal is kept closed to the man who does not shun evils as sins, because the interior, that is, the natural internal, until man has been purified from sins, is hell; and so long as there is hell there heaven cannot be opened; but as soon as hell has been set aside it is opened. But let it be noted that in the measure in which the spiritual internal and heaven are opened to man, the natural internal is purified from the hell that is there. This is not done at once, but successively by degrees. All this makes clear that man from himself is hell, and that man is made a heaven by the Lord, consequently that he is snatched out of hell by the Lord, and raised up into heaven to the Lord, not without means but through means; and these means are the commandments just mentioned, by which the Lord leads him who wishes to be led. (A.E., n. 940.)
When the spiritual internal is opened, and through it communication with heaven and conjunction with the Lord are granted, enlightenment takes place with man. He is enlightened especially when he reads the Word, because the Lord is in the Word, and the Word is Divine truth, and Divine truth is light to angels. Man is enlightened in the rational, for this directly underlies the spiritual internal, and receives light from heaven and transfers it into the natural when it is purified from evils, filling it with the knowledges of truth and good, and adapting to them the knowledges (scientiae) that are from world, for the sake of proof and agreement. Thus man has a rational, and thus he has an understanding. He who believes that man has a rational and an understanding before his natural has been purified from evils is deceived, for the understanding is seeing truths of the church from the light of heaven; and the light of heaven does not flow into those not purified. And as the understanding is perfected, the falsities of religion and of ignorance and all fallacies are dispersed. (A.E., n. 941.)
When a man has been admitted by the opening of his internal into heaven, and receives light therefrom, the same affections that angels of heaven have, with their pleasures and delights, are communicated to him. The first affection then granted is an affection for truth; the second is an affection for good; and the third is an affection for bringing forth fruits. For when a man has been admitted into heaven and into its light and heat he is like a tree growing from its seed. His first budding forth is from enlightenment; his blossoming before the fruit is from an affection for truth; the putting forth of fruit that follows is from an affection for good; the multiplication of itself again into trees is from an affection for producing fruit. The heat of heaven, which is love, and the light of heaven, which is the understanding of truth from that love, bring forth in subjects of life things like those that the heat of the world and its light bring forth in subjects not of life. That like things are brought forth is from correspondence. But in both cases the production is effected in springtime; and springtime in man is when he enters heaven, which is effected when his spiritual internal is opened; before that it is the time of winter to him. (A.E., n. 942.)
Man has affection for truth when he loves truth and turns away from falsity. He has an affection for good when he loves good uses and turns away from evil uses. He has an affection for bringing forth fruit when he loves to do goods and to be serviceable. All heavenly joy is in these affections and from them, and this joy cannot be described by comparisons, for it is supereminent and eternal. (A.E., n. 943.)
Into this state the man comes who shuns evils because they are sins, and looks to the Lord; and so far as he comes into this state he turns away from and hates evils as sins, and acknowledges in heart and worships the Lord only, and His Divine in the Human. This is a summary. (A.E., n. 944.)
When a man is in that state he is raised up from what is his own (proprium); for a man is in what is his own (proprium) when he is only in the natural external, but he is raised up from what is his own (proprium) when he is in the spiritual internal. This raising up from what is his own man perceives only by this, that he does not think evils, and that he turns away from thinking them, and takes delight in truths and in good uses. And yet if such a man advances further into that state he perceives influx by a kind of thought; but he is not withheld from thinking and willing as if from himself, for this the Lord wills for the sake of reformation. Nevertheless, man should acknowledge that nothing of good or of truth therefrom is from himself, but all is from the Lord. (A.E., n. 945.)
It follows from this that when man shuns and turns away from evils as sins and is raised up into heaven by the Lord, he is not longer in what is his own (proprium), but in the Lord, and thus he thinks and wills goods. Again, since man acts as he thinks and wills, for every act of man goes forth from the thought of his will, it follows that when he shuns and turns away from evils he does goods from the Lord and not from self; and this is why shunning evils is doing goods. The goods that a man does in this way are what are meant by good works; and good works in their whole complex are what are meant by charity. Man cannot be reformed unless he thinks, wills, and does as if from himself, since that which is done as if by the man himself is conjoined to him and remains with him, while that which is not done as if by the man himself, not being received in any life of sense, flows through like ether; and this is why the Lord wills that man should not only shun and turn away from evils as if of himself, but should also think, will, and do as if of himself, and yet acknowledge in heart that all these things are from the Lord. This he must acknowledge because it is the truth. (A.E., n. 946.)
V. What Religion Consists In
Religion with man consists in a life according to the Divine commandments, which are contained in a summary in the Decalogue. He that does not live according to these can have no religion, since he does not fear God, still less does he love God; nor does he fear man, still less does he love him. Can one who steals, commits adultery, kills, bears false witness fear God or man? Nevertheless everyone is able to live according to these commandments; and he who is wise does so live as a civil man, as a moral man, and as a natural man. And yet he who does not live according to them as a spiritual man cannot be saved; since to live according to them as a spiritual man means to live so for the sake of the Divine that is in them, while to live according to them as a civil man means for the sake of justice and to escape punishments in the world; and to live according to them as a moral man means for the sake of honesty, and to escape the loss of reputation and honor; while to live according to them as a natural man means for the sake of what is human, and to escape the repute of having an unsound mind.
All laws, civil, moral, and natural, prescribe that one must not steal, must not commit adultery, must not kill, must not bear false witness; and yet a man is saved not by shunning these evils from these laws alone, but by shunning them also from spiritual law, thus shunning them as sins. For with such a man there is religion, and a belief that there is a God, a heaven and a hell, and a life after death; with such a man there is a civil life, a moral life, and a natural life; a civil life because there is justice, a moral life because there is honesty, and a natural life because there is manhood.
But he who does not live according to these commandments as a spiritual man is neither a civil man, nor a moral man, nor a natural man; for he is destitute of justice, of honesty, and even of manhood, since the Divine is not in these. For there can be nothing good in and from itself, but only from God; so there can be nothing just, nothing truly honest or truly human in itself and from itself, but only from God, and only when the Divine is in it. Consider whether anyone who has hell in him, or who is a devil, can do what is just from justice or for the sake of justice; in like manner what is honest, or what is truly human. The truly human is what is from order and according to order, and what is from sound reason; and God is order, and sound reason is from God. In a word, he who does not shun evils as sins is not a man. Everyone who makes these commandments to belong to his religion becomes a citizen and an inhabitant of heaven; but he who does not make them to belong to his religion, although in externals he may live according to them from natural, moral, and civil law, becomes a citizen and an inhabitant of the world, but not of heaven.
Most nations possess a knowledge of these commandments, and make them the commandments of their religion, and live according to them because God so wills and has commanded; and through this they have communication with heaven and conjunction with God, consequently they are saved. But most in the Christian world at this day do not make them the commandments of their religion, but only of their civil and moral life; and they do this that they may not appear in external form to act fraudulently and make unlawful gains, commit adulteries, manifestly pursue others from deadly hatred and revenge, and bear false witness, and do not refrain from these things because they are sins and against God, but because they have fears for their life, their reputation, their office, their business, their possessions, their honor and gain, and their pleasure; consequently if they were not restrained by these bonds they would do these things. Because, therefore, such form for themselves no communication with heaven or conjunction with the Lord, but only with the world and with self, they cannot be saved.
Consider is respect to yourself, when these external bonds have been taken away, as is done with every man after death, if there are no internal bonds, which are from fear and love of God, thus from religion, to restrain and hold you back, whether you would not rush like a devil into thefts, adulteries, murders, false witnesses, and lusts of every kind, from a love of these and a delight in them. That this is the case I have both seen and heard. (A.E., n. 948.)
So far as evils are set aside as sins so far goods flow in, and so far does man afterward do goods, not from self, but from the Lord.
As, first, so far as one does not worship other gods, and thus does not love self and the world above all things, so far acknowledgment of God flows in from the Lord, and then he worships God, not from self but from the Lord.
Secondly, so far as one does not profane the name of God, that is, so far as he shuns the lusts arising from the loves of self and of the world, so far he loves the holy things of the Word and of the church; for these are the name of God, and are profaned by the lusts arising from the loves of self and of the world.
Thirdly, so far as one shuns thefts, and thus shuns frauds and unlawful gains, so far sincerity and justice enter, and he loves what is sincere and just from sincerity and justice, and thus does what is sincere and just not from self but from the Lord.
Fourthly, so far as one shuns adulteries and thus shuns unchaste and filthy thoughts, so far marriage love enters, which is the inmost love of heaven, and in which chastity itself has its seat.
Fifthly, so far as one shuns murders, and thus shuns deadly hatreds and revenges that breathe murder, so far the Lord enters with mercy and love.
Sixthly, so far as one shuns false testimonies, and thus shuns lies and blasphemies, so far truth from the Lord enters.
Seventhly, so far as one shuns a covetousness for the house of others, and thus shuns the love and consequent lusts for possessing the goods of others, so far charity toward the neighbor enters from the Lord.
Eighthly, so far as one shuns a covetousness for the wives of others, their servants, etc., and thus shuns the love and consequent lusts of ruling over others (for the things enumerated in this commandment are what belong to man), so far love to the Lord enters.
These eight commandments include the evils that must be shunned, but the two others, namely, the third and fourth, include certain things that must be done, namely, that the Sabbath must be kept holy, and that parents must be honored. But how these two commandments should be understood, not by men of the Jewish church but by men of the Christian church, will be told elsewhere. (A.E., n. 949).
Part Second—THE COMMANDMENTS
I. The First Commandment
"Thou shalt not make to thee other gods" includes not loving self and the world above all things; for that which one loves above all things is his god. There are two directly opposite loves, love of self and love to God, also love of the world and love of heaven. He who loves himself loves his own (proprium); and as a man's own (proprium) is nothing but evil he also loves evil in its whole complex; and he who loves evil hates good, and thus hates God. He who loves himself above all things sinks his affections and thoughts in the body, and thus in his own (proprium), and from this he cannot be raised up by the Lord; and when one is sunk in the body and in his own (proprium) he is in corporeal ideas and in pleasures that pertain solely to the body, and thus in thick darkness in respect to higher things; while he who is raised up by the Lord is in light. He who is not in the light of heaven but in thick darkness, since he sees nothing of God, denies God and acknowledges as god either nature or some man, or some idol, and even aspires to be himself worshipped as a god. From this it follows that he who loves self above all things worships other gods.
The same is true, but in a less degree, of one who loves the world; for there cannot be so great a love of the world as of one's own (proprium); therefore the world is loved because of one's own and for the sake of one's own, because it is serviceable to it. Love of self means especially the love of ruling over others from a mere delight in ruling and for the sake of eminence, and not from a delight in uses and for the sake of public good; while love of the world means especially a love of possessing goods in the world from a mere delight in possession and for the sake of riches, and not from a delight in uses from these and for the sake of the consequent good. These loves are both of them without limit, and rush on, so far as scope is given, to infinity. (A.E., n. 950.)
It is not believed in the world that the love of ruling from a mere delight in ruling, and the love of possessing goods from a mere delight in possession, and not from delight in uses, conceal in themselves all evils, and also a contempt for and rejection of all things pertaining to heaven and the church; and for the reason that man is stirred up by the love of self and love of the world to right doing in respect to the church, to the country, to society, and to the neighbor, by making good deeds honorable and looking for reward. Therefore this love is called by many the fire of life, and the incitement to great things.
But it is to be noted that so far as these two loves give uses the first place and self the second they are good, while so far as they give self the first place and uses the second they are evil, since man then does all things for the sake of self and consequently from self, and thus in every least thing he does there is self and what is his own (proprium), which regarded in itself is nothing but evil. But to give uses the first place and self the second is to do good for the sake of the church, the country, society, and the neighbor; and the goods that man does to these for the sake of these are not from man but from the Lord. The difference between these two is like the difference between heaven and hell. Man does not know that there is such a difference, because from birth and thus from nature he is in these loves, and because the delight of these loves continually flatters and pleases him.
But let him consider that a love of ruling from delight in ruling, and not from a delight in uses, is wholly devilish; and such a man may be called an atheist; for so far as he is in that love he does not in his heart believe in the existence of God, and to the same extent he derides in his heart all things of the church, and he even hates and pursues with hatred all who acknowledge God, and especially those who acknowledge the Lord. The very delight of the life of such is to do evil and to commit wicked and infamous deeds of every kind. In a word, they are very devils.
This a man does not know so long as he lives in the world: but he will know that it is so when he comes into the spiritual world, as he does immediately after death. Hell is full of such, where instead of having dominion they are in servitude.
Moreover, when they are looked at in the light of heaven they appear inverted, with the head downward and the feet upward, since they gave rule the first place and uses the second; and that which is in the first place is the head, and that which is in the second is the feet; and that which is the head is loved, but that which is the feet is despised. (A.E., n. 951.)
He who supposes that he acknowledges and believes that there is a God before he abstains from the evils forbidden in the Decalogue, especially from the love of ruling from a delight in ruling, and from the love of possessing the goods of the world from a delight in possession, and not from delight in uses, is mistaken. Let a man confirm himself as fully as he can, from the Word, from preachings, from books, and from the light of reason, that there is a God, and thus be persuaded that he believes, yet he does not believe unless the evils that spring from love of self and of the world have been removed. The reason is that evils and their delights block up the way, and shut out and repel goods and their delights from heaven, and prevent their establishment. And until heaven is established there is only a faith of the lips, which in itself is no faith, and there is no faith of the heart, which is real faith. A faith of the lips is faith in externals, a faith of the heart is faith in internals; and if the internals are crowded with evils of every kind, when the externals are taken away (as they are with every man after death), man rejects from them even the faith that there is a God. (A.E., n. 952.)
So far as a man resists his own two loves, which are the love of ruling from the mere delight in rule and the love of possessing the goods of the world from the mere delight in possession, thus so far as he shuns as sins the evils forbidden in the Decalogue, so far there flows in through heaven from the Lord, that there is a God, who is the Creator and Preserver of the universe, and even that God is one. This then flows in for the reason that when evils have been removed heaven is opened, and when heaven is opened man no longer thinks from self but from the Lord through heaven; and that there is a God and that God is one is the universal principle in heaven which comprises all things. That from influx alone man knows and as it were sees that God is one, is evident from the common confession of all nations, and from a repugnance to think that there are many gods.
Man's interior thought, which is the thought of his spirit, is either from hell or from heaven; it is from hell before evils have been removed, but from heaven when they have been removed. When this thought is from hell man sees no otherwise than that nature is god, and that the inmost of nature is what is called the Divine. When such a man after death becomes a spirit he calls anyone a god who is especially powerful; and also himself strives for power that he may be called a god. All the evil have such madness lurking inwardly in their spirit. But when a man thinks from heaven, as he does when evils have been removed, he sees from the light in heaven that there is a God and that He is one. Seeing from light out of heaven is what is meant by influx. (A.E., n. 954.)
When a man shuns and turns away from evils because they are sins he not only sees from the light of heaven that there is a God and the God is one, but also that God is a Man. For he wishes to see his God, and he is incapable of seeing Him otherwise than as a Man. Thus did the ancients before Abraham and after him see God; thus do the nations in lands outside the church see God from an interior perception, especially those who are interiorly wise although not from knowledges; thus do all little children and youths and simple well-disposed adults see God; and thus do the inhabitants of all earths see God; for they declare that what is invisible, since it does not come into the thought, does not come into faith. The reason of this is that the man who shuns and turns away from evils as sins thinks from heaven; and the whole heaven, and everyone there, has no other idea of God than that He is a Man; nor can he have any other idea, since the whole heaven is a man in the largest form, and the Divine that goes forth from the Lord is what makes heaven; consequently to think otherwise of God than according to that Divine form, which is the human form, is impossible to angles, since angelic thoughts pervade heaven.
(That the whole heaven in the complex answers to a single man may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 51-86; and that the angels think according to the form of heaven, n. 200-212.)
This idea of God flows in from heaven into all in the world, and has its seat in their spirit; but it seems to be rooted out in those in the church who are in intelligence from what is their own (proprium), indeed so rooted out as to be no longer a possible idea; and this for the reason that they think of God from space. But when these become spirits they think otherwise, as has been made evident to me by much experience. For in the spiritual world an indeterminate idea of God is no idea of Him; consequently the idea there is determined to someone who has his seat either on high or elsewhere, and who gives answers.
From a general influx which is from the spiritual world men have received ideas of God as a Man variously according to the state of perception; and for this reason the triune God is with us called Persons; and in paintings in churches God the Father is represented as a man, the Ancient of Days. It is also from a general influx that men, both living and dead, who are called saints, are adored as gods by the common people in Christian Gentilism, and their sculptured images are esteemed. The same is true of many nations elsewhere, of the ancient peoples in Greece, in Rome, and in Asia, who had many gods, all of whom were regarded by them as men. This has been said to make known that there is an intuition, namely, in man's spirit, to see God as a man. That is called an intuition which is from general influx. (A.E., n. 955.)
As man from a general influx out of heaven sees in his spirit that God is a Man, it follows that those who are of the church where the Word is, if they shun and turn away from evils as sins, see, from the light of heaven in which they then are, the Divine in the Lord's Human, and the trine in Him, and Himself to be the God of heaven and earth. But those who by intelligence from what is their own (proprium) have destroyed in themselves the idea of God as a Man are unable to see this; neither do they see from the trinity that is in their thought that God is one; they call Him one with the lips only. But those who have not been purified from evils, and therefore are not in the light of heaven, do not in their spirit see the Lord to be the God of heaven and earth; but in place of the Lord some other being is acknowledged; by some of these someone whom they believe to be God the Father; by others someone whom they call God because he is especially powerful; by others some devil whom they fear because he can bring evil upon them; by others Nature, as in the world; and by others no God at all. It is said in their spirit, because they are such after death when they become spirits; therefore what lay concealed in their spirit in the world then becomes manifest. But all who are in heaven acknowledge the Lord only, since the whole heaven is from the Divine that goes forth from Him, and answers to Him as a Man; and for this reason no one can enter heaven unless he is in the Lord, for he enters into the Lord when he enters into heaven. If others enter they lose their mind and fall backward. (A.E., n. 956.)
The idea of God is the chief of all ideas; for such as this idea is such is man's communication with heaven and his conjunction with the Lord, and such is his enlightenment, his affection for truth and good, his perception, intelligence, and wisdom; for these are not from man but from the Lord according to conjunction with Him. The idea of God is the idea of the Lord and His Divine, for no other is God of heaven and God of earth, as He Himself teaches in Matthew:
"Authority has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth" (xxviii. 18).
But the idea of the Lord is more or less full and more or less clear; it is full in the inmost heaven, less full in the middle, and still less full in the outmost heaven; therefore those who are in the inmost heaven are in wisdom, those who are in the middle in intelligence, and those who are in the outmost in knowledge. The idea is clear in the angels who are at the center of the societies of heaven; and less clear in those who are round about, according to the degrees of distance from the center.
All in the heavens have places allotted them according to the fullness and clearness of their idea of the Lord, and they are in correspondent wisdom and in correspondent felicity. All those who have no idea of the Lord as Divine, like the Socinians and Arians, are under the heavens, and are unhappy. Those who have a twofold idea, namely, of an invisible God and of a visible God in a human form, also have their place under the heavens, and are not received until they acknowledge one God, and Him visible. Some in the place of a visible God see as it were something aerial, and this because God is called a spirit. If this idea is not changed in them into the idea of a Man, thus of the Lord, they are not accepted. But those who have an idea of God as the inmost of nature are rejected, because they cannot help falling into the idea of nature as being God. All nations that have believed in one God, and have had an idea of Him as a Man, are received by the Lord. From all this it can be seen who those are that worship God Himself and who those are that worship other gods, thus who live according to the first commandment of the Decalogue and who do not. (A.E., n. 957.)
II. The Second Commandment
The second commandment is, "Thou shalt not profane the name of God."
In the first place, what is meant by "the name of God" shall be told, and afterward what is meant by "profaning" it. "The name of God" means every quality by which God is worshipped. For God is in His own quality, and is His own quality. His essence is Divine love, and His quality is Divine truth therefrom united with Divine good; thus with us on earth it is the Word; consequently it is said in John:
"The Word was with God, and the Word was God" (i. 1).
So, too, it is the doctrine of genuine truth and good from the Word; for worship is according to that.
Now as His quality is manifold, for it comprises all things that are from Him, so He has many names; and each name involves and expresses His quality in general and in particular. He is called "Jehovah," "Jehovah of Hosts," "Lord," "Lord Jehovah," "God," "Messiah (or Christ)," "Jesus," "Saviour," "Redeemer," "Creator," "Former," "Maker," "King," and "the Holy One of Israel," "the Rock" and "the Stone of Israel," "Shiloh," "Almighty," "David," "Prophet," "Son of God," and "Son of Man," and so on. All these names are names of the one God, who is the Lord; and yet where they occur in the Word they signify some universal Divine attribute or quality distinct from other Divine attributes or qualities. So, too, where He is called "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," three are not meant, but one God; that is, there are not three Divines, but one; and this trine which is one is the Lord.
Since each name signifies some distinct attribute or quality, "to profane the name of God" does not mean to profane His name itself but His quality. "Name" signifies quality for the reason that in heaven everyone is named according to his quality; and the quality of God or the Lord is everything that is from Him by which He is worshipped. For this reason, since no Divine quality of the Lord is acknowledged in hell the Lord cannot be named there; and in the spiritual world His names cannot be uttered by anyone except so far as His Divine is acknowledged; for there all speak from the heart, thus from love and consequent acknowledgment. (A.E., n. 959.)
Since "the name of God" means that which is from God and which is God, and this is called Divine truth, and with us the Word, this must not be profaned, because it is in itself Divine and most holy; and it is profaned when its holiness is denied, which is done when it is despised, rejected, and treated contemptuously. When this is done heaven is closed and man is left to hell. For as the Word is the only medium of conjunction of heaven with the church, so when the Word is cast out of the heart that conjunction is dissolved; and because man is then left to hell he no longer acknowledges any truth of the church.
There are two things by which heaven is closed to the men of the church. One is a denial of the Lord's Divine, and the other is a denial of the holiness of the Word; and for this reason, that the Lord's Divine is the all of heaven; and Divine truth, which is the Word in the spiritual sense, is what makes heaven; which makes clear that he who denies the one or the other denies that which is the all of heaven and from which heaven is and exists, and thus deprives himself of communication and consequent conjunction with heaven. To profane the Word is the same as "blaspheming the Holy Spirit," which is not forgiven to anyone, consequently it is said in this commandment that he who profanes the name of God shall not be left unpunished. (A.E., n. 960.)
As Divine truth or the Word is meant by "the name of God," and the profanation of it means a denial of its holiness, and thus contempt, rejection, and blasphemy, it follows that the name of God is interiorly profaned by a life contrary to the commandments of the Decalogue. For there can be a profanation that is inner and not outer, and there can be a profanation that is inner and at the same time outer, and there can be also a kind of profanation that is outer and not at the same time inner. Inner profanation is wrought by the life, outer by the speech. Inner profanation, which is wrought by the life, becomes outer also, or of the speech, after death. For then everyone thinks and wills, and so far as it can be permitted, speaks and acts, according to his life; thus not as he did in the world. In the world man is wont [accustomed], for the world's sake and to gain reputation, to speak and act otherwise than as he thinks and wills from his life. This is why it has been said that there can be a profanation that is inner and not at the same time outer. That there can be also a kind of profanation that is outer and not at the same time inner is possible from the style of the Word, which is not at all the style of the world, and for this reason it may be to some extent despised from an ignorance of its interior sanctity. (A.E., n. 962.)
He who abstains from profaning the name of God, that is, the holiness of the Word, by contempt, rejection, or any blasphemy, has religion; and such as his abstinence is such is his religion. For no one has religion except from revelation, and with us revelation is the Word. Abstinence from profaning the holiness of the Word must be from the heart, and not merely from the mouth. Those who abstain from the heart live from religion; but those who abstain merely from the mouth do not live from religion, for they abstain either for the sake of self or for the sake of the world, in that the Word can be made to serve them as a means of acquiring honor and gain; or they abstain from some fear. But of these many are hypocrites who have no religion. (A.E., n. 963.)
III. The Third Commandment
The third commandment is, to keep the Sabbath holy.
The third and fourth commandments of the Decalogue contain things that must be done, namely, that the Sabbath must be kept holy, and that parents must be honored. The other commandments contain things that are not to be done, namely, that other gods must not be worshipped; that the name of God must not be profaned; that one must not steal, must not commit adultery, must not bear false witness, must not covet the goods of others. These two commandments are commandments to be done because the sanctification of the rest of the commandments depends upon these, for the "Sabbath" signifies the union in the Lord of the Divine itself and the Divine Human, also His conjunction with heaven and the church, and thus the marriage of good and truth in the man who is being regenerated. This being the signification of the Sabbath, it was the chief representative of all things of worship in the Israelitish Church, as is evident in Jeremiah (xvii. 20-27), and elsewhere. It was the chief representative of all things of worship, because the first thing in all things of worship is the acknowledgment of the Divine in the Lord's Human, for without that acknowledgment man can believe and do only from self, and to believe from self is to believe falsities, and to do from self is to do evils, as is also evident from the Lord's words in John:
To those asking, "What shall we do that we might work the works of God?" Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom God hath sent" (vi. 28, 29).
And in the same,
"He that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for apart from Me ye can do nothing" (xv. 5).
That the Sabbath represented that union and the holy acknowledgment of it, has been fully shown in the Arcana Coelestia, namely, that the "Sabbath" signified in the highest sense the union of the Divine itself and the Divine Human in the Lord, in the internal sense the conjunction of the Lord's Human with heaven and with the church, in general the conjunction of good and truth, thus the heavenly marriage (n. 8495, 10356, 10730). Therefore the rest on the Sabbath day signified the state of that union, because the Lord then has rest; also through that union there is peace and salvation in the heavens and on the earth. In a relative sense it signified the conjunction of man with the Lord, because man then has peace and salvation (n. 8494, 8510, 10360, 10367, 10370, 10374, 10668, 10730). The six days preceding the Sabbath signified the labors and combats that precede union and conjunction (n. 8510, 8888, 9431, 10360, 10667). The man who is being regenerated is in two states, the first when he is in truths and by means of truths is being led to good and into good, the other when he is in good. When man is in the first state he is in combats or temptations; but when he is in the second state he is in the tranquillity of peace. The former state is signified by the six days of labor that precede the Sabbath; and the latter state is signified by the rest on the Sabbath day (n. 9274, 9431, 10360). The Lord also was in two states: the first when He was Divine truth and from it fought against the hells and subjugated them, the other when He was made Divine good by union with the very Divine in Himself. The former state was signified in the highest sense by the six days of labor, and the latter by the Sabbath (n. 10360). Because such things were represented by the Sabbath, it was the chief representative of worship, and the holiest of all (n. 10357, 10372). "To do work on the Sabbath day" signified to be led not by the Lord but by self, thus to be disjoined (n. 7893, 8495, 10360, 10362, 10365). The Sabbath day is not now representative, but is a day of instruction (n. 10360 at the end). (A.E., n. 965.)
IV. The Fourth Commandment
The fourth commandment of the Decalogue is that parents must be honored.
This commandment was given because honor to parents represented and thus signified love to the Lord and love toward the church, for "father" in the heavenly sense, that is, the Heavenly Father, is the Lord; and "mother" in the heavenly sense, that is, the heavenly mother, is the church; "honor" signifies good of love; and "length of days," which such will have, signifies the happiness of eternal life. So is this commandment understood in heaven, where no father but the Lord is known, and no mother but the kingdom of the Lord, which is also the church. For the Lord gives life from Himself, and through the church He gives nourishment. That in the heavenly sense no father in the world can be meant, and indeed, when man is in a heavenly idea, can be mentioned, the Lord teaches in Matthew:
"Call no man your father on earth; for one is your Father who is in the heavens" (xxiii. 9).
That "Father" signifies the Lord in relation to Divine good may be seen in the Apocalypse Explained (n. 32, 200, 254, 297). That "mother" signifies the Lord's kingdom, the church, and Divine truth, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 289, 2691, 2717, 3703, 5581, 8897); that "length of days" signifies the happiness of eternal life (n. 8898); and the "honor" signifies good of love (n. 8897), and Apocalypse Explained (n. 228, 345). All this makes clear that the third and fourth commandments involve arcana relating to the Lord, namely, acknowledgment and confession of His Divine, and worship of Him from good of love. (A.E., n. 966.)
V. The Fifth Commandment
The fifth commandment is, "Thou shalt not steal." By "thefts" both open thefts and those not open are meant, such as unlawful usury and gains, which are effected by fraud and craft under various pretenses to make them appear lawful, or so done clandestinely as not to appear at all. Such gains are commonly made by higher and lower managers of the goods of others, by merchants, also by judges who sell judgments and thus make justice purchasable. These and many other things are thefts that must be abstained from and shunned, and finally renounced as sins against God, because they are against the Divine laws that are in the Word and against this law, which is one among the fundamental laws of all religions in the whole globe. For these ten commandments are universals, given to the end that in living from these a man may live from religion, since by a life from religion man is conjoined with heaven, while a life according to these from obedience to civil and moral law conjoins man with the world and not with heaven, and to be conjoined with the world and not with heaven is to conjoined with hell. (A.E., n. 967.)
Man is so created as to be an image of heaven and an image of the world, for he is a microcosm. He is born of his parents an image of the world, and he is born again to be an image of heaven. To be born again is to be regenerated; and man is regenerated by the Lord by means of truths from the Word and a life according to them. Man is an image of the world in respect to his natural mind, and he is an image of heaven in respect to his spiritual mind. The natural mind, which is the world, is beneath; and the spiritual mind, which is heaven, is above. The natural mind is full of all kinds of evil, such as thefts, adulteries, murders, false witnesses, covetousnesses, and even blasphemies and profanations respecting God. These evils and many others have their seat in that mind, for the loves of them are there, and thus the delights of thinking, willing, and doing them.
These things are inborn in that mind from parents, for man is born and grows up into the things that are in that mind, and is restrained only by the bonds of civil law and by the bonds of moral life from doing them, and from thus manifesting the tendencies of his depraved will. Who cannot see that the Lord cannot flow in out of heaven into man and teach him and lead him until these evils have been removed? For they obstruct, repel, pervert, and suffocate the truths and goods of heaven, which present themselves from above, press down, and strive to flow in. For evils are infernal and goods are heavenly, and everything infernal burns with hatred against everything heavenly.
This makes clear that before the Lord can flow in with heaven out of heaven and form man to the image of heaven, those evils that lie heaped up in the natural mind must needs be removed. Moreover, as the removal of evils must come first before man can be taught and led by the Lord, the reason is evident why in eight commandments of the Decalogue the evil works that must not be done are recounted, but not the good works that must be done. Good does not exist together with evil, nor does it exist until evils have been removed; for until then there is no way possible from heaven into man. Man is like a dark sea, the waters of which must be removed on either side before the Lord in a cloud and in fire can give a passage to the sons of Israel. The "dark sea" signifies hell, "Pharaoh with the Egyptians" the natural man, and "the sons of Israel" the spiritual man. (A.E., n. 969.)
Communication with heaven is not possible until the evils and the falsities therefrom with which the natural mind is stopped up have been removed; for these are like black clouds between the sun and the eye, or like a wall between the light of heaven and the lumen of a candle in a chamber. For so long as a man is in the lumen of the natural man only he is like one shut up in a chamber where he sees by a candle. But as soon as the natural man has been purified from evils and falsities therefrom he is as if he saw through windows in the wall the things of heaven from the light of heaven. For as soon as evils have been removed, the higher mind, which is called the spiritual mind, is opened, and this, viewed in itself, is a type or image of heaven. Through this mind the Lord flows in and enables man to see from the light of heaven, and through this He also reforms and at length regenerates the natural man, and implants in it truths in the place of falsities and goods in the place of evils. This the Lord does through spiritual love, which is a love for truth and good. Man is then placed in the midst between two loves, between the love of evil and the love of good; and when the love of evil recedes the love of good takes its place. The love of evil recedes solely through a life according to the commandments of the Decalogue, that is, through refraining from evils there enumerated because they are sins, and finally shunning them as infernal.
In a word, so long as man does not refrain from evils because they are sins the spiritual mind is shut; but as soon as he refrains from evils because they are sins the spiritual mind is opened, and with that mind heaven also. And when heaven is opened man comes into another light in respect to all things of the church, heaven, and eternal life; although so long as man lives in this world the difference between this and the former light is scarcely noticeable, and for the reason that in the world man thinks naturally even about spiritual things, and until he passes from the natural into the spiritual world spiritual things are enclosed in natural ideas; but in the spiritual world spiritual things are disclosed, perceived, and made evident. (A.E., n. 970.)
So far as man refrains from evils and shuns and turns away from them as sins, good flows in from the Lord. The good that flows in is an affection for knowing and understanding truths, and an affection for willing and doing goods. But man cannot refrain from evils by shunning and turning away from them of himself, for he himself is in evils from his birth, and thus from nature; and evils cannot of themselves shun evils, for this would be like a man's shunning his own nature, which is impossible; consequently it must be the Lord, who is Divine good and Divine truth, who causes man to shun them.
Nevertheless, man ought to shun evils as if of himself, for what a man does as if of himself becomes his and is appropriated to him as his own; while what he does not as if of himself in no wise becomes his or is appropriated to him. What comes from the Lord to man must be received by man; and it cannot be received unless he is conscious of it that is, as if of himself. This reciprocation is a necessity to reformation.
This is why the ten commandments were given, and why it is commanded in them that man shall not worship other gods, shall not profane the name of God, shall not steal, shall not commit adultery, shall not kill, shall not covet the house, wife, or servants of another, thus that man shall refrain from doing these things by thinking, when the love of evil allures and incites, that they must not be done because they are sins against God, and in themselves are infernal. So far, therefore, as a man shuns these evils so far the love of truth and good enters from the Lord; and this love causes man to shun these evils, and at length to turn away from them as sins. And as the love of truth and good puts these evils to flight it follows that man shuns them not from himself but from the Lord, since the love of truth and good is from the Lord. If a man shuns evils merely from a fear of hell they are withdrawn; but goods do not take their place; for as soon as the fear departs the evils return.
To man alone is it granted to think as if of himself about good and evil, that is, that good must be loved and done because it is Divine and remains to eternity, and that evil must be hated and not done because it is devilish and remains to eternity. To think thus is not granted to any beast. A beast can do good and shun evil, yet not of itself, but either from instinct or habit or fear, and never from the thought that such a thing is a good or an evil, thus not of itself. Consequently, one who would have it believed that man shuns evils or does goods not as if of himself but from an imperceptible influx, or from the imputation of the Lord's merit, would also have it believed that man lives like a beast, without thought of, or perception of, or affection for, truth and good.
That this is so has been made clear to me from manifold experience in the spiritual world. Every man after death is there prepared either for heaven or for hell. From the man who is prepared for heaven evils are removed, and from the man who is prepared for hell goods are removed; and all such removals are effected as if by them. Likewise those who do evils are driven by punishments to reject them as if of themselves; but if they do not reject them as if of themselves the punishments are of no avail. By this it was made clear that those who hang down their hands, waiting for influx or for the imputation of the Lord's merit, continue in the state of their evil and hang down their hands forever.
To shun evils as sins is to shun the infernal societies that are in them, and man cannot shun these unless he repels them and turns away from them; and a man cannot turn away from them with repulsion unless he loves good and from that love does not will evil. For a man must either will evil or will good; and so far as he wills good he does not will evil; and it is granted him to will good when he makes the commandments of the Decalogue to be of his religion, and lives according to them.
Since man must refrain from evils as sins as if of himself, these ten commandments were inscribed by the Lord on two tables, and these were called a covenant; and this covenant was entered into in the same way as it is usual to enter into covenants between two, that is, one proposes and the other accepts, and the one who accepts consents. If he does not consent the covenant is not established. To consent to this covenant is to think, will, and do as if of oneself. Man's thinking to shun evil and to do good as if of himself is done not by man, but by the Lord.
This is done by the Lord for the sake of reciprocation and consequent conjunction; for the Lord's Divine love is such that it wills that what is its own shall be man's, and as these things cannot be man's, because they are Divine, it makes them to be as if they were man's. In this way reciprocal conjunction is effected, that is, that man is in the Lord and the Lord in man, according to the words of the Lord Himself in John (xiv. 20); for this would not be possible if there were not in the conjunction something belonging as it were to man. What man does as if of himself he does as if of his will, of his affection, of his freedom, consequently of his life. Unless these were present on man's part as if they were his there could be no receptivity, because nothing reactive, thus no covenant and no conjunction; in fact, no ground whatever for the imputation that man had done evil or good or had believed truth or falsity, thus that there is from merit a hell for anyone because of evil works, or from grace a heaven for anyone because of good works. (A.E., n. 971.)
He who refrains from thefts, understood in a broad sense, and even shuns them from any other cause than religion and for the sake of eternal life, is not cleansed of them; for only by such refraining is heaven opened. For it is through heaven that the Lord removes evils in man, as through heaven He removes the hells. For example, there are higher and lower managers of property, merchants, judges, officers of every kind, and workmen, who refrain from thefts, that is, from unlawful modes of gain and usury, and who shun these, but only to secure reputation and thus honor and gain, and because of civil and moral laws, in a word, from some natural love or natural fear, thus from merely external constraints, and not from religion; but the interiors of such are full of thefts and robberies, and these burst forth when external constraints are removed from them, as takes place with everyone after death. Their sincerity and rectitude is nothing but a mask, a disguise, and a deceit. (A.E., n. 972.)
So far then as the various kinds and species of theft are removed, and the more they are removed, the kinds and species of goods to which they by opposition correspond enter and occupy their place; and these have reference in general to what is sincere, right and just. For when a man shuns and turns away from unlawful gains through fraud and craft he so far wills what is sincere, right, and just, and at length begins to love what is sincere because it is sincere, what is right because it is right, and what is just because it is just. He begins to love these things because they are from the Lord, and the love of the Lord is in them. For to love the Lord is not to love the person, but to love the things that go forth from the Lord, for these are the Lord in man; thus it is to love sincerity itself, right itself, and justice itself. And as these are the Lord, so far as a man loves these, and thus acts from them, so far he acts from the Lord and so far the Lord removes insincerity and injustice in respect to the very intentions and volitions in which they have their roots, and always with less resistance and struggle, and therefore with less effort than in the first attempts. Thus it is that man thinks from conscience and acts from integrity,—not the man of himself but as if of himself; for he then acknowledges from faith and also from perception that it seems as if he thought and did these things from himself, and yet he does them not from himself but from the Lord. (A.E., n. 973.)
When a man begins to shun and turn away from evils because they are sins all things that he does are good, and may be called good works; with a difference according to the excellence of the use. For what a man does before he shuns and turns away from evils as sins are works done by the man himself; and as the man's own (proprium), which is nothing but evil, is in these, and they are done for the sake of the world, so they are evil works. But the works that a man does after he shuns and turns away from evils as sins are works from the Lord, and because the Lord is in these and heaven with Him they are good works.
The difference between works done by man and works done by the Lord in man is not apparent to man's vision, but is clearly evident to the vision of angels. Works done by man are like sepulchers outwardly whitened, which within are full of dead men's bones. They are like platters and cups outwardly clean, but containing unclean things of every kind. They are like fruits inwardly rotten, but with the outer skin still shining; or like nuts and almonds eaten by worms within, while the shell remains untouched; or like a foul harlot with a fair face. Such are the good works done by man himself, since however good they appear on the outside, within they are full of impurities of every kind; for their interiors are infernal, while their exteriors appear heavenly.
But as soon as man shuns and turns away from evils as sins his works are good not only outwardly but inwardly also; and the more interior they are the more they are good, for the more interior they are the nearer they are to the Lord. Then they are like fruits that have a fine-flavored pulp, in the center of which are depositories with many seeds, from which new trees, even to whole gardens, may be produced; but everything and all things in his natural man are like eggs from which swarms of flying creatures may be produced, and gradually fill a great part of heaven. In a word, when man shuns and turns away from evils as sins the works that he does are living works, while those that he did before were dead works; for what is from the Lord is living but what is from man is dead. (A.E., n. 974.)
It has been said that so far as a man shuns and turns away from evils as sins he does goods, and that the goods that he does are such good works as are described in the Word, for the reason that they are done in the Lord; also that these works are good so far as man turns away from the evils opposed to them, because so far they are done by the Lord and not by man. Nevertheless, works are more or less good according to the excellence of the use; for works must be uses. The best are those that are done for the sake of uses to the church. Next in point of goodness come those that are done as uses to one's country; and so on, the uses determining the goodness of the works.
The goodness of works increases in man according to the fullness of truths from affection for which they are done; since the man who turns away from evils as sins wishes to know truths because truths teach uses and the quality of their good. This is why good loves truth and truth loves good, and they wish to be conjoined. So far, therefore, as such a man learns truths from an affection for them so far he does goods more wisely and more fully, more wisely because he knows how to distinguish uses and to do them with judgment and justice, and more fully because all truths are present in the performance of uses, and form the spiritual sphere that the affection for them produces. (A.E., n. 975.)
Take judges for an example: All who make justice venal [purchasable] by loving the office of judging for the sake of gain from judgments, and not for the sake of uses to their country, are thieves, and their judgments are thefts. It is the same if judgments are given according to friendship or favor, for friendships and favors are also profits and gains. When these are the end and judgments are the means, all things that are done are evil, and are what are meant in the Word by "evil works" and "not doing judgment and justice, perverting the right of the poor, of the needy, of the fatherless, of the widow, and of the innocent." And when such do justice, and yet regard profit as the end while they do a good work, to them it is not good; for justice, which is Divine, is to them a means, and such gain is the end; and that which is made the end is everything, while that which is made the means is nothing except so far as it is serviceable to the end. Consequently, after death such judges continued to love what is unjust as well as what is just, and are condemned to hell as thieves. I say this from what I have seen. These are such as do not abstain from evils because they are sins, but only because they fear punishments of the civil law and the loss of reputation, honor, and office, and thus of gain.
It is otherwise with judges who abstain from evils as sins and shun them because they are contrary to the Divine laws, and thus contrary to God. Such make justice their end, and they venerate, cherish, and love it as Divine. In justice they see God, as it were, because everything just, like everything good and true, is from God. They always join justice with equity and equity with justice, knowing that justice must be of equity in order to be justice, and that equity must be of justice in order to be equity, the same as truth is of good and good is of truth.
As such make justice their end, their giving judgments is doing good works; yet these works, which are judgments, are to them more or less good as there is in their judgments more or less of regard for friendship, favor, or gain; also as there is more or less in them of a love of what is just for the sake of the public good, which is that justice may prevail among their fellow citizens, and that those who live according to the laws may have security. Such judges have eternal life in a degree that accords with their works; for they are judged as they themselves have judged. (A.E., n. 976.)
Take as an example managers of the goods of others, higher or lower. If these secretly by arts or under some pretext by fraud deprive their kings, their country, or their masters of their goods, they have no religion and thus no conscience, for they hold the Divine law respecting theft in contempt and make it of no account. And although they frequent churches, devoutly listen to preachings, observe the sacrament of the Supper, pray morning and evening, and talk piously from the Word, yet nothing from heaven flows in and is present in their worship, piety, or discourse, since their interiors are full of theft, plundering, robbery, and injustice; and so long as these are within, the way into them from heaven is closed; consequently all the works they do are evil works.
But the managers of property who shun unlawful gains and fraudulent profits because they are contrary to the Divine law respecting theft, have religion, and thus also conscience; and all the works they do are good, for they act from sincerity for the sake of sincerity, and from justice for the sake of justice, and furthermore are content with their own, and are cheerful in mind and glad in heart whenever it happens that they have refrained from fraud; and after death they are welcomed by the angels and received by them as brothers, and are presented with good things even to abundance. But the opposite is true of evil managers; these after death are cast out of societies, and afterward seek wages and finally are sent into the caverns of robbers to labor there. (A.E., n. 977.)
Take merchants as an example: All their works are evil works so long as they do not regard as sins, and thus shun as sins, unlawful gains and wrongful usury, also fraud and craft; for such works cannot be done from the Lord, but must be done from man himself. And the more expert they are in skillfully and artfully contriving devices from within for overreaching their companions the more evil are their works. And the more expert they are in bringing such devices into effect under the pretense of sincerity, justice, and piety, the more evil still are their works. The more delight a merchant feels in such things the more do his works have their origin in hell.
But if he acts sincerely and justly in order to acquire reputation, and wealth through reputation, even so as to seem to act from a love of sincerity and justice, and yet does not act sincerely and justly from affection for the Divine law or from obedience to it, he is still inwardly insincere and unjust, and his works are thefts, for through a pretense of sincerity and justice he seeks to steal.
That this is so becomes evident after death, when man acts from his inner will and love, and not from the outer; for then he thinks about and devises nothing but sharp practices and robberies, and withdraws himself from those who are sincere, and betakes himself either to forests or deserts, where he devotes himself to stratagems. In a word, all such become robbers.
But it is otherwise with merchants who shun as sins thefts of every kind, especially the more interior and hidden, which are effected by craft and deceit. All the works of such are good, because they are from the Lord; for the influx from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord, for accomplishing such works is not intercepted by the evils just mentioned. To such riches do no harm, because to them riches are means for uses. Their tradings are the uses by which they serve their country and their fellow citizens; and through their riches they are in a condition to perform those uses to which affection for good leads them. (A.E., n. 978.)
From what has been said above, what is meant in the Word by good works can now be seen, namely, that they are all works done by man when evils have been set aside as sins. For the works done after this are done by man only as if by him; for they are done by the Lord; and all works done by the Lord are good, and are called goods of life, goods of charity, and good works; as for instance, all judgments of a judge who has justice as his end, all who venerates and loves it as Divine, and who detests as infamous decisions made for the sake of rewards or friendship, or from favor. Thus he consults the good of his country by causing justice and judgment to reign therein as in heaven; and thus he consults the peace of every innocent citizen and protects him from the violence of evildoers. All these are good works. So all services of managers and dealings of merchants are good works when they shun unlawful gains as sins against the Divine laws. When a man shuns evils as sins he daily learns what a good work is, and an affection for doing good grows in him, and an affection for knowing truths for the sake of good; for so far as he knows truths he can perform works more fully and more wisely, and thus his works become more truly good. Refrain, therefore, from asking in thyself, "What are the good works that I must do, or what good must I do to receive eternal life?" Only refrain from evils as sins and look to the Lord, and the Lord will teach and lead you. (A.E., n. 979.)
VI. The Sixth Commandment
Thus far five commandments of the Decalogue have been explained. Now follows the explanation of the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Who at this day can believe that the delight of adultery is hell in man, and that the delight of marriage is heaven in him, consequently so far as he is in the one delight he is not in the other, since so far as man is in hell he is not in heaven? Who at this day can believe that the love of adultery is the fundamental love of all hellish and devilish loves, and that the chaste love of marriage is the fundamental love of all heavenly and Divine loves; consequently so far as a man is in the love of adultery he is in every evil love, if not in act yet in endeavor; and on the other hand, so far as he is in the chaste love of marriage he is in every good love, if not in act yet in endeavor? Who at this day can believe that he who is in the love of adultery believes nothing of the Word, thus nothing of the church, and even in his heart denies God; and on the other hand, that he who is in the chaste love of marriage is in charity and in faith, and in love to God; also that the chastity of marriage makes one with religion, and the lasciviousness of adultery makes one with naturalism?
All this is at this day unknown because the church is at its end, and is devastated in respect to truth and in respect to good; and when the church is such, the man of the church, by influx from hell, comes into the persuasion that adulteries are not detestable things and abominations, and thus comes into the belief that marriages and adulteries do not differ in their essence, but only as a matter of order, and yet the difference between them is like the difference between heaven and hell. That such is the difference between them will be seen in what follows. This, then, is why in the Word in its spiritual sense heaven and the church are meant by nuptials and marriages, and hell and rejection of all things of the church are meant in the Word in its spiritual sense by adulteries and whoredoms. (A.E., n. 981.)
Since adultery is hell in man and marriage is heaven in him, it follows that so far as a man loves adultery he removes himself from heaven; consequently adulteries close heaven and open hell, and this they do so far as they are believed to be allowable and are perceived to be more delightful than marriages. The man, therefore, who confirms himself in adulteries and commits them from the favor and consent of his will, and turns away from marriage, closes heaven to himself, until finally he ceases to believe anything of the church or of the Word, and becomes a wholly sensual man, and after death an infernal spirit; for, as has been said above, adultery is hell, and thus an adulterer is a form of hell. And since adultery is hell it follows that unless a man abstains from adulteries and shuns them and turns away from them as infernal he shuts up heaven to himself, and does not receive the least influx therefrom. Afterward he reasons that marriages and adulteries are alike, but that marriages must be maintained in kingdoms for the sake of order and the training of offspring; also that adulteries are not criminal, since children are equally born from them; and they are not harmful to women, since they can endure them, and by them the procreation of the human race is promoted. He does not know that these and other like reasonings in favor of adulteries ascend from the Stygian [extremely dark] waters of hell, and that the lustful and bestial nature of man which inheres in him from birth attracts them and sucks them in with delight, as a swine does excrement. That such reasonings, which at this day possess the minds of most men in the Christian world, are diabolical, will be seen. (A.E., n. 982.)
That marriage is heaven and that adultery is hell cannot be better seen than from considering their origin. The origin of true marriage love is the Lord's love for the church; and this is why the Lord is called in the Word a "Bridegroom" and a "Husband," and the church a "bride" and a "wife." It is from this marriage that the church is a church in general and in particular. The church in particular is a man in whom the church is. From this it is clear that the Lord's conjunction with a man of the church is the very origin of true marriage love; and how that conjunction can be the origin shall be told.
The Lord's conjunction with a man of the church is a conjunction of good and truth; good is from the Lord, and truth is a man, and from this is the conjunction that is called the heavenly marriage, and from that marriage true marriage love exists between the married pair that are in such conjunction with the Lord.
From this it is now evident that true marriage love is from the Lord alone, and exists in those who are in the conjunction of good and truth from the Lord. As this conjunction is reciprocal it is said by the Lord that
They are in Him, and He in them (John xiv. 20).
This conjunction or this marriage was thus established from creation. The man was created to be an understanding of truth, and the woman to be an affection for good; and thus the man to be a truth, and the woman to be a good. When understanding of truth which is in the man makes one with the affection for good which is in the woman, there is a conjunction of the two minds into one. This conjunction is the spiritual marriage from which marriage love descends. For when two minds are so conjoined as to be one mind there is love between them; and when this love, which is the love of spiritual marriage, descends into the body it becomes the love of natural marriage. That this is so anyone can clearly perceive if he will. A married pair who interiorly or in respect to their minds love each other mutually and reciprocally also love each other mutually and reciprocally in respect to their bodies. It is well known that all love descends into the body from an affection of the mind, and that apart from such an origin no love exists.
Since then the origin of marriage love is the marriage of good and truth, which marriage in its essence is heaven, it is clear that the origin of the love of adultery is a marriage of evil and falsity, which in its essence is hell. Heaven is a marriage because all who are in the heavens are in a marriage of good and truth; and hell is adultery because all who are in the hells are in a marriage of evil and falsity. From this it follows that marriage and adultery are as opposite as heaven and hell are. (A.E., n. 983.)
Man was so created as to be spiritual and celestial love, and thus an image and likeness of God. Spiritual love, which is a love for truth, is an image of God; and celestial love, which is a love for good, is a likeness of God. All angels in the third heaven are likenesses of God; and all angels in the second heaven are images of God. Man can become the love which is an image or likeness of God only by a marriage of good and truth; for good and truth inmostly love one another, and ardently long to be united that they may be one; and for the reason that Divine good and Divine truth go forth from the Lord united, therefore they must be united in an angel of heaven and in a man of the church.
This union is by no means possible except by a marriage of two minds into one, since, as has been said before, man was created to be an understanding of truth, and thus a truth, and woman was created to be an affection for good, and thus a good; therefore in them a conjunction of good and truth is possible. For marriage love which descends from that conjunction is the veriest medium by which man (homo) becomes the love that is an image or likeness of God. For the married pair who are in conjugal love from the Lord love one another mutually and reciprocally from the heart, thus from inmosts; and therefore although apparently two they are actually one, two in respect to their bodies, but one in respect to life.