(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 10252

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10252. Best myrrh. That this signifies the perception of sensuous truth, is evident from the signification of "fragrant myrrh," as being the perception of sensuous truth; for its odor denotes perceptivity (as just above), and "myrrh" denotes sensuous truth. In what now follows, the subject treated of is the oil of anointing, by which is signified celestial good, which is the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love in the inmost heaven; its quality is described by the fragrant things of which it was compounded, which were best myrrh, aromatic cinnamon, aromatic calamus, cassia, and oil of olive, by which are signified celestial truths and goods in their order, namely, from ultimate to first ones, or from outermost to inmost ones; the ultimate or outermost ones being signified by "myrrh." The reason why celestial good, or the good of the inmost heaven, is thus described, is because this good comes forth by means of the truths which are signified, and it also subsists by means of them.
[2] But as this is a subject of deeper investigation, it may be set forth further. In order that celestial good, which is inmost good, may be born with man, which is effected by the Lord through regeneration, truths must be acquired from the Word, or from the doctrine of the church which is from the Word. These truths obtain their first seat in the memory of the natural or external man; from this they are called forth by the Lord into the internal man, which is done when the man lives according to them; and the more the man is affected with them, or loves them, the higher, or the more interiorly, they are raised by the Lord, and there become celestial good.
[3] Celestial good is the good of the love of doing truths from the Word for the sake of good, thus for the Lord's sake; for the Lord is the source of good, thus is good; and this is the generation of this good. From this it is evident that this good comes forth by means of truths from the Word, first in the most external or sensuous man, next by their elevation into the internal man, and finally into the very inmost man, where they become celestial good. And as this good comes forth in this way by means of truths in their order, so it afterward subsists in a like order by means of the same truths, for subsistence is a perpetual coming-forth. And when it so subsists, as it had come forth, it is complete, for then the higher things subsist, rest, and store up themselves in order, upon the lower ones as upon their planes; and upon their outermosts or ultimates, which are sensuous memory-truths, as upon their foundation.
[4] These truths are described by John in Revelation as the precious stones forming the foundation of the wall of the holy Jerusalem that came down out of heaven (Rev. 21:19, 20). By "precious stones" are signified truths Divine received in good (n. 9476, 9863, 9873, 9905). That "fragrant myrrh" denotes sensuous truth, is evident also in David:
Thou hast loved righteousness, therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows; with myrrh, aloes, and kesia, all Thy garments (Ps. 45:8, 9).
This is said of the Lord, who alone is the "anointed of Jehovah," because there was in Him the Divine good of the Divine love which is signified by the oil of anointing (n. 9954). By His "garments" which are said to be "anointed with myrrh, aloes, and kesia," are signified Divine truths from His Divine good in the natural (n. 5954, 9212, 9216, 9814); thus by "myrrh" is signified Divine truth in the sensuous, because it is mentioned in the first place.
[5] In Matthew:
The Wise men from the east, opening their treasures, offered unto the Lord then born, gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:11).
Here "gold" denotes good; "frankincense," internal truth; and "myrrh," external truth; both of these from good. That "gold" is here mentioned in the first place is because it signifies good, which is inmost; in the second place "frankincense," because it signifies internal truth from good; and "myrrh" is mentioned in the third or last place because it signifies external truth from good. (That "gold" denotes good, see the places cited in n. 9874, 9881; and that "frankincense" denotes internal truth from good will be seen in what follows at verse 34.)
[6] The reason why the wise men from the east offered these things to the Lord then born, was that they might signify His Divine in the Human; for they knew what gold signified, what frankincense, and what myrrh, because they were in the science of correspondences and representations. In those times this was the chief science among the Arabians, Ethiopians, and others in the east; and therefore also in the Word by "Arabia," "Ethiopia," and "the sons of the east," in the internal sense, are meant those who are in the knowledges of heavenly things (n. 1171, 3240, 3242, 3762). But in course of time this science perished, because when the good of life ceased it was turned into magic. It was first obliterated with the Israelitish nation, and afterward with the rest; and at this day so completely that it is not even known to exist. So much is this the case in the Christian world, that if it were said that all things of the Word in the sense of the letter signify heavenly things by correspondence, and that from this is its internal sense, no one would know what was meant.
[7] As "myrrh" signified truth the most external, which is sensuous truth, and its perception, therefore the bodies of the dead were formerly anointed with myrrh and aloes, by which anointing was signified the preservation of all truths and goods with the man, and also their resurrection. For this reason such a substance was employed as signified the ultimate of life with man, which ultimate is called the sensuous life. (That the body of the Lord was anointed with such things, and was encompassed with them, together with a linen cloth, and that this was the custom of the Jews, may be seen in John 19:39, 40; Luke 23:53, 56.) But be it known that what is said of the Lord Himself in the Word is to be understood in a supereminent sense, and therefore these things here signify His Divine life in the sensuous, which is the life proper to the body, and also the resurrection of this. It is known that the Lord rose again with the whole body which He had in the world, differently from other men, for He left nothing in the sepulcher; and therefore He also said to the disciples, who when they saw the Lord supposed that they saw a spirit, "Why are ye troubled? behold My hands and My feet, touch Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have" (Luke 24:38, 39).


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