10500. Perchance I shall make expiation for your sin. That this signifies a possibility by virtue of the Divine power of the Lord with those who have so completely turned themselves away, is evident from the signification of "to expiate," as being to cause that it be no longer reflected upon, thus that their worship be nevertheless accepted and heard. (That "to expiate" also denotes the hearing and reception of all things of worship, see n. 9506; here therefore the possibility that it can be done with those who have turned themselves away.) And from the signification of "sin," as being a complete turning away from the Divine (as above, n. 10498). That these things are signified by these words is because the subject treated of in this chapter throughout is the turning away of the Israelitish nation from the Divine, and the possibility notwithstanding that a communication might be effected with heaven by means of the external things in which alone they were.
 A few more words shall be said in order to make known how the case herein is. The church on earth is instituted for the sole end that there may be a communication of the world, or of the human race, with heaven, that is, through heaven with the Lord; for without the church there would be no communication; and without communication the human race would perish (n. 10452). But the communication of man with heaven is effected by means of the spiritual and celestial things with man, and not by means of worldly and bodily things without these; or what is the same, it is effected by means of internal things, and not by external things without these. And as the Israelitish nation were in external things without internal, and yet something of a church was to be instituted among them, it was therefore provided by the Lord that nevertheless communication with heaven might be effected by means of representatives, such as were the externals of worship with that nation. This communication, however, was effected miraculously (as may be seen at the places adduced above, n. 10499).
 But in order that this might be done, two things were requisite; first, that the internal with them should be completely closed; and second, that they might be in a holy external when in worship. For when the internal has been completely closed, then the internal of the church and of worship is neither denied nor acknowledged, being as though it did not exist; and then there can be a holy external, and it can also be raised, because nothing opposes and stands in the way. For this reason also that nation was in full and complete ignorance about internal things, which belong to love and faith in the Lord and to eternal life thereby. But as soon as the Lord came into the world, and revealed Himself, and taught love and faith in Himself, then that nation, when they heard these things, began to deny them, and thus could no longer be kept in such ignorance as before. They were therefore then driven out of the land of Canaan, lest they should defile and profane internal things by denial in that land, where from the most ancient times all the places had been made representative of such things as belong to heaven and the church (n. 1585, 3686, 4447, 5136, 6516).
 For the same reason, insofar as at this day they are acquainted with internal things, and confirm themselves intellectually against them, and deny them, so far they can no longer be in a holy external, because denial not only closes up the internal, but also takes away what is holy from the external, thus that which is communicative with heaven. The case is similar with Christians who from the Word or from the doctrine of the church are acquainted with internal things, and yet at heart deny them, as is the case when they live evilly, and think in themselves what is evil, however much their externals may seem to be in devotion and piety while they are engaged in worship.