10640. Take heed to thyself lest perchance thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou comest. That this signifies that there must be no adherence to any religious persuasion whatever that has evil in it, is evident from the signification of "making a covenant," as being to be conjoined (see at the places cited in n. 10632), thus also to adhere; from the signification of "the inhabitant of the land," as being a religious persuasion that has evil in it, for by "inhabitant" is signified good (n. 2268, 2451, 2712), and consequently in the opposite sense evil; and by "land" is signified the church and whatever is of the church (see at the places cited in n. 9325); thus also a religious persuasion; and from the signification of "upon which thou comest," as being wherever there is a religious persuasion that has evil in it, for by the nations which were in the land of Canaan, into which they were to come, are signified evils and the derivative falsities (see just above, n. 10638). From all this it is evident that by "lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land upon which thou comest," is signified that there must be no adherence to any religious persuasion whatever that has evil in it.
 As this is one of the primary things by means of which the man of the church is enlightened when he reads the Word, and as this is the subject treated of in what now follows, it shall be told how the case herein is. The man who wishes to be enlightened by the Lord must take especial care not to appropriate to himself any teaching that supports what is evil. A man appropriates it to himself when he confirms it with himself, for he thereby makes it of his faith, and still more so if he lives according to it. When this is done, the evil remains inscribed on his soul and on his heart. And when this has been done, he cannot possibly be afterward enlightened by the Word from the Lord, for his whole mind is in the faith and in the love of his principle, and whatever is contrary to it, he either does not see, or else rejects, or falsifies.
 For example: he who believes that he is saved by faith alone whatever be the quality of his life, and has confirmed this with himself, and has conjoined it with all the rest of his doctrine, insomuch that he then thinks nothing about life, but only about faith, no matter how much he may read the Word, he afterward sees nothing therein about the good of life; and at last he does not know what good is, what charity, what love; and if these are mentioned he says that faith alone is all this; when yet faith alone, or faith without these, is like an empty vessel, and a thing without a soul. The spiritual life of such a man may be compared to the respiration of the lungs without any influx of blood from the heart; which is not life, except such as that of an image or an automaton. These things have been said in order that it may be known how the case is with the man who reads the Word, in that he cannot possibly be enlightened thereby if he has adhered to any religious persuasion which supports what is evil.