(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 1072

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1072. And was drunken. That this signifies that he thereby fell into errors, is evident from the signification of a "drunkard" in the Word. They are called "drunkards" who believe nothing but what they apprehend, and for this reason search into the mysteries of faith. And because this is done by means of sensuous things, either of memory or of philosophy, man being what he is, cannot but fall thereby into errors. For man's thought is merely earthly, corporeal, and material, because it is from earthly, corporeal, and material things, which cling constantly to it, and in which the ideas of his thought are based and terminated. To think and reason therefore from these concerning Divine things, is to bring oneself into errors and perversions; and it is as impossible to procure faith in this way as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The error and insanity from this source are called in the Word "drunkenness." Indeed the souls or spirits who in the other life reason about the truths of faith and against them, become like drunken men and act like them; concerning whom, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. [2] Spirits are perfectly well distinguished from each other, as to whether they are in the faith of charity or not. Those who are in the faith of charity do not reason about the truths of faith, but say that the thing is so, and also as far as possible confirm it by things of sense and of memory, and by the analysis of reason; but as soon as anything obscure comes in their way the truth of which they do not perceive, they defer it, and never suffer such a thing to bring them into doubt, saying that there are but very few things they can apprehend, and therefore to think that anything is not true because they do not apprehend it, would be madness. These are they who are in charity. But-on the contrary-those who are not in the faith of charity desire merely to reason whether a thing be so, and to know how it is, saying that unless they can know how it is, they cannot believe it to be so. From this alone they are known at once as being in no faith, a mark of which is that they not only doubt concerning all things, but also deny in their hearts; and when they are instructed how the case is, they still cling to their disbelief and start all kinds of objections, and never acquiesce, were it to eternity. Those who thus persist in their contumacy heap errors upon errors.
[3] These, or such as these, are they who are called in the Word "drunken with wine or strong drink." As in Isaiah:
These err through wine, and through strong drink are gone astray; the priest and the prophet err through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are gone astray through strong drink; they err in vision; all tables are full of vomit and filthiness. Whom will He teach knowledge? and whom will He make to understand the report? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts (Isa. 28:7-9).
That such are meant here is evident. Again:
How say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? where then are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now; Jehovah hath mingled a spirit of perversities in the midst of her; and they have caused Egypt to go astray in every work thereof, as a drunken man goeth astray in his vomit (Isa. 19:11-12, 14).
A "drunken man" here denotes those who desire, from memory-knowledges [scientifica], to investigate spiritual and celestial things. "Egypt" signifies these knowledges, and therefore calls itself the "son of the wise." In Jeremiah:
Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more (Jer. 25:27),
meaning falsities.
[4] In David:
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and all their wisdom is swallowed up (Ps. 107:27).
In Isaiah:
Come ye, I will take wine, and we will be drunken with strong drink; and there shall be tomorrow, as this day, great abundance (Isa. 56:12),
said of what is contrary to the truths of faith. In Jeremiah:
Every bottle shall be filled with wine; all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness (Jer. 13:12-13);
"wine" denotes faith; "drunkenness" errors. In Joel:
Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth; for a nation is come up upon My land; he hath laid My vine waste (Joel 1:5-7),
said of the church when vastated as to the truths of faith. In John:
Babylon hath made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. They that dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her fornication (Rev. 14:8, 10; 16:19; 17:2; 18:3; 19:15).
The "wine of fornication" means adulterated truths of faith, of which "drunkenness" is predicated. So in Jeremiah:
Babylon hath been a golden cup in the hand of Jehovah, that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunk of her wine, therefore the nations are mad (Jer. 51:7).
[5] Because "drunkenness" signified insanities about the truths of faith, it also became representative and was forbidden to Aaron and his sons, thus:
Drink no wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tent of meeting, that ye die not; that ye may put a difference between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean (Lev. 10:8, 9).
Those who believe nothing but what they apprehend by things of sense and memory [scientifica] are also called "heroes to drink." In Isaiah:
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent before their own faces! Woe unto them that are heroes to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink! (Isa. 5:21, 22).
They are called "wise in their own eyes and intelligent before their own faces" because those who reason against the truths of faith think themselves wiser than others.
[6] But those who care nothing for the Word and the truths of faith, and thus are not willing to know anything about faith, denying its first principles, are called "drunken without wine." In Isaiah:
They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink; for Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes (Isa. 29:9-10).
That such is their quality is evident from what goes before and what follows, in that Prophet. Such "drunken men" think themselves more wide awake than others, but they are in deep sleep. That the Ancient Church in the beginning was such as is described in this verse, especially those who were of the stock of the Most Ancient Church, is evident from what has been said before (n. 788).


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