(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 1094

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1094. A servant of servants shall he be to his brethren. That this signifies the vilest thing in the church, is evident from the nature of external worship when separated from internal. That, regarded in itself, external worship is nothing, unless there be internal worship to make it holy, must be evident to everyone. For what is external adoration, without adoration of the heart, but a gesture? Or what is prayer of the lips, if the mind is not in it, but mere babbling? And what is any work, if there is no intention in it, but a thing of nought? So that in itself every external thing is an inanimate affair, and lives solely from what is internal.
[2] The nature of external worship when separated from what is internal, has been made evident to me from many things in the other life. The sorceresses there had in the world frequented churches and the sacraments equally with others; and so had the deceitful, in fact these had done so more than others; and so also had those who had been delighted with robbery, and the avaricious; and yet they are infernals, and bear the greatest hatred against the Lord and the neighbor. Their internal worship in external had been either that they might be seen by the world; or that they might gain worldly, earthly, and corporeal things which they desired; or that they might deceive under the appearance of sanctity; or from a certain acquired habit. That such persons are very prone to adore any god or any idol that favors them and their desires is very manifest, especially from the Jews, who in consequence of making their worship to consist in nothing but externals, so often lapsed into idolatry. The reason is that such worship is in itself merely idolatrous, for the external is what is worshiped by them.
[3] The Gentiles also in the land of Canaan, who worshiped Baal and other gods, had a nearly similar external worship; for they had not only temples and altars, but also sacrifices; so that their external worship differed but little from the worship of the Jews, except that they gave the names of Baal, Ashtaroth, and others, to their god; and the Jews gave to him the name Jehovah, as is the case also at this day, for they suppose that the mere naming of Jehovah will make them holy and elect; when yet this has tended rather to condemn them more than others; for in this way they have been able to profane what is holy, which the Gentiles cannot do. Such worship is what is called "Canaan" who is said to be a "servant of servants." That a "servant of servants" denotes the vilest thing in the church, may be seen in the following verse.


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