(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 1285

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1285. The whole earth was of one lip. That this signifies that everywhere there was one doctrine in general, is evident from the signification of "lip," in the Word, concerning which presently. In this verse, and by these few words, is described the state of the Ancient Church as it had been, that it had one doctrine in general; but in the following verse it is described how it began to be falsified and adulterated; and from that to the ninth verse, how it became altogether perverted, so that it no longer had any internal worship. Then, a little further on, the subject treated of is the second Ancient Church, that was begun by Eber; and, finally, the third Ancient Church, which was the beginning of the Jewish Church. For after the flood there were three churches in succession.
[2] As regards the first Ancient Church, in that although it was so widely spread over the earth it was still one in lip and one in words, that is, one in doctrine in general and in particular, when yet its worship both internal and external was everywhere different-as shown in the preceding chapter, where by each nation there named a different doctrinal and ritual were signified-the case is this. In heaven there are innumerable societies, and all different, and yet they are a one, for they are all led as a one by the Lord, concerning which see what has been said before (n. 457, 551, 684, 685, 690). In this respect the case is the same as it is with man, in whom, although there are so many viscera, and so many little viscera within the viscera, organs, and members, each one of which acts in a different way, yet all and each are governed as a one, by the one soul; or as it is with the body, wherein the activities of the powers and motions are different, yet all are governed by one motion of the heart and one motion of the lungs, and make a one. That these can thus act as a one, comes from the fact that in heaven there is one single influx, which is received by every individual in accordance with his own genius; and which influx is an influx of affections from the Lord, from His mercy, and from His life; and notwithstanding that there is only one single influx, yet all things obey and follow as a one.* This is the result of the mutual love in which are they who are in heaven.
[3] The case was the same in the first Ancient Church; for although there were as many kinds of worship-some being internal and some external-as in general there were nations, and as many specifically as there were families in the nations, and as many in particular as there were men of the church, yet they all had one lip and were one in words; that is, they all had one doctrine, both in general and in particular. The doctrine is one when all are in mutual love, or in charity. Mutual love and charity cause them all to be a one, although they are diverse, for they make a one out of the varieties. All men how many soever they may be, even myriads of myriads, if they are in charity or mutual love, have one end, namely, the common good, the Lord's kingdom, and the Lord Himself. Varieties in matters of doctrine and of worship are like the varieties of the senses and of the viscera in man, as has been said, which contribute to the perfection of the whole. For then, through charity, the Lord inflows and works in diverse ways, in accordance with the genius of each one; and thus, both in general and in particular, disposes all into order, on earth as in heaven. And then the will of the Lord is done, as He Himself teaches, as in the heavens, so also upon the earth.
* That is, in spite of their immense variety, and the consequent stupendous diversity of their reception of that one single influx. [Reviser.]


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