(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 3183

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3183. And her nurse. That this signifies from the innocence appertaining thereto (that they also sent this away, that is, separated it from themselves), appears from the signification of a "nurse," or one that gives suck, as being innocence. Repeated mention is made in the Word of those that suck, and of those that give suck; and by the former is signified the first state of infants, which state it is evident must be a state of innocence; for when first born, man is introduced into a state of innocence, in order that this may be a plane for all the succeeding states, and be the inmost in them; which state is signified in the Word by a "suckling." Next he is introduced into a state of the affection of celestial good, that is, of love toward his parents, which with such infants is in the place of love to the Lord; and this state is signified by an "infant."
Afterwards he is introduced into a state of the affection of spiritual good, or of mutual love, that is, of charity toward his playmates, which state is signified by "boys." As he advances further in age, he is introduced into a state of the affection of truth; this is signified by "young men;" and the subsequent states are signified by "men," and finally by "old men." This last state, signified by "old men," is the state of wisdom, in which is the innocence of infancy; thus the first state and the last are united; and man when old, being again a little child, but wise, is introduced into the Lord's kingdom.
[2] From all this it is evident that innocence is the first state, which is that of the sucking child. Hence also she that gives suck signifies innocence; for of the giver and the receiver, as of the actor and the one acted upon, a similar state is perceived. It is here said that they sent away also the nurse (or her who gave suck), to the intent that the affection of truth might be described, namely, that it was from innocence; for the affection of truth is not the affection of truth unless innocence is in it (see n. 2526, 2780, 3111); for by innocence the Lord flows into this affection, and indeed with wisdom, since true innocence is wisdom itself (see n. 2305, 2306); and in the eyes of the angels they who are in innocence appear as infants (n. 154, 2306).
[3] That in the Word a "sucking child" signifies innocence, is also evident from other passages; as in David:
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou founded strength (Ps. 8:2; Matt. 21:16);
where "babes" denote celestial love, and "sucklings," innocence. In Jeremiah:
Wherefore commit ye great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, the infant and the suckling out of the midst of Judah, that I should leave you none remaining? (Jer. 44:7);
where the "infant and the suckling" in like manner denote celestial love and the innocence thereof; and when these become none, then there are no longer any "remains," that is, any good and truth remaining stored up by the Lord in the internal man (that these are remains, may be seen above, n. 1906, 2284); for all goods and truths perish together with innocence, inasmuch as innocence is immediately from the very Divine, and thus is the very essential in them all.
[4] Again:
The infant and the suckling faint in the streets of the city (Lam. 2:11);
where the signification is the same. Again:
The whales draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones; the daughter of My people is become cruel; the tongue of the suckling cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst; the little children ask bread, and no man reaches it unto them (Lam. 4:3-4);
the "suckling" again denoting innocence; "little children," the affections of good. In Moses:
Without shall the sword bereave, and from the chambers terror, both the young man, and the virgin, the suckling with the old man (Deut. 32:25);
the "sword bereaving the young man, the virgin, the suckling with the old man," signifies that falsity will destroy the affection of truth, and the affection of good; also innocence together with wisdom. In Isaiah:
They shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon the shoulder, and kings shall be thy nourishers, and their queens those who give thee suck (Isa. 49:22-23);
where "kings thy nourishers" denotes intelligence; and "queens those who give thee suck," wisdom: and that this is of innocence, has been stated above.


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