(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 3310

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3310. That "a man of the field" signifies the good of life from doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of "field." In the Word frequent mention is made of "earth" or "land," of "ground," and of "field;" and by "earth" or "land," when used in a good sense, is signified the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth, thus the church, which is His kingdom on earth. The like is signified by "ground," but in a more restricted sense (n. 566, 662, 1066-1068, 1262, 1413, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928). The same is signified also by "field," but in a sense still more restricted (n. 368, 2971); and as the church is not the church from doctrinal things except insofar as these have respect to the good of life as their end; or what is the same, unless these doctrinal things are conjoined with the good of life, therefore by "field" is principally signified the good of life; and in order that this may be of the church, there must be doctrinal things from the Word which have been implanted in this good. Without doctrinal things there is indeed good of life, but not as yet the good of the church, thus not as yet good truly spiritual, except only in the capacity of becoming so; as is the case with the good of life among the Gentiles who have not the Word, and therefore are ignorant of the Lord.
[2] That a "field" is the good of life in which are to be implanted the things which are of faith, that is, spiritual truths which are of the church, is very evident from the Lord's parable in Matthew:
The sower went forth to sow, and as he sowed, some fell upon the hard way, and the birds came and devoured them; and others fell upon stony places where they had not much earth, and straightway they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth; and when the sun was risen, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away; and others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them; but others fell upon the good ground and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold: he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear (Matt. 13:3-9; Mark 4:3-9; Luke 8:5-8).
Here four kinds of earth or ground in a field-that is, in the church-are treated of. That the "seed" is the Word of the Lord, thus truth, which is said to be of faith, and that the "good ground" is the good which is of charity, is evident, for it is the good in man that receives the Word; the "hard way" is falsity; a "stony place" is truth that has no root in good; "thorns" are evils.
[3] As regards the good of life from doctrinal things, which is signified by "a man of the field," the case is this: They who are being regenerated, at first do what is good from doctrinal things, for of themselves they do not know what is good, but learn it from the doctrinal things of love and charity; from these they know who the Lord is; who is the neighbor; what love is, and what charity; thus what good is. When they are in this state they are in the affection of truth, and are called "men [viri] of the field;" but afterwards when they have been regenerated, they do not do what is good from doctrinal things, but from love and charity, for they are then in the good itself which they have learned through doctrinal things, and then are called "men [homines] of the field." The case herein is as with one who by nature inclines to adulteries, thefts, and murders, but who learns from the commandments of the Decalogue that such things are of hell, and so abstains from them. In this state he is affected by the commandments because he is afraid of hell, and from these and likewise from many things in the Word he learns how he ought to direct his life; and in this case when he does what is good, he does it from the commandments. But when he is in good, he begins to be averse to the adulteries, thefts, and murders to which before he had been inclined; and when he is in this state, he no longer does what is good from the commandments, but from good, which then is in him. In the former state he learns good from truth; in the latter state he teaches truth from good.
[4] The same is the case also with spiritual truths, which are called doctrinal things, and are still more interior commandments; for doctrinal things are the interior truths that belong to the natural man. The first truths are of sense, the next are of memory-knowledge, the interior ones are of doctrine. These doctrinal truths are founded upon truths of memory-knowledge, for man can form and retain no idea, notion, or conception of them except from memory-knowledges. But truths of memory-knowledge are founded upon truths of the senses, for without sensuous things no memory-knowledges can be comprehended by man. These truths, namely, those of memory-knowledge and of sense, are what are signified by "a man skillful in hunting;" but doctrinal truths are those which are signified by a "man of the field." In this way do these truths follow in succession with man; and therefore until he is of adult age, and through truths of sense and of memory-knowledge is in doctrinal truths, no man is able to be regenerated, for he cannot be confirmed in the truths of doctrine, except by means of ideas derived from the things of memory-knowledge and of sense. For nothing is possible in man's thought, even as to the deepest arcanum of faith, that is not attended with a natural and sensuous idea, although the man is for the most part ignorant of the nature of it; but in the other life, if he desires it, it is presented to view before his understanding, and even, if he so wishes, before his sight; for however incredible it may appear, in the other life such things can be presented to the sight.


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