(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 3718

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3718. And he feared. That this signifies a sacred alteration, is evident from the signification of "fear," as being a sacred alteration; as is evident from what immediately follows, for he says, "How terrible is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven," in which words it may be seen that there is implied a sacred alteration. (What "fear" is in the internal sense, may be seen above, n. 2826.) Speaking generally, "fear" is of two kinds-fear in what is not sacred, and fear in what is sacred; fear in what is not sacred is the fear in which are the wicked; but fear in what is sacred is the fear in which are the good. This latter fear (to wit that in which are the good) is called reverential or sacred fear, and is the result of our wonder at and longing for what is Divine, and also of our love. Love that is devoid of reverential or sacred fear is as it were devoid of savor, or is like food unseasoned with salt, and consequently insipid; but love that is attended with fear is like food that is seasoned, but yet does not taste of salt. The fear of love is a fear of injuring the Lord in any way, or of injuring the neighbor in any way, thus of injuring what is good and true in any way, and consequently of injuring the sacred things of love and faith and the consequent worship. But this fear is various, and is not the same with one person as with another. Speaking generally, the greater the amount of the love of good and truth, the greater the fear of injuring them; and yet in the same proportion this fear does not appear to be fear; whereas the less the amount of the love of good and truth, the less the fear on their account, and the less this fear appears to be love, but appears to be fear; hence with such the fear of hell. And where there is nothing of the love of good and truth, there is nothing of reverential or sacred fear; but only fear of the loss of honor, of gain, of reputation for the sake of these, and also of penalties and death; which fear is external, and chiefly affects the body and the natural man and its thoughts; whereas the former fear, that is, reverential or sacred fear, chiefly affects the spirit, that is, the internal man, and its conscience.


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