(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 4031

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4031. And to the flock that came together later he did not set them. That this signifies things that are compelled, is evident from the signification of "coming together later." That "coming together first" signifies that which is spontaneous or free, has been shown above (n. 4029). That "coming together later" signifies that which is compulsory or not free, is thereby evident, and also from the connection of things in the internal sense; as well as from the fact that "growing warm" is not here spoken of, as it is of those that came together first; for by "growing warm" is signified affection, and there the ardor of affection. Whatever is not from affection is from what is not spontaneous, or not free, for everything spontaneous or free is of affection or love (n. 2870). The same is evident also from the derivation of the expression in the original language, as meaning deficiency; for when ardor of affection is deficient, then freedom ceases; and what is then done is said to be not free, and at last compulsory.
[2] That all the conjunction of truth and good is effected in freedom, or from what is spontaneous, and consequently all reformation and regeneration, may be seen from the passages cited above (n. 4029); and consequently that in the absence of freedom (that is, by compulsion) no conjunction, and thus no regeneration, can be effected. (What freedom is, and whence it is, may be seen above, n. 2870-2893, where man's freedom is treated of.) He who while reasoning concerning the Lord's Providence, man's salvation, and the damnation of many, is not aware that no conjunction of truth and good, or appropriation, and thus no regeneration, can be effected except in man's freedom, casts himself into mere shades, and consequently into grave errors. For he supposes that if the Lord wills, He can save everyone, and this by means innumerable-as by miracles, by the dead rising again, by immediate revelations, by the angels withholding men from evil and impelling them to good by an open strong force, and by means of many states, on being led into which a man performs repentance, and by many other means.
[3] But he does not know that all these means are compulsory, and that no man can possibly be reformed thereby. For whatever compels a man does not impart to him any affection; or if it is of such a nature as to do this, it allies itself with the affection of evil. For it appears to infuse something holy, and even does so; but when the man's state is changed, he returns to his former affections, namely, evils and falsities, and then that holy thing conjoins itself with the evils and falsities, and becomes profane, and is then of such a nature as to lead into the most grievous hell of all. For the man first acknowledges and believes, and is also affected with what is holy, and then denies, and even holds it in aversion. (That they who once acknowledge at heart, and afterwards deny, are those who profane, but not they who have not acknowledged at heart, may be seen above, n. 301-303, 571, 582, 593, 1001, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426, 3398, 3399, 3402, 3898.) For this reason open miracles are not wrought at the present day, but miracles not open, or not conspicuous; which are such as not to inspire a sense of holiness, or take away man's freedom; and therefore the dead do not rise again, and man is not withheld from evils by immediate revelations, or by angels, or moved to good by open force.
[4] Man's freedom is what the Lord works in, and by which he bends him; for all freedom is of his love or affection, and therefore of his will (n. 3158). If a man does not receive good and truth in freedom, it cannot be appropriated to him, or become his. For that to which anyone is compelled is not his, but belongs to him who compels, because although it is done by him, he does not do it of himself. It sometimes appears as if man were compelled to good, as in temptations and spiritual combats; but that he has then a stronger freedom than at other times, may be seen above (n. 1937, 1947, 2881). It also appears as if man were compelled to good, when he compels himself to it; but it is one thing to compel one's self, and another to be compelled. When anyone compels himself, he does so from a freedom within; but to be compelled is not from freedom. This being the case, it is evident into what shades, and thus into what errors, those are able to cast themselves who reason concerning the Providence of the Lord, the salvation of man, and the damnation of many, and yet do not know that it is freedom by which the Lord works, and by no means compulsion; for compulsion in things of a holy nature is dangerous, unless it is received in freedom.


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