(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 4190

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4190. And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. That this signifies such truth and the derivative worship, is evident from the signification of a "stone," as being truth (see n. 643, 1298, 3720); and from the signification of a "pillar," as being the derivative worship, that is, the worship which is from truth (n. 3727). From this it is manifest that such truth and the derivative worship are signified by these words. It is said "such truth," namely, such as exists with the Gentiles; for although the Gentiles know nothing about the Word, and accordingly nothing about the Lord, they nevertheless have external truths such as Christians have; as for instance that the Deity is to be worshiped in a holy manner, that festivals are to be observed, that parents are to be honored, that we must not steal, must not commit adultery, must not kill, and must not covet the neighbor's goods; and thus such truths as those of the Decalogue; which also are for rules of life within the church. The wise among them observe these laws not only in the external form, but also in the internal. For they think that such things are contrary not only to their religious system, but also to the general good, and thus to the internal duty which they owe to man, and that consequently they are contrary to charity, although they do not so well know what faith is. They have in their obscurity somewhat of conscience, contrary to which they are not willing to act, and in fact some of them cannot do so. From this it is evident that the Lord rules their interiors, although they are in obscurity; and thus that He imparts to them the faculty of receiving interior truths, which they do also receive in the other life. (See what has been shown above respecting the Gentiles, n. 2589-2604.)
[2] It has at times been given me to speak with Christians in the other life concerning the state and lot of the Gentiles outside of the church, in that they receive the truths and goods of faith more easily than do Christians who have not lived according to the precepts of the Lord; and that Christians think cruelly about them, in assuming that all who are out of the church are damned, and this from the received canon that without the Lord there is no salvation. This indeed, as I have said to them, is true; but the Gentiles who have lived in mutual charity, and have done from a kind of conscience what is just and equitable, receive faith and acknowledge the Lord more easily in the other life than those within the church who have not lived in such charity. Moreover Christians are in what is false, in believing that heaven is for them alone, because they have the book of the Word, written on paper but not in their hearts; and because they know the Lord, and yet do not believe that He is Divine as to His Human; but acknowledge Him only as a common man in respect to His other essence, which they call His human nature, and therefore when left to themselves and their own thoughts, they do not even adore Him. Thus it is they who are out of the Lord, for whom there is no salvation.


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