(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 4364

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4364. And he said, What to thee are all these camps which I met? That this signifies the special things which are thence derived, is evident from the signification here of "camps," as being special things; for they are those enumerated in the foregoing chapter (verses 14, 15), namely, two hundred she-goats, and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty heifers and ten bullocks, twenty she-asses and ten foals; by which were meant goods and truths with their things of service, by means of which initiation might be effected (see n. 4263, 4264), consequently special things. The special things here referred to are nothing else than such as confirm truths as being true, and goods as being good. They are accessory to the man's thoughts and affections, that is, to the things which he knows and loves, and on account of which he favors and affirms a thing to be so. The presents which in the church of olden time were given to kings and priests likewise involved such things. It is well known that another is brought over to one's opinion, or to what we say is good and true, both by reasons and by affections; and it is these very confirmatory things that are meant by "special things," and are here signified by "camps;" for which reason it is said that these camps were "to find grace in the eyes of my lord;" and afterwards, "if I pray I have found grace in thine eyes, then accept my present from my hand."
[2] The case is the same in spiritual things, or in matters of faith, when these are being conjoined with the good of charity. Man believes that goods and truths flow in immediately from heaven, thus without mediums within him; but he is much mistaken. The Lord leads everyone by means of his affections, and thus bends him by a tacit providence, for He leads him through freedom (n. 1937, 1947). That all freedom is of affection or love, may be seen above (n. 2870, 2873); and hence all the conjunction of good with truth is effected in freedom, but not in compulsion (n. 2875-2878, 2881, 3145, 3146, 3158, 4031). When therefore man has been led in freedom to good, truths are then accepted and implanted, and he begins to be affected by them, and is thus introduced little by little into heavenly freedom. When one who has been regenerated (that is, who loves his neighbor, and still more who loves the Lord) reflects upon his past life, he will find that he has been led by many things of his thought and by many of his affection.
[3] What is here specifically meant by the special things which are thence derived, may be seen more clearly from examples. Let the truth which is to be instilled into good be this-that man has life after death. This truth is not accepted unless it is confirmed by special things, as by these-that a man can think not only of the things he sees and feels, but also of those which he does not see and feel; that he can also be affected by them; that he can be conjoined with them by affection, consequently with heaven, nay with the Lord Himself; and that he who can be conjoined with the Divine, can never die. These and many more such things are the special things which first occur, before this truth is being instilled into good, that is, before it is fully believed. This truth does indeed first submit itself, but still the special things cause it to be accepted.
[4] Take as another example the truth that man is a spirit, and that he is clothed with a body while he lives in the world. This also is a truth which is to be instilled into good; for unless it has been so instilled, the man cares nothing for heaven, for he then thinks of himself as he does of the brute animals. But this truth cannot be instilled except by means of special things, as by these-that the body which he carries about serves for uses in this world, namely, that he may see the things that are in the world with material eyes, and may act by material muscles, thereby having powers that are adapted to the heavy things in the world; and that nevertheless there is something more interior which thinks and wills of which the body is the instrumental or material organ; and that a man's spirit is himself, or the man himself, who acts and feels through these organic forms; and that he can confirm this by many of his own experiences if he is once in the belief that the case is so. All these are special things, which are set forth in advance, and which cause the truth itself that is in question to be instilled into good; and they are derived from it. It is these and similar things that are here signified by the "camps."


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