(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 4574

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4574. A nation and a company of nations shall be from thee. That this signifies good and the Divine forms of good, is evident from the signification of a "nation," as being the good of the church (see n. 1259, 1260, 1362, 1416, 1849); and from the signification of a "company of nations," as being the truths which are from good, or what is the same, the forms of good; and in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, the Divine truths which are from Divine good, or the Divine forms of good.
[2] I will first state what the forms of good are, and then show that a "company of nations" signifies them. The truths that are from good are said to be the forms of good because they are nothing else than goods formed. He who conceives of truths in any other way, and especially he who separates them from good, does not know what truths are. Truths do indeed appear as if separate from good, thus as a form by themselves, but only to those who are not in good, or to those who think and speak otherwise than as they will and thence act. For man is so created that his understanding and will may constitute one mind, and they do constitute one mind when the understanding acts as one with the will, that is, when the man thinks and speaks as he wills and thence acts, for in this case the things of his understanding are forms of his will. The things of the understanding are what are called truths, for truths are properly of the understanding, whereas the things of the will are what are called goods, for goods are properly of the will. From this it follows that regarded in itself the understanding is nothing but the will formed.
[3] But as the term "form" savors of human philosophy, the matter shall be illustrated by an example, from which will be seen that truths are the forms of good. In civil and moral life there exist what is honorable [honestum] and what is becoming [decorum]. What is honorable is to will well to others from the heart in the affairs of civil life, and what is becoming is to testify this in speech and gesture. Thus regarded in itself what is becoming is nothing but the form of what is honorable, for this is its origin, and therefore when what is honorable shows itself by what is becoming (that is, in a becoming manner by speech and gesture), that which is honorable appears in every detail of that which is becoming, insomuch that whatever is uttered in the speech or shown in the gesture appears honorable, and is the form or image through which that which is honorable shines forth. In this way the two things make a one, like an essence and its form, or like what is essential and what is formal. But if anyone separates what is honorable from what is becoming, that is, if anyone wills evil to a companion, and yet speaks well and behaves himself well toward him, there is then no longer anything of what is honorable in the speech and gestures, however much he may study to make a show of the form of what is honorable by what is becoming; for it is really dishonorable, and every discerning person so calls it, because it is either feigned, or fraudulent, or deceitful.
[4] From all this we can see how the case is with truths and goods; for truths in spiritual life are circumstanced as is what is becoming in civil life; and hence it is evident what is the quality of truths when they are the forms of good, and what when separated from good; for when they are not from good they are from some evil, and are its forms, however much they may counterfeit the forms of good. That a "company of nations" denotes the forms of good, may be seen from the signification of "nations," as being goods, of which just above. Hence a "company" or congregation of them denotes a collection of them, which is nothing else than a form; and that this is truth has been shown. And as truths are what are signified, and by a "nation" is signified good, it is therefore said not only that a "nation" shall be from him, but also a "company of nations;" otherwise one expression would have sufficed. Moreover in the Word a "company," a "congregation," and a "multitude" are said of truths. (Regarding "multitude" and "being multiplied" see n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847).


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