5398. The Internal Sense.
In this chapter and in those which follow about Joseph and the sons of Jacob, in the internal sense is described the regeneration of the natural as to the truths and goods of the church-that this is not effected by means of memory-knowledges, but by influx from the Divine. At the present day they who are of the church know so little about regeneration that it is scarcely anything. They do not even know that regeneration goes on through the whole course of life of one who is being regenerated, and that it is continued in the other life; or that the arcana of regeneration are so innumerable that scarcely a ten thousandth part of them can be known by the angels, and that those they do know are what effect their intelligence and wisdom. The reason why they who are of the church at this day know so little about regeneration is that they talk so much about remission of sins and about justification, and believe that sins are remitted in a moment, and some that they are wiped away like filth from the body by water, and that man is justified by faith alone or by the confidence of a single moment. The reason why the men of the church so believe is that they do not know what sin or evil is. If they knew this, they would know that sins can by no means be wiped away from anyone, but that when the man is kept in good by the Lord they are separated or rejected to the sides so as not to rise up, and that this cannot be effected unless evil is continually cast out, and this by means which are unlimited in number, and for the most part unutterable.
 Those in the other life who have brought with them the opinion that man is justified in a moment by faith, and wholly cleansed from sins, are astounded when they see that regeneration is effected by means unlimited in number and unutterable, and they then laugh at and call insane the ignorance in which they had been in the world in regard to the instantaneous remission of sins and justification. They are sometimes told that the Lord remits the sins of those who desire it from the heart; yet still they are not thereby separated from the diabolical crew, to whom they are held fast by the evils that attend their life, which they have with them complete. They then learn by experience that to be separated from the hells is to be separated from sins, and that this cannot be done except by thousands upon thousands of ways known to the Lord only, and this-if you will believe it-in a continual succession to eternity. For man is so evil that he cannot to eternity be fully delivered from even one sin, but can only by the mercy of the Lord (if he has received it) be withheld from sin, and kept in good.
 In what manner therefore man receives new life and is regenerated, is contained in the sanctuary of the Word, that is, in its internal sense, chiefly to the end that when the Word is being read by man the angels may thereby be in their happiness of wisdom, and also be at the same time in the delight of serving as means. In this and the following chapters about Joseph's brethren, the subject treated of in the supreme internal sense is the glorification of the Lord's natural, and in the representative sense, the regeneration of the natural in man by the Lord, here as to the truths of the church therein.