(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 5758

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5758. And how should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? That this signifies why then shall we claim to ourselves truth and good, which are from the Divine celestial, is evident from the signification of "stealing," as being in the spiritual sense to claim to oneself that which belongs to the Lord (of which above, n. 5749); from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954, 5658); and from the signification of "gold," as being good (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658). In this whole chapter spiritual theft is treated of, which is the claiming to oneself of the good and truth that are from the Lord. This is a matter of so great moment that a man after death cannot be admitted into heaven until he acknowledges at heart that nothing of good or truth is from himself, but all from the Lord, and that whatever is from himself is nothing but evil. The fact that this is so, is shown to man after death by many experiences. The angels in heaven plainly perceive that all good and truth are from the Lord; and moreover that by the Lord they are withheld from evil and kept in good and so in truth, and this by a mighty force.
[2] It has been given me plainly to perceive this now for many years, and also that insofar as I have been left to my own or to myself, I have been inundated with evils, and so far as I have been withheld therefrom by the Lord, I have been lifted up from evil into good. Therefore to claim truth and good to oneself is contrary to the universal that reigns in heaven, as well as contrary to the acknowledgment that all salvation is of mercy, that is, that man of himself is in hell, but is of mercy drawn out thence by the Lord. Man cannot be in humiliation, nor consequently can he receive the Lord's mercy (for this flows in only in humiliation or into a humble heart), unless he acknowledges that there is nothing but evil from himself, and that all good is from the Lord. Without this acknowledgment a man attributes to himself as merit, and at length as righteousness, whatever he does; for to claim to himself the truth and good which are from the Lord is to make himself righteous. This is the source of many evils; for he then regards self in everything that he does for the neighbor, and when he does this he loves himself above all others, whom he then despises, if not in word, yet in heart.


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