6256. And the eyes of Israel were heavy. That this signifies his obscure perception, is evident from the signification of "eyes," as being the intellectual sight (see n. 2701, 4403-4421, 4083, 4086, 4339), as also "seeing" (n. 6249); from the representation of Israel, as being spiritual good in the natural (as above, n. 6253); and from the signification of "being heavy," when said of the eyes, as being what is obscure, thus obscure perception. That Israel was in obscure perception when he blessed the sons of Joseph, is because he was at the end of the representation; but in general, because that spiritual good which is represented by Israel is in obscure perception; for it is from the natural, where natural light rules, but not heavenly light, in which is the spiritual and celestial good which is from the rational. Such is the external man, which is also called natural. When spiritual good from the natural is mentioned, they are meant who are in this good, namely, they who are of the Lord's spiritual church, and therefore also this church is represented by Israel (see n. 4286). That the spiritual, who are they of that church, are relatively in obscurity, may be seen above (n. 2708, 2715, 2716, 2718, 2831, 2849, 2935, 2937, 3246, 3833, 4402); and being in obscurity, they also put the truth that is of faith in the first place, as here did Israel, in that he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
 The reason why the spiritual so believe is that they are introduced to good by means of truth (n. 2954), and when they are being introduced, they do not perceive good, because it flows into the affection of truth from within, thus not into perception until they have been regenerated. Hence also it is that they call the goods of charity the fruits of faith; and yet those are but little solicitous about fruits who assert that faith alone saves without good works, even in death's last hour, no matter how the man had previously lived. It is evident that this is an obscure perception with respect to good and truth. Nevertheless the case is as follows: those who from principles derived from doctrine set faith before charity, and yet live a life of charity, are they who are of the Lord's spiritual church, and are saved; for in their life they set the good of charity first, but in doctrine the truth of faith.