6389. A bony ass. That this signifies the lowest service, is evident from the signification of an "ass," as being service (see n. 5958, 5959); and from the signification of "bone," as being that which has little spiritual life (n. 5560, 5561). Thus a "bony ass" is the lowest service; for they who do what is good for the sake of reward, do indeed perform uses, and are of service; but yet are among those in the Lord's kingdom who are in the lowest place, for they do not dispense the good which is communicated to them, except to those who can recompense them; and they pass by the rest who need aid the most, or if they do good to these, it is from the end of being rewarded by the Lord. Hence what they do they regard as merit, and thus consider the Lord's mercy as due them. In this way they recede from humiliation, and in the same proportion from a state of receiving what is blessed and happy through heaven from the Lord. From all this it is evident that in the other life such are indeed employed in uses, but as lowest services.