(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 6393

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6393. And he shall bow his shoulder to bear. That this signifies that nevertheless he labors with all exertion, is evident from the signification of "shoulder," as being all power, or all exertion (see n. 1085, 4931-4937); and from the signification of "bearing a burden," as being to do works for the sake of merit; hence by "bowing the shoulder to bear" is signified to labor with all exertion to do works for the sake of merit. The reason why this is called "bearing," is that they do not do what is good from the affection of good, thus not from freedom, but from the affection of self, which is servitude (n. 6390).
[2] As further regards those who desire a reward for the works which they perform, be it known that they are never contented, but are indignant if they have not a greater reward than others; and if they see others more blessed than themselves, they are sad and find fault. Neither do they make bliss consist in inward bliss, but in outward, namely, in being eminent, in having dominion, and being served by angels, thus in being above the angels, consequently in being princes and great men in heaven; when yet heavenly bliss consists, not in wishing to rule, nor in being served by others, but in wishing to serve others, and in being the least; as the Lord teaches:
James and John the sons of Zebedee came, saying, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory. But Jesus said to them, Ye know not what ye ask. To sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give, except to whom it has been prepared. Ye know that they who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones have authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister, and whosoever of you will be first shall be servant of all; for the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (Mark 10:35-45).
[3] And that they have heaven who do what is good without the end of reward, the Lord teaches in Luke:
Everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled, but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors, lest haply they also call thee in turn, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; then thou shalt be blessed; because they have not wherewith to recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:11-14);
the "recompense in the resurrection of the just" is internal happiness from doing well without reward, which they receive from the Lord when they perform uses; and they who love to serve without recompense, the more they love it, the more noble are the uses to which they are appointed, and they are in fact greater and more powerful than others.
[4] They who do good works for the sake of recompense, say the same, because they know from the Word that they should desire to be the least in heaven; but at the time they are thinking that by so saying they will become great, thus there is the same end in view; but they who do what is good without recompense, really think nothing about being eminent, but only about being of service.
[5] See what was said and shown above about merit from works, and about the quality of those who are in it in the other life, that they appear to cut wood and to mow grass (n. 1110, 1111, 4943) how they are represented (n. 1774, 2027); that they who have done what is good for the sake of self and the love of the world receive no recompense for this good in the other life (n. 1835); that they who place merit in works interpret the Word according to the letter in their favor, and that they deride its interior contents (n. 1774, 1877); that true charity is wholly void of self-merit (n. 2371, 2373, 2380, 3816); that they who separate faith from charity make the works which they have done self-meritorious (n. 2373); that they who enter into heaven put off from themselves what is their own and self-merit (n. 4007); that to believe that they do good from themselves, and that by this good they have merit, is the case with most persons in the beginning of reformation, but that they put this off as they are being regenerated (n. 4174).


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