(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 7280

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7280. And the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah. That this signifies that they shall be in fear of the Divine, is evident from the signification of "knowing that I am Jehovah," as being to be in fear of the Divine (of which below); and from the signification of "the Egyptians," as being those who are in falsities and infest. As regards the fear of the Divine in which they who are in falsities and infest will be, be it known that fear is the only means of restraining the infernals and holding them in bonds. For fear is a common bond, both for those who are upright, and for those who are evil; but for those who are upright the fear is internal, which is fear for the sake of salvation, namely, lest they should perish as to their souls, and so lest they should do anything contrary to conscience, that is, contrary to the truth and good which are of conscience; consequently they have fear lest they should do anything contrary to what is just and fair, thus contrary to the neighbor; but this is holy fear insofar as it is conjoined with the affection of charity, and still more as it is conjoined with love to the Lord. Fear then becomes like that of little children toward the parents whom they love. Then, insofar as they are in the good of love, so far the fear does not show itself; but insofar as they are not in good, so far it shows itself, and becomes anxiety. Such is the "fear of God," so frequently spoken of in the Word.
[2] But with those who are evil there is no internal fear, namely, for the sake of salvation, and thence for the sake of conscience; for such fear they have utterly rejected in the world, both by their life, and by principles of falsity favoring their life; but instead of internal fear they have external fear, namely, lest they should be deprived of honors, of gain, or of reputation for the sake of these, lest they should be punished according to the laws, or be deprived of life. These are what are feared by men who are in evil, while they are in the world. As, when such men come into the other life, they cannot be restrained and held in bonds by internal fear, they are held by external fear, which is impressed on them by punishments. From this they are in fear of doing evil; and at last they are in fear of the Divine, but as before said, external fear, which is devoid of any desire to desist from doing evil from the affection of good, but only from dread of the penalties, which they at last feel horror at.
[3] From all this it can now be seen that fear is the only means of holding in bonds; and that external fear, which is fear of punishments, is the only means of restraining the evil; and that this is the cause of the torment of the evil in hell. For when the evil come into the other life, and when the external bonds which they had in the world are taken away from them, and they are left to their cupidities, they are then like wild beasts, and desire nothing more than to have dominion and to destroy everyone who does not favor them. This is the greatest delight of their life, for insofar as anyone loves himself, so far he hates others who do not favor him; and insofar as anyone is in hatred, so far he is in the delight of destroying; but in the world this is hidden.


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