(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 751

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751. As the subject here treated of is the temptation of the man of the new church called "Noah" and as few if any know the nature of temptations (because at this day there are few who undergo such temptations, and those who do undergo them know not but that it is something inherent in themselves which thus suffers), the subject shall be briefly explained. There are evil spirits who as before said in times of temptation call up a man's falsities and evils, and in fact call forth from his memory whatever he has thought and done from his infancy. Evil spirits do this with a skill and a malignity so great as to be indescribable. But the angels with the man draw out his goods and truths, and thus defend him. This combat is what is felt and perceived by the man, causing the pain and remorse of conscience.
[2] There are two kinds of temptations, one as to things of the understanding, the other as to those of the will. When a man is tempted as to things of the understanding, the evil spirits call up only the evil things he has been guilty of (here signified by the "unclean beasts"), and accuse and condemn him; they do indeed also call up his good deeds (here signified by the "clean beasts"), but pervert them in a thousand ways. At the same time they call up what he has thought (here signified by the "fowl"), and such things also as are signified by "everything that creepeth upon the ground." [3] But this temptation is light, and is perceived only by the recalling of such things to mind and a certain anxiety therefrom. But when a man is tempted as to the things of the will, his thoughts and doings are not so much called up, but there are evil genii (as evil spirits of this kind may be called) who inflame him with their cupidities and foul loves with which he also is imbued, and thus combat by means of the man's cupidities themselves, which they do so maliciously and secretly that it could not be believed to be from them. For in a moment they infuse themselves into the life of his cupidities, and almost instantly invert and change an affection of good and truth into an affection of evil and falsity, so that the man cannot possibly know but that it is done of his own self, and comes forth of his own will. This temptation is most severe, and is perceived as an inward pain and tormenting fire. Of this more will be said hereafter. That such is the case has been given me to perceive and know by manifold experience; and also when and how the evil spirits or genii were flowing in and inundating, and who and whence they were; concerning which experiences, of the Lord's Divine mercy special and particular mention will be made hereafter.


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