(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 7779

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7779. From the firstborn of Pharaoh about to sit upon his throne. That this signifies the falsified truths of faith which are in the first place, is evident from the signification of "the firstborn," as being faith (see n. 352, 2435, 6344, 7035); from the representation of Pharaoh, as being memory-knowledge in general perverting the truths of the church (n. 6015, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692), thus "the firstborn of Pharaoh" denotes the faith of such, consequently the faith of the falsified truths of faith; and from the signification of "throne," as being the reign of truth, and in the opposite sense, the reign of falsity (see n. 5313). That the falsified truths of faith which are in the first place are meant by "the firstborn of Pharaoh about to sit upon his throne" is evident from the fact that it is said "even to the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the millstones," by which are signified the falsified truths of faith which are in the last place; and moreover, the son of a king is what comes first, because a king is the head.
[2] Falsified truths in the first place are those which are acknowledged as essentials, such as these: that faith saves howsoever a man has lived; that it saves man in the last hour of his life; and that he then is pure from sins; thus that sins are wiped away in a moment, like the uncleanness of the hands by water; which insist that there is faith without charity, and that in respect to man's salvation the life effects nothing, also that a man-devil can in a moment be made an angel of God. Such and the like are falsified truths in the first place. Those which are thence next derived are in the second place. Those which are remotely derived are in the last place. For the derivations of every truth are ample, and in a long series, some of which enter directly, some indirectly; those which only touch being the last.
[3] That such and the like are falsified truths of faith, is very evident; for who does not know, if he thinks justly, that the life of faith causes a man to be spiritual, but not faith except insofar as it has been implanted in the life. The life of man is his love, and that which he loves he wills and intends, and that which he wills and intends, he does. This is the being of man, but not that which he knows and thinks and does not will. This being of man cannot in any wise be changed into another being by thinking about mediation and salvation; but by regeneration anew, which is being effected during a great part of his life; for he must be conceived, born, and grown up anew; and this is not effected by thinking and speaking, but by willing and acting.
[4] These things are said because by the "firstborn of Pharaoh," and the "firstborn of the Egyptians," is signified faith separated from charity, which has been shown in what precedes not to be faith, but the memory-knowledge of such things as are of faith. The firstborn of the Egyptians represented this faith because the Egyptians were versed in the knowledge of rituals of the church above the rest who constituted the representative church after the time of the flood (see n. 4749, 4964, 4966, 6004). At that time all rites were representative of the spiritual things which are in heaven. The Egyptians had more knowledge of these things than others, but in process of time they began to love the knowledges alone, and then, in like manner as is done at this day, to make everything of the church consist in the knowledge of such things as are of the church, and no longer in the life of charity. Thus they inverted the whole order of the church, which being inverted, the truths which are called truths of faith could not but be falsified; for the truths which are applied contrary to Divine order (as is the case when they are applied to evils, and among the Egyptians to magic) are no longer truths with them, but become falsities from the evils to which they are applied.
[5] To illustrate this by the worship of a calf among the Egyptians. They knew what a calf represented, namely, the good of charity; so long as they knew this and thought this, when they saw calves, or when they prepared calves in feasts of charity such as the ancients held, and afterward when calves were applied in sacrifices, they then thought sanely and together with the angels in heaven, to whom a calf is the good of charity. But when they began to make calves of gold, and to place them in their temples and worship them, they then thought insanely and together with the infernals; and in this way they inverted a true representative into a false representative.


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