(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 7780

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7780. Even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the millstones. That this signifies the falsified truths of faith which are in the last place, is evident from the signification of "firstborn," as being faith (of which just above, n. 7779), and because it denotes faith, it denotes truth in the complex, for truth is of faith because it is to be believed; and from the signification of "maidservant," as being the exterior affection of truth, or the affection of memory-knowledges (n. 1895, 2567, 3835, 3849). But a "maidservant behind the millstones" denotes the most external affection of memory-knowledges, for by "behind the millstones" is signified what is in the last place. It is said "behind the millstones" because a "millstone" is predicated of those things which are of faith; for by millstones grain is ground into flour, and is thus prepared for bread; and by "flour" is signified the truth from which is good, and by "bread" that very good which is thence derived. Thus "to sit at the millstones" is to learn and be imbued with such things as may be serviceable to faith, and through faith to charity. For this reason the ancients, when they described the first rudiments of the doctrine of faith, described them by "sitting at the millstones," and the things which were still more rudimentary by "sitting behind the millstones." Because of such a signification, the Lord, where He teaches about the last time of the church, says:
Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken and the other left (Matt. 24:41),
which would never have been said unless a "mill" had signified those things which are of faith. (What a "mill" and "grinding" mean in the internal sense, see n. 4335.) As to the truths of faith which are in the first place, and those which are in the last, be it known that those truths of faith which immediately proceed from the good of charity are what are in the first place, for they are goods in form; but the truths which are in the last place are naked truths; for when truths are successively derived, they recede at each step from good, and finally become naked truths. Such truths are signified by "maidservants behind the millstones."


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