(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 8042

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8042. Sanctify to Me all the firstborn. That this signifies faith, that it is from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "sanctifying to Jehovah" or the Lord, as being to ascribe to Him, that is, to confess and acknowledge that it is from Him; and from the signification of "the firstborn," as being faith (see n. 352, 2435, 6344, 7035). When it is said "faith," there is meant all the truth that belongs to the spiritual church; and as there is meant all the truth of the church, the spiritual church itself is also meant, for truth is the essential of this church. Good is indeed the essential of the church, and is actually the firstborn (n. 2435, 3325, 4925, 4926, 4928, 4930); but the good which those have who belong to the spiritual church is in itself truth; for when they act according to the truth which is of their doctrine, then the truth is called good, having then passed from the understanding into the will and from the will into act, and that which is done from the will is called good. That in itself and in its essence this good is nevertheless truth, is because to them the doctrinal things of the church are truths, and the doctrinal things in churches differ, consequently so do the truths; and yet although they are so various, by willing them and doing them they become goods, as just now said.
[2] While a man is being regenerated, he is led by means of faith in the understanding, or in doctrine, to faith in the will or life, that is, by means of the truth of faith to the good of charity; and when a man is in the good of charity, he has then been regenerated, and then from this good he produces truths, which are called the truths of good. These are the truths which are the veriest truths of faith, and which are meant by "the firstborn;" for it is with the begettings or births of truths from good, as it is with the begettings or births of sons and daughters from a parent, and afterward of grandsons and granddaughters, and thereafter of great-grandsons and great-granddaughters; and so on. The first or immediate begetting or birth, which is that of sons and daughters, is what is signified by "the firstborn," however many these may be; but not the second and the third begettings or births, except relatively to their own parents. The reason why these are sanctified to Jehovah or the Lord, is that all derivative or descending truths and goods derive their essence from the primitive ones. In this spiritual thing is founded the right of the firstborn that is spoken of in the Word.


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