(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 8313

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8313. Pain hath laid hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. That this signifies despair of enlarging their dominion on the part of those who are in faith separate from good, is evident from the signification of "pain," as being despair on account of their being no longer able to enlarge their dominion (of which below); and from the signification of "the inhabitants of Philistia," as being those who are in faith alone separate from the good of charity (n. 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413, 8093, 8096, 8099). They are distinguished from the Egyptians in the fact that they shut out the goods of charity, believing that man is saved through faith without these goods. From this foremost of their doctrine many errors are born; as that salvation is of mercy howsoever the man has lived; that through faith all sins and evils are washed away; and that thus the man marches along justified; also that salvation can be effected in a moment, even in the last hour of death, through the trust of faith; consequently that it is not the affection of celestial love that makes heaven with a man. These are "Philistines," and they were called "the uncircumcised" by reason of the evils of the love of self and of the world, in which is their life.
[2] That "pain" here denotes despair, is because utmost pain is meant, such as is that of women in travail. Moreover in the original tongue the word signifies such pain. Despair or utmost pain is also described in the Word by "the pain of a woman in travail," as in these passages:
The kings gathered themselves together, terror seized them, pain as of a woman in travail (Ps. 48:4, 6).
O dweller in Lebanon, having a nest in the cedars, how much of grace shalt thou find when pains come to thee, the pain as of a woman in travail? (Jer. 22:23).
The king of Babylon hath heard the fame of them, and his hands became slack, distress took hold of him, pain as of a woman in travail (Jer. 50:43).
The day of Jehovah is near, as a devastation from Shaddai, therefore all hands are slackened, and every heart of man melteth, and they are terrified, the gripes and pains take hold of them, they are in travail as a woman bringing forth (Isa. 13:6-8).
[3] Behold a people cometh forth from the land of the north, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth, they lay hold on bow and spear, he is cruel and shall not have compassion, their voice resoundeth like the sea, and they ride upon horses; he is prepared as a man for war, against thee O daughter of Zion, we have heard the fame thereof, our hands have slackened, distress hath taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in travail (Jer. 6:22-24);
the vastation of truth with those who are in evil is here treated of; "a people from the land of the north" denotes those who are in falsities from evil; "a great nation from the sides of the earth" denotes those who are in evils utterly opposed to good; "they lay hold on bow and spear" denotes that they fight from false doctrine; "their voice resoundeth like the sea" denotes the derivative reasoning; "they ride upon horses" denotes argumentation as if from what is of the understanding; "he is prepared as a man for war" denotes the cupidity of assaulting truth; "the daughter of Zion" denotes the church where good is; "distress hath taken hold" denotes pain because truths are being infested; "pain as of a woman in travail" denotes despair because good is being injured. From this it is evident that by "pain" is here signified despair on account of the injuring of good.
[4] That "pain hath laid hold of the inhabitants of Philistia" denotes despair, or no hope of enlarging their dominion, is because the Philistines, that is, those who establish salvation by faith alone without the goods of charity, in the other life continually aspire to dominion, by fighting against others; and this so long as they are not yet devastated as to the memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith. For in the other life everyone retains the principles of his faith which he had in the life of the body, and no others change them into truths than those who have been in the good of life; for good longs for truth, and receives it willingly, because it is homogeneous. But they who have been in evil of life do not change them (they are as it were hard), and they even reject truths and are also in obscurity, so that they cannot even see them: they see only such things as confirm their own principles, and not the least of what is opposed to these. Such also believe that they are the most intelligent of all; but they know nothing except how to reason from an assumed principle; and therefore it is these who most assault charity, consequently who desire to have dominion. For they who are in charity are humble, and desire to serve all, as being the lowest; whereas they who are in faith without charity are lofty, and desire to be served by all, as being the highest ones; and therefore they make heaven consist in the glory of having dominion, and because they believe themselves to be more intelligent than all others, they suppose that they will be archangels, and thus that many others will serve them; and also, according to the words in Daniel, that "the intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the expanse, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and to eternity" (12:3). But instead of brightness these have darkness.


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