(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 8413

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8413. To kill this whole congregation with hunger. That this signifies that they were expiring from a lack of delight and of good, is evident from the signification of "killing," as being to deprive of life, here, of that which is from delight and good, for in these the life of man consists (see n. 3607, 6767); from the signification of "the congregation," as being those who are of the spiritual church (n. 7843); and from the signification of "hunger," as being a lack of good (see n. 5893), here of the good of pleasures, which is signified by "bread" (n. 8410); for when that which nourishes the spiritual life, or the life of the spirit, is taken away, hunger results. How the case herein is shall be briefly told.
[2] When the good of charity, which makes the spiritual life, is to be insinuated, the delight of the pleasures which had made the natural life is removed. When this delight is removed, the man comes into temptation, for he believes that if he is deprived of the delight of pleasures, he is deprived of all life, because his natural life consists in this delight, or good, as he calls it. But he does not know that when this delight of life is removed, spiritual delight, or good, is insinuated by the Lord in its place. It is this good that is signified by the "manna;" the former good or delight being meant by the "flesh and bread in the land of Egypt," and the privation of this being meant by "hunger."
[3] But it is to be carefully observed that the man who is being regenerated is not deprived of the delight of the pleasures of the body and lower mind, for he fully enjoys this delight after regeneration, and more fully than before, but in inverse ratio. Before regeneration, the delight of pleasures was everything of his life; but after regeneration, the good of charity becomes everything of his life; and then the delight of pleasures serves as a means, and as an ultimate plane, in which spiritual good with its happiness and blessedness terminates. When therefore the order is to be inverted, the former delight of pleasures expires and becomes no delight, and a new delight from a spiritual origin is insinuated in its place.


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