(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 8870

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8870. Nor any likeness. That this signifies a semblance of those things which are from the Divine, is evident from the signification of a "likeness," as being a semblance. That it denotes a semblance of those things which are from the Divine, is plain from what precedes and from what follows-from what precedes, that they shall have "no other gods before the faces of Jehovah God," and that they shall not "make to themselves a graven image," by which words are signified truths from another source than the Divine, and yet which are set forth like them; and from what follows, as "of that which is in the heavens, or which is in the earth, or which is in the waters," whereby are meant such things as are from the Divine everywhere.
[2] It must here be told what is meant by a semblance of those things which are from the Divine, because these things are treated of in what follows of this verse and in the beginning of the following verse. Semblances of those things which are from the Divine are made by men when they speak Divine things with the mouth, and also in act do such things as have been commanded by the Divine, and thus induce a belief that they are in good and truth, when yet at heart they think altogether otherwise, and will nothing but evil: such are dissemblers, hypocrites, and the deceitful, and these are they who make semblances of those things which are from the Divine. In the other life evil spirits make semblances of those things which are from the Divine, who set forth a likeness and appearance in outward things, within which there is nothing of the Divine. Dissemblers, hypocrites, and the deceitful learn to do this in the other life, and in general all who from frequent use have contracted the habit of speaking otherwise than they think, and of doing otherwise than they will. Some by such practices wish to get reputation, that they may seem to be good, and thus deceive; some that they may exercise command.
[3] Moreover there, such things are abuses of correspondences. But the outward things whereby they have made a pretense of such things as are of charity and faith, are successively taken away from them; for in this way they act from their very nature that has been acquired in the world, and no more from any pretense or hypocrisy. They who are of this character, and who perceive that these external things are to be taken away from them, say that if these external things were left them, they would be able to live with their associates in the other life, and do what is good in appearance, just as formerly in the world. But this cannot be done, because by the externals which are apparently good they would communicate in some measure with heaven, that is, with those who are in the encompassing parts there and are simple, who correspond to the cuticles in the Grand Man; while by their internals they would communicate with the hells. And as the evils which are within rule, because they are of the will, and the goods that are made a pretense of in externals serve the evil as a means for acquiring dominion, therefore it is contrary to Divine order itself to leave them free to act with pretense and hypocrisy as in the world. Wherefore such things are taken away from them, and they are remitted into the very evil of their will.


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