(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 8981

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8981. If his master shall give him a woman. That this signifies good from the spiritual adjoined to truth while in combat, is evident from the signification of "master," as here being the spiritual; for by "master" is here meant someone of the sons of Israel, and by the "sons of Israel" are signified those who are true men of the spiritual church, that is, who do what is good from the affection which is of love, or what is the same, from charity. (That "the sons of Israel" denote the men of the spiritual church, see n. 6426, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 7957, 8234, 8805; consequently by the same in the abstract sense are signified spiritual truths and goods, n. 5414, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5833, 5879.) From this it is that by "master" is here signified the spiritual. And from the signification of "giving him a woman," as being to adjoin good to truth; for "to give," when said of a woman, denotes to adjoin, and "a manservant" denotes one who is in the truth of doctrine and not in the corresponding good (n. 8974); and "a woman" denotes delight (n. 8980), but here good, because it is given (that is, adjoined) from the spiritual; for all that which comes from the spiritual is called "good," because the spiritual itself is the good of charity (that "a woman" denotes good, see n. 915, 2517, 4823, 6014, 8337). The reason why it denotes in combat, is that it is said that if his master have given him a woman, at the end of his service the woman should be the master's. From this it is evident that the woman was the manservant's while he was in service, and not afterward; thus while in combat, and not after combat; for by the service of six years is signified labor and combat (n. 8975).
[2] Who cannot see that in this statute there is a secret which cannot be known except by him to whom it has been revealed? For in the external form it appears contrary to Divine justice that a woman given to a manservant should remain the master's when the servant went out from service, seeing that a woman ought to be her man's forever. Of the same character are also many other things that were commanded the sons of Israel by Jehovah, as that they should ask of the Egyptians vessels of gold and of silver, and garments, and thus should spoil them; besides other things of a similar nature spoken of in their places. But although, as has been said, in the outward form these things appear contrary to Divine justice, they nevertheless are not so, for they flow from the laws of Divine order in the heavens, which laws are the very laws themselves of justice; but these laws are not clear unless they are unfolded from the sense of the letter by means of the internal sense. The law from which this statute flows is that spiritual good cannot be conjoined with those who are in the externals of the church from infancy, but can only be adjoined to them so long as they are in combat, and that after combat it recedes.
[3] That it may be clear how the case herein is (for it is a secret), it shall be briefly explained. They who from infancy have thought little about eternal life, thus about the salvation of their soul, but only of worldly life and its prosperity, and yet have lived a good moral life, and have also believed in the truths of the doctrine of their church, when they come to more adult age, cannot be reformed otherwise than by the adjoining of spiritual good when they are in combat; but still they do not retain this good, but only confirm the truths of their doctrine by means of it. The reason why they are of this character is that in their past life they have indulged worldly loves; and when these loves have been rooted in, they do not suffer spiritual good to be conjoined with truth, because these loves are altogether repugnant to that good. Nevertheless spiritual good can take possession of the thought when these loves become inactive, as is the case when they are in anxiety, in misfortunes, and in sicknesses, and the like. Then the affection of well-doing from charity flows in, but this affection serves only for confirming and rooting in more deeply the truths of doctrine; but it cannot be conjoined with truth. The reason is that this influent affection of charity fills only the intellectual part of the mind, but does not enter into its will part, and that which does not enter into the will part is not appropriated, thus is not conjoined, because the conjunction of good and truth with man is effected when truth enters the will; consequently when the man wills truth, and from willing does it. Then for the first time truth becomes good, or what is the same, faith becomes charity.
[4] This cannot be effected with those who from infancy have indulged the loves of the world, and yet are in the truth of the doctrine of their church; for their will part is possessed by these loves, which are wholly in opposition to and reject spiritual good. They merely admit this into the intellectual part of the mind, that is, into the thought, when these loves are dormant, which is the case, as said above, in a state of sickness or of misfortune, or in anxiety, consequently in labor, and in some combat. This is the secret which lies hidden in this statute. And as this statute was thus representative of the law of Divine order with respect to those who are in the truth of doctrine and not in the corresponding good, therefore in the representative church it was in agreement with Divine justice, even in the external form.


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