8991. And he shall serve him forever. That this signifies to eternity, is evident from the signification of "serving," as being to obey, for servants are they who obey, and masters are they who command; that those who were represented by the menservants denote those who have done what is good from obedience, but not from the affection of charity, is evident from what precedes; and from the signification of "forever," as being to eternity. In the sense of the letter "forever" here signifies service with his master even to the end of his life; but in the internal or spiritual sense it signifies what is eternal, because it signifies the state after death. It is said "to eternity," because they who do what is good from the obedience of faith, and not from the affection of charity, who are represented by the menservants, in the other life can never be brought to a state of good, that is, to act from good; because everyone's life remains after death. Such as a man is when he dies, such he remains; according to the common saying, "as the tree falls so it lies;" not that he is such as he is near the hours of death, but such as from the whole course of his life he is when he dies. And therefore they who during their life in the world have become habituated to doing what is good from obedience only, and not from charity, remain such to eternity. They are indeed perfected in respect to obedience; but they do not attain to anything of charity.