(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 8995

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8995. If she be evil in the eyes of her master. That this signifies if the affection of truth from natural delight does not agree with spiritual truth, is evident from the signification of "a maidservant," of whom it is said that she is "evil," as being affection from natural delight (see n. 8993, 8994); from the signification of "evil," when said of this affection relatively to spiritual truth, as being not to agree therewith (of which below); from the signification of "in the eyes," as being in the perception (see n. 2829, 3529, 4083, 4339); and from the signification of "master," as being spiritual truth (n. 8981).
[2] How the case herein is must be told. That "a maidservant" denotes the affection of truth from the delights of the love of self or of the love of the world was said above (n. 8993, 8994); and that this affection can be conjoined with spiritual truth can be seen from the fact that the affection of spiritual truth is an internal affection, or is in the interior man; whereas the affection of truth from natural delight is in the external man. The internal affection which is of the spiritual man is constantly conjoined with the external affection which is of the natural man, but still in such a way that the internal affection of truth is the ruling affection, and the external affection is subservient; for it is according to Divine order that the spiritual man should rule over the natural (n. 8961, 8967). Moreover when the spiritual man rules, the man looks upward, which is represented by having the head in heaven; but when the natural man rules, the man looks downward, which is represented by having the head in hell.
[3] To throw more light on this subject something further shall be said. Most men by the truths which they learn, and the goods which they do, do indeed think of a consequent advantage, or of honor in their country; but if these things are regarded as the end, the natural man rules and the spiritual serves; if however they are not regarded as the end, but only as means to the end, the spiritual man rules and the natural man serves, according to what has been already said (n. 7819, 7820). For when gain or honor is regarded as a means to an end, and not as the end, the gain or honor is not regarded, but the end, which is use. As for example he who desires and procures for himself riches for the sake of use, which he loves above all things, is not in this case delighted with riches for the sake of riches, but for the sake of uses. Moreover the very uses make the spiritual life with men, and riches merely serve as means (see n. 6933-6938). From this it can be seen what must be the quality of the natural man in order that it may be conjoined with the spiritual, namely, that it must regard gains and honors, thus riches and dignities, as means, and not as the end; for that which is regarded by a man as the end makes his veriest life, because he loves it above all things, for that which is loved is regarded as the end.
[4] He who does not know that the end, or what is the same, the love, makes the spiritual life of a man, consequently that a man is where his love is, in heaven if the love is heavenly, in hell if the love is infernal, cannot comprehend how the case is in regard to this. He may suppose that the delight of natural loves, which are the love of self and the love of the world, cannot agree with spiritual truth and good; for he does not know that in the course of regeneration a man must be wholly inverted, and that when he has been inverted he has his head in heaven, but that before he has been inverted he has his head in hell. He has his head in hell when he regards the delights of the love of self or of the love of the world as the end; but he has his head in heaven when these delights are as means to the end. For the end, which is the love, is the only thing with man that is alive; the means to the end are of themselves not alive, but they receive life from the end. Consequently the means from the ultimate end are called mediate ends; and these, insofar as they regard the ultimate end which is the principal end, are so far alive. From this it is that when a man has been regenerated, consequently when he has as the end to love the neighbor and to love the Lord, he then has as means the loving of himself and the world. When man is of this character, then when he looks to the Lord he accounts himself as nothing, and also the world; and if he regards himself as anything, it is that he may be able to serve the Lord. But previously the contrary had been the case; for when he looked to himself, he had accounted the Lord as nothing, or if as anything, it was that thereby he might have gain and honor.
[5] From all this it can be seen what is the nature of the secret that lies hidden in these statutes concerning the maidservants from the daughters of Israel, namely, that though they were servants, still, if they were good, they were betrothed to the master by whom they were bought, or to his son; but if evil, they were not betrothed, but were either redeemed, or sold; according to what is contained in these verses. Moreover to betroth maidservants, or to have them for concubines, was permitted in the representative church, especially in the Jewish and Israelitish church, for the reason that a wife represented the affection of spiritual truth, but a maidservant the affection of natural truth; thus the former represented the internal of the church with man, but the latter the external. This was represented by Hagar, who was betrothed to Abraham; and also by the two handmaids who were betrothed to Jacob. From all this it is now evident what is meant in the internal representative sense by a maidservant not being able to be betrothed if she was evil; namely, if the affection from natural delight (which is "a maidservant") does not agree with the spiritual, which chiefly happens owing to the fact that it wishes to rule, and that it is of such a disposition and heart that it cannot be bent to love the Lord. Moreover the agreement or disagreement with the spiritual of the affection from natural delight is according to the quality of each; but to divide these into their categories would be too tedious. (That "a maidservant" also denotes an affirmative means that serves for the conjunction of the external and the internal man, see n. 3913, 3917, 3931.)


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