(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 9025

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9025. And a man shall smite his companion with a stone, or with his fist. That this signifies the invalidating of some one [truth of the church] by reason of some memory or general truth, is evident from the signification of "smiting," as being to injure (see n. 7136, 7146, 9007), here to invalidate, because it is said of truths from memory-knowledges; from the signification of "a stone," as being truth (n. 643, 1298, 3720, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3789, 3798, 6426, 8940), namely, truth in the ultimate of order, that is, in the natural, thus memory-knowledge (n. 8609); and from the signification of "a fist," as being general truth; for by "the hand" is signified the power which belongs to truth (n. 3091, 4931, 7188, 7189), consequently by "the fist" is signified full power from general truth. That is called general truth which has been received, and everywhere prevails; consequently "to smite with the fist" denotes with full force and power; in the spiritual sense, by means of truths which are from good; and in the opposite sense, by means of falsities which are from evil. In the latter sense it is used in Isaiah:
Behold ye fast for dispute and contention, to smite with the fist of wickedness (Isa. 58:4).
"To smite with the fist of wickedness" denotes with full force by means of falsities from evil.
[2] What is meant by invalidating any truth of the church by means of memory or general truth, shall be explained. By memory-truths are meant truths which are from the literal sense of the Word. General truths therefrom are such as are received among people generally, and consequently are in general discourse. There are very many such truths, and they prevail with much force. But the literal sense of the Word is for the simple, for those who are being initiated into the interior truths of faith, and for those who do not apprehend interior things; for this sense is according to the appearance before the sensuous man, thus is according to his apprehension. Hence it is that in this sense things frequently appear dissimilar, and as it were contradictory, to each other-as for example, that the Lord leads into temptation, and elsewhere that He does not lead into temptation; that the Lord repents, and elsewhere that He does not repent; that the Lord acts from anger and wrath, and elsewhere that He acts from pure clemency and mercy; that souls come to judgment immediately after death, and elsewhere that this is at the time of the Last Judgment; and so on. As such truths are from the literal sense of the Word, they are called memory-truths, and differ from the truths of faith which are of the doctrine of the church. For the latter arise from the former by an unfolding; for when they are unfolded, the man of the church is instructed that such things have been said in the Word for the sake of apprehension, and according to the appearance. Hence also it is that in very many cases the doctrines of the church depart from the literal sense of the Word. Be it known that the true doctrine of the church is that which is here called "the internal sense;" for in the internal sense are truths such as the angels have in heaven.
[3] Among priests, and among the men of the church, there are those who teach and who learn the truths of the church from the literal sense of the Word; and there are those who teach and those who learn from doctrine drawn from the Word, which is called the doctrine of faith of the church. The latter differ very much from the former in perception, but they cannot be distinguished by the common people, because they both speak from the Word nearly alike. But those who teach and who learn only the literal sense of the Word without the doctrine of the church as a guide, apprehend only those things which belong to the natural or external man; whereas those who teach and who learn from true doctrine drawn from the Word, understand also things which are of the spiritual or internal man. The reason is that the Word in the external or literal sense is natural, but in the internal sense it is spiritual. The former sense is called in the Word a "cloud," but the latter sense is called the "glory" in the cloud (n. 5922, 6343, 6752, 8106, 8781).
[4] From all this it can now be seen what is meant by "contention among themselves about truths," and by the "invalidating of some one [truth of the church] by means of some memory or general truth." As before said, memory or general truth is truth from the literal sense of the Word. And as this varies, and as it were contradicts itself, according to the appearance, it must needs sometimes invalidate the spiritual truths which are of the doctrine of the church. These are invalidated when the thought comes into doubt from passages in the Word which are in conflict with each other. This state in connection with the truths of faith with man is here treated of in the internal sense.


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