(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 9096

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9096. And his master hath not watched him. That this signifies and if he hath not kept it in bonds, is evident from the signification of "to watch," as being to keep in bonds, namely, the affection of evil in the natural, which otherwise would injure the truth of faith. That it signifies to keep in bonds, is because by "becoming known" is signified to pass into the intellectual (see n. 9095), and the intellectual is that which sees evil, and that which is seen can be restrained and kept in bonds; not by the intellectual, but through the intellectual by the Lord. For the Lord flows into those things in man which are known to him, but not into those things which are unknown to him. By "keeping in bonds" is meant to prevent, and to restrain. In the spiritual sense bonds are nothing else than the affections of love, for these are what lead man, and what restrain him. If the affections of evil lead him, there must be affections of truth from good to restrain him. Internal bonds in man are affections of truth and of good. These are also called the "bonds of conscience." But external bonds are the affections of the love of self and of the love of the world, for these lead man in external things. If the latter affections descend from internal bonds, which are affections of truth and of good, they are good, for then the man loves himself and the world not for the sake of self and the world, but for the sake of good uses from himself and the world (n. 7819, 7820, 8995). But if the affections of the love of self and of the love of the world do not descend from internal bonds, the affections are evil, and are called "cupidities;" for then the man loves himself for the sake of himself, and the world for the sake of the world.
[2] From all this it can be known what is meant by internal bonds, and by external bonds, of which frequent mention has been made. But bonds so called are not bonds except relatively to their opposites; for he who does anything from the affection which is of the love of good, acts from freedom; but he who acts from the affection which is of the love of evil seems to himself to act from freedom, but does not act from freedom, because he acts from cupidities that are from hell. He only is free who is in the affection of good, because he is led by the Lord. This the Lord also teaches in John:
If ye abide in My word, ye are truly My disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Everyone that committeth sin is the servant of sin. If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:31, 32, 34, 36).
That it is freedom to be led by the Lord, and servitude to be led by cupidities which are from hell, see n. 892, 905, 2870-2893, 6205, 6477, 8209; for the Lord implants affections for good, and aversion for evil. From this the man has freedom in doing good, and utter servitude in doing evil. He who believes that Christian liberty extends itself further is very greatly in error.


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