(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 9255

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9255. When thou shalt meet thine enemy's ox, or his ass, going astray. That hereby is signified good not genuine, and truth not genuine, with those who are outside the church, is evident from the signification of "an enemy," as being those who are outside the church (of whom below); from the signification of "an ox," as being the good of the external man; and from the signification of "an ass," as being the truth of the external man (see n. 2781, 9134); but good and truth not genuine, such as are with those who are outside the church, who are signified by "an enemy." That those who are outside the church are meant by "an enemy" is because they are at variance in respect to the good and truth of faith; for they have not the Word, and therefore they do not know anything about the Lord, nor about Christian faith and charity, which are from the Lord alone. Hence it is that neither their truth of faith, nor their good of charity, is genuine. Therefore in the other life also they do not live together with those who are of the church, but separate from them; for in the other life all are associated together in accordance with their good and the truth thence derived; for these are what make spiritual life and conjunction.
[2] Nevertheless those who are in heaven do not regard as enemies those who are outside the church, but they instruct them, and lead them to Christian good, which moreover is received by those who while in the world have lived together, from their religion, in subordination, in obedience, and in some kind of mutual charity. But in the sense of the letter they are called "enemies" from their spiritual variance, which, as before said, is a variance in respect to the truth of faith and the good of charity. (See what has already been shown from experience concerning the state of the nations outside the church, and their lot in the other life, n. 2589-2604, 2861, 2863, 4190, 4197.) That the same are to be regarded as friends, and are to be instructed and amended, is meant in the internal sense by "bringing back thou shalt bring it back to him," of which in what follows.
[3] It only remains to say that in the Word by beasts of various kinds are signified affections and inclinations such as man has in common with beasts; and in the spiritual sense the affections of good and truth internal and external (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 776, 2179, 2180, 2781, 3218, 3519, 5198, 9090); and that for this reason beasts were employed in the sacrifices in accordance with their signification (n. 1823, 2180, 2805, 2807, 2830, 3519). From this it is that by this moral law concerning the bringing back of the stray oxen and asses of an enemy, are signified in the spiritual sense such things as are of the church, thus such things as are of mutual love or charity toward those who are at variance with the truths of the church.


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