(HH) - Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell - From Things Heard and Seen

HH 341

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341. That innocence is a receptacle of all things of heaven, and thus the innocence of children is a plane for all affections for good and truth, can be seen from what has been shown above (n. 276-283) in regard to the innocence of angels in heaven, namely, that innocence is a willingness to be led by the Lord and not by oneself; consequently so far as a man is in innocence he is separated from what is his own, and so far as one is separated from what is his own he is in what is the Lord's own. The Lord's own is what is called His righteousness and merit. But the innocence of children is not genuine innocence, because as yet it is without wisdom. Genuine innocence is wisdom, since so far as any one is wise he loves to be led by the Lord; or what is the same, so far as any one is led by the Lord he is wise. [2] Therefore children are led from the external innocence in which they are at the beginning, and which is called the innocence of childhood, to internal innocence, which is the innocence of wisdom. This innocence is the end that directs all their instruction and progress; and therefore when they have attained to the innocence of wisdom, the innocence of childhood, which in the meanwhile has served them as a plane, is joined to them. [3] The innocence of children has been represented to me as a wooden sort of thing, almost devoid of life, which becomes vivified as they are perfected by knowledges of truth and affections for good. Afterwards genuine innocence was represented by a most beautiful child, naked and full of life; for the really innocent, who are in the inmost heaven and thus nearest to the Lord, always appear before the eyes of other angels as little children, and some of them naked; for innocence is represented by nakedness unaccompanied by shame, as is said of the first man and his wife in Paradise (Gen. 2:25); so when their state of innocence perished they were ashamed of their nakedness, and hid themselves (chap. 3:7, 10, 11). In a word, the wiser the angels are the more innocent they are, and the more innocent they are the more they appear to themselves as little children. This is why in the Word "childhood" signifies innocence (see above, n. 278).


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