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

HH 358

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358. It should be said to begin with that a man may acquire riches and accumulate wealth as far as opportunity is given, if it is not done by craft or fraud; that he may enjoy the delicacies of food and drink if he does not place his life therein; that he may have a palatial dwelling in accord with his condition, have interaction with others in like condition, frequent places of amusement, talk about the affairs of the world, and need not go about like a devotee with a sad and sorrowful countenance and drooping head, but may be joyful and cheerful; nor need he give his goods to the poor except so far as affection leads him; in a word, he may live outwardly precisely like a man of the world; and all this will be no obstacle to his entering heaven, provided that inwardly in himself he thinks about God as he ought, and acts sincerely and justly in respect to his neighbor. For a man is such as his affection and thought are, or such as his love and faith are, and from these all his outward acts derive their life; since acting is willing, and speaking is thinking, acting being from the will, and speaking from the thought. So where it is said in the Word that man will be judged according to his deeds, and will be rewarded according to his works, it is meant that he will be judged and rewarded in accordance with his thought and affection, which are the source of his deeds, or which are in his deeds; for deeds are nothing apart from these, and are precisely such as these are.# All this shows that the man's external accomplishes nothing, but only his internal, which is the source of the external. For example: if a man acts honestly and refrains from fraud solely because he fears the laws and the loss of reputation and thereby of honor or gain, and if that fear did not restrain him would defraud others whenever he could; although such a man's deeds outwardly appear honest, his thought and will are fraud; and because he is inwardly dishonest and fraudulent he has hell in himself. But he who acts honestly and refrains from fraud because it is against God and against the neighbor would have no wish to defraud another if he could; his thought and will are conscience, and he has heaven in himself. The deeds of these two appear alike in outward form, but inwardly they are wholly unlike.
# It is frequently said in the Word that man will be judged and will be rewarded according to his deeds and works (n. 3934).
By "deeds and works" deeds and works in their internal form are meant, not in their external form, since good works in external form are likewise done by the wicked, but in internal and external form together only by the good (n. 3934, 6073).
Works, like all activities, have their being and outgo [esse et existere] and their quality from the interiors of man, which pertain to his thought and will, since they proceed from these; therefore such as the interiors are such are the works (n. 3934, 8911, 10331).
That is, such as the interiors are in regard to love and faith (n. 3934, 6073, 10331, 10332).
Thus works contain love and faith, and are love and faith in effect (n. 10331).
Therefore to be judged and rewarded in accordance with deeds and works, means in accordance with love and faith (n. 3147, 3934, 6073, 8911, 10331, 10332).
So far as works look to self and the world they are not good, but they are good so far as they look to the Lord and the neighbor (n. 3147).


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