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

HH 518

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518. There were some spirits who had convinced themselves, by thinking about it in the world, that they would go to heaven and be received before others because of their learning and their great knowledge of the Word and of the doctrines of their churches, believing that they were wise in consequence, and were such as are meant by those of whom it is said that

They shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars (Daniel 12:3).

But these were examined to see whether their knowledges resided in the memory or in the life. Such of them as had a genuine affection of truth, that is, who had uses separated from what pertains to the body and the world as their end, which are essentially spiritual uses--these, when they had been instructed, were received into heaven; and it was then given them to know what it is that shines in heaven, namely, Divine truth (which is the light of heaven) in use, which is a plane that receives the rays of that light and turns them into various splendors. But those in whom knowledges resided merely in the memory, and who had acquired therefrom an ability to reason about truths and to prove what they had already accepted as principles, seeing such principles, after they had confirmed them, as truths, although they were falsities, these, as they were in no heavenly light, and yet were in a belief derived from the conceit that usually adheres to such intelligence that they were more learned than others, and would for that reason enter heaven and be served by the angels, in order that they might be withdrawn from their delusive faith, were taken up to the first or outmost heaven to be introduced into an angelic society. But at the very threshold their eyes began to be darkened by the inflowing of the light of heaven, and their understanding to be disturbed, and at length they began to gasp as if at the point of death; and as soon as they felt the heat of heaven, which is heavenly love, they began to be inwardly tormented. They were therefore cast down, and afterwards were taught that knowledges do not make an angel, but the life itself, which is gained by means of knowledges, for knowledges regarded in themselves are outside of heaven; but life acquired by means of knowledges is within heaven.


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