« PreviousContinue »
Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi. 38, 39; Mark xiv. 33–36; Luke xxii. 44), and also afterward upon the cross (Matt. xxvii. 46), in that it was carried even to a state of despair; and the temptation of the Lord is a pattern of the temptation of the faithful; wherefore the Lord says that whosoever would follow Him must take up his cross (Matt. x. 38; xvi. 24); for the glorification of the Lord is a pattern of the regeneration of man (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490, 4402, 5688), and regeneration is effected chiefly by means of temptation.
7167. For since I came unto Pharaoh speak in Thy name. That this signifies when the command from the things which are of the law Divine appeared to those who are in falsities, is evident from the signification of “coming to speak," as being to convey a command, here to appear; for a command from the Divine is not conveyed openly to those who are in the hells, but exhortation is made to them through spirits, and hence it appears to them as a command from the Divine; from the representation of Pharaoh, as being those who are in falsities and infest (see n. 6651, 6679, 6683, 7107, 7110, 7126, 7142); and from the signification of the "name of Jehovah," as being everything of faith and charity by which the Lord is worshiped (n. 2724, 3006, 6674), thus everything that is of the law Divine, for the law Divine is nothing else than that which is of charity and faith. For the law Divine is truth Divine proceeding from the Lord, and that which proceeds from the Lord is Divine good and truth; and Divine good is love and charity, and Divine truth is faith.
7168. He hath done evilly to this people. That this signifies that then through the injected falsities those who are in the truths and goods of the church seemed to be injured, is evident from the signification of “doing evil," as being to injure by means of the injected falsities, here to seem to be injured, for they who are in infestation and in temptation cannot be injured by injected falsities, because the Lord protects them; and from the representation of the sons of Israel, who are here “the people,” as being those who are in the truths of the church and its goods (as above, 7162).
7169. And liberating Thou hast not liberated Thy people. That this signifies that they were not released from a state of infestations by falsities, is evident from the signification of “to be liberated,” as being to be released from a state of infestation by falsities; for in what goes before, the subject treated of is infestations by falsities; hence “to be liberated” here denotes to be released from them. That “Thy people" denotes those who are in the truths and goods of the church, and are being infested see n. 7165, 7168.)
CONTINUATION ABOUT THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF
THE EARTH MERCURY.
7170. The spirits of Mercury appeared at the left in a ball, and afterward in a roll stretching a long way, and next in a mass extending in length; and I wondered whither they desired to go, whether to this earth or elsewhere, and presently I observed that they bent themselves back to the right, and by unrolling themselves approached the earth Venus, on the side that is turned away from the sun. But when they came there, they said that they did not desire to be there, because the inhabitants were evil; therefore they bent themselves round to the other side of that earth, which looks to the sun, and then said that they desired to stay there, because the inhabitants were good. When this had taken place, I felt in the brain a remarkable change, and a strong operation from there. From this it was given to conclude that the spirits of Venus who are on that side of the planet were in accord with the spirits of the planet Mercury, and that they have relation to the memory of material things, which agrees with the memory of immaterial things, which the spirits of Mercury constitute; and therefore a stronger operation was felt from them when they were there.
7171. Be it known that the sun of this world does not at all appear to any spirit, nor anything of its light; for to spirits the light of our sun is like thick darkness. This sun remains in perception with spirits solely from having been seen while they were in the world, and it is presented to them in idea as something that is intensely dark, and this behind them, at a considerable distance, in altitude a little above the plane of the head. The planets within our solar system appear in a fixed position relative to the sun: Mercury behind and a little toward the right; the planet Venus to the left, a little behind; the planet Mars to the left in front; the planet Jupiter in like manner to the left in front, but at a greater distance; the planet Saturn wholly in front at a considerable distance; the Moon to the left rather high up; the satellites also to the left, each relatively to its own planet. Such is the situation of these planets in the ideas of spirits and angels; and the spirits also appear near their own planet, but outside of it.
7172. I once saw that spirits of our earth were with spirits of the earth Mercury, and I heard them talking together; and then among other things the spirits of our earth asked them in whom they believed. They answered that they believed in God; but when further questioned about the God in whom they believed, they were unwilling to say, because it is their custom not to answer questions directly. But then in their turn the spirits from the earth Mercury asked the spirits from our earth in whom they believed. They said that they believed in the Lord God. The spirits of Mercury then said that they perceived that they believed in no God, and that they have the custom of saying with the mouth that they believe, and yet they do not believe. (The spirits of Mercury have an exquisite perception from the fact that by means of perception they are continually exploring what others know.) The spirits of our earth were among those who, in the world, had made a confession of faith from the doctrine of the church, but yet had not lived the life of faith. When the spirits from our earth heard these things, they were silent, because from a perception then given them they acknowledged that it was so.
7173. Certain spirits knew from heaven that a promise had once been made to the spirits of the earth Mercury that they should see the Lord, and therefore they were asked by the spirits about me whether they remembered this promise. They said that they remembered it, but that they did not know whether the promise was of such a nature that they should have no doubt about it. While they were thus talking together, the sun of heaven appeared to them. (The sun of heaven, which is the Lord, is seen only by those who are in the inmost or third
heaven; all others see the light from it, and also the moon, n. 1529–1531, 4060.) When the sun was seen, they said that this was not the Lord God, because they saw no face. Meanwhile the spirits were talking together, but I do not know what they said. Then suddenly the sun appeared again, and in the midst of it the Lord encompassed with a solar circle. On seeing this, the spirits of Mercury humbled themselves profoundly, and settled down. Then also the Lord from the sun was seen by spirits of this earth who when they were men had seen Him in the world; and they all one after another, and thus many in order, confessed that it was the Lord Himself; and this they confessed before all the company. Then also the Lord from the sun was seen by the spirits of the planet Jupiter, who said in a plain voice, that it was He Himself whom they had seen on their earth when the God of the universe appeared to them.
7174. After the Lord had been seen, certain ones were brought toward the front to the right, and as they advanced they said that they saw a light much clearer and purer than they had ever seen before, and that no greater light was possible; and it was then eventide here. Those who said this were many.
7175. After some time there was shown me a woman of the inhabitants of the earth Mercury; she had a beautiful face, but it was smaller than that of a woman of our earth; she was also more slender, but of equal height. She wore linen on her head, put on without art, yet becomingly. I also saw a man from that earth, who likewise was more slender in body than the men of our earth; he who appeared was clad in a garment of dark blue, closely fitted to his body, without folds or prominences on either side. But that the inhabitants of that earth think little about their bodies, was evident to me from the fact that when they come into the other life, and become spirits, they do not wish to appear as men, like the spirits of our earth, but as crystal balls. The reason they desire so to appear is that they may remove from themselves material ideas; moreover the knowledges of things immaterial are represented in the other life by crystals.
7176. There were also shown me their species of oxen and Cows, which did not indeed differ much from those on our
earth, but were smaller and in some respects resembled a kind of deer.
7177. Being asked also about the sun of the world, how it appears from their earth, they said that it appears large, and that it appears larger there than from other earths: they said that they can know this from the idea of other spirits about the sun. They said further that they have a medium temperature, neither too hot nor too cold. I was then allowed to tell them that it has been so provided of the Lord in order that they may not be exposed to too much heat, by reason of their earth being nearer the sun than other earths; for heat does not come from nearness to the sun, but from the height and consequent density of the aerial atmosphere, as is evident from the cold on high mountains, even in hot climates. Moreover heat varies according to the direct or oblique incidence of the sun's rays, as is evident from the seasons of winter and summer in every region.
These are the things that have been granted me to know about the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Mercury. At the end of the following chapter I will speak of the spirits of the planet Venus.
CHAPTER THE SIXTH.
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY.
7178. No one can know what good is, as understood in the spiritual sense, unless he knows what love toward the neighbor and love to God are; and no one can know what evil is, unless he knows what the love of self and the love of the world are. Nor can any one know from inward acknowledgment what the truth is which is of faith, unless he knows what good is, and unless he is in good; nor can any one know what falsity is, unless he knows what evil is. Consequently no one can examine himself unless he knows what good from its two loves is, and what truth from good is; and unless he knows what evil from its two loves is, and what falsity from evil is.