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man comes into a fulness of joy, and the gates and doors are lost in the splendour of truth by which, as in the light of day, all things are made manifest. When worldly things have the dominion, all subjects are thought of and determined upon, by the light of nature. "But when celestial things have the dominion, they illustrate worldly things, place them in a clear light, and take away all doubts." A. C. 4099.
The liberty and happiness of the celestial state-this wealthy nation, is further described by having no bars! By bars are meant external doctrinals of the church which lead to interior truth as well as secure and defend the man from the assaults of his spiritual enemies but the celestial man having passed through the necessary temptations, and his faith and perseverance proved; he comes into the delights of the celestial state; and to him the bars are lost in the enjoyment of that true liberty and light, into which, through divine mercy, he has entered.
The permanency and tranquillity of the celestial state are finally described by the inhabitants of this wealthy nation dwelling alone! In the most Ancient times, they were said to dwell alone, who were under the Lord's guidance as celestial men, because such were no longer infested by evils, or evil spirits; this was also represented in the Jewish Church by the children of Israel dwelling alone when they had driven out the nations. Wherefore in some parts of the Word the Church is described as dwelling alone. Thus in Deuteronomy the celestial state is thus described, " Israel then shall dwell in safety alone; the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew." xxxiii. 28. Again in Numbers, speaking of Israel it is said, "Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." xxiii. 9. The most ancient church and peo ́ple described by Adam in the garden of Eden, were of a celestial stamp and quality; but the posterity of this Church, was not disposed to dwell alone, or to be under the Lord's guidance as a celestial man, but to be amongst the nations like the Jewish Church, and by reason of this disposition it is said, that it was not good for man to be alone; for whosoever hath a disposition towards evil, is already in evil, and it is granted him. A. C. 139.
The supreme joys of this wealthy nation, can only be realized by those who will arise from the earth; for while the human will and its affections are absorbed in the love of sensual things, it is impossible for the spiritual state, much less the celestial, to be formed. Let us then take some thought for our eternal interests, and not embitter this short span of life by an inordinate love of the fleeting things of time, and a total indifference to those of
eternity. Let us rather ARISE and get up to the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, which have neither gates nor bars which dwell alone. An elevation of the soul to the pure delights of love and wisdom, will fix in us those true joys, which in time and eternity will bless us with a never-failing source of wealth, in the enjoyment of which we shall be supremely happy. How often do we find that the closing hours of the life of too many of our fellow-men, are rendered bitter by the sad recollection of the past? when a little care in early life would have prevented all this bitterness and sorrow of old age! The sun would then be seen to set in peace! and the exhilirating recollection of having passed through our probationary state as becometh the followers of Jesus Christ, would smooth our passage out of time, and brighten up our prospects of a glorious resurrection to immortal life and joy. GULIELMUS.
EXTRACTS FROM SWEDENBORG.
That momentaneous Salvation from immediate Mercy is not possible. In the foregoing pages it is shewn, that the operation of the Divine Providence for the salvation of man, begins at his birth, and continues to the end of his life, and afterwards to eternity; also that this operation is continually carried on by means out of pure mercy; hence it follows, that there is no such thing as momentaneous salvation, nor immediate mercy. But forasmuch as many, who do not think at all from the understanding concerning matters of the church or of Religion, believe that they are saved from immediate mercy, and consequently that salvation is momentaneous, and yet this is contrary to the truth, and is moreover a hurtful belief, it is requisite that it should be weighed in its proper order, 1. That a belief in momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy is taken from the natural state of man. 2. That such a belief proceeds from ignorance of his spiritual state, which is totally different from his natural state. 3. That the doctrines of all the churches in the christian world considered interiorly are against momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy; but still that it is established by men of the external church. FIRST: That faith in momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy is taken from the natural state of man. natural man from his own state knows no otherwise than that heavenly joy is like worldly joy, and enters by influx and is received in the same manner; for example, that it is like a man's becoming rich, who had been poor, and so being removed from a sorrowful state of poverty to a happy state of opulence; or like a
man's being honoured, who had before been of no estimation, and so being removed from a state of contempt to a state of glory; or like going out of the house of mourning to nuptial joys: forasmuch as these states can be changed within a day, and they have no other idea of the state of man after death, it is evident whence it comes, that there is a belief in momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy. Moreover in the world it is possible for many persons to be in one company, and in one civil Society, and to be merry together, and yet to differ all of them in their minds; this is the case in a natural state; the reason is, because the external of one man may be accommodated to the external of another man, although their internals be dissimilar: from this natural state it is also concluded, that salvation consists only in admission to the angels in heaven, and that admission is from immediate mercy; wherefore it is also believed, that heaven can as well be given to the wicked as the good, and that then there is a consociation similar to what takes place in the world, only with this difference, that it is full of joy. SECONDLY: But that this faith proceeds from ignorance of a spiritual state, which is totally different from a natural state. The spiritual state, which is the state of man after death, is treated of in many places above, where it is shewn, that every one is his own love, and that no one can live with any others but such as are in a similar love, and that if he comes to others, he cannot respire his own life; hence it is, that every one after death enters into a society like himself, which is composed of such as are in a similar love, and that he acknowledges them as his relatives and friends; and what is wonderful, when he meets with them and sees them, it is as though he had known them from his infancy; this circumstance has its ground in the nature of spiritual affinity and friendship; yea more, no one in a society can dwell in any other house than his own; every one in the society hath his own house, which he finds prepared for him as soon as he comes into the society; he may be in company with others out of his house, but yet he cannot dwell any where but in it; and what is still more, no one can sit in an apartment in another's house, in any place but his own; if he sits in any other place, he becomes impotent of mind and silent; and what is wonderful, every one when he enters a room knows his own place; it is the same in temples, and also in assemblies when they are met together. From these circumstances it is evident, that a spiritual state is totally different from a natural state, and indeed such, that no one can be any where but where his reigning love is, for there the delight of his life is, and every one desires to be in the delight of his life, and the spirit of a man cannot be any where else, because
that constitutes the life of him, yea, his very respiration, as also the pulsation of his heart: It is otherwise in the natural world, where the external of man is taught from his infancy to feign in his countenance, speech and gesture, delights different from those of his internal; wherefore from the state of a man in the natural world, a conclusion cannot be formed concerning his state after death, for the state of every one after death is spiritual, which is such, that he cannot be any where else, but in the delight of his love, which he acquired to himself by his life in the natural world. Hence it may appear manifestly, that no one can be let into the delight of heaven, which in general is called heavenly joy, who is in the delight of hell, or, what amounts to the same, be cannot be let into the delight of good, who is already in the delight of evil; which may be still more clearly concluded from this circumstance, that the liberty of ascending into heaven is not refused any one after death, the way is shewn him, leave is given, and he is introduced; but when he comes into heaven, and by breathing draws in the delight thereof, if he be in evil, he begins to feel anguish in his breast, and to be tormented at heart, and to experience a swoon, in which he writhes himself like a snake placed before the fire, and with his face averted from heaven and turned toward hell, escapes head long, neither can he rest but in a society of his own prevailing love: hence it may appear, that to go to heaven is not given to any one from immediate mercy, consequently that it does not consist merely in admission, as many in this world imagine; also that neither is salvation momentaneous, for this supposes immediate mercy. There were some, who in the world believed in momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy, and when they became spirits were desirous that their infernal delight, or delight of evil, by means of the Divine omnipotence and the Divine mercy together, might be changed into heavenly delight, or delight of good; and forasmuch as this was their desire, it was also permitted that it should be done by angels, who instantly removed their infernal delight; but then, by reason that it was the delight of their life, consequently their life itself, they lay as if they were dead, deprived of all sense and motion, nor was it possible to infuse into them any other life but their own, because all things of their minds and bodies were in a state of retroversion, and could not be contrary-wise retorted or wrested; wherefore they were revived by the intromission of the delight of their life's love; afterwards they said, that in that state they felt interiorly something direful and horrible, which they would not make known; wherefore it is said in heaven, that it is easier to convert an owl into a dove, or a serpent into a lamb, than an infernal spirit into
an angel of heaven. THIRDLY: That the Doctrines of the
Churches in the Christian World, interiorly considered, are contrary to momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy, but yet that it is established by men of the external church The doctrines of all churches, viewed interiorly, teach life; where is any church whose doctriue doth not teach, that man ought to examine himself; to see and acknowledge his sins; to confess them, repent, and then lead a new life? Who is admitted to the holy communion without this admonition and command? Inquire, and you will be confirmed. What church is there, whose doctrine is not founded upon the precepts of the decalogue? and the precepts of the decalogue are precepts of life. What man is there of the church, in whom there is any thing of the church, who doth not acknowledge, as soon as he hears it, that he is saved who lives well, aud he is condemned who lives wickedly? Therefor in the Athanasian creed, which is also the doctrine received in the whole christian world, it is said, "That the Lord will come to judge the quick and the dead, and then they who have done good, will enter into life everlasting, and they who have done evil, into everlasting fire." From which it is evident, that the doctrines of all churches, viewed interiorly, teach life, and forasmuch as they teach life, they teach that salvation is according to life, and the life of man is not inspired in a moment, but formed successively, and reformed as man shunneth evils as sins; consequently as he knoweth what sin is, and sees and acknowledges it, and as he doth not will it, and therefore desisteth from it; and as he also knoweth the means, which relate to the knowledge of God; by these, which cannot be infused in a moment, the life of man is formed and reformed; for hereditary evil is to be removed, which in itself is infernal, and in place of it, good, which in itself is celestial, is to be implanted: man, from his hereditary evil, may be compared to an owl as to understanding, and to a serpent as to will; and a reformed man may be compared to a dove as to understanding, and to a lamb as to will; who doth not see, that knoweth any thing of the life of man, that this cannot be effected, except the nature of the owl and serpent be taken away, and the nature of the dove and lamb be implanted? moreover it is well known, that every intelligent man may become more intelligent, and every wise man more wise, and that intelligence and wisdom in man may increase, and in some do increase, from infancy to their life's end, and that thus man is continually perfected. Why should not this be more eminently the case with spiritual intelligence and wisdom, which ascends by two degrees above natural intelligence and wisdom? and when it ascends, it