Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/215

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

he is withheld from evil and kept in good by the Lord, there is nothing with him but what is good and just, yea, and holy; when yet in man there is nothing but what is evil, unjust, and profane. From appearances man thinks that when he does good from charity he does it from the voluntary part in him, when yet it is not from his voluntary but from his intellectual part, in which charity has been implanted. From appearances man conceives that there can be no glory without the glory of the world; when yet in the glory of heaven there is nothing at all of the glory of the world. From appearances man believes that no one can love his neighbour more than himself, but that all love begins from himself; when yet in heavenly love there is nothing of the love of self. From appearances man thinks there can be no light but what is from the light of the world; when in the heavens there is nothing of the light of the world, and yet so great light that it exceeds a thousand times the mid-day light of the world. From appearances man thinks the Lord cannot shine as a sun before the universal heaven; when yet all the light of heaven is from Him. From appearances man cannot conceive that there are progressions in the other life; when yet they appear to themselves to progress just as men on earth,—as in their habitations, courts and paradises; still less can he comprehend if it be said that these are changes of state, which so appear. From appearances man cannot conceive that spirits and angels—since they are invisible to the [bodily] eyes—can be seen, nor that they can speak with man; when yet they appear to the internal sight, or the sight of the spirit, more visibly than man to man on earth; and in like manner their speech is also more distinctly heard. Besides thousands of thousands of such things which man's rational [faculty] from its own light (lumen), born of sensual things and thereby darkened, can never believe. Yea, even in natural things themselves the rational is dim-sighted; for instance, in that it cannot comprehend how the inhabitants directly opposite to us can stand upon their feet and walk; and in very many other things. What then must it not be in things spiritual and celestial, which are far above the natural? (ib. n. 2196.)

There are however degrees of the appearances of truth. Natural appearances of truth are for the most part fallacies, but when they are with those who are in good they ought not to be called fallacies, but appearances, and even in some respect truths; for the good that is in them, and in which the Divine is, effects that they have a different essence. But rational appearances of truth are more and more interior; the heavens are in these appearances,—that is, the angels who are in the heavens, (ib. n. 3207.)