Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/243

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AND SUBJECTS IN THE WORD.

learn to think artificially, whereby his faculty of thinking well would be destroyed, as with those who cleave to scholastic dust. They who [learn] from perception, to them it is given by the Lord by an internal way to cognize what is good and true; but they who [learn] from doctrine, to them it is given to know by an external way or through the bodily senses. The difference is as between light and darkness. Add to this that the perceptions of the celestial man can in no wise be described; for they enter into the very least and most single particulars, with every variety according to states and circumstances. But as it was foreseen that the perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church would be lost, and that afterwards men would learn what is true and good by doctrines, or through darkness come to the light, therefore it is said that God took him; that is He preserved [the doctrine] for the use of their posterity. (ib. n. 521.)

 

The Giants.

"There were giants (Nephilim) in the earth in those days" (Gen. vi. 4). By Nephilim are signified those who from a persuasion of their own eminence and great superiority set at naught all things holy and true. This appears from what precedes and presently follows, namely, that they immersed doctrinal truths in their lusts, which is signified by these words, that "The sons of God went in unto the daughters of men" ["sons of God" signifying doctrinal truths of faith, and "the daughters of men" lusts, as shown before, n. 570]; and here that "they bare unto them." The high opinion of themselves and of their own conceits increases,—and that too according to the multitude of the falsities entering into them,—so that at length it becomes indelible; and when doctrinal truths of faith are added, they become so strongly persuaded of their principles that they set at naught all things holy and true, and become Nephilim. This race, which lived before the flood, is of such a character, as was said before, that they so deaden and suffocate every spirit with their most horrible conceits, which are poured forth from them like a poisonous and suffocating sphere, that the spirits do not in the least know how to think, and seem to themselves half dead. And if the Lord by His coming into the world had not freed the world of spirits from so malignant a race no one could have existed there; and therefore the human race would have perished, for it is governed by the Lord by means of spirits. . . . Further mention is made of them in the Word; and their posterity are called Anakim and Rephaim. That they are called Anakim appears in Moses:—The explorers of the land of Cannan said,