Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/303

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
207
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

them, and commits them without shame. It has been given me to see virgins in the spiritual world who accounted fornication as abominable because against the Divine law; and also virgins who did not account them abominable, but yet abstained from them because they were disreputable and would turn away their suitors. These virgins I saw encompassed with a dusky cloud in their descent to the abodes below; and the former I saw surrounded with a bright light in their ascent to the abodes above. (A. E. n. 1009.)

All who regard adulteries as of no consequence, that is who believe that they are not sins, and from this confirmed belief, and purposely, commit them, are evil doers and impious in heart; for the conjugial human [principle] and religion go together at every pace; and every step and every advance by religion and in religion, is also a step and advance by and in the conjugial [principle] which is peculiar and proper to a Christian man. (C. L. n. 80.)

 

The Seventh Commandment.

"Thou shalt not steal." In the natural sense this commandment means according to the letter, not to steal, rob, or commit piracy in time of peace; and in general not to take from any one his goods, secretly, or under any pretext. It also extends itself to all impostures, illegitimate gains, usuries, and exactions; and also to fraudulent practices in paying duties and taxes, and in discharging debts. Workmen offend against this commandment who do their work unfaithfully and dishonestly; merchants who deceive in merchandise, in weight, in measure, and in accounts; officers who deprive the soldiers of their just wages; and judges who give judgment for friendship, bribes, relationship, or for other reasons by perverting the laws or the judicial investigations, and who thus deprive others of their goods which they should rightfully possess.

In the spiritual sense to steal means to deprive others of the truths of their faith, which is done by falsities and heresies. Priests who minister only for the sake of gain or worldly honour, and teach such things as they see or may see from the Word are not true, are spiritual thieves; since they take away from the people the means of salvation, which are the truths of faith.

In the celestial sense by thieves are meant those who take away Divine power from the Lord; and also those who claim for themselves His merit and righteousness. These, though they adore God, yet do not trust in Him, but themselves; and they also do not believe in God, but in themselves. (T. C. R n 317-319.)