Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/451

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The Repeesentative of a Church could not be established till all Knowledge op Internal Things had been lost.

The representative of a church could not be established among the Jews until the time when they were altogether vastated, that is, when they had no knowledge of the internal things [of worship]; for if they had had a knowledge of internal things, they might have been affected by them, and thus might have profaned them. For holy things, that is internal truths and goods, may be profaned by those who know and acknowledge them, and still more by those who are affected by them; but not by those who do not acknowledge. Worship is made external to prevent the violation of the internal. On this account internal truths were not made known to the Jews. It was therefore provided of the Lord that the genuine representative of the church, that is the internal, should depart from the posterity of Jacob before they came into the representatives of the land of Canaan, insomuch that they did not know anything at all of the Lord. They indeed expected that the Messiah would come into the world; but to the intent that He might raise them to glory and eminence above all the nations of the earth, not that He might save their souls to eternity. Nay, they knew nothing whatever of a heavenly kingdom, nor of a life after death, nor even of charity and faith. That they might be reduced to this ignorance they were kept for several hundred years in Egypt; and when they were called out thence, they were ignorant of the very name of Jehovah (Exod. iii. 12-14). And moreover they lost all the worship of the representative church; insomuch that after the precepts of the decalogue had been promulgated in their presence from Mount Sinai, within a month of days they relapsed to Egyptian worship, which was that of a golden calf (Exod. xxxii.). And because that nation which was brought forth out of Egypt was of such a character, they all perished in the wilderness. Nothing more indeed was required of them than to keep the statutes and commandments in external form, inasmuch as this was to do what was representative of the church; but those who had grown up to mature age in Egypt could not be brought to this. Their children however could be, although with difficulty,—in the beginning by miracles, and afterwards by fears and captivities; as appears from the books of Joshua and Judges. Hence it appears that every genuine or internal representative of the church departed from them before they came into the land of Canaan, where the external representative of a church was begun among them in full form. For the land of Canaan was the very land itself where representatives of the church could be