Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/457

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evil spirits, who are then in a similar state and draw near and inspire them. (That evil spirits can be in such a state, and are so when they are in externals, and are inflated with the love of self or of the world, it has been given me to know from manifold experience, of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, in the narrations which follow at the end of the chapters.) These have no communication with heaven in themselves; but they have who hear and receive the words from their mouth, if they are in a pious and holy internal. For it matters not from whom the voice of good and truth goes forth if only their life be not openly wicked, for this scandalizes. That such was the nation descended from Jacob, namely, that it was encompassed with evil spirits, and yet the Lord was representatively present with them, may be seen from many passages in the Word. There was indeed nothing which at heart they worshipped less than Jehovah; for as often as miracles ceased they immediately turned to other gods and became idolaters; which was a manifest indication that at heart they worshipped other gods, and only confessed Jehovah with the mouth,—and in fact merely to the end that they might be the greatest, and pre-eminent over all the nations round about. That at heart this people, and among them Aaron himself, worshipped an Egyptian idol, and only with the mouth confessed Jehovah, on account of His miracles, is clearly evident from the golden calf which Aaron made for them,—and this but a month of days after they had seen so great miracles on Mount Sinai, besides what they saw in Egypt,—of which in Exod. xxxii. That Aaron also was of such a character is distinctly related in the same chapter (vers. 2-5, and especially ver. 35). Besides many other passages concerning them in the books of Moses, in the book of Judges, in the books of Samuel, and in the books of the Kings. That they were only in external worship, and not in any internal worship, is evident also from the fact that they were forbidden to come near to Mount Sinai when the law was promulgated, and that if they touched the mountain dying they would die (Exod. xix. 11-13; xx. 19). The reason was that their internal man was unclean. Again, it is said, "That Jehovah dwelt with them in the midst of their uncleannesses;" (Levit. xvi. 16). The character of that nation appears also from the song of Moses (Deut. xxxii. 15-43), and from many passages in the prophets. It may be known from all this that there was no church with that nation, but only the representative of a church; and that the Lord was present with it only representatively. (A. C. n. 4311.)