Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/459

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this was granted me in order that I might know; for at different times I have there conversed with them. They love themselves and love worldly wealth more than all others; and besides, above all others they fear the loss of honour, and also the loss of gain. And therefore at this day, as formerly, they despise others in comparison with themselves; and also with intensest application they acquire to themselves wealth. And they are moreover timid. Because such from ancient times had been the character of that nation, therefore they could above other nations be held in a holy external without any holy internal; and thus could represent in an external form the things which are of the church. These fantasies and these lusts are what caused such contumacy. This also appears from many things that are related of them in the historical parts of the Word. After they were punished they could be in such external humiliation as no other nation; for whole days they could lie prostrate on the ground and roll themselves in the dust, and not rise up until the third day; for many days they could bewail, go in sackloth, in tattered garments, with dust or ashes sprinkled on their heads; could fast continually for many days, and meanwhile burst forth in bitter weeping; and this merely from corporeal and earthly love, and from fear of the loss of pre-eminence and worldly wealth. It certainly was not anything internal which affected them, for they did not know at all, or indeed wish to know, what was internal,—as for example that there is a life after death, and that there is eternal salvation. It is therefore evident that, such being their character, it could not but be that they were deprived of every holy internal; for this character in no wise agrees with such a holy external; they are in fact entirely contrary. It is also evident that they beyond others could act as the representative of a church; that is to say, could represent holy things in an external form without any holy internal; and so that by that nation there could be something of communication with the heavens. (A. C. n. 4293.)

Representative Divine worship was yet instituted with that nation; for representative worship could be instituted with any nation that had holy externals of worship, and worshipped almost idolatrously. For what is representative has no reference to the person, but to the thing; and the inclination of that people above every other was absolutely to worship external things as holy and Divine, without any internal; as for instance to adore their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterwards Moses and David, as deities; and likewise to account as holy and Divine and to worship every stone and every [piece of] wood that was inaugurated into their Divine worship,—as the ark, the tables therein, the lamp, the altar, the garments of Aaron, the