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Israel," Verse 11. It is also compared in the same passage with sepulchres, or graves; for it is written, "I will open your graves, and put my spirit in you, and bring you into the land of Israel," verses 12, 13, 14: by the land of Israel, as applied in this and other passages, is meant the church. The reason why regeneration was represented by bones and graves, is, because the unregenerate are called dead, and the regenerate alive, for spiritual life is in the latter, but in the former, spiritual death.
595. In every created thing throughout the universe, whether living or dead, there is an internal and an external; the one never exists without the other, as no effect can exist without a cause: every created thing too is esteemed in proportion to its internal goodness, and is held of little value in proportion to its internal vileness; external goodness is of no account, supposing it to contain internal vileness: every wise man on earth, and every angel in heaven, forms his judgment according to this rule. The quality of the unregenerate man, and that of the regenerate, may be illustrated by comparisons: the unregenerate man who assumes the appearance of a moral member of society and a good Christian, may be compared to a dead body wrapt up with spices, which nevertheless spreads around a noisome stench, which taints the perfume of the spices, and insinuating itself into the nostrils, is injurious to the brain. He may also be compared with a mummy gilded, or laid up in a silver coffin, on looking into which, the eyes are shocked at the sight of a black corpse. He may also be compared with bones and skeletons lying in a sepulchre built of lapis lazuli, and adorned with other costly ornaments. He may be compared too with the rich man, who was clothed with purple and fine linen, whose internal nevertheless was infernal, Luke xvi. He may further be compared with poison so sweetened as to taste like sugar; or with hemlock when in bloom; or with fruits which have shining and beautiful rinds, but whose
kernels are eaten up by worms; or with a sore covered over with a plaster, and afterwards with a thin skin, beneath which there is nothing but corrupt matter. It is true that the internal of such a person may be estimated in the world by the external, but only by those who are themselves void of a good internal, and who therefore judge acccording to appearance; the case however is different in heaven; for when the changeable body that envelopes the spirit, and which is in a state of flexibility from evil to good, is separated by death, the internal then remains, as it constitutes the human spirit, and then appeareth at a distance like a serpent that hath cast his skin, or like rotten wood stripped of its bark, in which before it hath a shining and bright appearance.
But it is otherwise with the regenerate man; his internal is good, and his external is like to that of another person, and yet in reality it differs from that of the unregenerate man, as heaven from hell, for a soul of goodness is contained within it. It is of little consequence whether such a man be a grandee of high rank, living in a palace and attended with a large retinue of servants, or be in low circumstances, dwelling in a cottage with only a boy to attend him; nay, it is of little consequence whether he be a prelate, clad in robes of purple and wearing an archbishop's mitre, or be only the shepherd of a few sheep in a forest, with no other clothing than a coarse rustic coat, and no cover for his head but an ordinary bonnet. Gold is still gold, whether it glitter by being placed near the fire, or contract a blackness on its outer surface by being exposed to the smoke; it is gold whether it be cast into a beatuiful image like that of an infant, or into an ugly one, like that of a mouse; mice that were made of gold, and placed near the ark, were also accepted, and had a propitiating power, 1 Sam. vi. 3, 4, 5, &c. for gold signifies internal good. A diamond and a ruby, in like manner, whatever the matrix in which they may be found, whether calcareous or of clay, are esteemed, when taken out, by reason of their inter
nal goodness, of equal value with the similar precious stones in a queen's necklace: and so in all other instances. Hence it is evident, that the external derives its value from the internal, and not the contrary.
VII. THAT WHEN THIS TAKES PLACE, THERE ARISES A COMBAT BETWEEN THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL MAN, AND THEN CONQUERS HATH
596. The reason why a combat arises at that time is, because the internal man is reformed by means of truths, and from these he sees what is evil and false which still abide in the external or natural man; hence there now arises, for the first time, a disagreement between the new will which is above, and the old will which is beneath, and this disagreement between the two wills is attended with a disagreement also between the respective delights of each; for it is an acknowledged truth, that the flesh is contrary to the spirit, and the spirit to the flesh, and that the flesh with its lusts must first be subdued, before the spirit can act, and the man become new. After this disagreement of the two wills a combat arises, being that which is called spiritual temptation: but this temptation or combat is not between goods and evils, but between the truths of good and the falses of evil; for good of itself cannot fight, but it fights by truths, neither can evil fight of itself, but by its falses; as the will cannot fight of itself, but by the understanding, in which its truths reside. Man has no other sensible perception but that this combat is in himself, it being felt by him as remorse of conscience; but yet it is the Lord and the devil, that is, hell, which fight in man, and contend for dominion over him, or
As the subject of spiritual combat and temptation here investigated is of the utmost importance to be thoroughly understood, the reader is refered to the author's work on the New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, where in the chapter on Temptation, and particularly in the extracts appended to it from the Arcana Cœlestia, the most ample information is afforded.
who shall possess him: the devil, or hell, assaults him, and calls forth his evils, whilst the Lord defends him, and calls forth his goods. But although this combat is waged in the spiritual world, yet still it is waged in man between the truths of good and the falses of evil that are in him; hence he ought to fight altogether as of himself, since he enjoys freedom of will to act either in favour of the Lord or in favour of the devil; he acts in favour of the Lord, if he abide in truths from good, and in favour of the devil, if he abide in falses from evil. Hence it follows, that whichsoever obtains the victory, whether it be the internal man or the external, hath dominion over the other: just as in the case of two hostile princes, who contend which shall be the ruler of the other's kingdom, he that conquers takes the kingdom, and subjects all its inhabitants to his authority; so also in the present instance, supposing the internal man to conquer, he beareth rule, and subdueth all the evils of the external man, in which case regeneration is continued; but supposing the external man to conquer, he then beareth rule, and disperseth all the goods of the internal man, in which case regeneration is made void.
597. It is allowed at this day that there are such things as temptations, but scarce any one knows their origin and nature, and what good they effect: their origin and nature were shewn above, and also what good they effect, namely, that when the internal man gains the victory, the external is subdued; in which case lusts are dispersed, and affections of good and truth are implanted in their stead, and are so disposed, that the goods and truths which a man wills and thinks, he also practises and speaks from his heart. Moreover, by means of victory over the external man, he is rendered spiritual, and is then associated by the Lord with the angels of heaven, who are all spiritual. The reason why temptations have heretofore remained unknown, and scarce any one has been acquainted with their origin and
nature, and what good they effect, is, because the church has not hitherto been principled in truths, as no one can be, unless he approach the Lord immediately, and reject the former faith, and embrace the new this is the true cause why no person hath been admitted into any spiritual temptation, since the time when the council of Nice introduced the faith of three Gods; for had he been admitted, he would instantly have fallen under it, and so would have plunged himself deeper into hell. The contrition which is said to precede the present faith, is not temptation; I have asked several upon this point, and they have told me that it is nothing but a mere unmeaning word, except that possibly, with simple minds, it may be attended with a timorous apprehension about hell-fire.
598. Man, after he has passed through temptation, is, as to his internal man, in heaven, and by means of his external in the world; so that it is by temptations that the conjunction of heaven and of the world is effected with man, and then the Lord, abiding with him, rules his world from heaven, according to order. The reverse happeneth where man remains natural, for he is then desirous of ruling heaven from the world. Every one who is principled in the love of dominion from the love of self, becomes of such a quality if he be inwardly scrutinized it will appear that he doth not believe in any God, but in himself; and after death fancieth any spirit who may be more powerful than others to be God: such is the insanity that prevails in hell, which is there carried to so great an excess, that some call themselves God the Father, some God the Son, and some God the Holy Ghost, and among the Jews some call themselves the Messiah. Hence it appears what sort of a being man becomes after death, in case the natural man be not regenerated, and what consequently he would become in his own phantasy, unless the Lord were to establish a new church, in which genuine truths shall be taught: this is