Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 971

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971. (v. 5) And I heard the angel of the waters saying. That this signifies the preaching of the Lord's justice from His spiritual kingdom, is evident from the signification of the angel of the waters, as denoting the Lord's spiritual kingdom. For by an angel, in the Word, is signified somewhat of the Lord, likewise a heavenly society, and also heaven. Here by the angel of the waters the heavens of which the Lord's spiritual kingdom consists are signified, because waters signify truths, thus things spiritual. For the Divine truth in the heavens is called spiritual; but the Divine Good is called celestial.

All the heavens are divided into two kingdoms. One is called the spiritual kingdom, the other the celestial kingdom. The spiritual kingdom consists of the heavens and the angels there who are in Divine truth, those heavens being in the southern and northern quarters. But the celestial kingdom consists of the heavens and the angels there who are in Divine good; these heavens being in the eastern and western quarters. The spiritual kingdom, therefore, consisting of the heavens and the angels there who are in Divine truth, is meant by the angel of the waters; but the celestial kingdom consisting of the heavens and the angels there, who are in Divine Good, is meant by the angel out of the altar, treated of in the seventh verse which follows; for by the altar is signified Divine good.

That the angel of the waters preached the Lord's justice, is evident from the things said by that angel, and which will be explained presently.

Continuation concerning the Fifth Precept:-

[2] So far as a man desists from evils, and shuns and turns away from them as sins, so far good flows in from the Lord. The good that flows in is the affection of knowing and understanding truths, and the affection of willing and doing goods. But a man cannot desist from evils by shunning and turning away from them of himself; for he is in evils from his birth, and, consequently, from his nature; and evils cannot of themselves shun evils, for this would be as though he were to shun his own nature, which is impossible. Therefore it must be the Lord, who is Divine Good and Divine truth, who causes a man to shun them. But a man ought, nevertheless, to shun evil as of himself; for what a man thus does as of himself becomes his own, and is appropriated to him as his own. But what he does not as of himself never becomes his own, and is never appropriated to him. What comes from the Lord to man must be received by him; and it cannot be received unless he is conscious of it, that is, as of himself; this reciprocity is necessary for reformation. This is why the Ten Precepts were given, and why it is therein commanded that a man shall not worship other gods; shall not profane the name of God; shall not steal; shall not commit adultery; shall not kill; shall not covet the house, wife, or servants, of others; thus, that man shall desist from doing those things even in thought, when the love of evil allures and incites; and that they are not to be done, because they are sins against God, and in themselves infernal.

So far, therefore, as a man shuns sins, so far the love of truth and good enters from the Lord; and this love causes a man to shun, and at length to turn away from those evils as sins. And because the love of truth and good puts those evils to flight, it follows that a man does not shun them from himself, but from the Lord; for the love of truth and good is from the Lord. If a man shuns them merely through fear of hell, evils are indeed removed, but still good does not succeed in their place; for when the fear departs, the evils return.

[3] It is given to man alone to think as of himself concerning good and evil; thus that good is to be loved and done, because it is Divine and remains to eternity; and that evil is to be hated and not to be done, because it is diabolical and remains to eternity. No beast has the power to think in this way. A beast can indeed do good and shun evil, but not of itself; but either from instinct, or from use, or from fear; but never from the thought that it is such a good, or such an evil; thus, from itself. Therefore, those who maintain that a man does not shun evils as of himself, nor do goods as of himself, but from imperceptible influx, or from the imputation of the Lord's merit, also hold that a man lives like a beast, without the thought, perception, and affection of truth and good.

That this is the case has been made clear to me from much experience in the spiritual world. Every man after death is there prepared either for heaven or hell. Evils are removed from the man who is being prepared for heaven, and goods are removed from him who is being prepared for hell; all such removals are effected by the persons themselves. Similarly, those who do evils are brought by means of punishments to reject them as of themselves; if they do not reject them as of themselves, the punishments are of no avail. It was therefore made evident that those who hang down their hands, waiting for influx, or the imputation of the Lord's merit, remain in the state of their evil, and hang down their hands to eternity.

[4] To shun evils as sins is to shun the infernal societies which are in them. And a man cannot shun them unless he holds them in aversion, and turns himself away from them. And from aversion a man cannot turn away from them unless he loves good, and, from that love, does not will evil. For he either wills evil or wills good; and so far as he wills good so far he does not will evil. And it is possible to will good by making the precepts of the Decalogue a part of his religion, and living in accordance with them.

[5] Because a man must desist from evils as sins as of himself, therefore these Ten Precepts were inscribed by the Lord on two tables, and they were called a Covenant. For this covenant is entered upon in the same way as covenants between two parties have to be entered upon, where one proposes and another accepts, and where he who accepts consents; if he does not consent, the covenant is not valid. To consent, in the present case, is to think, will, and do, as of himself.

When a man thinks in order to shun evil and do good as of himself, it is not the man who does this, but the Lord. The reason why it is the Lord who thus acts is for the sake of reciprocation and thence conjunction. For the Lord's Divine Love is such that He desires what is His own to be a man's. And whereas they cannot be a man's, because they are Divine, He therefore causes them to be as it were a man's.

Hence it is that reciprocal conjunction is effected; that is, that a man is in the Lord, and the Lord in him, according to the words of the Lord Himself in John (xiv. 20). This would not be possible were there not something as it were of man's in the conjunction. What a man does as of himself, he does as of his will, his affection, his freedom, consequently, as of his life. Unless these were present on man's part as his own, there would be no receptivity, because nothing re-active; nor, consequently, would there be any covenant or conjunction. In fact, there could never be any ground for imputing that he had done evil or good, or that he had believed truth or falsity; nor, consequently, would any one be in hell on account of evil works, nor in heaven from grace on account of good works.

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