Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2049

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2049. 'From every son who is a foreigner and not of your seed' means those outside the Church. This is clear from the meaning of 'son who is a foreigner' as those who are not born inside the Church and so are not governed by goods and truths of faith because they have no knowledge of them. 'Sons who are foreigners' also means people whose worship is external, dealt with in 1097, though in that context people inside the Church are the subject. Here however, the subject being the Lord's Church in its widest extent, 'sons who are foreigners' means those who, like gentiles, are not born inside the Church. Gentiles outside the Church can possess truths, but not the truths of faith. Their truths, like the Ten Commandments, are that parents should be honoured; that people should not murder, steal, commit adultery, or covet the things that belong to others; and also that they should worship God. Truths of faith consist however of all doctrinal teachings concerning eternal life, the Lord's kingdom, and the Lord. Such teachings cannot be known by gentiles because they do not possess the Word.

[2] These are the people who are meant by 'sons who are foreigners and not of your seed' but who are to be circumcised, that is to be purified. From this it is evident that they are just as much capable of being purified as those inside the Church, which purification was represented by being circumcised. They are purified when they cast aside filthy loves and live among one another in charity, for in their case truths have a part to play in their lives because charity and all truths go together, though such truths belong to the first of the two types mentioned above. When these truths play a part in their lives they then absorb the truths of faith with ease, if not during this life then in the next, because truths of faith are the interior truths of charity. Indeed at that point there is nothing they desire more than to be introduced into the interior truths of charity. Interior truths of charity are what constitute the Lord's kingdom. Regarding these, see 932, 1032, 1059, 1327, 1328, 1366.

[3] In the next life mere knowledge of the cognitions of faith is of no value at all, for the worst people, even those in hell, can have such knowledge, sometimes a better knowledge than others have. Leading a life in accordance with those cognitions is what matters, for all cognitions have life as their end in view. If life was not the reason for learning them they would have no use, apart from enabling people to discuss them and as a result to be considered learned in the world, to be raised to positions of importance, and to enhance reputation and wealth. From this it is clear that a life in keeping with the cognitions of faith is nothing other than the life of charity. Indeed love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour constitute the Law and the Prophets, that is, the doctrine of faith in its entirety together with all the cognitions of it, as is plain to anyone from the Lord's words in Matt 22:35-40, and Mark 12:28-35.

[4] Matters of doctrine, or cognitions of faith, are nevertheless absolutely vital for the formation of the life of charity; it cannot be formed without them. This is the life which saves a person after death. The life of faith never exists without the life of charity, for without charity the life of faith is impossible. People in whom the life of love and charity dwells have the Lord's life within them. Nobody can be joined to Him by means of any other life. From this it is also clear that the truths of faith cannot possibly be acknowledged as truths - that is, no acknowledgement of what they are saying is possible - other than outwardly or with the lips, if they are not implanted within charity, since inwardly or at heart they are denied. For as has been stated, all truths of faith have charity as their end in view, and if charity is not present within them then inwardly they are rejected. The nature of the things that are interior is plain to see when those that are exterior are taken away, as is done in the next life, namely that they are utterly contrary to all the truths of faith. No people can possibly receive the life of charity, or mutual love, in the next life, when they have had none in this life; but their life as it has been with them in the world remains with them after death. Indeed they are averse to and hate mutual love. When merely approaching a community where the life that belongs to mutual love exists they quiver and shake, and experience torment.

[5] Although people such as these are born inside the Church, they are called 'sons who are foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in the flesh' who are not to be allowed into the sanctuary, that is, into the Lord's kingdom. They are also meant in Ezekiel,

No son who is a foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter the sanctuary. Ezek 44:7, 9.

And in the same prophet,

Whom have you thus become like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? You will be made to go down with the trees of Eden into the nether world; you will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with those slain by the sword. Ezek 31:18.

This refers to Pharaoh who means types of knowledge in general, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462. 'The trees of Eden' with which they were to go down into the nether world also means types of knowledge, but knowledge of the cognitions of faith. From this it is now evident what 'one uncircumcised' means in the internal sense, namely one in whom filthy loves and the life belonging to these are present.

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