GENESIS, CHAPTER 2 OVERVIEW
The inmost or the third heaven is "celestial"; the
middle or second heaven is "spiritual". The
Lord flows through the celestial heaven, which is in the good of love to Him, into the spiritual
heaven, which is in the truth of faith to Him. Heaven is distinguished into two kingdoms, namely,
the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom. They who are in the celestial kingdom are in the
inmost or third heaven (through love to Him) and they who are in the spiritual kingdom are in the
middle or second heaven (through charity toward the neighbor, and through charity are with the
Lord). The Most Ancient Church, known at that time as Adam, was celestial in the beginning - in
the good of love.
The celestial is of love or good.
The spiritual is of faith or truth.
The celestial is received in the voluntary part.
The spiritual is received in the intellectual.
The celestial says that it is so and do not discuss about the truth.
The celestial says that it is so and the spiritual reason or think if it is so.
The celestial says so because they know from love and good.
The spiritual think if it is so because they reason from truth.
The celestial is from the marriage of good and truth.
The spiritual is from a covenant not as conjugial.
What these things involve cannot possibly be perceived
unless it is known what man's state is while
from being spiritual he is becoming celestial, for they are deeply hidden. While he is spiritual, the
external man is not yet willing to yield obedience to and serve the internal, and therefore there is a combat; but when he becomes celestial, then the external man begins to obey and serve the
internal, and therefore the combat ceases, and tranquility ensues. This tranquility is called "rain"
and "mist", for it is like a vapor with which the external man is watered and bedewed from the
internal; and it is this tranquility, the offspring of peace, which produces what are called the
"shrub of the field" and the "herb of the field", which, specifically, are things of the rational mind
and of the memory from a celestial-spiritual origin.
The nature of the tranquility of peace of the external
man, on the cessation of combat, or of the
unrest caused by cupidities and falsities, can be known only to those who are acquainted with a
state of peace. This state is so delightful that it surpasses every idea of delight: it is not only a
cessation of combat, but is life proceeding from interior peace, and affecting the external man in
such a manner as cannot be described; the truths of faith and the goods of love, which derive
their life from the delight of peace, are then born.
The state of the celestial man is thus: he is
gifted with the tranquility of peace - refreshed by the
rain - and delivered from the slavery of what is evil and false. And this state is compared to "the
growth of the field as in Ezekiel 16:7 and is compared to "a shoot of the Lord's planting", and "a
work of the hands of Jehovah God" as in Isaiah 60:21.
To "form man from the dust of the ground" is to form
his external man, which before was not
man: for it is said in verse 5 that there was "no man to till the ground". To "breathe into his
nostrils the breath of lives" is to give him the life of faith and love; and by "man became a living
soul" is signified that his external man also was made alive.
The life of the external man is here treated of --the
life of his faith or understanding, and the life of
his love or will. Hitherto the external man has been unwilling to yield and to serve the internal,
being engaged in a continual combat with him, and therefore the external man was not then
"man". Now, however, being made celestial, the external man begins to obey and serve the
internal, and it also becomes "man", being so rendered by the life of faith and the life of love.
The life of faith prepares him, but it is the life of love which causes him to be "man".
As to its being said that "Jehovah God breathed into
his nostrils", the case is this: In ancient
times, and in the Word, by nostrils was understood whatever was grateful in consequence of it
odor, which signified perception. And as the things relating to love and faith are most grateful to
Him, it is said that "He breathed through his nostrils the breath of lives". Hence, the anointed of
Jehovah, that is, of the Lord, is called the "breath of the nostrils" (Lam. 4:20) And the Lord
Himself signified the same by "breathing on His disciples" as is written in John 20:22, "He
breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit".
The reason why life is described by breathing" and
by "breath" is also that the men of the Most
Ancient Church perceived states of love and of faith by states of respiration, which were
successively changed in their posterity. Of this nothing can as yet be said because at this day such
things are altogether unknown. The most ancient people were well acquainted with it, and so are
those who are in the other life but no longer any one on this earth, and this was the reason why
they likened spirit or life to "wind".
"Garden" signifies intelligence; "Eden" signifies
love; "East" signifies the Lord; consequently
by the "garden of Eden eastward" is signified the intelligence of the celestial man, which flows in
from the Lord through love.
Life, or the order of life, with the spiritual man,
is such that although the Lord flows in through
faith into the things of his understanding, reason and memory, yet, as his external man fights
against his internal man, it appears as if intelligence did not flow in from the Lord, but from the
man himself, through the things of memory or reason. But the life, or the order of life, of the
celestial man, is such that the Lord flows in through love and the faith of love into the things of
his understanding, reason, and memory and, as there is no combat between the internal and
external man, he perceives that this is really so. Thus the order which up to this point had been
inverted with the spiritual man, is now described as restored with the celestial man, and this order, or man, is called a "garden in Eden in the east".
In the supreme sense, the "garden planted by Jehovah
God in Eden in the east" is the Lord
Himself. In the inmost sense, which is also the universal sense, it is the Lord's kingdom, and the
heaven in which man is placed when he has become celestial. His state then is such that he is with
the angels in heaven, and is as it were one among them; for man has been so created that while
living in this world he may at the same time be in heaven. In this state all his thoughts and ideas
of thoughts, and even his words and actions, are open, even from the Lord, and contain within
them what is celestial and spiritual; for each one of these has the Lord's life within it, which
enables him to have perception.
It was in consequence of the Lord's being the "east"
that a holy custom prevailed in the
representative Jewish Church, before the building of the temple, of turning their faces toward the
east when they prayed.
A "tree" signifies perception; a "tree desirable to
behold", the perception of truth; a "tree good
for food", the perception of good; the "tree of lives", love and faith thence derive; the "tree of
knowledge of good and evil", faith derived from what is sensuous, that is, from mere memory-
knowledge. The reason why "trees" here signify perceptions is that the celestial man is treated of, but it is otherwise when the subject is the spiritual man, for on the nature of the subject depends that of the predicate.
At this day, it is unknown what Perception is.
It is a certain internal sensation from the Lord
alone as to whether a thing is true or good; and it was very well known to the Most Ancient
Church. Thus perception is so perfect with the angels, that by it they are aware and have
knowledge of what is true and good; of what is from the Lord, and what from themselves; and also
of the quality of any one who comes to them, merely from his approach, and from a single one of
his ideas. The spiritual man has no perception, but has conscience. A dead man has not even
conscience; and very many do not know what conscience is, and still less what perception is.
The "tree of lives" is love and the faith thence derived;
"in the midst of the garden" is in the will
of the internal man. The will, which in the Word is called the "heart", is the primary possession of
the Lord with man and angel. But as no one can do good of himself, the will or heart is not man's,
although it is predicated of man; cupidity, which he calls will, is man's. Since then the will is the
"midst of the garden" where the tree of lives is placed, and man has no will, but there cupidity, the
"tree of lives" is the mercy of the Lord from whom come all love and faith, consequently all life.
A "river out of Eden" signifies wisdom from love, for "Eden" is love; "to water the garden" is to
bestow intelligence; to be "thence parted into four heads" is a description of intelligence by means of the four rivers. The most ancient people, when comparing man to a "garden" also compared
wisdom, and the things relating to wisdom, to "rivers"; not did they merely compare them, but
actually so called them, for such was their way of speaking. It was the same afterward in the
Prophets as in Isaiah 58:10, 11: "Thy light shall arise in darkness, and thy thick darkness shall be
as the light of day; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like an outlet of waters, whose
water is not."
In Ezekiel 31: 4, 7-9, the regenerate are not compared
to a garden and a tree, but are so called:
"The waters made her to grow, the deep of waters uplifted her, the river ran round about her
plant, and sent out its channels to all the trees of the field; she was made beautiful in her
greatness, in the length of her branches, for her root was by many waters. The cedars in the
garden of God did not hide her; the fir-trees were not like her boughs, and the plane-trees were not
like her branches, nor was any tree in the garden of God equal to her in her beauty; I have made
her beautiful by multitude of her branches, and all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of
God envied her."
From these passages, it is evident that when the most
ancient people compared man, or the things
in man, to be a "garden", they added the "waters" and "rivers" by which he might be watered,
and by those waters and rivers meant such things would cause his growth.
"Pishon" signifies the intelligence of the faith that is from love; "the land of Havilah" signifies the
mind; "gold" signifies good; "bdellium and the onyx stone" signifies truth. "Gold" is mentioned
twice because it signifies the good of love and the good of faith from love; and "bdellium and the
onyx stone" are mentioned because the one signifies the truth of love and the other truth of faith
from love. Such is the celestial man.
It is a very difficult matter to describe these things
as they are in the internal sense and at the
present day no one knows what is meant by faith from love and what by the wisdom and
intelligence then derived. For external man scarcely knows of anything but memory-knowledge
which they call intelligence and wisdom and faith. They do not even know what love is, and many
do not know what the will and the understanding are, and that they constitute one mind. And
yet each of these things is distinct, yea, most distinct, and the universal heaven is ordinated by the
Lord in the most distinct manner according to the differences of love and faith, which are
Nothing is more common in the Word than for the good
of wisdom or of love to be signified and
represented by "gold". All the gold in the ark, in the temple, in the golden table, in the
candlestick, in the vessels, and upon the garments of Aaron, signified and represented the good of
wisdom or of love. The signification of precious stones, when speaking of a man possessed of
heavenly riches, are wisdom and intelligence - which are all from the Lord.
"The wise men from the east, who came to Jesus when
He was born, fell down and worshiped
Him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts, gold, and
frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1, 11). Here also "gold" signifies good; "frankincense and
myrrh", things that are grateful because from love and faith, and which are therefore called "the
praises of Jehovah".
The truth of faith is signified and represented in
the Word by precious "stones" as by those in the
breast-plate of judgment, and on the shoulders of Aaron's ephod. In the breast-plate "gold, blue,
bright crimson, scarlet double-dyed, and the fine-twined linen" represented such things as are of
love, and the precious "stones" such as are of faith from love; as did likewise the two "stones of
memorial" on the shoulders of the ephod, which were onyx stones, set in ouches of gold. This
signification of precious stones is also plain from Ezekiel, where, speaking of a man possessed of
heavenly riches, which are wisdom and intelligence, it is said:
"Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious
stone was thy covering, the ruby, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the
sapphire, the chrysoprase, the emerald, and gold; the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes
was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared; thou wast perfect in thy ways
from the day that thou wast created (28:13, 15). It must be evident to every one these do not
signify stones, but the celestial and spiritual things of faith; yes, each stone represented some
essential of faith.
"Gihon" signifies the knowledge of all things that
belong to the good and the true or to love and
faith and "the land of Cush" signifies the mind or faculty. The mind is constituted of the will and
the understanding; and what is said of "Pishon" has reference to the will, and to the
understanding to which belong the knowledges of good and of truth. The "land of Cush"
moreover abounded in gold, precious stones, and spices, which signify good and truth and the
things thence derived which are grateful, such as are those of the knowledges of love and faith.
"Egypt" means memory-knowledges; the river "Hiddekel" is reason, or the clearsightedness of
reason; "Asshur" is the rational mind or the rational of man. The rational is called a "cedar in
Lebanon". The "river which goeth eastward toward Asshur" signifies that - in the celestial man -
the path of clearsightedness of reason comes from the Lord through the internal man into the
rational man, which is of the external man. As by Egypt so also by "Euphrates" is
memory-knowledge which is the ultimate or boundary, and also the sensuous things from which
these knowledges come.
The nature of celestial order, or how the things of
life proceed, is evident from these rivers,
namely, from the Lord, who is the "East", and that from Him proceeds wisdom, through wisdom
intelligence, through intelligence reason. By means of reason the knowledges of the memory are
vivified (revived, made alive). This is the order of life, and such are celestial men; and, therefore,
since the elders of Israel represented celestial men, they were called "wise, intelligent, and
knowing" (Deut. 1:13, 15).
The "Garden of Eden" signified all the things of the
celestial man and it was permitted him to
enjoy all these things ("God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden, to till it and take
care of it"), but not to possess them as his own, because they are the Lord's. The celestial man
acknowledges, because he perceives, that all things both in general and in particular are the
Lord's. The spiritual man does indeed acknowledge the same, but with the mouth, because he has
learned it from the Word. The worldly and corporeal man neither acknowledges nor admits it; but
whatever he has he calls his own, and images that were he to lose it, he would altogether perish.
That wisdom, intelligence, reason, and knowledge are
not of man, but of the Lord, is very evident
from all that the Lord taught, as in Matthew 21:33, where the Lord compared Himself to a
householder, who planted a vineyard and hedged it round and let it out to husbandmen; and also
in John 16:13, 14, "The Spirit of Truth shall guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of
Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak; He shall glorify Me, for He shall
receive of Mine, and shall declare it unto you." And in another place: "A man can receive
nothing except it be given him from heaven" (3:27).
"To eat of every tree" is to know from perception what
is good and true; for, as before observed, a
"tree" signifies perception. The man of the Most Ancient Church had the knowledges of true faith
by means of revelations, for they conversed with the Lord and with angels, and were also
instructed by visions and dreams which were most delightful and paradasial to them. They had
from the Lord continued perception, so that when they reflected on what was treasured up in the
memory, they instantly perceived whether it was true and good, insomuch that when anything
false presented itself, they not only avoided it but even regarded it with horror; such also is the
state of the angels. In place of this perception of the Most Ancient Church, however, there
afterwards succeeded the knowledge of what is true and good from what had been previously
revealed, and afterwards from what was revealed in the Word.
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it" signifies that it is
allowable to become acquainted with what is true and good by means of every perception derived
from the Lord, but not from self and the world; that is, we are not to inquire into the mysteries of
faith by means of the things of sense and of the memory, for in this case, the celestial of faith is
destroyed. A desire to investigate the mysteries of faith by means of the things of sense and of the memory, was not only the cause of the fall of the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, but it is also the cause of the fall of every church; for hence come not only falsities, but also evils of life.
Man is governed by the principles he assumes, be they
ever so false, and his knowledge and
reasoning favor his principles; for innumerable considerations tending to support them present
themselves to his mind, and thus he is confirmed in what is false. He therefore who assumes as a
principle that nothing is to be believed until it is seen and understood, can never believe, because
celestial and spiritual things cannot be seen with the eyes or conceived by the mind, imagination.
But the true order is for man to be wise from the Lord, that is, from His Word, and then all things
follow, and he is enlightened even in matters of reason and of memory-knowledge. For it is by no
means forbidden to learn the sciences, since they are useful to life and delightful; nor is he who is
in faith prohibited from thinking and speaking as do the learned of the world; but it must be from
this principle - to believe the Word of the Lord, and, so far as is possible, confirm spiritual and
celestial truths by natural truths. Thus his starting point must be the Lord, and not himself. For
the former is Life, but the latter is death.
He who desires to be wise from the world, has for his
"garden" the things of sense and of
memory-knowledge; the love of self and the love of the world are his "Eden"; his "east" is the
west, or himself; his "river Euphrates" is all his memory-knowledge, which is condemned; his
"second river", Assyria, is infatuated reasoning productive of falsities; his "third river" where is
"Ethiopia", is the principles of evil and falsity then derived, which are the knowledges of his faith;
his "fourth river" is the wisdom thence derived, which in the Word is called "magic". And
therefore "Egypt" - which signifies memory-knowledge - after the knowledge becomes magical,
signifies such a man, because, as may be seen from the Word, he desires to be wise from self and
the "trees of Eden" which denote knowledges from the Word, they thus profane by reasonings.
It is not granted to anyone in the other life to be
raised higher into heaven than to the degree of
good in which he is; for if he is raised higher, his defilements, that is, the evils of his loves and the
falsities therefrom, are made manifest. For the more interior, the more pure and holy it is in
heaven. They who are in a more impure state are kept in a lower sphere, where their impurities
are not perceived and do not appear, because they are in a grosser good, and a more obscure
truth. In order that the falsities which are of the thought, and the evils which are of the will,
should not appear, but be hidden, they are kept in lower parts, where they are in a comparatively
Be it known that in the other life heaven is denied
by the Lord to no one, and that as many as
desire can be admitted. (Heaven consists of societies of angels who are in the good of love toward
the neighbor and of love to the Lord; and when any are admitted into heaven, they are let into
such societies.) But when the sphere of their life, that is, when the life of their love, is not in
agreement, then conflict arises, from which they have anguish and downcasting. In this way they
are instructed about the life of heaven, and the state of their own life in comparison, also about
the fact that no one has heaven merely by being received or admitted (as is the common opinion
in the world) and that by his life in the world a man may become of such a character that he can
be with those who are in heaven - even while in the earth. These are the things which are signified
by the statute, "Thou shalt not go up on steps unto Mine altar, that thy nakedness be not
uncovered upon it." Elevation to interior things appears in the world of spirits where celestial and
spiritual things are presented in forms, as an ascent with steps.
51. "Male, Female"(Genesis 5:2): "Male and female
created he them, and blessed them, and
called their name Man, in the day when they were created". By "male" and "female" is signified
the marriage between faith and love; by "calling their name Man" is signified that it is the church,
which, in an especial sense, is called "Man (homo)".
The "male", or man, signifies the understanding and
whatever belongs to it, consequently
everything of faith; and the "female", or woman, signifies the will, or things pertaining to the will,
consequently whatever has relation to love; wherefore she was called "Eve", a name signifying life,
which is of love alone. By the female therefore is also signified the church. And by the male is
signified of the church. The subject here (Genesis 5) is the state of the church when it was
spiritual, and which was afterwards made celestial. The expression "to create" also has reference
to the spiritual man; but afterwards, when the marriage between faith and love has been effected,
that is when the church has been made celestial. It is not now said "male and female" but "man";
who, by reason of their marriage - faith and love - signifies both; wherefore it presently follows
"and He called their name Man" by which is signified the church.
In the supreme sense, the Lord Himself alone is Man.
From this the celestial church is called
Man, as being a likeness, and from this the spiritual afterwards so called because it is an image.
But, in a general sense, every one is called a man who has human understanding, for man is man
by virtue of understanding, and according thereto one person is more a man than another,
although the distinction of one man from another ought to be made according to his faith as
grounded in love to the Lord. That is the Most Ancient Church, and every true church, and those
who are of the church, or who live from love to the Lord and from faith in Him. They are
especially called "man".
What is meant by "male" and "female" was well known
to the Most Ancient Church, but when
the interior sense of the Word was lost among their posterity, this arcanum also perished. Being
internal men, they were delighted only with internal things. External things they merely saw with
the eyes, but thought of what was represented. So that outward things were nothing to them, save
as these could in some measure be the means of causing them to turn their thoughts to internal
things, and from these to celestial things, and so to the Lord who was their all, and consequently
to the heavenly marriage, from which they perceived the happiness of their marriages to come.
The understanding in the spiritual man they therefore
called "male", and the will, "female" and
when these acted as one, they called it a marriage. From that church came the form of speech
which became customary, whereby the church itself, from its affection of good, was called
"daughter" and "virgin" - as the "virgin (daughter) of Zion" and also "wife".
As the most ancient people called the conjunction of
the understanding and the will or of faith
and love, a marriage, everything of good produced from that marriage they called "fructifications
(fruitful)" and "multiplications", as in Ezekiel 34:11, 12: "I will multiply upon you man and
beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful, and I will cause you to dwell as in your ancient
times, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah,
yea, I will cause man to walk upon you, even My people Israel."
By "man" is here meant the spiritual man who is called
Israel; by "ancient times" the Most
Ancient Church; by "beginnings" the Ancient Church after the flood. The reason why
"multiplication" - which is of truth - is mentioned first and "fructification" - which is of good - is
mentioned afterwards is that the passage treats of one who is to become regenerated, and not of
one who is already regenerated. When the understanding is united with the will, or faith with love,
the man is called by the Lord "a married land" as in Isaiah 62:4: "Thy land shall be no more
termed waste, but thou shalt be called Hephizibah ("My delight is in her") and thy land Beulah
("Married"), for Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married."
The Hebrew word "Adam" signifies "man"; but that he
is never properly called "Adam" by name,
but "Man" is that he is not spoken of in the singular number, but in the plural, and also from the
fact that the term is predicated of both the man and the woman, both together being called
"Man". That it is predicated of both, every one may see from the words, for it is said, "He called
their name Man, in the day that they were created"; and in like manner in the first chapter: "Let
us make man in our image, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea." Hence also it
may appear that the subject treated of is not the creation of some one man who was the first of
mankind, but the Most Ancient Church.
By "calling a name" or "calling by name" is signified
in the Word the quality of a thing, and, in
the present case, it has relation to the quality of the Most Ancient Church, denoting that man was
taken from the ground, or regenerated by the Lord, for the word "Adam" means "ground"; and
that afterwards, when he was made celestial, he became most eminently "Man", by virtue of faith
originating in love to the Lord. That they were called "Man" in the day that they were created, appears also from the first chapter, verses 26, 27, that is, at the end of the sixth day, which answers to the evening of the Sabbath or when the Sabbath or seventh day began; for the seventh day, or Sabbath, is the celestial man.
"And Man lived a hundred and thirty years and begat
into his likeness, after his image, and called
his name Seth." By a "hundred and thirty years" is signified the time before the rise of a new
church, which, being not very unlike the Most Ancient, is said to be born "into it likeness, after its
image"; but the term "likeness" has relation to faith, and "image" to love. This church was called
Those who believe in the literal sense suppose these
to be secular years, whereas from this to the
twelfth chapter there is nothing historical according to its appearance in the literal sense, but all
things in general and every single thing in particular contains other matters. And this is not only
the case with names but also with the numbers. In the Word frequent mention is made of the
number three, and also of the number seven and wheresoever they occur they signify something
holy or most sacred in regard to the states which the times or other things involve or represent;
and they have the same signification in the least intervals of time as in the greatest, for as the parts
belong to the whole, so the least things belong to the greatest, for there must be a likeness in order
that the whole may properly come forth from the parts, or the greatest come forth from the least.
The various names, such as "Seth", "Enosh", "Kenan",
"Enoch", "Methuselah", "Lamech",
"Noah", signify so many churches, of which the first and principal one was called "Man". The
chief characteristic of these churches was perception, wherefore the differences of the churches of
that time were chiefly differences of perception. In the universal heaven, there reigns nothing but
a perception of good and truth, which is such as cannot be described with innumerable differences,
so that no two societies enjoy similar perception. Since the world at this time knows so little
concerning celestial and spiritual things, and if they were told they do not believe that any such
thing exists, they do not even know what perception is; and so with other things also. The Most
Ancient Church represented the celestial kingdom of the Lord, even as to the generic and specific
differences of perception. And the conceptions and births of the church are called "sons and
daughters", "sons" signifying truths and "daughters" signifying "goods".
"And all the days that Man lived were nine hundred
and thirty years, and he died". By "days"
and "years" are here signified times and states; and by "Man's dying" is signified that such
celestial perception no longer existed, which is that a thing ceases to be such as it has been.
The case with the church is that it decreases and degenerates, and loses its pristine integrity, chiefly
by reason of the increase of hereditary evil, for every succeeding parent (church) out of the first
adds new evil to that which he has inherited. Quite false is the opinion of those who think that
there is no hereditary evil except that which they allege to have been implanted in us from Adam.
The truth is that every one makes hereditary evil by
his own actual sins, and adds it to the evils
that he has inherited, and in this way it accumulates, and remains in all descendants; nor is it
abated except in those who have been regenerated by the Lord. In every church this is the
principal cause of degeneration, and it was so in the Most Ancient Church.
How the Most Ancient Church decreased cannot be understood
unless it is known what perception
is, for it was a perceptive church, such as at this day does not exist. The perception of a church
consists in this, that its members perceive from the Lord what is good and true, like the angels;
not so much what the good and truth of civic society is, but the good and truth of love to the Lord
and of faith in Him. From a confession of faith that is confirmed by the life (the living) can be
seen what perception is, and whether it has any existence.
"Seth" is a second church, less celestial than the
Most Ancient Church, its parent, yet one of the
most ancient churches; that he "begat Enosh" signifies that there descended from "Seth" another
church. The case with churches is that by degrees, and in the process of time, they decrease as to
essentials. Therefore, "Enosh" is a third church and is still less celestial than the "Seth" church.
These three churches, "Man", "Seth" and "Enosh", constitute the Most Ancient Church, but still
with a difference of perfection as to perceptions: the perceptive faculty of the first church
gradually diminished in the succeeding churches, and became more general. Perfection consists in the faculty of perceiving distinctly, which faculty is diminished when the perception is less distinct
and more general; an obscurer perception, then, succeeds in the place of that which was clearer,
and thus it begins to vanish away.
The perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church consisted
not only in the perception of what is
good and true, but also in the happiness and delight arising from well-doing; without such
happiness and delight in doing what is good, the perceptive faculty has no life, but by virtue of
such happiness and delight it receives life. The life of love, and of the derivative faith, such as the
Most Ancient Church enjoyed, is life while in the performance of use - that is, in the good and
truth of use: from use, by use and according to use, is life given by the Lord; there can be no life
in what is useless, for whatever is useless is cast away. In this respect, the most ancient people
were likenesses of the Lord, and, therefore, in perceptive powers they became images of Him. The
perceptive powers consist in knowing what is good and true, consequently what is of faith: he who
is in love is not delighted in knowing (only), but (his delight is also) in doing what is good and true
- that is, being useful.
There were some who framed doctrines from the things
that had been matters of perception in the
most ancient church and succeeding churches, in order that such doctrines might serve as rules
to know what was good and true; and such persons were called "Enoch". This is what signified
the words "And Enoch walked with God", for so they called that doctrine. That is evident from
the signification of the expression to "walk" and from the fact that he is said to have "walked with
God", not "with Jehovah". To "walk with God ('elohiym)"
is to teach and live according to the
doctrine of faith, but to "walk with Jehovah" is to live the life of love. To "walk": to live
according to the doctrine of the law. There is a manifest distinction between the things of love and
the things of faith: the things of love are expressed by "loving" and "serving"; and those of faith
by "walking" and "seeking". To "walk with Jehovah" or "before Jehovah" signifies, in the
Word, to live the life of love.
As to the words "he was no more, for God took him",
signifying the preservation of that doctrine
for the use of posterity, the case with Enoch, as already said, is that he reduced to doctrine what in
the Most Ancient Church had been a matter of perception, and which in the time of that church
was not allowable. They who are in perception have no need to learn by formulated doctrine that
which they know already. For example: he who knows how to think well, has no occasion to be
taught to think by any rules of art, for in this way, his faculty of thinking well would be impaired.
To those who learn by perception, the Lord grants to
know what is good and true by an inward
way; but to those who learn from doctrine, knowledge is given by an external way, or that of the
senses; and the difference between the two is like that between light and darkness. Consider also
that the perceptions of the celestial man are such as to admit of no description, for they enter into
the most minute and particular things, with all variety according to states and circumstances. But
as it was foreseen that the perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church would perish, and that
afterwards mankind would learn by doctrines what is true and good, or by darkness would come
to light, it is here said that "God took him", that is, preserved the doctrine for the use of
By "Noah" is signified the Ancient Church, or the parent
of the three churches after the flood or,
what is the same, the doctrine that remained from the Most Ancient Church. With churches or
doctrines, it has already been stated that they decline, until there no longer remains anything of
the goods and truths of faith, and then the church is said in the Word to be vastated (as in the
flood). But still remains are always preserved, or some with whom the good and truth of faith
remain, although they are few, or else there would be no conjunction of heaven with mankind. If
there are no remains in a man individually, he would not be a man but would be much viler than a
brute. The less remains there are, the less he is a man, and the more remains there are, the more is
he a man. Remains are like some heavenly star, which, the smaller it is the less light it gives, and
the larger it is, the more light.
But what are "remains"? They are not only the
goods and truths that a man has learned from the Lord's Word from infancy,
and has thus impressed on his memory, but they are also all the states
thence derived, such as states of innocence from infancy; states of love toward parents, brothers,
teachers, friends; states of charity toward the neighbor, and also of pity for the poor and needy; in a word, all states of good and truth. All these states are so preserved in man by the Lord that not
the least of them is lost, so that all from his infancy to extreme old age, not only remains in the
other life, but also returns, exactly as they were while he lived in this world - innocence, charity,
evils, falsities. And when the states of evil and falsity recur, then these states are tempered by the
Lord by means of the good states. If not, man would be in eternal damnation.
It is my prayer - the deepest desire of my heart -
that the concerted effort of each one will be to
unceasingly labour to humble themselves before Him to enter into His rest, that one be truly
"ready" when He gives forth the shout to "COME UP HIGHER"! Known only to Him, there is a
Standard to be met. Oh, truly, i bow...before the Lord of all Who alone is HOLY.