True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 386

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386. The second experience.

One morning on waking from sleep I saw two angels coming down from heaven, one from the south, the other from the east of heaven; they were both in chariots to which were harnessed white horses. The chariot in which the angel from the south of heaven rode shone as if of silver, and that in which the angel from the east of heaven rode shone as if of gold; and the reins they held in their hands shone as if touched by the flame-coloured light of dawn. That was how the two angels looked to me at a distance; but when they came near, they did not appear in a chariot, but in the form of angels, which is the human form. The one coming from the east of heaven wore a shining purple robe; the one from the south of heaven a violet robe. When these angels reached the lower levels beneath the heavens each ran towards the other, as if racing to see who could arrive first, and embraced and kissed each other.

I was told that the two angels had been very close friends during their lives in the world, but one was now in the eastern heaven, the other in the southern one. The eastern heaven is the home of those who have love from the Lord, the southern heaven is that of those who have wisdom from the Lord. After talking for some time about the splendours of their heavens, their talk turned to this topic: whether heaven in its essence is love or whether it is wisdom. They agreed at once that one depends on the other, but they discussed which was the origin of the other.

[2] The angel from the heaven of wisdom asked the other: 'What is love?' He replied that love arising from the Lord as a sun is the heat which gives life to angels and men, so it is the Being of their life; and the things derived from love are called affections, and it is these which give rise to perceptions and thus to thoughts. 'From this flows the consequence that wisdom is by its origin love, consequently thought is by its origin an affection belonging to that love. It can be seen by considering the derivatives in their proper sequence that thought is nothing but the form taken by affection. This fact is unknown because thoughts are exposed to light, but affections to heat, so that people reflect on thoughts, but not on affections. Thought being nothing but the form taken by an affection belonging to some love or other can also be illustrated by speech, since this is nothing but a form of sound; it is also similar in that sound corresponds to affection, and speech to thought, so that affection makes a sound, and thought articulates it into words. This can also be made obvious, if we say: "Take sound away from speech - is there anything left of speech? Likewise take affection away from thought - is there anything left of thought?" It is now plain from this that love is the whole of wisdom, and consequently the essence of the heavens is love, and their coming-into-being is wisdom; or what is the same thing, the heavens are the product of Divine love, and they come into existence from Divine love by means of Divine wisdom. Therefore, as I said before, one depends upon the other.'

[3] At that time I had with me a recently arrived spirit, who on hearing this asked whether it was similar with charity and faith, since charity belongs to affection, and faith to thought.

'Yes, exactly similar,' replied the angel. 'Faith is nothing but the form of charity, just as speech is of sound. Faith is also formed by charity, as speech is by sound. We in heaven know how this forming occurs, but I have not time to explain it here. By faith,' he added, 'I mean spiritual faith, in which life and spirit come solely from the Lord by means of charity, for this is spiritual and the means by which faith is acquired. Faith without charity therefore is purely natural faith, and this is lifeless faith; it also links itself with purely natural affection, which is nothing but longing.'

[4] The angels were talking on this subject spiritually, and spiritual speech includes thousands of things beyond the power of natural speech to express, and remarkably enough these things cannot enter into the ideas of natural thought. After talking on both these subjects the angels went away, and as they receded, each towards his own heaven, stars appeared round their heads; and when they were at some distance from me I saw them again in chariots, as before.

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