Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1874

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

1874. In conversations with good spirits I have said that many things in the Word, more than anyone may believe, have been stated according to appearances and according to the illusions of the senses - such as that Jehovah expresses anger, wrath, and rage against the wicked; that He takes delight in bringing them to destruction and annihilation; and even that He slays them. But the reason such things have been stated in the Word is so that people's persuasions and evil desires might not be destroyed but might be turned in a new direction. For to have spoken of things in a way other than man is able to grasp, that is, other than from appearances' illusions, and persuasions, would have been like sowing seed on the waters and would have been expressing that which would be instantly rejected. Nevertheless those things stated according to appearances and illusions are able to serve as general vessels in which spiritual and celestial things may be contained; for into them the truth may be introduced that all things derive from the Lord; then the truth that the Lord permits, but that all evil derives from devilish spirits; after that the truth that the Lord provides and arranges for evils to be converted into goods; and finally the truth that nothing but good comes from the Lord. Thus the sense of the letter perishes as it rises up, and becomes spiritual, then celestial, and finally Divine.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church