Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 5992

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5992. The angels through whom the Lord leads and also protects a person are near his head. Their function is to impart charity and faith, to notice the direction in which the person's delights turn, and to modify and bend those delights towards what is good, so far as they can do so in the person's freedom. The angels are forbidden to act in any violent manner and thereby crush a person's evil desires and false assumptions; they must act gently. Their function is also to control evil spirits who come from hell, which is done in countless ways, of which let only the following be mentioned here: When evil spirits infuse evils and falsities the angels instill truths and goods, which - even if they are not accepted - serve to temper what the former infuse. Spirits from hell are constantly on the attack, and angels provide protection; and this is a proper state of order.

[2] In particular the angels moderate affections, since they constitute a person's life and also his freedom. The angels also notice any influence on a person from hells which are now open but were not previously so, which happens when a person goes off into some new evil. To the extent that the person allows, the angels close those hells; they also remove any spirits who may be trying to come out from there. They also dispel any strange and new influences which can produce evil effects.

[3] In particular the angels call forth the forms of good and truth residing with a person and set them opposite the evils and falsities activated by the evil spirits. As a result the person is in the middle and is not conscious of the evil or of the good; and being in the middle he is in freedom to turn towards one or towards the other. Angels from the Lord employ means like these to lead and protect a person, doing so every instant and fraction of an instant. For if the angels were to let up merely for a single moment the person would be plunged into evil from which after that he cannot possibly be brought out. The angels are motivated to do all this by a love they receive from the Lord, for nothing gives them greater delight and happiness than to remove evils from a person and lead him to heaven. This is their joy, see Luke 15:7. Scarcely anyone believes the Lord has that kind of concern for a person, a constant concern lasting from the very beginning of a person's existence to the final moment of his life, and for evermore after that.

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