Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7233

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7233. 'It was this Aaron and Moses' means that it was from these that the teachings and the law of God among those people sprang. This is clear from the representation of 'Aaron' as the teachings of the Church, dealt with in 6998, 7009, 7089; and from the representation of 'Moses' as the law of God, dealt with in 6723, 6752. These two - the law of God and doctrinal teachings - among those who belong to the spiritual Church have their origin chiefly in the Word; they are however concerned primarily with faith and charity, the things of chief importance to the founders of that Church. The words from these have been used, yet they do not mean from Aaron and Moses but from charity and faith, which are represented by Levi, Simeon, and Reuben, who are spoken of in the verses immediately above.

[2] To go further into these matters, it should be recognized that the teachings of the spiritual Church do not consist of God's truth itself. The reason for this is that those who belong to the spiritual Church do not possess any perception of God's truth, as those who belong to the celestial Church do. Instead of that perception they possess conscience, which is formed out of the truth and goodness, whatever these may be like, which they have adopted within their own Church. For the fact that those who belong to the spiritual Church are in comparative obscurity so far as the truths of faith are concerned, see 86, 2708, 2715, 2716, 2718, 2831, 2935, 2937, 3241, 3246, 3833, 6289, 6500, 6865, 6945. This explains why all within the spiritual Church accept as the truth of faith that which their founders have declared and do not go further to search the Word to see whether it really is the truth. And if they did make this search they would not find that truth unless they had been regenerated and then received specific enlightenment. The reason for this is that although the understanding part of their minds can receive enlightenment, the new will part cannot be aroused except by one kind of good, namely that formed by connection with the truths accepted within the Church. For the will that is properly their own has been corrupted and a new will has been formed within the understanding, see 863, 875, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2256, 4328, 5113. And since the will that is properly their own is separated from the new will within the understanding, the light there is feeble, like the light from the moon and stars at night when compared with the light from the sun during the daytime. This also explains why 'the moon' is used in the internal sense of the Word to mean the good of spiritual love, and 'the sun' to mean the good of celestial love, 30-38, 1529-1531, 2495, 4060.

[3] Since this is the situation in the spiritual Church it is no wonder that for the majority faith is the essential element of the Church, not charity, and that teachings about charity are of no importance to them. The fact that the things they teach are derived from the Word does not mean that those things are Divine truths; for one can hatch any kind of teaching out of the literal sense of the Word, and seize on any such argument as may lend support to wicked desires, thus on falsity instead of truth. This is what the things taught by Jews, Socinians, and many others are like. It is different however if the teaching that is given is based on the internal sense. The internal sense is not only the sense that lies concealed within the external sense, as has been shown up to now, but is also the sense which emerges from a large number of places in the literal sense when they are correctly compared with one another. And it is the sense discerned by those in whom the understanding part of their mind has been enlightened by the Lord. For when enlightened the understanding distinguishes apparent truths from real truths, and in particular falsities from truths, though it does not form any judgements with respect to real truths in themselves. But the understanding part cannot be enlightened unless a person believes that love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are the chief and essential qualities of the Church. And provided that he is governed by these once he has recognized them he can go on to see countless truths; indeed he can see very many hidden things that have been disclosed to him. He does so with an inward recognition of them, insofar as he is enlightened by the Lord.

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