Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 8148

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8148. 'And he took six hundred chosen chariots' means each and every doctrinal teaching that upholds falsity belonging to separated faith, in their own order. This is clear from the meaning of the number 'six hundred' as each and every aspect of the truth and good of faith taken all together, and so in the contrary sense as each and every aspect of the falsity and evil of faith separated from charity (this meaning of 'six hundred' may become clear from what has been shown regarding the number 'six hundred thousand' in 7973); and from the meaning of 'chariots' as doctrinal teachings upholding faith, in this instance separated faith, dealt with just above in 8146. 'Chosen chariots' means the chief doctrinal teachings that uphold that faith, to which all other teachings are subordinate. Those that are subordinate to them or serve them are meant by 'the chariots of Egypt', referred to immediately after the six hundred chosen ones.

[2] It should be recognized that these falsities - the ones that are meant here by Pharaoh, his army and people, and also his chariots, horses, and horsemen - are chiefly falsities present with people whose faith is no more than persuasion, that is, people who persuade themselves that the teachings of the Church they are in are true and who nevertheless lead a life of evil. This kind of faith, unlike saving faith, goes together with evil in life, because it is a faith in which people persuade themselves that everything the Church teaches is true, yet do so not for the sake of truth, or for the sake of life, or even for the sake of salvation (since they have scarcely any belief in this), only for their own advantage, that is, to acquire important positions and wealth, and reputation because of these. It is to gain such advantages that they imbibe religious teachings. Thus they do not learn them to the end that they may be of service to the Church and the salvation of souls, but to themselves and their dependents. Therefore it makes no difference to them whether those teachings are true or false. They do not care which they are, much less do they bother to find out; for they have no affection for truth because it is the truth. They endorse those teachings regardless of the character of them; and when they have endorsed them they tell themselves that they are true, without stopping to think that falsities can be endorsed just as much as truths, 4741, 5033, 6865, 7012, 7680, 7950.

[3] This is how faith that is no more than persuasion arises. And since it does not see the neighbour and the good of the neighbour, or therefore the Lord, as the end in view, only self and the world, that is, important positions and material gain, that kind of faith is linked to evil in life, and not to good in life. For faith, when linked to this good, is saving faith. This kind of faith is imparted by the Lord, but the other has its origin in people themselves. Faith imparted by the Lord remains forever, the other kind melts away in the next life. It even melts away in the world if they can gain nothing by it. As long as they can gain anything they fight for it as if for heaven itself, though in fact they do so not for that faith but for themselves. For the things that belong to faith, which are religious teachings, are for those people simply the means to an end, which is high position and wealth. People in the world with this type of faith are scarcely distinguishable from those possessing saving faith, since they speak and proclaim in favour of religious teachings with an ardour that seemingly belongs to true zeal, but is an ardour fired by selfish and worldly love.

[4] These are the people who are meant in particular by 'Pharaoh' and 'the Egyptians', who in the next life undergo vastation of that kind of faith. When that vastation is completed they are steeped in utter falsities arising from evil, for falsities now burst out of evil. Falsities do so because all evil has falsity present with it, since the two have been joined together. Those falsities make their appearance when such people are left exposed to the evil in their life. That evil is then like fire, and the falsities are like the light coming from a fire. This kind of evil, and the falsity arising from it, is altogether different from other kinds of evil and derivative falsities. It is more loathsome than all the rest, because it is contrary to the forms of good and the truths of faith, and that kind of evil consequently holds profanation within it. Profanation consists in acknowledging truth and good and yet living contrary to them, 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 2051, 3398, 3898, 4289, 4601, 6959, 6963, 6971.

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