Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1143

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1143. Although these were the names of those nations that constituted the Ancient Church, they are nevertheless used in the internal sense to mean specific things, namely types of worship. As to what names, territories, nations, and similar things are, nothing at all is known in heaven. There they have no mental picture of such, only of the things meant by them It is by virtue of the internal sense that the Word of the Lord is living. That sense is like the soul, whose body so to speak is the external sense. And just as when someone's body dies the soul lives on, and when the soul lives on he is no longer aware of the things that belong to the body, so when he arrives among the angels he is not aware of what the Word is in the sense of the letter but of what it is in its soul. The member of the Most Ancient Church was such that if he were alive here today and read the Word he would not cling at all to the sense of the letter, but would so to speak not see it, only the internal sense abstractedly from the letter. Indeed it would be as though the letter did not exist, and so he would be abiding in the life or soul of the Word. This applies to every part of the Word, including historical descriptions of events that took place entirely as recorded. Even there not a single word exists which does not in the internal sense embody arcana, and these are never apparent to those who keep their mind on the historical connections. So in this chapter by the names used here are meant, in the sense of the letter or historical sense, the people who constituted the Ancient Church. In the internal sense however their matters of doctrine are meant

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