Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3480

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3480. I have also been shown how all the uncleanness present with that nation still did not prevent the interior aspects of the Word - that is, its inner spiritual and celestial content - from manifesting themselves in heaven. Actually all that uncleanness was taken away so as not to be noticed, and evils were also converted into good, so that mere external holiness might serve as a basis, in which the internal aspects of the Word were thereby presented to angels without the intrusion of any hindrances. From this it was evident to me how that inwardly idolatrous people were able to represent holy things, even the Lord Himself, and so how the Lord was able to dwell in the midst of all their uncleanness, Lev 16:16, and so to have the semblance of the Church there, for a merely representative Church is only a likeness of the Church and not the actual Church itself.

[2] Among Christians it is less easy to create the same situation since they do have a knowledge of the interior aspects of worship, though they do not believe them. Thus they are not able to have any holy feelings for external things divorced from internal. Furthermore with people who lead the life of faith communication is effected by means of the goods present within them - evils and falsities having meanwhile been banished. And at this point - amazingly so - every single detail of the Word when read by them is manifested before the angels. This happens despite the fact that those persons reading the Word pay no attention to the sense of it. This has been shown to me from much experience, for with those people the internal which is not so perceptible serves as a basis.

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