Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 765

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765. Up to now the subject has been the temptation of the member of the Church called Noah. Verses 6-10 have first of all dealt with his temptation involving things of the understanding, which are truths of faith. After that verses 11, 12, have dealt with his temptation involving things of the will, which have in view the good deeds of charity. The purpose of the temptations was that the member of the Church, that is, that the new Church, might be born again by means of them, during the time that the Most Ancient Church was dying out. As stated already, this Church was quite different in disposition from the Most Ancient Church; that is to say, it is a spiritual Church, whose nature is such that this individual is born again by means of doctrinal matters concerning faith. Once these have been implanted, conscience is instilled into him to prevent his doing things contrary to the truth and good of faith. In this way charity is conferred on him which then governs his conscience, from which he accordingly starts to act. From these considerations it becomes clear what a spiritual man is; he is not one who imagines that faith without charity saves, but one who makes charity the essential element of faith, and acts from it. To bring such a person or Church into being was the end in view, and this is why this Church itself is dealt with next. The fact that it is the Church which is dealt with next becomes clear also from the repetition so to speak of the same point, for it is said here that, 'On that very day Noah went in, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, Noah's sons, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark', which is similar to verse 7 above, though that verse reads, 'And Noah went in, and his sons and his wife, and his sons' wives with him into the ark'. Since the subject is now the Church however, the sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth are mentioned by name; and when so mentioned by name they mean the member of the Church. But when they are called 'sons without the addition of their names they mean truths of faith. In addition, what has been stated already in verses 8, 9, about beasts and birds going into the ark is repeated once again in verses 14-16, but with certain changes that are here fitting and applicable to the Church.

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