Brief Exposition (Stanley) n. 110

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110. A. To everyone after death is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good. In order that this may appear in some measure evident, it shall be set forth as follows:

1. Everyone has a life peculiar to himself. 2. Everyone's own life remains with him after death. 3. To the wicked is then imputed the evil of their life, and to the good the good of their life.

First.-That everyone has a life peculiar to himself, thus distinct from that of another's, is well known. For there is perpetual variety; no two things are the same. Hence it is that everyone has his own proprium.* This appears clearly from people's faces; no one face is exactly like another's, nor ever can be to eternity, because there do not exist two minds alike, and the face is according to the mind. For the face, as is said, is an image of the mind, and the mind derives its origin and form from the life. Unless a man had his own life, just as he has his own mind and face, he would not have any life after death distinct from another's; nay, heaven could not exist. For heaven consists of a perpetual variety of others its form proceeds solely from the variety of souls and minds disposed into such an order that they make a unity; and they make a unity from that One Whose life is in each and everything there, as the soul is in man. Unless this were so, heaven would be dispersed, because its form would be dissolved. The ONE from Whom the life of each and everyone proceeds, and from Whom that form coheres, is the Lord.

[2] Second.-That everyone's own life remains with him after death is known in the Church from the Word, and from these statements therein:

The Son of Man shall come. . . and then He shall reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi 27.

I saw the books opened . . . and all were judged according to their works. Rev. xx 12, 13.

In the day of judgment God will render to everyone according to his works. Rom. ii 6; 2 Cor. v 10.

The works according to which everyone will be recompensed are the life; for the life performs the works, and these are according to the life. Since it has been granted me for many years to associate with angels and to speak with newcomers from the world, I can testify for certain that everyone there is examined as to the quality of his past life, and that the life which he has contracted in the world remains with him to eternity. I have spoken with those who lived many ages ago, whose life was known to me from history, and I have found them to be similar to the way they had been described. I have also heard from angels that no one's life can be changed after death because it is organised according to his love and faith, hence according to his works; and that if it were changed the organisation would be disrupted; but this can never be done. I have also been told that a change of organisation can take place only when in the material body, and by no means when in the spiritual body, after the former has been laid aside.

[3] Third.-To the wicked is then imputed the evil of their life, and to the good the good of their life. The imputation of evil after death is not accusation, blame, censure, or passing judgment as in the world, but evil itself does this. For the wicked of their own freedom separate themselves from the good, because they cannot be together. The delights of the love of evil are averse to the delights of the love of good, and delights exhale from everyone there as odours from every plant on earth. For delights are not absorbed and concealed by the material body as before, but flow forth freely from their loves into the spiritual atmosphere. And because evil is there sensed, as it were, in its own odour, it is this which accuses, blames, finds guilty and judges, not before any particular judge, but in the presence of everyone who is in good; this is what is meant by imputation. The imputation of good is similar, and takes place with those who in the world had acknowledged that all the good in them was and is from the Lord, and none from themselves. These, after they have been prepared, are let into the interior delights of their own good, and then a way is opened for them into heaven, to the society where the delights are akin to their own. This is done by the Lord. * The Latin word Proprium means "what is one's own," Swedenborg uses it in a special sense involving "what is of the self."

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